Fdd's overnight brief

November 22, 2021

In The News


Over the past 20 months, Israeli intelligence operatives have assassinated Iran’s chief nuclear scientist and triggered major explosions at four Iranian nuclear and missile facilities, hoping to cripple the centrifuges that produce nuclear fuel and delay the day when Tehran’s new government might be able to build a bomb. – New York Times  

A cyberattack on Sunday disrupted access to Iran’s privately owned Mahan Air, state TV reported, marking the latest in a series of cyberattacks on Iranian infrastructure that has put the country on edge. – Associated Press 

America’s top defense official vowed Saturday to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and to counter its “dangerous use” of suicide drones in the wider Mideast, a pledge coming as negotiations remain stalled over Tehran’s tattered atomic deal with world powers. – Associated Press 

An Iranian military court began a hearing over the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane in 2020 that killed 176 people, the judiciary’s Mizan Online agency said. – Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty 

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday that they had seized a foreign ship in Gulf waters loaded with what they described as smuggled diesel. – Reuters 

Iran, in its usual bluster, is claiming Israel is afraid of a conflict with its “axis of resistance,” the term for the Iranian network of proxies and allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. – Jerusalem Post 

As the US and Iran are preparing for the next round of indirect talks in Vienna to discuss mutual return to the 2015 nuclear agreement, Senator James Risch (R-Idaho), warns that such agreement won’t stop the Iranians from seeking nuclear weapons. “I’m not at all enthusiastic about an agreement with Iranians,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “We’ve tried it, it hasn’t worked.” – Jerusalem Post 

Ahead of the revival of talks to restore the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that he supports a “broader, stronger and longer” nuclear deal with Tehran. – Jerusalem Post 

An Iranian-Swedish dissident held in Iran for over a year will face trial accused of carrying out “bomb attacks” for an Arab separatist group, said a charge sheet published Sunday. – Agence France-Presse 

A senior Iranian naval commander claimed Saturday that his forces had dealt nine blows to the United States to avenge the deaths of its troops. – Agence France-Presse 

The former head of Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency, acknowledged in an interview with Haaretz that Iran has been enriching more uranium since the American withdrawal from the nuclear deal, a step that former U.S. President Trump took in 2018 with strong encouragement from then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. – Haaretz 

Martin Kramer writes: The vulnerabilities Zahedi exploited back then haven’t been plugged, because they can’t be. America can be charmed, dazzled, and seduced, because its political system mingles celebrity and money with policy. Washington is full of foreign diplomats and agents who come to their offices every morning looking for ways to divert the foreign policy process of the United States. For them, the Zahedi story isn’t just a bit of 1970s nostalgia. It’s a playbook. It’s happened more than once, and it could happen again. And as the Iranian instance shows, it could happen when America can least afford it. – Martin Kramer on the Middle East 

Marie Abdi writes: The Islamic Republic of Iran, from the very beginning, has defined itself as a religious state, in which the clergy enjoy a privileged status. Nevertheless, the authorities have never managed to hide their constant fears over what they see as a growing gap between the ideas of many Iranian clerics and the views of Iran’s supreme leader. – Middle East Institute 


Thousands of Afghans who were evacuated from Kabul after the Taliban seized power in August could be stranded in other countries for years because of backlogs in the U.S. refugee system, according to officials and the groups that helped them escape. – Wall Street Journal 

In late August, shortly after overthrowing the U.S.-backed Afghan republic, the Taliban promised that they would eradicate the country’s multibillion-dollar drug industry, which accounts for 85% of world-wide opium production. Three months later, as the poppy planting season begins, the opposite is happening. – Wall Street Journal 

The United Nations on Monday pushed for urgent action to prop up Afghanistan’s banks, warning that a spike in people unable to repay loans, lower deposits and a cash liquidity crunch could cause the financial system to collapse within months. – Reuters 

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have ordered the country’s television channels to stop showing dramas featuring women actors and said female television journalists must wear the Islamic hijab. – Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty 

Germany has sent high-ranking diplomats to Kabul to meet with the Taliban for the first time since the militia group took power in Afghanistan. – Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty 

James Durso writes: The U.S. congress wants to get to the bottom of the Afghanistan debacle. The commission will be an opportunity to explain what happened to the American and Afghan people, the allied veterans who fought the war, and the citizens of Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East who will live with the aftershocks of the war long after the U.S. forces returned to their safe redoubt in North America. – The Hill 


Hamas’ political bureau said on Nov. 20 that Turkey has a “critical” role regarding the Palestinian cause at the political level. – Anadolu Agency 

Turkey’s Directorate of Communications said Nov. 19 on its website that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke with his counterpart in Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, by phone about bilateral relations. “President Erdoğan stated that the TB2 drones, Hurkus aircraft, and armored vehicles that Niger would procure from Turkey would strengthen its military and security forces,” according to the directorate’s statement. – Defense News 

Ezgi Yazici writes: The Turkish government still seeks to remove Syrian Kurdish fighters from areas near its border and describes their continued presence as unacceptable. Russia and the United States have likely deterred this attempt but Turkey’s military and political objectives remain unfulfilled. Turkey’s expanding military and political footprint in Syria will continue to cause consistent disruption and instability as the fighting between Turkish-backed and Kurdish forces is not confined to the limits of an official operation. – Institute for the Study of War 

Burak Kadercan writes: Turkish politics have always been complicated. It may be difficult to offer detailed predictions about Turkey’s future, but one thing is certain. The weaker the AKP gets in domestic politics and the more visible its governance failures become, the more it will push its Manichean narrative of the opposition as an ungrateful and potentially seditious group that does not belong with the nation. […]Unless Turkish politicians and citizens — regardless of their political convictions — address this slow-burning problem, it is bound to create significant political and social tensions down the road. – War on the Rocks 


A member of the Palestinian militant group Hamas fatally shot one Israeli and injured four others near one of Jerusalem’s holiest sites on Sunday, according to Israeli police, who shot dead the assailant and boosted security in the city on concerns over a flare-up in violence. – Wall Street Journal 

Israel is set to sign a declaration of intent with neighboring Jordan on building a major solar power plant in the kingdom that will be used to generate electricity for Israel, as well as power a desalination plant there to send water onto Jordan, an Israeli official said Sunday. – Associated Press 

The government on Sunday evening approved in a telephone vote the law restricting a Prime Minister to two terms in office. – Arutz Sheva 

The differences between the Biden administration and the Israeli government regarding the nuclear talks with Iran were aired out in the open during an international conference in Bahrain on Sunday. – Axios 

Israeli officials are feeling confident about where they stand in Washington nearly one year into the Biden administration. President Biden took office promising to recenter the U.S. in its relationship with Israel following overt favoritism during the Trump administration and outright antagonism between former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Democratic President Barack Obama. – The Hill 

Israel is not returning to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at this time, even though the US is weighing such a move, Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz told Israel Radio on Sunday. – Jerusalem Post 

Editorial: The effects may not be felt immediately, around the world or on the ground in Jerusalem. But the more countries that recognize the true stripes of Hamas, the safer we all will be. – Jerusalem Post 

Amos Harel writes: Since some Israeli politicians apparently think that the public has an exceedingly short memory, Sunday’s killing in Jerusalem was immediately followed by the customary flood of responses. As usual, the extreme right accused Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government of incompetence in the face of terrorism, as if precisely the same kinds of incidents hadn’t occurred during the tenure of every previous government, regardless of the prime minister at the time. – Haaretz 

Dale Aluf writes: Palestinian activists have long pursued a propaganda strategy designed to isolate Israel from the international community. […]China’s rise to great power status has marked it as but another target for such influence campaigns. – Jerusalem Post 


A group of U.S. congressmen held meetings Saturday with Lebanon’s top leaders during a fact-finding mission to the Middle East nation roiled by an unprecedented economic crisis. – Associated Press 

Bahrain’s foreign minister, Abdullatif Al Zayani, said on Saturday that Lebanon needs to demonstrate that its powerful Iran-allied Hezbollah movement can change its behaviour to mend a rift with Gulf Arab states. – Reuters 

Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement condemned Britain’s decision to proscribe Palestinian militant group Hamas as a terrorist organisation, the movement said on Saturday. – Reuters 


Houthi fighters allied with Iran have gained important new ground in the yearslong war in Yemen, as Saudi Arabia is struggling to defend a strategic, oil-rich city and U.S. efforts to broker peace stagnate. – Wall Street Journal 

The foreign minister of Yemen’s government in exile warned Sunday that a rebel takeover of the crucial, energy-rich city of Marib would be a disaster on the scale of the collapse of its ancient dam that decimated an entire kingdom. – Associated Press 

Yemen’s Iranian-aligned Houthi movement said on Saturday it had fired 14 drones at several Saudi Arabian cities, including at Saudi Aramco facilities in Jeddah. – Reuters 

Gulf States

U.S. intelligence agencies learned this spring that China was secretly building what they suspected was a military facility at a port in the United Arab Emirates, one of the U.S.’s closest Mideast allies, according to people familiar with the matter. – Wall Street Journal 

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthi movement in Yemen said it detected indications of an imminent danger to navigation and global trade south of the Red Sea, Saudi state media reported early on Monday. – Reuters 

Iraq doesn’t plan to normalize ties with Israel in the near future, its Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein told a security conference in Bahrain over the weekend. – Jerusalem Post 


Libya’s interim prime minister filed a request Sunday to run for president, despite being barred from elections next month under the current rules. – Associated Press 

In the days when he was considered a reformer, Saif al Islam Gaddafi, the son of the despotic Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi, famously said that his people should enjoy the same level of freedoms as the Dutch. – Financial Times 

Ben Fishman writes: Libya has come too far since ending its third civil war in mid-2020 to risk resuming violence or dividing the country with a rushed election. […]It is far preferable to enlist a new UN team and, with the support of the United States and its partners, reinvigorate intra-Libyan diplomacy among key actors and civil society to build genuine consensus over an agreed electoral law and set a new timeline that would begin the election process 90 to 120 days from December 24. There is no question that Libyans deserve the right to elect their leaders and that the public wants elections. But the international community has the responsibility to create the best possible circumstances for them to do so freely, fairly, and securely. – The National Interest 

Middle East & North Africa

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin sought to reassure allies that Washington remains committed to Middle East security, after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan aggravated worries that it was abandoning the region. – Wall Street Journal 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken encouraged Tunisia’s leader to make reforms to respond to Tunisians’ hopes for “democratic progress”, the U.S. State Department said on Sunday, nearly four months after President Kais Saied seized political power. – Reuters 

A few days after Tunisia’s president froze parliament and took on sweeping powers in July, a dozen men in unmarked vehicles and civilian clothes barged into politician Yassine Ayari’s family home overnight and took him away in his pajamas. – Associated Press 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: What matters at the end of the day is that the overall trend of events in Syria is shifting. […]The messaging alone may be shifting or there may be an actual shift, but when it comes to perceptions and the Middle East, those perceptions also matter. That means the regime wants to be portrayed as rolling back Iran but that Tehran wants to strike the US in Iraq and Syria. – Jerusalem Post 


A hypersonic missile test China carried out last summer involved a sophisticated maneuver in which a projectile was fired from the system during the flight, according to U.S. officials, in a sign that the Chinese program is more advanced than previously known. – Wall Street Journal 

Starting in 2017, China carried out a sweeping crackdown in its northwest Xinjiang region under the banner of counterterrorism. It was a harsh campaign to forcibly assimilate the Uyghur population, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority group native to Xinjiang. – Washington Post 

The head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said Saturday the United States and its allies need to operate with a greater sense of urgency amid rising tensions and China’s increasingly assertive military actions. – Associated Press 

Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Monday said his country will not seek dominance over Southeast Asia or bully its smaller neighbors, amid ongoing friction over the South China Sea. – Associated Press 

China downgraded its diplomatic ties with Lithuania on Sunday, expressing strong dissatisfaction with the Baltic State after Taiwan opened a de facto embassy there, escalating a row that has sucked in Washington. – Reuters 

Chinese tech giants including Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings were fined Saturday for failing to report corporate acquisitions, adding to an anti-monopoly crackdown by the ruling Communist Party. – Associated Press 

China’s hypersonic weapon test in July included a technological advance that enabled it to fire a missile as it approached its target travelling at least five times the speed of sound — a capability no country has previously demonstrated. – Financial Times 

Editorial: Companies have to make their own decisions about doing business in China. But as they do they are learning that when they run afoul of Beijing, China demands abject surrender. Companies risk damage to their business in China if they don’t comply, but they also risk global damage to their brand and reputation if they do. – Wall Street Journal 

Editorial: President Biden says he’s “considering” a diplomatic boycott of next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing. In fact, that’s the least that’s called for.The Chinese Communist Party aims to make the Games a propaganda triumph to put Leni Riefenstahl’s “Olympia” to shame. In reality, it deserves the world’s scorn, far beyond simply not sending an official US government delegation. – New York Post 

Habi Zhang writes: Chinese citizens enjoy mocking the Western “snowflakes.” Less amusing is what this trend means for the U.S. as China no longer hides its enmity for America. – Wall Street Journal 

Michael C. Horowitz writes: By predicting the pace of China’s pacing challenge, Washington can ensure that Beijing doesn’t conclude it has found the right time to attack Taiwan in the next two decades. In other words, if you want peace, prepare for war in the appropriate timeframe. – War on the Rocks 

South Asia

Pakistan’s armor modernization efforts are maturing amid a refocus toward archrival India and away from operations against the militant group TTP, otherwise known as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan. – Defense News 

Saudi Aramco said it will continue to look for investment opportunities in India, days after Reliance Industries Ltd. scrapped a plan to sell a stake in its oil-to-chemicals unit to the Middle Eastern company. – Bloomberg 

Natasha Behl writes: The farmers’ protest — like the months-long protest in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh against the government’s controversial citizenship law in 2019 and 2020 — has created its own internal democratic practices, which helped to actualize the progressive ideals of the Indian constitution. It demonstrates how citizens can use inclusive forms of protest to experiment with alternative visions of democracy. – Washington Post 

Amy Kazmin writes: Having tasted victory, farmers intend to press for further concessions, such as enshrining a system of guaranteed public procurement — at a minimum price — into law, which would lead to a rise in already costly agricultural subsidies that some say are misdirected. – Financial Times 

Laura Dagan Amoss writes: There is no doubt that India’s position in the region and its importance for Israel will increase as cooperation continues to be stable and deep. – Jerusalem Post 


Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said on Sunday he has been invited to visit China. – Reuters 

The Philippine military defiantly redeployed two supply boats on Monday to provide food to Filipino marines guarding a disputed shoal in the South China Sea after the Chinese coast guard used water cannons to forcibly turn the boats away in an assault last week that drew angry condemnation and warnings from Manila. – Associated Press 

Roger F. Wicker writes: Many of these problems are reversible if we choose to act with the requisite urgency. Mr. Biden must publicly declare that an invasion of Taiwan—unlike previous U.S. embarrassments in Georgia, Syria and Ukraine—would be met with the full force of American military might. – Wall Street Journal 

Michael Rubin writes: Parts of the border may be murky, but the Azerbaijani assault was into territory that was not under any credible dispute. Unless Blinken calls out Azerbaijani aggression, revokes the Section 907 waiver, and slaps Global Magnitsky Act sanctions on Aliyev and his top family members for their corruption, cultural desecration, and human rights violations, then Aliyev will only repeat the cycle of aggression. This would not only destabilize Armenia, put its people at risk for further genocide, and undermine its turn toward democracy, but it would also provide Russia an excuse to cement its grip over the region. – 19fortyfive 


The Kremlin on Sunday accused the West of artificially whipping up tensions around Ukraine with repeated statements suggesting Russia was poised to launch an attack on its neighbour and told Washington and its allies to stop a military build-up nearby. – Reuters 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Sunday slammed the United States for driving “hysteria” over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, after Western countries accused Moscow of a troop build-up near the ex-Soviet country. – Agence France-Presse 

Chinese and Russian nuclear-capable bombers conducted a “joint patrol” over the Sea of Japan in a military gesture that dramatized Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vow to remain unified with his communist neighbor. – Washington Examiner 

The U.S. has shared intelligence including maps with European allies that shows a buildup of Russian troops and artillery to prepare for a rapid, large-scale push into Ukraine from multiple locations if President Vladimir Putin decided to invade, according to people familiar with the conversations. – Bloomberg 

France is concerned about a buildup of Russian forces along the border of Ukraine, said Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who warned the Kremlin against incursions. – Bloomberg  

Tom Rogan writes: A winter conflict with Ukraine might serve Putin by distracting Russians from their declining living standards. The stoking of nationalism has always been a powerful elixir for Russian political power. If Putin senses he can act without swift and significant Western riposte (which is eminently possible ), he will find added reason to do so. – Washington Examiner 

Mark Episkopos writes: Putin and top Moscow officials are increasingly concerned that Ukraine could unilaterally opt to host NATO/U.S. bases and other military infrastructure, all but assuming the de facto role of a NATO member state without being formally accepted into the alliance. Suslov posited that the future of Ukraine and the U.S.-Russia relationship hinges on whether or not Putin and Biden are able to arrive at a “mutually acceptable modus vivendi” on Ukraine—one involving, in no small part, a significant recalibration of western political and military commitments to Kiev in its continued conflict with Moscow. – The National Interest 

Michael Kimmage and Michael Kofman write: Over the course of the past year, the Russian leadership has used stark rhetoric, drawing attention to its redlines in Ukraine. Moscow does not believe that the United States has been taking it seriously. In October 2021, Putin noted that although Ukraine may not formally be granted membership into NATO, “military development of the territory is already underway. And this really poses a threat to Russia.” – Foreign Affairs 


Brussels plans to crack down on a patchwork of national arrangements that allow banks outside the EU to sell services into the bloc, dealing a blow to lenders in London that rely on the arrangements to cushion the impact of Brexit. – Financial Times 

Ukraine’s defense minister said he asked the Pentagon for more help defending the country’s airspace and coast as it faces rising pressure from Russian troops massing on its border. – Bloomberg 

Editorial: Those sanctions should be prelude to further measures that weaken the hold Mr. Lukashenko and his henchmen have on a nation yearning for democracy. His departure, with free and fair elections to follow, would surely be better for the people of Belarus. As events beyond that country’s bounds show every day, it would be better for the rest of the world, too. – Washington Post 

John C. Hulsman writes: Maintaining this critical alliance edge must become a cardinal feature of American foreign policy. Helping our friends in Central and Eastern Europe to help themselves makes sound moral, strategic and geopolitical sense. – The Hill 


After four weeks under house arrest, Sudan’s ousted prime minister was reinstated on Sunday after he signed a deal with the military intended to end a bloody standoff that led to dozens of protester deaths and threatened to derail Sudan’s fragile transition to democracy. – New York Times 

China’s pursuit of Congo’s cobalt wealth is part of a disciplined playbook that has given it an enormous head start over the United States in the race to dominate the electrification of the auto industry, long a key driver of the global economy. – New York Times 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the U.S. would treat African countries as equals rather than “subjects of geopolitics” in a speech meant to set out the Biden administration’s policy toward the continent. – Wall Street Journal 

China has lent African countries hundreds of billions of dollars as part of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which envisaged Chinese institutions financing the bulk of the infrastructure in mainly developing nations. Yet the credit has dried up in recent years. – Reuters 

France has asked the president of Burkina Faso to intervene after a convoy of French troops was stopped en route to Niger on Friday by protesters opposed to the former colonial ruler’s role in a regional conflict with Islamist militants. – Reuters 

China says five of its citizens have been kidnapped from a mining operation in eastern Congo. The Chinese Embassy in Kinshasa posted on the WeChat online message service that the five were abducted early Sunday from the site in South Kivu province that borders Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. – Associated Press 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday promised new investment in Senegal in a bid to showcase democracy’s benefits as he wrapped up his first visit to Africa. – Agence France-Presse 

Michael Crowley writes: The lack of visible progress in either Sudan or Ethiopia suggests the limits of America’s diplomatic influence on the continent. But U.S. officials remain hopeful about the prospect for breakthroughs. – New York Times 

Yohannes Woldemariam and Nic Cheeseman write: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting the region to build support for a diplomatic resolution. But the irony of a senior American leader talking about the need to preserve democracy, when the United States spent the last three decades providing economic and military support to repressive Ethiopian regimes, will not be lost on African leaders or the people of Ethiopia. Foreign powers cannot build an international coalition for peace without recognizing their own considerable errors — ones that have aggravated the conflict and made it all the more intractable. – Washington Post 

The Americas

Two of the 17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti last month have been released, the missionary group said on Sunday. – Wall Street Journal 

The country has been rocked by some of Latin America’s largest protests. It was pummeled by the coronavirus. It is writing a new constitution. Its president this month narrowly evaded impeachment. Now, after two years of tumult, Chile will choose a new leader. – Washington Post 

The Venezuelan opposition has tried everything to oust authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro, from working to trigger a revolt to forcing him out by naming an interim president. Now there is a new strategy: participating in elections. – Wall Street Journal 

The top two contenders to be the next president of Honduras held boisterous final rallies over the weekend, one week ahead of an election that could end diplomatic support for Taiwan in the Central American country if the leftist candidate wins. – Reuters 

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday there will be no renewed talks with opposition politicians until “the kidnap” of a prominent government envoy Alex Saab – who was extradited to the United States – is answered for. – Reuters 

Eli Lake writes: At the very least, Biden should make sure that Guaido is invited to that summit. He should also make clear that whatever the outcome of Sunday’s elections in Venezuela, they should not be considered free or fair. – Bloomberg


Vestas Wind Systems A/S, one of the world’s biggest wind turbine makers, said it has shut down IT systems across multiple business units and locations to deal with a cyber security incident. – Bloomberg 

The House approved more than $500 million in cybersecurity funding on Friday as part of its version of President Biden’s roughly $2 trillion Build Back Better package. – The Hill 

Five months after President Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and urged him to take a stand against ransomware attacks emanating from his country, lawmakers are beginning to chafe at what they view as a lack of results from the administration’s efforts to confront Russia. – The Hill 


A bipartisan group of senators said on Saturday that U.S. allies were worried lawmakers would not be able to pass its annual defense policy bill before the end of the year for the first time in decades, Politico reported. – The Hill 

A recent landmark deal to share U.S. and British nuclear submarine technology with Australia sets the table for “a melding” of the three navies, according to a senior White House official. – Washington Examiner 

Next month the Air Force will conduct a capstone exercise for a program aiming to turn cargo planes into aerial bomb trucks, when a standard-looking pallet will be airdropped out of an MC-130J and launch a live cruise missile as it parachutes down through the air. – Breaking Defense 

The US Space Force and its like-minded counterparts are increasingly eyeing ways to avoid duplicating capabilities, with the American service setting up a series of agreements in hopes of  each country bringing its best hand to the fight. – Breaking Defense 

Long War

The United Kingdom’s decision Friday to designate the entirety of Hamas as a terror organization and outlaw support for the group is a major blow for the Islamist group, which carries out significant fundraising there. – Times of Israel 

Terrorism should be treated in the same way as ordinary crime when it comes to any connection to mental health issues, a terrorism laws watchdog has said, as more information comes to light about the dead Liverpool bombing suspect. – The Guardian