View Full Version : Al-Qaida Likely to Attack US, Intel Says

07-17-2007, 05:26 PM

Al-Qaida Likely to Attack US, Intel Says
The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 17, 2007; 4:25 PM

WASHINGTON -- The terrorist network Al-Qaida will likely leverage its contacts and capabilities in Iraq to mount an attack on U.S. soil, according to a new National Intelligence Estimate on threats to the United States.

The declassified key findings, released Tuesday, laid out a range of dangers _ from al-Qaida to Lebanese Hezbollah to non-Muslim radical groups _ that pose a "persistent and evolving threat" to the country over the next three years. As expected, however, the findings focus most of their attention on the gravest terror problem: Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.

The report makes clear that al-Qaida in Iraq, which has not yet posed a direct threat to U.S. soil, could become a problem here.

"Of note," the analysts said, "we assess that al-Qaida will probably seek to leverage the contacts and capabilities of al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI), its most visible and capable affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the homeland."

The analysts also found that al-Qaida's association with its Iraqi affiliate helps the group to energize the broader Sunni Muslim extremist community, raise resources and recruit and indoctrinate operatives _ "including for homeland attacks."

President Bush acknowledged that al-Qaida is strong today, but he said it's not nearly as strong as it was prior to Sept. 11, 2001 [Isn't this in direct contradiction of what he said about a week ago?] because the United States has kept the pressure on _ worked to "defeat them where we find them" _ so they won't attack America.

"Al-Qaida would have been a heck of a lot stronger today had we not stayed on the offensive," Bush said in the Oval Office after meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "And it's in the interest of the United States to not only defeat them overseas so we don't have to face them here, but also to spread an ideology that will defeat their ideology every time _ and that's the ideology based upon liberty."

National Intelligence Estimates are the most authoritative written judgments of the 16 spy agencies across the breadth of the U.S. government. These agencies reflect the consensus long-term thinking of top intelligence analysts. Portions of the documents are occasionally declassified for public release.

The White House brushed off critics who allege the administration released the intelligence estimate at the same time the Senate is debating Iraq. White House press secretary Tony Snow said critics are "engaged in a little selective hearing themselves to shape the story in their own political ways."

Democrats said the report was proof U.S. anti-terrorism efforts were being drained by the Iraq war.

"We must responsibly redeploy our troops out of Iraq, handing responsibility for security over to the Iraqis and leaving only those forces required for limited missions," said Rep. Ike Skelton (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/s000465/), D-Mo., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. "This will allow us to concentrate our efforts on Afghanistan and the al-Qaida terrorists who attacked us on 9/11."

The new report echoed statements made by senior intelligence officials over the last year, including the assessment of spy agencies that the country is in a "heightened threat environment." It also provided new details on their thinking and concerns.

For instance, the report says that worldwide counterterrorism efforts since 2001 have constrained al-Qaida's ability to attack the U.S. again and convinced terror groups that U.S. soil is a tougher target.

But, the report quickly adds, analysts are concerned "that this level of international cooperation may wane as 9/11 becomes a more distant memory and perceptions of the threat diverge."

Among the report's other findings:

_Al-Qaida is likely to continue to focus on high-profile political, economic and infrastructure targets to cause mass casualties, visually dramatic destruction, economic aftershocks and fear. "The group is proficient with conventional small arms and improvised explosive devices and is innovative in creating new capabilities and overcoming security obstacles."

_The group has been able to restore key capabilities it would need to launch an attack on U.S. soil: a safe haven in Pakistan's tribal areas, operational lieutenants and senior leaders. U.S. officials have warned publicly that a deal between the Pakistani government and tribal leaders allowed al-Qaida to plot and train more freely in parts of western Pakistan for the last 10 months.

_The group will continue to seek weapons of mass destruction _ chemical, biological or nuclear material _ and "would not hesitate to use them."

_Non-Muslim terrorist groups probably will attack here in the next several years, although on a smaller scale. The judgments don't name any specific groups, but the FBI often warns of violent environmental groups, such as Earth Liberation Front, and others. [That's right: Beware the environmentalists!]

The publicly disclosed judgments, laid out over two pages, are part of a longer document, which remains classified. It was approved by the heads of all 16 intelligence agencies on June 21.

The high-level estimate notes that the spread of radical ideas, especially on the Internet, growing anti-U.S. rhetoric and increasing numbers of radical cells throughout Western countries indicate the violent segments of the Muslim populations is expanding.

"The arrest and prosecution by U.S. law enforcement of a small number of violent Islamic extremists inside the United States ... points to the possibility that others may become sufficiently radicalized that they will view the use of violence here as legitimate," the estimate said. "We assess that this internal Muslim terrorist threat is not likely to be as severe as it is in Europe, however."

© 2007 The Associated Press

07-17-2007, 06:12 PM

07-17-2007, 06:12 PM
If this happens, I am not going to blame "Al-Qaeda" for it.

07-17-2007, 06:14 PM
I tell you what... if another attack happens, I may very well storm the White House.

07-17-2007, 06:48 PM
Now Jon, you have told me on may occasions that violence is not the answer!

07-17-2007, 08:00 PM
I tell you what... if another attack happens, I may very well storm the White House.

...which you mean figuratively, of course...

ahem, no need to get one's name on a Secret Service watch list... ;-)

07-17-2007, 08:01 PM
Now Jon, you have told me on may occasions that violence is not the answer!

It isn't. I'm betting that if something else did happen (and it didn't take place in Washington D.C.), that the White House would be completely off limits, if not D.C. itself.

07-17-2007, 08:02 PM
...which you mean figuratively, of course...

ahem, no need to get one's name on a Secret Service watch list... ;-)

Oh please, I'm probably on every list. To clarify, I intend NO HARM to the President or anyone else.

07-17-2007, 08:05 PM
A while back, the members of 911Truth.org were planning on filing FOIA's to request whether or not we were on some kind of list. To my knowledge, that never happened (I could be wrong), but I have never done it.

07-18-2007, 11:53 AM
I agree with Jon, I'm sure many of us, are on multiple lists.

07-18-2007, 11:58 AM
I have little doubt the people in the movement that are known by their names are on some kind of list. The price we pay for being brave.

07-18-2007, 12:28 PM
I can hear those drums from the Conan The Barbarian theme pounding in my head as I read this:

NATO says Iranian-made explosives found in Afghanistan

Wed Jul 18, 9:12 AM ET

NATO forces in Afghanistan said they had found several Iranian-made armour-piercing explosives but stressed there was no proof of a formal supply from the neighbouring country.

Thomas Kelly, a US colonel under NATO command, said forces had found several of the so-called "explosively-formed projectiles" that were more sophisticated than the crudely-made bombs usually used by Afghan insurgents.

But the senior spokeswoman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), US Lieutenant Colonel Claudia Foss, stressed that the alliance had no evidence that the Iranian government was involved in the supply.

Kelly said four of the devices, which are also being used by Iraqi insurgents and Lebanon's Hezbollah, were found in Herat near the Iranian border and in Kabul, where a fifth device had harmlessly exploded early this year.

The colonel told a Kabul media briefing that the bombs were "something called explosively-formed projectiles (EFPs)... They're designed to penetrate armoured vehicles.

"These are very sophisticated IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and they're really not manufactured in any other places other than, our knowledge is, Iran," he said, adding that the explosives were factory-made.

Taliban insurgents commonly attack US-led, NATO and Afghan targets with roadside bombs and other explosives made from old ammunition such as mortars and rockets left over from the war-torn country's decades of conflicts.

"The insurgents may have access to this device but may not yet know how to use them or know if they're effective or not," Kelly said.

Foss, however, told the same briefing that ISAF's commander had previously said "that we have no evidence of any formal supply of weapons from Iran."

"For decades this country has been under attack and we find weapons all the time but, as far as any formal supply, there's been no evidence."

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said in June that "substantial" quantities of Iranian weapons are flowing into Afghanistan and that it was difficult to believe the Iranian government was not aware of it.

The United States has long accused Iran's Quds Force, an arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, of arming and training Shiite extremist groups in Iraq.

But in recent months US military officials have said Iranian-made weapons including EFPs have also turned up in Afghanistan.