Al Kamen
Al Kamen
In the Loop

A calendar worthy of watching

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE - The cover image, from the Boston Marathon bombing, is one clue that this is no ordinary calendar.

Scrambling to find a belated Christmas gift for someone you overlooked? Someone who remembered to send you an excellent present? Shop no more!

We’ve got a possible gift for that special someone: Yes, it’s the new 2014 Counterterrorism Calendar, the 12th edition of the daily planner, which has been issued for the past 10 years by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) — and before that by another government agency.

Al Kamen

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993. He began his reporting career at the Rocky Mountain News and joined The Post in 1980. He has covered local and federal courts, the Supreme Court and the State Department. Follow him on Twitter.

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The cover is a bit grim. It’s a photo from the Boston Marathon bombing. Agency officials struggled with the photo selection because they wanted something more positive in light of the agency’s 10th anniversary, one official told us. “However, we cannot escape the harsh reality that, as proud as we are of our part in many foiled plots, Boston still happened,” he said.

It’s in daily calendar format with, on the left, pictures, maps and data on “most wanted” terrorists and organizations, starting with al-Qaeda co-founder Ayman al-Zawahiri — for which there’s a $25 million bounty — down to Abdul Rahman Yasin, who was involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. (He’s worth only $5 million.) You can pick up $10 million for info about Yasin al-Suri, who raises money and recruits for al-Qaeda. Problem is he’s hanging out in Iran these days and it might be tough to get him.

Longtime calendar favorite Anas al-Libi, worth $5 million for his involvement in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, is not listed because he’s resting in the slammer in New York. He was picked up in Tripoli on Oct. 5 by a Delta Force team. Unfortunately, another favorite, Faker Ben Abdelazziz Boussora, is still at large, despite “his protruding ears” and “a serious pituitary gland illness.”

The right page of the planner has great factoids. For example, did you know that Wednesday, or 6 Rabi’ al-Awwal in the Islamic calendar, is the 16th anniversary of the sentencing of Yasin’s co-conspirator Ramzi Yousef? He got life plus 240 years in the bombing.

And did you know the day in 2000 on which Shining Path leader Carlos Fernandez was captured in Peru? That’s right, Oct. 4 (or 9 Dhu al-Hijjah).

Lots of people in the calendar’s “captured or killed” section, including Anwar al-Awlaki, are listed as “killed in an explosion.” Hmm. Well, explosions are sometimes known to occur after drone strikes.

The calendars are given as resource guides for anti-terrorism folks, especially those working in the field. You can get an online version on the NCTC Web site. Budget cuts have reduced the number printed. But we’re told the Government Printing Office, for the first time, will be selling the 5-by-9-inch spiral version online starting in a few weeks.

If you want one real quick, though, you’ve got to know someone in the biz.

A man of conviction

Senate candidates need a broad range of qualifications. A domestic-violence assault conviction may not be one of them.

Still, Erick Bennett, a political consultant in Portland, Maine, who’s running in the GOP primary against Sen. Susan Collins, says his 2003 conviction for attacking his wife — the couple have since divorced — attests to his “guts and integrity,” the Bangor Daily News reported. He called her claims “fraudulent.”

Bennett, in a news conference last week, said he was “railroaded” by the court after he turned down a plea agreement.

“The fact that I have been jailed repeatedly for not agreeing to admit to something I didn’t do should speak to the fact as to how much guts and integrity I have,” he said, vowing to bring “that same” integrity to Washington if elected.

Even so, the odds that he, or any challenger, can beat Collins in November are slim at best. Let’s recall that in 2008, Obama demolished Sen. John McCain in Maine by 17 points. At the same time, incumbent Sen. Collins routed her challenger, six-term Rep. Tom Allen, a popular Democrat and one of the state’s two House members, by 23 points. She even got 23,000 votes more than Obama.

ISO a Quality nominee

No white smoke yet from the White House on a pick to succeed Nancy Sutley at the helm of the Council on Environmental Quality, our colleague Juliet Eilperin tells us.

The leading candidates to succeed Sutley, who is leaving next month as top environmental policy adviser, include Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a nonprofit enviro group; former Energy Department official Dan Reicher, who’s now executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University; and former deputy interior secretary David Hayes, who’s now a visiting lecturer at Stanford Law and a senior fellow at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Others are in the mix, we’re told.

There remains a possibility that former White House senior energy and climate adviser Heather Zichal could return. President Obama was said to have asked her to stay on — and the possibility of her taking the CEQ job was said to have been discussed in order to get her to stay.

Obama is a big fan, though it is unclear whether Zichal would want to reenter the administration. And you can expect new White House counselor John Podesta, whose portfolio includes climate change, to weigh in on the decision.

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intheloop. Twitter: @InTheLoopWP.

 
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