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    national security Tag

    The Islamic State (ISIS) has held Raqqa, Syria, for four years and made it the the group's de facto capital. That appears to have ended as US-backed Syrian forces have declared they retook the city from the terrorists. From CNN:
    "Major military operations in Raqqa are finished but they are now clearing the city of sleeper cells -- if they exist -- and mines," Talal Salo, spokesman for the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, told CNN. The SDF is a coalition of Arab and Kurdish fighters.

    The Associated Press has released the mysterious sound that some American diplomats heard while in Cuba before coming down with horrible health problems. The sound is high pitched, almost like nails on a chalkboard. Experts told the AP that the noise cannot harm you if you listen to it on your computer "for short durations at normal levels." Those affected were hit by the sound "at extreme volumes."

    President Donald Trump's administration has expelled 15 diplomats from the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., due to the mysterious attacks on U.S. diplomats that have caused major health problems. From Secretary of State Rex Tillerson:
    On October 3, the Department of State informed the Government of Cuba that it was ordering the departure of 15 of its officials from its embassy in Washington, D.C. The decision was made due to Cuba’s failure to take appropriate steps to protect our diplomats in accordance with its obligations under the Vienna Convention. This order will ensure equity in our respective diplomatic operations.

    Will President Donald Trump certify the Iran nuclear deal made under former President Barack Obama? That may not happen now since U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has accused Russia of protecting Iran from nuclear inspections that are crucial to the deal. From Fox News:
    U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley indicated Thursday that Russia was shielding Iran by blocking the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from verifying part of the deal. The IAEA initially revealed the news to a reporter in a Q&A. Meanwhile, under a requirement from Congress, Trump must choose whether to certify the deal by October 15.

    The left rejoiced when President Barack Obama decided to normalize relations with the Cuban regime, reopened our embassy, and allowed travel to the island. But most of that has come to a screeching halt after mysterious attacks on our diplomats, which have caused serious health problems. The State Department has decided to recall all non-essential personnel from the embassy and urged Americans not to travel to Cuba.

    Virginia police reports show that three Muslim women have told authorities that Imran Awan, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's former IT aide in the middle of the House network scandal, allegedly abused them. The Daily Caller reported:
    Officers found one of the women bloodied and she told them she “just wanted to leave,” while the second said she felt like a “slave,” according to Fairfax County Police reports obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group. A third woman claimed she was being kept “in captivity.”

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that closing the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, is under review after numerous diplomats have suffered health problems due to possible sonic attacks. From The Associated Press:
    "We have it under evaluation," Tillerson said of a possible embassy closure. "It's a very serious issue with respect to the harm that certain individuals have suffered. We've brought some of those people home. It's under review."

    South Korea's government reported that North Korea fired another missile over Japan from Sunan, which is located just north of Pyongyang, at 6:30AM local time. From CNN:
    The missile flew about 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) and reached an altitude of 770 kilometers (480) miles. It landed in the Pacific Ocean, South Korea said.

    Authorities decided to ban Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's (D-FL) IT aide Imran Awan from the House network due to a secret server. From The Daily Caller:
    Now-indicted former congressional IT aide Imran Awan allegedly routed data from numerous House Democrats to a secret server. Police grew suspicious and requested a copy of the server early this year, but they were provided with an elaborate falsified image designed to hide the massive violations. The falsified image is what ultimately triggered their ban from the House network Feb. 2, according to a senior House official with direct knowledge of the investigation.

    The Washington Examiner reported that Hina Alvi, the former Democrat IT aide that fled to Pakistan after coming under a federal investigation, has struck a deal with authorities and will return to the states. Alvi is married to Imran Awan. Both of them worked as IT aides to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). Authorities arrested Awan on bank fraud charges at Dulles airport in July.

    CBS News obtained medical records from U.S. diplomats in Cuba that show doctors diagnosed them with brain injuries from possible sonic attacks while in Havana. From CBS News:
    The diplomats complained about symptoms ranging from hearing loss and nausea to headaches and balance disorders after the State Department said "incidents" began affecting them beginning in late 2016. A source familiar with these incidents says officials are investigating whether the diplomats were targets of a type of sonic attack directed at their homes, which were provided by the Cuban government. The source says reports of more attacks affecting U.S. embassy workers on the island continue.

    Republicans have suggested that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz should testify to explain why she kept IT aide Imran Awan on her payroll after he became a subject of an FBI investigation in March. Wasserman Schultz did not fire Awan until last week when authorities arrested him at Dulles Airport on bank fraud charges. The Capital Police placed Awan along with his wife and two brothers under investigation months ago for breaching House IT systems and stealing equipment. Other House lawmakers fired the four, but Wasserman Schultz kept Awan on payroll.

    Authorities arrested Imran Awan, the IT aide of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) under an FBI investigation, at Dulles Airport after he wired almost $300,000 to Pakistan. The police arrested Awan on bank fraud charges and cannot leave the country. A source recently told The Daily Caller “that the FBI has joined what Politico previously described as a Capitol Police criminal probe into ‘serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network'” by Awan, his wife Hina Alvi, and his brothers Abid and Jamal.