NEWS

Morning Security Brief: CIA Raises Concerns About Afghan Pact, Maryland Mall Shooter Identified, And More

By Megan Gates

► The possibility of the United States removing all American troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 has created concerns in the intelligence community that they could lose their air bases used for drone strikes against al Qaeda. “The concern has become serious enough that the Obama administration has organized a team of intelligence, military, and policy specialists to devise alternatives to mitigate the damage if a final security deal cannot be struck with the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai,” reports The New York Times. Karzai has declined to enact an agreement that American officials thought was completed last year that would allow U.S. forces to remain in Afghanistan to aid in the long-term security of the country. If Obama withdrew all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the CIA’s drone bases in the country would have to be closed because they would no longer be protected.

► Police have identified the shooter responsible for killing two employees at a Maryland shopping mall over the weekend. Authorities said Darion Marcus Aguilar, 19, of College Park, Maryland, took a taxi to the mall, hiding a pump-action, pistol-grip shotgun, and a Mossberg 12-gauge from the driver as he took him to his destination where he fatally shot two clothing store employees before turning the gun on himself, according to The Washington Post. Police have been unable to establish a motive for the crime, although there has been speculation that there was a “romantic involvement” between the shooter and one of the victims. Authorities have recovered Aguilar’s journal and are hoping that it may explain his motive for the crime.

► Ukraine may move to a state of emergency after the nation’s Justice Ministry was seized by anti-government protestors. Demonstrators are already occupying the agriculture and energy ministries in Kiev and took control of the Justice Ministry around midnight, according to Bloomberg. “A state of emergency would expand the power of President Viktor Yanukovych, whose weekend offer to share power with the opposition failed to end unrest,” Bloomberg reported. With a state of emergency, the president would be allowed to ban rallies and be able to ask the armed forces for help in dealing with the protests. He could also cut telephone and Internet access to the country, hindering protestors ability to organize.

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