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January 24, 2014

News Brief January 24, 2014

U.S. commander predicts more suicide attacks

The second-ranking U.S. military commander in Afghanistan is predicting more violence like the assault last week on a Kabul restaurant that was the deadliest single attack against foreign civilians in the nearly 13-year war.

Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon via video-teleconference from his headquarters in Kabul, Army Lt. Gen. Mark Milley says the Taliban attack on the Lebanese restaurant that killed 21 civilians was designed to create an atmosphere of fear and insecurity as U.S. and other foreign forces withdraw from the country.

Milley says he expects more of what he called ìsuicide-type, high-profile spectacular attacks.

He also says Thursday he expects the targets to include civilians as well as Afghan security forces, Afghan government officials and U.S. and other foreign troops. AP

Arizona air base expected to get its first F-35 soon

Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., expects to get its first F-35 in the near future.

Officials say they don’t have a specific date but now believe the arrival of the new fighter could be as early as next week.

Luke is a pilot-training base that has been selected for F-35 training, while operational units flying the F-35 will be located at other Air Force bases.

Luke officials say they’ll hold a formal ceremony in mid-March to mark the F-35s arrival. AP

Historic Boeing 707 to stay in Ohio, not in Austin

There will be no Air Force One for the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.

The Austin American-Statesman reports U.S. Air Force officials have assured that the converted Boeing 707 where Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as president in 1963 in Dallas will remain in Ohio.

The jet, with the military designation VC-137C, is on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio.

The assurances were conveyed in letters released Wednesday by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

The LBJ Foundation had raised millions of dollars in pledges and planned to build a pavilion by the LBJ Presidential Library to house the jet flown by U.S. presidents flew from 1962 until 1990. AP

Contractor accused of trying to ship docs to Iran

Federal prosecutors say a former defense contractor engineer has been indicted on charges of stealing proprietary information about the Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program and military jet engines that he tried to ship to Iran.

Connecticut U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly announced Jan. 21 that 59-year-old Mozaffar Khazawee, a former Connecticut resident now living in Indianapolis, allegedly stole the material from companies where he’d worked. Prosecutors say customs inspectors found sensitive technical manuals and other documents in a November shipment to Iran that Khazaee described as household goods.

Khazawee was arrested this month at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey en route to Tehran. A grand jury indictment returned Jan. 21 charges him with two counts of transporting stolen goods.

Khazaee was detained for transfer to Connecticut. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney. AP




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