German authorities are looking into allegations raised in an American magazine that a CIA hit team targeted an al-Qaida suspect in Hamburg in a post-Sept. 11 operation that was never carried out, officials said Wednesday.
According to the report in Vanity Fair’s January issue, the team was sent to target Mahmoun Darkazanli, a German-Syrian businessman. Darkazanli has been accused in Spain of being an al-Qaida figure and was close to the Sept. 11 hijackers who lived and studied in Hamburg.
The article focused on Erik Prince, who founded the defense contractor Blackwater USA, and alleged that Prince had a hand in training the team. It said the team notified neither the German government nor the Hamburg CIA station that it was working in the city, and followed Darkazanli for weeks before the assassination was called off.
George Little, a spokesman for the CIA based in Virginia, declined to comment on the case.
If there’s one thing a government (and its own secret service) is twitchy about, it’s “friendly” foreign governments running ops on their territory. My guess is that the Bundeswehr has lots of almost-evidence on file, and relations between Germany and the US are going to be strained for a while.
And moved to the top of my to-read list (meaning I will start this tonight):
To the dismay of safety advocates already worried about driver distraction, automakers and high-tech companies have found a new place to put sophisticated Internet-connected computers: the front seat.
Technology giants like Intel and Google are turning their attention from the desktop to the dashboard, hoping to bring the power of the PC to the car. They see vast opportunity for profit in working with automakers to create the next generation of irresistible devices.
Although the article carefully avoids mentioning this, it’s of course all about getting eyeballs in front of advertising – how else would Google expect to make money from this?
Don’t watch the road, watch this advertisement instead!
So, if you’re in marketing, kill yourself before you kill us!
You can forget Tetris. Stuff yer Doodle Jump. Flight Control? Schmight Control! We’ve seen the future of mobile gaming, and it’s an augmented reality ‘quadricopter’ that you control with your iPhone.
Possibly. Oh, alright, it probably won’t be causing sleepless nights for any of the developers of the games listed above. But Parrot’s new AR.Drone product is marvellously strange.
As rumored, Microsoft at its CES 2010 keynote showed off an HP-designed tablet computer. The “slate” is completely new and lacks a physical keyboard, instead relying on capacitive touch. It also runs on Windows 7, sports multi-touch and adjusts for the orientation of the display, suggesting it has both an x86-based processor and an accelerometer.
In CEO Steve Ballmer’s presentation, the slate was running Amazon’s Kindle app for Windows, hinting at an e-book focus.
I’m not whelmed.