National Security Brief: September 2, 2011

Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador and suspended all military agreements following the New York Times’ leak of a U.N. report which concluded that Israeli commandos used “excessive and unreasonable” force in stopping the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish flagged ship which attempted to break the Gaza blockade last year.

— Israeli security sources said their government should have apologized to Turkey for the raid and paid reparations to the families of the activists that were killed. Meanwhile, leading Israeli Arab MKs said Turkey was right to expel the Israeli ambassador.

— The French foreign minister said France plans on pushing for a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning violence against protesters in Syria’s five-months-old uprising, as Clinton urged increased European sanctions.

— A new USA Today/Gallup poll found that Americans’ fear of a terrorist attack in the U.S. are among the lowest levels since 9/11. Just 38 percent said an attack is very or somewhat likely to occur over the next several weeks.

— With an expanded counter-terror staff and more analytic research directed toward targeting, the CIA’s paramilitary capabilities have grown apace, killing more than 2,000 suspected militants in the last ten years utilizing its drone program.

— Though many details for the transfer as yet unknown, Iran announced it is moving some of its sensitive nuclear enrichment equipment to a heavily guarded compound outside the city of Qom, presumably to defend the equipment from various forms of attack.

— Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Libya’s new leaders that Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing which killed 270 people, many of them U.S. citizens, should be behind bars and reminded Libyan opposition leaders that the U.S. condemned the Scottish decision to release Megrahi two years ago.

— U.S. funding to combat hunger in the Horn of Africa has passed the $600 million mark after a $23 million increase, $10 million of which will be devoted to famine relief in Somalia, on August 31.