WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.N. Security Council is expected to adopt a binding resolution this week that would require nations to bar their citizens from traveling abroad to join terrorism organizations, part of a U.S.-led effort to galvanize the international community against what Obama administration officials call an "unprecedented" threat from extremists flocking to Syria and Iraq.
Obama administration officials touted the measure, which they said had been negotiated over several months, as a significant step in their strategy against the Islamic State group and other militant organizations that are drawing Europeans, Americans into their violent orbit. But they acknowledged that the UN resolution has no enforcement mechanism and that the international community has no single definition of what constitutes a terrorist group.
"This is really designed to sort of elevate the collective nature of the threat," a senior Obama administration official told a group of reporters Monday, speaking under ground rules that she not be identified.
The U.S. and many European nations already have laws on the books that allow them to prosecute their citizens who attempt to or succeed in traveling to join extremist groups. The UN resolution is intended to prod other countries, such as Saudia Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, to step up efforts to stop the flow of foreign fighters. It is also designed to facilitate more sharing of travel data and other intelligence designed to allow the tracking of foreign fighters, the officials said.
The U.S. has been dealing for more than decade with the problem of Islamic extremists flocking to various battlefields, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen. But the movement of an estimated 15,000 foreign fighters to the civil war in Syria, which has spilled into Iraq, is an "unprecedented flow," that creates an increased risk that some of those people will return to their home countries to attempt terrorist attacks, officials said.
Officials are particularly concerned that a cell of veteran al-Qaida operatives called the Khorasan group is trying to recruit Westerners to attack U.S. aviation with the help of Yemeni bomb makers. And they are also worried about the presence of foreigners within the Islamic State, including the militant with the British accent who appeared to behead two American journalists and a British aid worker.
U.S. intelligence agencies are working to track people traveling to fight with extremists in Syria, but there are major gaps. An Obama administration official said Monday that the U.S. "didn't have full knowledge" of the travel patterns of Mehdi Nemmouche, a Frenchman who returned to Europe this year after fighting in Syria.
On May 24, prosecutors say, he methodically shot four people at the Jewish Museum in central Brussels. Three died instantly, one afterward. Nemmouche was arrested later, apparently by chance.
The U.S. also failed to detect when Moner Mohammad Abusalha, an American who grew up a basketball fan in Vero Beach, Florida, traveled back home from the Syrian battlefield. He later returned to Syria, and in May killed 16 people and himself in a suicide bombing attack against Syrian government forces.
President Barack Obama is expected to lead the UN Security Council session that begins Wednesday, just the second time a U.S. president has done so. Obama chaired a session in 2009 on non-proliferation. It's the sixth time such a session has convened the heads of government, a U.S. official said.
"We've seen that there are several dozen countries from around the globe — not just the United States and not just from in West, but from around the globe — where individuals have traveled to the region, taken up arms alongside ISIL fighters," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday, using an alternative acronym for the Islamic State group. "These are individuals who've been trained. These are individuals who have access to military equipment. And these are individuals who have indicated a willingness to die for their cause."
What President Obama wants out of the UN meeting, Earnest said, "is to have a discussion about what kinds of global standards can be put in place to mitigate the threat from these individuals."
AP White House correspondent Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this story.
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister David Cameron sought Monday to limit the divisive political fallout following the Scottish referendum, gathering senior Conservatives at his official country retreat to placate anger over promises made to Scotland to keep it in the United Kingdom.
Britain's politicians now have the headache of mapping out how to implement the new powers pledged to Scotland and how that impacts the rest of the realm — England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Here is a guide to the issues being discussed.
WHAT IS THE 'ENGLISH QUESTION?'
Cameron's main problem is anger over the "English question," or the "English votes for English laws" issue.
That refers to the question of whether Scottish lawmakers elected to the House of Commons can continue to vote on policies that only affect England — a longstanding grievance in the U.K.'s system.
The Cameron-led Conservative Party is upset that its leader, together with the two main opposition parties, promised to allow the Scottish Parliament to decide on their own tax, spending and welfare issues in a last-minute attempt to encourage voters to reject independence.
The Tories argue that if Scots get that package, then other parts of the U.K. should also be granted similar powers.
Conservative John Redwood said that some party members feel that "we too need our own devolved government to balance the kingdom."
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR SCOTLAND?
Cameron has drawn an acrimonious backlash for suggesting that handing power to the Scots should take place "in tandem" with a decision on constitutional reforms in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister Danny Alexander called Cameron's position "deeply frustrating."
Cameron's office has since stressed that it will honor the promise made last week.
But there is no consensus among the parties on the way forward. That doesn't bode well for Scotland, which was promised legislation setting out the transfer of powers by mid-2015.
Many say that is an impossible timeline because there is simply no quick fix to constitutional changes that affect the whole of the U.K.
Alex Salmond, the Scottish independence leader, has said Scottish voters are angry and hurt by the political fallout, and claimed they have been "tricked" into voting to stay in the union.
Cameron is now in a bind to calm the rebellion within his own ranks and has to convince the public he hasn't backtracked on a promise.
But the opposition Labour Party, which is seeking a return to power in next year's general election, stands to lose the most in the fallout. The party, which has 41 of Scotland's 59 lawmakers, will suffer from any measures to restrict Scottish voting rights.
Opposition leader Ed Miliband refused to back or reject Cameron's stance, only saying he would be open to the idea of greater scrutiny by English lawmakers.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is "obviously concerned" about a weekend White House breach by an ex-soldier with a small knife who scaled a fence, sprinted across the lawn and entered the mansion before being arrested, a spokesman says.
The Secret Service increased its security on Monday around the perimeter of the White House, the presidential residence and one of the government's enduring symbols, while investigating how officers had allowed the incident to happen.
The breach led to a rare evacuation of much of the White House. Obama and his family were headed to Camp David when the breach occurred Friday evening.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the Secret Service investigation will include a review of protective efforts both inside the White House grounds and outside the fence line along Pennsylvania Avenue, including staffing and threat assessment policies and procedures.
Omar J. Gonzalez, a 42-year-old Army veteran from Copperas Cove, Texas, faces charges of entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon. The Army says Gonzalez served from 1997 until his discharge in 2003, and again from 2005 to December 2012, when he retired due to disability.
He was to appear in federal court later Monday.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he would ultimately review the findings of the investigation ordered by Secret Service Director Julia Pierson. Johnson said the public should not rush to judgment about the security breach and urged against second-guessing security officers whom he said "had only seconds to act."
The Secret Service didn't open fire on Gonzalez or send attack dogs after him.
Officers who spotted Gonzalez scale the fence quickly assessed that he didn't have any weapons in his hands and wasn't wearing clothing that could conceal substantial quantities of explosives, a primary reason agents did not fire their weapons, according to a U.S. official briefed on the investigation.
Another consideration was whether bystanders behind the fence could have been injured by errant gunfire, said the official, who was not authorized to discuss the investigation by name and spoke only on condition of anonymity.
The Secret Service has long tried to balance public access to the "People's House" and security of the presidential residence.
The two-block stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House's north gates has been closed to vehicle traffic since May 1995, when President Bill Clinton ordered the immediate closure of the road in an effort to prevent a potential car- or truck-bomb attack.
On any given day, numerous uniformed officers can be seen patrolling parts of the sprawling lawns on either side of the White House, and others are stationed along the fence line on Pennsylvania Avenue. Monday morning, several officers patrolled the fence line, including one with a dog.
But the pedestrian-only zone hasn't entirely prevented security breaches along the fence or Pennsylvania Avenue.
Last September a man was arrested and accused of throwing firecrackers over the fence on the north lawn, near the area where Gonzalez is accused of climbing over the barrier. The Secret Service at the time said the man with firecrackers did not pose a threat.
A few weeks later a Connecticut woman set off a police chase through downtown Washington after ramming a security checkpoint near the White House. Miriam Carey, 34, was shot and killed by police near the Capitol.
In May, a man was arrested after he followed a motorcade carrying President Obama's daughters through the gates into the secure area near the White House. He had a pass for the Treasury Department, which is next door to the White House and also inside the pedestrian-only security zone. A charge of unlawful entry was later dismissed.
And in August a toddler managed to slip through the slats in the metal fence surrounding the White House. The Secret Service joked that they would wait until the boy learned to talk before questioning him.
Less than 24 hours after Gonzalez's arrest, a second man was taken into custody after he drove up to a White House gate and refused to leave, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said. Bomb technicians in full gear searched the vehicle as agents briefly shut down nearby streets.
On Sunday, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary identified the man as Kevin Carr, 19, of Shamong, New Jersey.
There was no indication the two incidents were connected. But they only intensified the scrutiny of the Secret Service, which is struggling to rehabilitate its image following a series of allegations of misconduct by agents in recent years, including agents on Obama's protective detail.
Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, said he had spoken with Secret Service Director Pierson and was encouraged she would ensure the agency would use the incident as a "learning opportunity to reduce the likelihood that something of this nature will happen again."
House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, was to meet with Pierson later Monday.
Associated Press writers Josh Lederman, Jessica Gresko and Julie Pace contributed to this report.
SURUC, Turkey (AP) — Some 130,000 Kurdish refugees fleeing Islamic militants have crossed the border from Syria into Turkey in the past four days, Turkey's deputy prime minister said Monday as fighting raged close to Turkey's southern border.
The minister, Numan Kurtulmus, warned that Turkey was facing "a refugee wave that can be expressed by hundreds of thousands."
"This is not a natural disaster... what we are faced with is a man-made disaster," Kurtulmus said of the surge of mostly women, children and the elderly that started late Thursday.
The situation has raised tensions between Turkish authorities and Kurds, who claim the government is hampering their efforts to help their brethren in Syria by refusing to let Turkish Kurds cross into Syria. New clashes Monday erupted along the border near the town of Suruc, with Turkish police firing tear gas and water cannons to disperse Kurds protesting the government or demanding to reach Syria.
The conflict in Syria had already pushed more than a million people over the border since it began in March 2011. Refugees on Sunday reported atrocities by Islamic fighters that included stonings, beheadings and the torching of homes.
"We don't know how many more villages may be raided, how many more people may be forced to seek refuge," Kurtulmus said. "An uncontrollable force at the other side of the border is attacking civilians."
Suruc itself was flooded with refugees and armored military vehicles.
The al-Qaida breakaway group — which says it has established an Islamic state, or caliphate, ruled by a harsh version of Islamic law in territory it captured straddling the Syria-Iraq border — has recently advanced into the Kurdish regions of Syria that border Turkey.
Turkey had previously been reluctant to take part in international efforts against the group, citing the safety of 49 citizens taken hostage in June when the Islamic group overran the Iraqi city of Mosul. But on Saturday, Turkey secured the hostages' release but would not say how. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denied paying a ransom but has been vague on whether there was a prisoner swap.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday the United States now expects Turkey to step up in the fight against the militants.
Fighting raged Monday between Kurdish fighters and the militants near the northern Syrian city of Kobani, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Parts of the city are within a mile of the Turkish border.
The Observatory said the militants have lost at least 21 fighters since Sunday night, most of them on the southern outskirts of Kobani.
Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for Syria's Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, told The Associated Press the situation on the ground "is better than before." He said the main Kurdish force in Syria, the People's Protection Units, had pushed Islamic State fighters 10 kilometers (6 miles) away from previous positions east of Kobani.
"We will fight until the last gunman in Kobani," Khalil said.
Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, and Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed.
NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) — A bus carrying dozens of passengers finishing up a sightseeing tour crashed and overturned in Delaware, leaving two women dead and several other passengers injured, authorities said.
The wreck did not involve other vehicles and happened around 4:20 p.m. Sunday in New Castle in the northern part of the state, south of Wilmington, officials said. State police said Monday that drugs and alcohol did not play a role.
Forty-nine passengers were on the bus as it drove on an exit ramp, and it was going through a curve when it left the road and overturned, according to a Delaware State Police news release. The bus slid on its roof down a grass embankment and came to rest on its left side, spokesman Sgt. Paul Shavack said in the release.
Hua'y Chen, a 54-year-old woman from New York City, was found under the bus and was pronounced dead at the scene, Shavack said. Idil Bahsi, a 30-year-old woman from Istanbul, Turkey, was taken to a hospital and died Sunday night.
Other passengers were taken to hospitals for injuries varying in severity.
As of 11 a.m. Monday, a spokesman for Delaware's top trauma center Christiana Hospital said 23 patients were admitted, one in critical condition. Ten patients were in serious condition, said the spokesman, Hiran Ratnayake.
National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said Monday that that the agency has opened an investigation into the wreck. The first phase will likely take three or four days, and a preliminary report should be ready by next week, Knudson said.
"We think we might be able to learn some lessons to improve transportation safety," he said.
Investigators were interviewing the bus driver, 56-year-old Jinli Zhao, who was not critically injured, authorities said.
The passengers were taking a three-day sightseeing tour to Washington that began Friday in New York, authorities said. The crash happened as the bus was heading back to New York.
State police told The News Journal newspaper of Wilmington (http://delonline.us/1rdxqZm) there were no apparent witnesses outside the bus to the crash.
But Elvis D'cruz, 19, told The Associated Press he was driving in the area with a friend when he came upon the overturned bus.
"Everyone was in pain and crying out for help," said D'cruz, a student at Penn State Brandywine in Pennsylvania. "There was not one person without blood on them."
D'cruz said the bus had overturned on an off-ramp from Delaware's Route 1 that is known for being steep.
Shavack said the bus belonged to Am USA Express Inc., a bus company based in New York.
The company was involved in one other crash over the past two years, with no one was hurt, according to online records with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Seventeen bus inspections and 31 inspections of drivers in the past two years resulted in one driver and one bus being taken out of service.
Photographs from the scene showed the bus lying on the driver's side on a grassy shoulder. The photos showed at least two people with neck braces lying in the grass while a group of others were sitting nearby.
Video footage taken at the site showed emergency officials leaning over to attend the injured and placing victims on stretchers as ambulances and other emergency vehicles stood by.
Associated Press writers Juliet Linderman in Baltimore and Jessica Gresko and Amanda Myers in Washington contributed to this story.