News The NSA in Fort Meade, Maryland. The Office of Tailored Operations, whose existence is rarely acknowledged by the NSA, hacks computers around the world – harvesting data, monitoring communications and even mounting its own cyber-attacks

TAO was established in 1997 to hack into global communications systems at a time when fewer than 2 per cent of the world’s population had access to the internet

UK training teams asked to leave Pakistan

Pakistan has ordered the United Kingdom to withdraw some of its military training teams from the country, the British Embassy said today.

What has the war in Afghanistan really achieved?

<i>The IoS</i> takes stock after one of the bloodiest months since the conflict began, and a week in which President Obama announced a speeding up of troop withdrawals

Compound haul reveals links to security service

US investigators say that they are closer to uncovering the mystery of how Osama bin Laden was able to hide in plain view in a Pakistani garrison town after phone records belonging to the al-Qa’ida leader’s courier revealed a link to a banned local terrorist group.

How Bin Laden 'planned to give al-Qa'ida an image makeover'

Osama bin Laden, holed-up in his Pakistan hideaway, contemplated changing the name of al-Qa’ida in order to rebrand the organisation and make it more attractive to potential recruits, according to documents recovered from his compound.

Guru guilty of sweat-lodge deaths

US prosecutors yesterday charged a Marine Corps reservist with shootings at four military buildings around Washington, including the Pentagon, and said they found he had bomb-making materials.

Mary Dejevsky: Obama is right. Britain, too, must seize the chance to leave Afghanistan

The announcement of the accelerated American withdrawal highlights the extent to which Britain has been left chasing shifts in US foreign policy

Leading article: Talks with the Taliban will be a condition of any endgame

As so often with the war in Afghanistan, one statement can be open to wildly different interpretations. Thus President Hamid Karzai's disclosure that the US is engaged in talks with the Taliban was dismissed by some as more of the same old posturing. For others, it was no more than a restatement of the obvious. Yet there is something new here. It is not the fact of contact between the US and the Taliban – which has been an on-off saga of long standing – but the fact that confirmation of talks came from Mr Karzai, who has long been lukewarm, if not hostile, to the very idea.

Paul Vallely: Wounded al-Qa'ida will lash out more

Weakened by the death of Bin Laden, whose successor is a ruthless killer, the organisation is newly fired up by grievances

Soldiers charged over death of unarmed man

Police have charged six members of a paramilitary force with the killing of an unarmed man, a government lawyer said, in a rare rebuke to Pakistan's powerful military.

What lies within: Why we are fascinated by caves

They inspire artists, hold ancient secrets and, in the popular imagination, they're the refuge of bandits and terrorists. Caves remain unmapped in our know-everything age.

Leading article: A promotion that gives no comfort

The man who has taken over from Osama bin Laden as head of al-Qa'ida is said to lack the charisma of the terrorist leader the Americans killed six weeks ago. But few believe that he will be less deadly. Ayman al-Zawahiri, a former ophthalmologist, is credited with being the man who lifted Bin Laden's eyes from the local to the global in the days when the chief complaint of the violent jihadist was that US troops were trampling their infidel boots on the Saudi soil which is home to Islam's holiest places. Zawahiri alerted him to a whole range of Muslim grievances – from Kashmir to Palestine – and set up with him the World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders. Some say he was also the operational brains behind 9/11.

America's new most wanted: Bin Laden's No 2 appointed al-Qa'ida chief

Terror group's ruling council hands reins to Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri, a close associate of Saudi target killed by US forces

Al-Zawahri becomes al-Qa'ida leader

Al-Qa'ida's long-time second in command, a doctor from a prominent Egyptian family, has succeeded Osama bin Laden as head of the terror group, it said today.

Indonesian Islamist cleric jailed for 15 years

Indonesian militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir was jailed for 15 years today for helping plan a paramilitary group that aimed to kill the country's president, a sentence that could inflame hardcore Islamists who have vowed revenge.

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee