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FBI Raids Suspected Second US Intelligence Leaker

In Archive, FBI, NCTC, Surveillance, USA on October 28, 2014 at 5:33 PM

terrorist-watchlist-leak

10/27/2014

Michael Isikoff/YahooNews:

The FBI has identified an employee of a federal contracting firm suspected of being the so-called “second leaker” who turned over sensitive documents about the U.S. government’s terrorist watch list to a journalist closely associated with ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, according to law enforcement and intelligence sources who have been briefed on the case.

The FBI recently executed a search of the suspect’s home, and federal prosecutors in Northern Virginia have opened up a criminal investigation into the matter, the sources said.

But the case has also generated concerns among some within the U.S. intelligence community that top Justice Department officials — stung by criticism that they have been overzealous in pursuing leak cases — may now be more reluctant to bring criminal charges involving unauthorized disclosures to the news media, the sources said. One source, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter, said there was concern “there is no longer an appetite at Justice for these cases.”

Marc Raimondi, a spokesman for the Justice Department, declined to comment on the investigation into the watch-list leak, citing department rules involving pending cases.

As for the department’s overall commitment to pursue leak cases, he added: “We’re certainly going to follow the evidence wherever it leads us and take appropriate action.”

Another source familiar with the case said: “Investigators are continuing to pursue it, but are not ready to charge yet.”

The case in question involves an Aug. 5 story published by The Intercept, an investigative website co-founded by Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who first published sensitive NSA documents obtained from Snowden.

Headlined “Barack Obama’s Secret Terrorist-Tracking System, by the Numbers,” the story cited a classified government document showing that nearly half the people on the U.S. government’s master terrorist screening database had “no recognized terrorist affiliation.”

*This was the same story the government attempted to defuse by leaking an official version to the Associated Press shortly before the Intercept’s article went live.

The story, co-authored by Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux, was accompanied by a document “obtained from a source in the intelligence community” providing details about the watch-listing system that were dated as late as August 2013, months after Snowden fled to Hong Kong and revealed himself as the leaker of thousands of top secret documents from the NSA.

This prompted immediate speculation that there was a “second leaker” inside the U.S. intelligence community providing material to Greenwald and his associates.

That point is highlighted in the last scene of the new documentary about Snowden released this weekend, called “CITIZENFOUR,” directed by filmmaker Laura Poitras, a co-founder with Greenwald and Scahill of The Intercept.

Greenwald tells a visibly excited Snowden about a new source inside the U.S. intelligence community who is leaking documents. Greenwald then scribbles notes to Snowden about some of the details, including one briefly seen about the U.S. drone program and another containing a reference to the number of Americans on the watch list.

“The person is incredibly bold,” Snowden says. Replies Greenwald: “It was motivated by what you did.”

In an interview on the radio show “Democracy Now,” Scahill, who also briefly appears in “CITIZENFOUR,” says the new source described in the film provided him with a document that “outlines the rulebook for placing people on a variety of watch lists.” The source is “an extremely principled and brave whistleblower” who made his disclosures “at great personal risk,” Scahill says in the interview.

Contacted Monday, Scahill declined any comment about his source, but said neither he nor The Intercept had been notified by federal officials about the investigation. He added, however, that he is not surprised to learn of the probe: “The Obama administration in my view is conducting a war against whistleblowers and ultimately against independent journalism.”

John Cook, editor of The Intercept, said the website’s stories had revealed “crucial information” about the excesses of the U.S. watch-listing system. “Any attempt to criminalize the public release of those stories benefits only those who exercise virtually limitless power in secret with no accountability,” he told Yahoo News.

Sources familiar with the investigation say the disclosures prompted the National Counterterrorism Center to file a “crimes report” with the Justice Department — an official notification that classified material has been compromised and a violation of federal law may have taken place.

The documents in question disclose multiple details about how federal intelligence agencies provide entries and track suspects on the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE — a master database with over 1 million names that provides the basis for watch-listing individuals and placing them on “no fly” lists when there are sufficient links to terrorism.

One document is stamped as “Secret” and “NOFORN,” meaning it cannot be shared with foreign governments. These, however, are far less sensitive than some of the NSA materials leaked by Snowden.

Related Link: The US Intelligence Community has a Third Leaker - Bruce Schneier

Inside ‘Ayn al-Islam: Islamic State Hostage John Cantlie Reports from the Ground in Kobane

In Archive, Cantlie, ISIS, Islamic State, Kobane, Syria, Terrorism on October 27, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Inside 'Ayn al-Islam

10/27/2014

In a new video published today, British journalist John Cantlie, who is being held hostage by the Islamic State after being kidnapped in Syria in 2012, appears to be reporting from the city of Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border, which has been the stage of an ongoing battle between the militants and Kurdish forces.

The video, which features aerial views of the war-ravaged city filmed from a drone, is the latest featuring Cantlie, who said in his most recent “Lend Me Your Ears” video that the Islamic State treats its captives “well” and that US and UK governments had abandoned their citizens.

In the new five-minute video titled “Inside ‘Ayn al-Islam” (the name given by the Islamic State to Kobane) and mimicking the style of a traditional newscast, Cantlie claims to be standing in an area known as a Kurdish “safe zone, which is now controlled entirely by the Islamic State,” despite US strikes attempting to stop their advance.

Cantlie speaks in a seemingly relaxed tone, citing recent news reports and Western officials’ statements made as late as October 20.

“The Western media, and I can’t see any of their journalists here in the city of Kobane, have been saying recently that the Islamic State are on the retreat … Good old John Kerry doesn’t seem to think the mujahdeen are retreating. He called Kobane a ‘horrible example of the unwillingness of people to help those fighting the Islamic State,’ that’s a dig at Kurd-hating Turkish President Erdoğan.”

“From where I’m standing right now, I can see large swathes of the city, and I can even see the Turkish flag behind me, and all I’ve seen here in the city of Kobani is mujahideen. There are no YPG, PKK, or Peshmerga in sight. Just a large number of Islamic State mujahideen, and they are definitely not on the run,” Cantlie says. “Urban warfare is about as nasty and tough as it gets, and it’s something of a specialty of the mujahideen.”

Cantlie appears to be in good health in the video, but a recent New York Times investigation into the conditions in which he and other foreign hostages have been held revealed that the captives were frequently kept chained, starved, beaten, and tortured — including with water boarding, electric shocks and mock executions.

John Cantlie is one of at least three Western captives known to be in the hands of the same Islamic State militants who executed James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines, and Alan Henning. They are also holding an unidentified female US aid worker and Peter Kassig, a former US Army Ranger turned aid worker, who they have threatened to execute next.

Keith Alexander’s Investments While NSA Director: Cutting Edge Surveillance Tech & China/Russia-Linked Commodities in “Cartel” Market

In Archive, China, Keith Alexander, NSA, Russia, Surveillance on October 26, 2014 at 12:01 AM

keith-alexander

10/10/2014

Jason Leopold/VICE:

Former National Security Agency (NSA) Director Keith Alexander has held investments in a corporation that identifies itself as a “world leader in cloud solutions.” And in a “data gathering and research” firm. And in a company that develops software that improves the quality of images captured by surveillance cameras. And in a radio frequency business that, among other things, manufactures amplifiers for air traffic control, radar, and surveillance.

The NSA once said that if revealed, this information would threaten national security.

In a lawsuit against the NSA, attorney Jeffrey Light argued that the agency had misinterpreted the laws it cited to justify the ongoing secrecy. Earlier this week, before the case hit a courtroom, a government attorney turned over 59 pages of financial disclosure reports Alexander filed between 2009 and 2014. Brown said in a letter dated October 2 that the NSA was releasing the material “in the interest of transparency.”

Although Alexander was head of the NSA from 2005 through March of this year, NSA’s ethics officer Shadey Brown said the Ethics and Government Act only requires financial disclosure reports to be released for a period of six years before receipt; therefore, he would not provide reports Alexander filled out prior to 2008.

Alexander resigned as NSA director following a tumultuous year that saw former agency contractor Edward Snowden leak highly classified documents about top-secret NSA surveillance. Alexander then launched private consulting firm IronNet Cybersecurity Inc., reportedly offering to help banks and other firms protect their computer networks from hackers for up to $1 million a month (he later reduced that figure to $600,000 a month). See Also: Ex-Spy Chief’s Private Firm Ends Deal With U.S. Official

Representative Alan Grayson accused Alexander of profiting off the sale of classified information.

Alexander’s private consulting work and allegations made by Grayson are what prompted VICE News to seek Alexander’s financial reports to determine whether he had a stake in any firms with whom he entered into consulting arrangements.

Alexander invested as much as $15,000 in: Pericom Semiconductor, a company that has designed technology for the closed-circuit television and video surveillance markets; RF Micro Devices designs, which manufactures high-performance radio frequency technology that is also used for surveillance; and as much as $50,000 in Synchronoss Technologies, a cloud storage firm that provides a cloud platform to mobile phone carriers (the NSA has been accused of hacking into cloud storage providers).

Alexander also held shares in Datascension, Inc., a data gathering and research company. The Securities and Exchange Commission suspended trading in Datascension last August “due to a lack of current and accurate information” about the company. (Datascension was linked to telemarketing calls that apparently prompted one person in a complaint forum to remark the company is “trying to gain personal information.”)

An NSA spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment, and spokespeople for the technology firms did not respond to VICE News’ questions about whether Alexander has offered his consulting services or whether they were awarded contracts with the NSA. Many of the firms have been awarded contracts by the Department of Defense and other government agencies.

10/22/2014

Shane Harris/ForeignPolicy:

At the same time that he was running the United States’ biggest intelligence-gathering organization, former National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander owned and sold shares in commodities linked to China and Russia, two countries that the NSA was spying on heavily.

At the time, Alexander was a three-star general whose financial portfolio otherwise consisted almost entirely of run-of-the-mill mutual funds and a handful of technology stocks. Why he was engaged in commodities trades, including trades in one market that experts describe as being run by an opaque “cartel” that can befuddle even experienced professionals, remains unclear. When contacted, Alexander had no comment about his financial transactions, which are documented in recently released financial disclosure forms that he was required to file while in government. The NSA also had no comment.

On Jan. 7, 2008, Alexander sold previously purchased shares in the Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, a Canadian firm that mines potash, a mineral typically used in fertilizer. The potash market is largely controlled by companies in Canada, as well as in Belarus and Russia. And China was, and is, one of the biggest consumers of the substance, using it to expand the country’s agricultural sector and produce higher crop yields.

“It’s a market that’s really odd, involving collusion, where companies essentially coordinate on prices and output,” said Craig Pirrong, a finance professor and commodities expert at the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business.

“Strange things happen in the potash market. It’s a closed market. Whenever you have Russians and Chinese being big players, a lot of stuff goes on in the shadows.”

On the same day he sold the potash company shares, Alexander also sold shares in the Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., a state-owned company headquartered in Beijing and currently the world’s second-largest producer of aluminum. U.S. government investigators have indicated that the company, known as Chinalco, has received insider information about its American competitors from computer hackers working for the Chinese military. That hacker group has been under NSA surveillance for years, and the Justice Department in May indicted five of its members.

Alexander may have sold his potash company shares too soon. The company’s stock surged into the summer of that year, reaching a high in June 2008 of $76.70 per share, more than $30 higher than the price at which Alexander had sold his shares five months earlier.

He may also have dodged a bullet. Shares in the company plunged in the second half of 2008, amid turmoil in the broader potash market. In 2009, “the bottom fell out of the market,” Pirrong said. Alexander may not have made a lot of money, but he also didn’t lose his shirt.

That didn’t keep the intelligence chief out of the trading game. In October 2008, in the midst of the potash downturn, Alexander purchased shares in an American potash supplier, the Mosaic Company, based in Plymouth, Minnesota. It was a good time to buy: On the day of the purchase, the stock closed at $33.16, having plummeted from highs of more than $150 per share during the summer.

But inexplicably, Alexander sold the shares less than three months later, in January 2009. The stock had barely appreciated in value, and Alexander again disclosed “no reportable income.”

The timing of both the potash and aluminum sales in January 2008 is also intriguing for political reasons. In the spring of 2008, shortly after Alexander sold his positions, senior U.S. officials began to speak on the record for the first time about the threat of cyber-espionage posed by Russia and especially China. Public attention to the intelligence threat was higher than it had been in recent memory. The optics of the NSA director owning stock in a company that his own agency believed may have been receiving stolen information from the Chinese government would have been embarrassing, to say the least.

In May 2008, four months after Alexander sold the shares, Joel Brenner, who at the time was in charge of all counterintelligence for the U.S. government and had previously served as the NSA’s inspector general, gave an interview to me when I was with National Journal and accused China of stealing secrets from American companies “in volumes that are just staggering.” Brenner’s comments came just three months ahead of the opening of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He eventually went on national U.S. television to warn Americans attending the games that they were at risk of having their cell phones hacked.

U.S. officials at the time said that computer hackers in both China and Russia were routinely breaking into the computers of American businesses to steal proprietary information, such as trade secrets, business strategy documents, and pricing information. Eventually, Alexander himself went on to call state-sponsored cyber-espionage “the greatest transfer of wealth” in American history, blaming it for billions of dollars in losses by U.S. businesses and a loss of competitive advantage.

By 2009, Alexander held no more direct shares in any foreign companies, his records show. His financial transactions while in government apparently garnered no additional scrutiny beyond a standard review by ethics officials, who found no violations. Under official rules governing conflicts of interest, a government employee is prohibited from owning more than $15,000 in holdings of a company “directly involved in a matter to which you have been assigned.” For Alexander, spying on foreign governments and protecting the United States from cyber-espionage would seem to meet that criteria. But his records indicate that he never owned in excess of $15,000 in any foreign company.

U.S. officials have long insisted that the information that intelligence agencies steal from foreign corporations and governments is only used to make political and strategic decisions and isn’t shared with U.S. companies. But whether that spying could benefit individual U.S. officials who are privy to the secrets being collected, and what mechanisms are in place to ensure officials don’t personally benefit from insider knowledge, haven’t been widely discussed.

America’s Perpetual State of Emergency

In Archive, Barack Obama, Politics, USA on October 24, 2014 at 10:17 PM

us-state-of-emergency

10/23/2014

Gregory Korte/USA Today:

The United States is in a perpetual state of national emergency.

Thirty separate emergencies, in fact.

An emergency declared by President Jimmy Carter on the 10th day of the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979 remains in effect almost 35 years later.

A post-9/11 state of national emergency declared by President George W. Bush — and renewed six times by President Obama — forms the legal basis for much of the war on terror.

This week, President Obama informed Congress he was extending other Clinton/Bush-era emergencies for another year, saying “widespread violence and atrocities” in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan “pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States.”

Those emergencies, declared by the president by proclamation or executive order, give the president extraordinary powers — to seize property, call up the National Guard and hire and fire military officers at will.

“What the National Emergencies Act does is like a toggle switch, and when the president flips it, he gets new powers. It’s like a magic wand. and there are very few constraints about how he turns it on,” said Kim Lane Scheppele, a professor at Princeton University.

If invoked during a public health emergency, a presidential emergency declaration could allow hospitals more flexibility to treat Ebola cases. The Obama administration has said declaring a national emergency for Ebola is unnecessary.

In his six years in office, President Obama has declared nine emergencies, allowed one to expire and extended 22 emergencies enacted by his predecessors.

Since 1976, when Congress passed the National Emergencies Act, presidents have declared at least 53 states of emergency — not counting disaster declarations for events such as tornadoes and floods, according to a USA TODAY review of presidential documents. Most of those emergencies remain in effect.

Even as Congress has delegated emergency powers to the president, it has provided almost no oversight. The 1976 law requires each house of Congress to meet within six months of an emergency to vote it up or down. That’s never happened.

Instead, many emergencies linger for years or even decades.

Last week, Obama renewed a state of national emergency declared in 1995 to deal with Colombia drug trafficking, saying drug lords “continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States and to cause an extreme level of violence, corruption and harm in the United States and abroad.”

In May, President Obama rescinded a Bush-era executive order that protected Iraqi oil interests and their contractors from legal liability. Even as he did so, he left the state of emergency declared in that executive order intact — because at least two other executive orders rely on it.

Invoking those emergencies can give presidents broad and virtually unchecked powers. In an article (PDF) published last year in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, attorney Patrick Thronson identified 160 laws giving the president emergency powers, including the authority to:

• Reshape the military, putting members of the armed forces under foreign command, conscripting veterans, overturning sentences issued by courts-martial and taking over weather satellites for military use.

• Suspend environmental laws, including a law forbidding the dumping of toxic and infectious medical waste at sea.

• Bypass federal contracting laws, allowing the government to buy and sell property without competitive bidding.

• Allow unlimited secret patents for Army, Navy and Air Force scientists.

All these provisions come from laws passed by Congress, giving the president the power to invoke them with the stroke of a pen. “A lot of laws are passed like that. So if a president is hunting around for additional authority, declaring an emergency is pretty easy,” Scheppele said.

In 2009, Obama declared a state of national emergency for the H1N1 swine flu pandemic. That emergency, which quietly expired a year later, allowed for waivers of some Medicare and Medicaid regulations — for example, permitting hospitals to screen or treat an infectious illness off-site — and to waive medical privacy laws.

Unlike the Ebola crisis, the swine flu had hospitalized 20,000 people and killed 1,000 when Obama declared an emergency.

At a congressional hearing last week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden said another emergency power — the ability to waive procurement regulations — may be helpful in responding to Ebola.

The White House said an Ebola emergency isn’t necessary. “I’m not aware of any consideration that currently is underway (for) any sort of national medical emergency,” spokesman Josh Earnest said last week. “I wouldn’t rule it out, but frankly … that’s not something that we’re actively considering right now.”

Presidential emergency powers are hardly new. The Militia Acts of 1792 gave the president the authority to take over state militias to put down an insurrection, which is what President George Washington did two years later during the Whiskey Rebellion. President Abraham Lincoln commandeered ships, raised armies and suspended habeas corpus — all without approval from Congress.

President Franklin Roosevelt declared a state of emergency in 1933 to prevent a run on banks, and President Harry Truman declared one in 1950 at the beginning of the Korean War. After President Richard Nixon declared two states of emergency in 17 months, Congress became alarmed by four simultaneous states of emergency.

It passed the National Emergencies Act by an overwhelming majority, requiring the president to cite a legal basis for the emergency and say which emergency powers he would exercise. All emergencies would expire after one year if not renewed by the president.

Three days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Bush issued Proclamation 7463. It allowed him to call up the National Guard and appoint and fire military officers under the rank of lieutenant general.

That proclamation has been renewed every year since 2001, including by Obama last month.

As of Sept. 30, about 25,700 guard and reserve troops remain involuntarily called up to federal service on the authority of Bush’s proclamation, the Pentagon says. Canceling the state of emergency would allow them to go home.

Eight generals and admirals have been appointed to their positions despite laws limiting the number of general officers in each service. That’s because the state of emergency allows the president to bypass the law and appoint an unlimited number of one- and two-star generals.

Those numbers are down significantly from their peaks over the past decade. There were 202,750 guard and reserves called up involuntarily in 2003. In 2009, the military had 89 more generals and admirals than Congress allowed for in a non-emergency situation.

The Department of Defense is conducting a review of how it would meet staffing needs if the president fails to renew the state of emergency, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman. That review has been going on quietly for years, and the emergency has been extended each time.

Bush’s Proclamation 7463 provides much of the legal underpinning for the war on terror. Bush cited that state of emergency, for example, in his military order allowing the detention of al-Qaeda combatants at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and their trial by military commission.

The post-9/11 emergency declaration is in its 13th year. Eleven emergencies are even older.

OLDEST EMERGENCY

The oldest operational emergency was issued by President Carter in 1979. For Mohamad Nazemzadeh, that state of emergency isn’t an academic debate. He’s on trial because of it and could get up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Nazemzadeh, an Iranian-born Ph.D. biochemical engineer, was a research fellow at the University of Michigan where he did research on new radiation therapies to cure cancer and epilepsy. In 2011, he attempted to broker the sale of a $21,400 refurbished MRI coil to an Iranian hospital.

That’s illegal under a string of executive orders dating back to the Carter administration. Carter, invoking his emergency powers under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, imposed an embargo on trade with Iran in 1979. That emergency has been renewed every year since.

In its current form, the executive order has an exception for medicine — but not medical equipment.

In 2010, Congress passed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and Divestiture Act. The law tightened sanctions against Iran but included broader exceptions, including for medical equipment such as the MRI coil.

Nazemzadeh’s lawyer, Shereen Charlick, argued that Congress delegated the emergency powers to the president and intended to take part of them back with the 2010 law.

“The congressional exemptions trump the executive order. Since Congress is the lawmaking body and gave the president the emergency powers in the first place, it can remove the authority it delegated to the president. That’s my argument,” Charlick said. “I did not prevail on that argument. I still think I’m completely right.”

Judge James Lorenz rejected that argument. “It is undisputed that the plain language of IEEPA vests authority to the president to declare an emergency and implement economic sanctions,” he said in his ruling in January. Even though Congress made it legal to send medical equipment, the president can use his emergency powers under the old law to require a license, the judge ruled.

Nazemzadeh didn’t have a license. Such licenses are routine but expensive.

“If you look at the history of IEEPA, it was to give the president extra powers in times of emergency. It wasn’t intended to permanently expand the powers of the executive branch. It’s all on fairly shaky ground,” said Clif Burns, a Washington sanctions lawyer.

The president uses that emergency power because it’s the only tool he has to enforce sanctions. Congress has twice allowed the Export Administration Act to lapse — first from 1994 to 2000 and again since 2001 — because of a dispute over anti-boycott provisions involving Israel.

“The president, as well as his predecessors, have declared a number of national emergencies in the context of IEEPA in order to impose economic sanctions, including with respect to the situations in Iran, Syria and in order to address terrorism and proliferation concerns (PDF),” said Ned Price, a spokesman for the National Security Council. He declined to discuss the internal deliberations around the declaration or renewal of national emergencies.

OVERTURNING EMERGENCIES

The National Emergencies Act allows Congress to overturn an emergency by a resolution passed by both houses — which could then be vetoed by the president. In 38 years, only one resolution has ever been introduced to cancel an emergency.

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, President Bush declared a state of emergency allowing him to waive federal wage laws. Contractors rebuilding after the hurricane would not have to abide by the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires workers to be paid the local prevailing wage.

Democrats — and some Republicans from union-friendly states such as Ohio and West Virginia — cried foul. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., introduced a resolution that would have terminated the emergency. Bush, under pressure from Congress, revoked it himself two months later, and Miller’s resolution was moot.

“The history here is so clear. The Congress hasn’t done much of anything,” said Harold Relyea, who studied national emergencies during a 37-year career at the Congressional Research Service. “Congress has not been the watchdog. It’s very toothless, and the partisanship hasn’t particularly helped.”

If anything, Congress may be inclined to give the president additional emergency powers. Legislation pending in Congress would allow the president to invoke an emergency to waive liability for health care providers and to sanction banks that do business with Hezbollah.

Scheppele, the Princeton professor, said emergencies have become so routine that they are “declared and undeclared often without a single headline.”

“If we had to break the glass and flip the switch in order to do it … it would be helpful for the alarm to go off at least. It’s a sign that normal law isn’t set up right,” she said. “States of emergency always bypass something else. So what we need to look at is what’s being bypassed, and should that be fixed.”

2014 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala to 2009 Winner Obama: “Instead of Sending Guns, Send Books”

In Archive, Barack Obama, Malala Yousafzai on October 24, 2014 at 8:23 PM

10/21/2014

Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize this year — and was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls’ education, told 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner President Barack Obama he could “change the world,” if only he’d start arming countries with education instead of weapons, she said Tuesday.

“My message was very simple,” Malala, who is now 17, said at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia, speaking of her meeting with the president last year, which reports had already revealed Malala told Obama that U.S. drone attacks were fueling terrorism. “I said instead of sending guns, send books. Instead of sending weapons, send teachers.” Asked how Obama reacted, she said simply that his response was “pretty political.” “I’m not going to request the Prime Ministers anymore. When I grow up I’ll become a Prime Minster and I’ll bring the change.”

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