A US official identified as Michael Furlong organized a network of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan with the purpose of finding and killing suspected Islamic militants, The New York Times reported Monday.
Citing unnamed military officials and businessmen in Afghanistan and the United States, the newspaper said Furlong, who works for the Defense Department, hired contractors from private security companies that employed former CIA and Special Forces members.
These people gathered intelligence on the whereabouts of suspected Islamic militants and the location of insurgent camps, the report said.
After that, the information was sent to military units and intelligence officials in Afghanistan and Pakistan for use in possible strikes, the paper said.
Some US officials said they were concerned that Furlong could be running an unofficial spy operation, adding they were not sure who condoned and supervised his work, The Times said.
The paper noted that it was generally considered illegal for the military to hire contractors to act as covert spies.
It was also possible that Furlong’s network might have been improperly financed by diverting money from a program designed to gather information about the region, The Times said.
Read the full New York Times report here.
Democrats could flip the Texas state house in 2020 — and reshape the national map
Blue Texas? Democrats have long dreamt of winning Texas’s 38 electoral votes in the presidential election. That may still be a long shot, but a recent “Texodus” from Congress has given new talk to a political transformation across the Lone Star State that could have massive ramifications down the ballot and for decades to come.
Four of the state’s GOP members of Congress have announced their retirements in recent weeks, an unusual torrent of departures signaling that a storm is coming. And evidence shows that it’s not just hitting Texas’s federal delegation. It’s coming to Austin, too.
‘There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there’: Joe Biden at Cape Cod fundraiser
Former Vice President Joe Biden defended Republican lawmakers in DC as "decent people" during a campaign fundraiser held at Cape Cod.
"There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there," Biden argued, according to Washington Post reporter Matt Viser.
"I get in trouble for saying that with Democrats, but...every time we ever got in trouble with our administration, remember who got sent up to Capitol Hill to fix it? Me," he said.
”Because they know I respect the other team. I do. They’re decent people," Biden claimed. "They ran because they care about things, but they’re intimidated right now.”
Neo-Nazi ‘Atomwaffen Division’ holding live-fire militia trainings at ‘The Base’ near Spokane: report
One sign of the growing white nationalist crisis in America is a new outreach effort for paramilitary training.
"A neo-Nazi group focused on providing paramilitary-style training to far-right extremists has been conducting a massive recruitment drive and claims to have already conducted live-fire training with its members," Vice News reports.
"The Base, which is connected to extreme-right groups the Atomwaffen Division and the Feuerkrieg Division, has been promoting its growth on social media with photos announcing its presence in major cities across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and in Europe, South Africa, and Australia," Vice reported. "The images often include a small contingent (typically one to three) of masked, camo-clad men holding weapons standing in front of The Base's flag, a black flag with three white lines running down the centre."