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January 4, 2010

1. More information is learned about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and his path to a failed attempt to bomb Northwest Flight 253. Yet some must apparently re-learn about his recruiter, facilitator and al-Qaeda guide, radical imam and al-Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.

2. Al-Qaeda is mounting an insurgency in Yemen and the government is forced to violently confront terrorists for its own survival. Yemeni government "loses track" of arms trucks, forcing US, UK and French embassy closures.

3. Iran gives "ultimatum" on a nuclear deal, which France immediately rejected early this morning. Iran insists on enriching its own material, which is counter to the heart of the West's sought compromise. Meanwhile, the regime has never been more unstable domestically with protests increasing in the face of violent put-downs.

4. Report suggests Pentagon seeking use of foreign aid to counter al-Qaeda. Not listed is Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In 2006, Pentagon attempted this for Somalia and was shot down by State Department which demanded 'moderate' Islamists be included in Somali government.

FLIGHT 253 BOMBING ATTEMPT BACKGROUND
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab: one boy's journey to jihad - Times (UK)
Anwar al-Awlaki: More Than A Radical Cleric - Weekly Standard
Mobility Helps al Qaeda Extend Reach - Wall Street Journal
NOTE: Also See Yemen Section Below

AFGHANISTAN
Jordanian double agent killed CIA officers in Khost - Politico
3 of 7 CIA employees killed in suicide bombing in Afghanistan identified - AP

IRAN
Iran Gives West One-Month 'Ultimatum' to Accept Nuclear Counterproposal - New York Times
France Rejects Iran's Nuclear Ultimatum - VOA
Chinese Evade U.S. Sanctions on Iran - Wall Street Journal
Iran's Desperate Regime (US On The Wrong Side Since June) - SF Chronicle

ISRAEL
The Expansion of Al-Qaeda-Affiliated Jihadi Groups in Gaza - Dore Gold

JORDAN
Jordan emerges as key CIA counterterrorism ally - Washington Post

LEBANON
Marine commander in Beirut in 1983: "Iran Expands Its Target List" - WSJ
Lebanon will not surrender to threat against Hizballah's arms: FM - Xinhua

PAKISTAN
Americans accused of plotting attacks return to Pakistan prison - Washington Post
Suicide bomber kills 90 at volleyball game in Pakistan - The Long War Journal

SOMALIA
Pentagon Eyes Foreign Aid to Fight Al Qaeda - FOX News
Flashback - January 2009: America Intervenes in Somalia, Quietly - Wired

UNITED STATES
Flights Behind Schedule After NJ Security Breach - ABC
Air Travelers from Terror Sponsors to U.S. Will Face Tighter Screening - BusinessWeek
Confusion in Europe after US demands more security - Los Angeles Times
2 federal agents shot inside lobby of Las Vegas courthouse - New York Daily News

YEMEN
The New AQ Insurgency: Yemeni leadership feared in al-Qaeda's sights - Washington Times
Yemen forces 'shoot al-Qaeda militants' as country nears ruin - Times (UK)
Embassies shut after 'Yemen lost track of arms trucks' - BBC
U.S., U.K. Close Yemen Embassies for Second Day - Bloomberg
Obama Pretends to Get Tough on Yemen - Weekly Standard
Some Dems want Gitmo-Yemen transfers ended - Washington Times

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