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Greg Myre

Greg Myre is a national security correspondent with a focus on counter-terrorism, a topic he has covered in the U.S., the Middle East and in many other countries around the world for more than two decades.

He was previously the international editor for NPR.org, working closely with NPR correspondents around the world and national security reporters in Washington. He heads the Parallels blog and is a frequent contributor to the website on global affairs. Prior to his current position, he was a senior editor at Morning Edition from 2008-2011.

Before joining NPR, Myre was a foreign correspondent for 20 years with The New York Times and The Associated Press.

He was first posted to South Africa in 1987, where he witnessed Nelson Mandela's release from prison and reported on the final years of apartheid. He was assigned to Pakistan in 1993 and often traveled to war-torn Afghanistan. He was one of the first reporters to interview members of an obscure new group calling itself the Taliban.

Myre was also posted to Cyprus and worked throughout the Middle East, including extended trips to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. He went to Moscow from 1996 to 1999, covering the early days of Vladimir Putin.

He was based in Jerusalem from 2000-2007, reporting on the heaviest fighting ever between Israelis and the Palestinians.

In his years abroad, he traveled to more than 50 countries and reported on a dozen wars. He and his journalist wife Jennifer Griffin co-wrote a 2011 book on their time in Jerusalem, entitled, This Burning Land: Lessons from the Front Lines of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Myre is a scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington and has appeared as an analyst on CNN, PBS, BBC, C-SPAN, Fox, Al Jazeera and other networks. He's a graduate of Yale University, where he played football and basketball.

Editor's Note: This is an updated version of a story that was originally published on July 28, 2013.

When South Africa's Nelson Mandela died in 2013 at age 95, the international community celebrated him as an iconic figure, a symbol of hope and statesmanship, the man who guided a troubled country from apartheid to democracy.

Traditional. Predictable. Risk-averse. These words defined Saudi Arabia and its elderly monarchs for decades. But the kingdom's brash crown prince, 32-year-old Mohammad bin Salman, is swiftly scrapping the old ways of doing business at home and abroad.

According to President Trump, some Republicans in Congress and conservative media outlets, the Russia scandal is heating up.

No, not that one.

It's an alternative Russia scandal. And the claims go like this:

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton approved the 2010 sale of a mining company to Russia. This gave the Russians control of 20 percent of U.S. uranium and placed U.S. national security at risk. In return, the Clinton Foundation received $145 million in pledges and donations.

As the Islamic State has crumbled in its core territory in the Middle East, the extremist group has pressed individual supporters to carry out vehicle attacks in the West.

The lethal assaults have traumatized European cities for more than a year, and authorities are pointing to a similar motivation in the New York City attack that killed eight people on Tuesday.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the attack was a "classic case of a radicalization of a domestic jihadist who associated with ISIS and this is their new playbook. Very simple. Use a vehicle to cause harm."

Former Army Specialist Jonathan Morita testified Thursday that his rifle was shot out of his grip, and his right hand was seriously injured, when a search for missing soldier Bowe Bergdahl turned into a firefight with the Taliban in July 2009.

Morita, dressed head-to-toe in black civilian clothes, also said he's been short-tempered since his injury, which still limits the use of his hand despite surgeries and years of rehabilitation.

That anger, he said, "is directed toward one person."

A Navy SEAL testified Wednesday in Fort Bragg, N.C., that he was shot and badly injured during a heavy firefight while searching for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after Bergdahl walked off his combat outpost in Afghanistan.

The military judge, Army Col. Jeffery Nance, is allowing the testimony of three service members whose injuries are considered a direct result of the searches for Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban and held for five years. He has pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

When U.S. troops were ambushed in Niger on Oct. 4, the widespread reaction was surprise. The U.S. has military forces in Niger? What are they doing there?

Yet in many ways, the Niger operation typifies U.S. military missions underway in roughly 20 African countries, mostly in the northern third of the continent. They tend to be small, they are carried out largely below the radar, and most are focused on a specific aim: rolling back Islamist extremism.

Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET

An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been freed after five years in captivity by an extremist group in Afghanistan, the White House said Thursday.

Caitlan Coleman, now 32, was several months pregnant when she and her husband, Joshua Boyle, were abducted in 2012 while on a trip to Afghanistan.

When the Iranian nuclear agreement was reached in 2015 there was a hope — and it was just a hope — that the deal would lead to a more moderate Iran.

As tough sanctions were lifted, Iran received billions of dollars in oil revenues that had been blocked. The country's international isolation eased, raising the possibility that Iran's friction with the U.S. and some Arab states might give way to greater engagement, at least in some areas.

No one is talking like that now.

The investigation into the Las Vegas shooting is still in the early stages, yet there already is a familiar debate about whether to call it an act of "domestic terrorism."

"It was an act of pure evil," President Trump said — but the president and law enforcement officials have refrained from calling it terrorism.

Several members of Congress, from both parties, did describe the attack as terrorism, including Jim Cooper, a Democrat from Tennessee.

Two key questions crop up every time this debate takes place.

First, what was the attacker's motive?

President Trump said he would let his generals manage the fight against the Islamic State. And so far, he's done that.

The U.S. and its coalition partners carried out more than 5,000 airstrikes in Syria and Iraq combined in August. That's the highest monthly figure since the air campaign began three years ago.

The CIA has a favorite phrase: "We can neither confirm nor deny."

It was born as part of a strange Cold War drama, involving Howard Hughes, that now has a new twist.

Back in March 1968, a Soviet submarine and its nuclear missiles suffered a catastrophic accident and sank to the dark, chilly floor of the Pacific. All 98 sailors died.

Stanislav Petrov was a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Union's Air Defense Forces, and his job was to monitor his country's satellite system, which was looking for any possible nuclear weapons launches by the United States.

At 1:30 a.m. on June 17, sailors on the USS Fitzgerald were jolted awake in their bunks. Some were thrown to the floor. Their guided missile destroyer had just collided with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan.

A gaping hole was gashed into their living quarters, two levels below deck, and they were engulfed in a rush of cold seawater.

The U.S. Navy on Thursday suspended the search at sea for the sailors who went missing when the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore on Monday.

The Navy's 7th Fleet has named all 10 sailors, but says it has only confirmed the remains of one of them, Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, from New Jersey.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Most U.S. presidents pursue a two-track policy with Russia: confrontation on some fronts, cooperation on others.

President John F. Kennedy waged a showdown with the Soviet Union during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 — and signed a nuclear test ban treaty with Moscow the following year.

Ronald Reagan famously called the Soviets "the evil empire" — and reached a major arms control deal with them.

Barack Obama got Russia to join a sanctions campaign against Iran — and also imposed sanctions against Moscow.

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions was asked how he viewed the car attack in Charlottesville, Va., here's how he responded:

"It does meet the definition of domestic terrorism in our statute," he told ABC's Good Morning America.

That certainly seems to suggest the government is looking into a possible terrorism charge against the suspect, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. At Saturday's rally organized by white supremacists, a car slammed into counterprotesters, killing one and injuring 19.

When it comes to U.S. sanctions against Moscow, the Cold War has never really ended.

President Gerald Ford signed off on trade restrictions against the Soviet Union and other communist countries in a 1974 measure known as the Jackson-Vanik amendment, for its congressional sponsors.

The message to Moscow: If you deny basic human rights — in this case, the right of certain people, especially Jews, to emigrate from the Soviet Union — you can't conduct normal business with the United States.

If you're not familiar with the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 U.S. law, here is the most important thing to understand: Russian President Vladimir Putin and everyone in his orbit hates it.

"A purely political, unfriendly act," Putin called it at the time, and he has been railing against it ever since.

A hundred years ago this month, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Espionage Act to deal with spying against the U.S. in World War I.

Historically, the most notorious U.S. spy cases have been tried under the act, like the one against Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted in 1951 of giving nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union and executed two years later.

Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a Senate committee Tuesday that any suggestion he colluded with Russia during last year's U.S. presidential campaign was an "appalling and detestable lie."

Sessions spent more than 2 1/2 hours before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which included several testy exchanges with Democratic senators who accused him of obstructing their investigation.

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

A few days ago, based on her apparent Instagram account, Reality Winner was prepping vegan meals and thinking about her weightlifting goals. Now she's in jail, awaiting prosecution on charges of mishandling classified information.

Winner is the first person accused of leaking classified information to be charged with a crime under the Trump administration. The 25-year-old National Security Agency contractor, who is also an Air Force veteran, is accused of orchestrating the latest bombshell leak from the NSA.

The guns had just gone silent in the Arab-Israeli war of 1967 when U.S. President Lyndon Johnson jumped in to play the role of peacemaker. Just 11 days after the Six-Day War, Johnson went to the State Department and laid out a plan.

It's a simple, frequently recurring phrase: "The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack." But it raises some questions: Is the claim credible or just an empty assertion, and if it's true, what does "responsibility" actually entail?

Experts who closely follow the Islamic State say that in general when it comes to attacks in the West, an ISIS claim of responsibility usually means there was some sort of connection. But the attack might have been planned, funded and directed by ISIS — or it could just have been inspired by the group's propaganda.

British authorities still have many questions about the Monday night concert bombing in Manchester. They don't yet know if the suicide bomber had any helpers or how he obtained his explosives.

But this much is clear: Western European cities have become regular targets over the past two years, a period coinciding with the rise of the Islamic State and its calls for supporters to strike anywhere they can and with whatever weapons are at hand.

What does Michael Flynn, President Trump's erstwhile national security adviser, think about Russia?

His statements and actions are so contradictory, they could induce whiplash.

In his first foreign trip as president, Donald Trump will be traveling to a Muslim country on Friday. Not just any Muslim state, but the one with the holiest shrines in Islam.

Saudi Arabia is a place that candidate Trump loved to bash during his campaign.

"Until the oil went down, Saudi Arabia was making a billion dollars a day. We protect them. We protect them. And we protect them for peanuts. So all of that stuff is going to change folks," Trump said last year.

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