From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
LYNN NEARY, HOST:
And I'm Lynn Neary. The family of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran, is appealing for his return.
DAVID LEVINSON: My name is David Levinson, and I'm speaking on behalf of my mother, Christine Levinson, and my entire family. Please tell us your demands so we can work together to bring my father home safely.
The Obama administration has decided to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay. The decision, announced on Monday by Attorney General Eric Holder, ends more than a year of to-ing and fro-ing over where to try the self-professed Sept. 11 plotter.
While the attorney general said he continued to believe that the case should be tried in federal civilian courts, he said he "reluctantly" came to the conclusion that congressional opposition made that all but impossible.
Traditionally, intelligence agencies have relied on top-secret information to track changes in other countries. But wiretaps and secret intercepts didn't help U.S. officials predict the Arab Spring that has brought revolution across the Middle East and North Africa.
In hindsight, officials say there could have found some clues about what was about to happen if they had read open sources more closely. Now they are searching for systematic ways to do that.
Lt. Col. Reid Sawyer, a career intelligence officer, runs the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. This week, at a New York Fire Department training center, Sawyer stood before a classroom of 40 fire marshals, chiefs and firefighters who are taking an 11-week course in terrorism. The evening's topic: the evolution of al-Qaida.
"So, the question is when you are sitting in the firehouses how do you make sense of the threat that is before you?" Sawyer asked the class. "How do you understand when you are reading the newspapers what it means?"
The released WikiLeaks diplomatic documents include behind-the-scenes details about a failed weapons deal between Russia and Iran. Iran had planned to buy a Russian missile that would have been a powerful defense against a military strike on its nuclear facilities. But Russia abruptly halted the deal in September.