Best Of The Web
“For all the attention, invention and investment that the U.S. intelligence community devotes to spy satellites, communications intercepts, and new technologies such as artificial intelligence, the raid that killed ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was launched by the same old-fashioned tool that led to Osama bin Laden: human intelligence.
After years of trying in vain to get a real-time lock on al-Baghdadi’s location, the big break came not from space or from a strategically located eavesdropping post, but from the wife of an al-Baghdadi aide and one of the couriers he employed to avoid using mobile phones and computers that could have made him easier to track. U.S. officials said the two were captured in western Iraq.
Using names and locations that the wife and courier gave up, two U.S. officials said on Sunday, the CIA and Iraqi and Kurdish intelligence officers began recruiting agents along the routes that al-Baghdadi traveled in the desert astride the Syrian-Iraqi border. Officials began surveilling routes he used, places he stopped, and looking for patterns to his travel, including his brief stays in small villages such as the one where he died.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"The top brass of China’s Communist Party (CCP) – its 370-strong Central Committee – recently emerged from the Fourth Plenum of the 2017 Party Congress. Such meetings, usually one a year, are key forums for policy discussion. At the previous..."
"Mayor Pete is having his moment — for the second time in the campaign. Surging to the head of the pack in a recent Iowa poll, and edging out Vice President Joe Biden in last quarter's money race, Buttigieg is staking his claim to being the..."
"careful reading of Walden; or, Life in the Woods makes it clear that Thoreau never intended his cabin to be a solitary hermitage, although fans and detractors alike often misunderstand this. It was more an author’s workshop than a fortress of..."
"In the fall of 2015, a rash of posters appeared around Copenhagen. One, in pink letters laid over an image of chicken eggs, asked, “Have you counted your eggs today?” A second — a blue-tinted close-up of human sperm — inquired, “Do they swim too..."
"While there’s plenty of disagreement about how the money should be used, almost everyone involved in public-policy debates agrees that it would be good if the federal government could collect more revenue without raising tax rates or reducing..."
"On a brisk November night, a solitary man wandered around the plaza outside the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on the edge of downtown. He had just flown alone from New York to see his favorite comic, Louis C.K., and he had an extra..."
"Judaism has been described as many things: a culture, a people, a religion, a nationality, and more (including, according to answers given to the 2013 Pew survey of American Jews, a culinary disposition for bagels and smoked salmon or the..."
"US sex education is decades behind other countries. Right now, it isn’t even mandatory in every state. Add to that the awkwardness people feel about sex and bodies in general, top it with the idea of having to have these discussions in public..."