Morning Security Brief: Islamist Extremists, Immigration Policies, Anti-corruption Efforts, and More

By Sherry Harowitz


► A Nigerian Islamist insurgency known as Boko Haram appears to be working with al Qaeda, writes the New York Times, raising the fear "that extremists bent on jihad are spreading their reach across the continent and planting roots in a major, Western-allied state that had not been seen as a hotbed of global terrorism." Part of the problem, according to the article, is that "The brutal Nigerian military tactics — shoot first, ask questions later — are creating more sympathizers on the ground, analysts and residents here suggest."

►The L.A. Times notes that the federal government will have to defend itself against a slew of lawsuits filed by civil rights groups challenging its homeland security immigration policies. "The most ambitious suit was brought by the Heartland Alliance's National Immigration Justice Center in Illinois, and involves allegations that the Department of Homeland Security's practice of asking police to detain individuals without any real evidence is unconstitutional," states the article.

►A piece in the Economist questions the ulterior motives that may be behind China's anti-corruption laws. With regard to the latest decree aimed at rural officials, the Economist writes, "the directive can only be aimed at other goals: shifting the blame for China’s endemic corruption away from the centre and tightening Beijing’s control over local-level officials."

►Elsewhere in the news, Wired reports that the Pentagon is investigating Darpa deals that raise questions about insider conflicts of interest. ⇒ The Washington Post reports that in India, 74-year-old anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare has won the right to fast as a way of trying to get India's lawmakers to pass anti-corruption legislation.


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