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Old 07-11-2007, 10:19 PM   #1
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Default U.S. Warns of stronger Al-Qaeda

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...071102443.html

U.S. Warns Of Stronger Al-Qaeda
Administration Report Cites Havens in Pakistan

By Spencer S. Hsu and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, July 12, 2007; Page A01


Six years after the Bush administration declared war on al-Qaeda, the terrorist network is gaining strength and has established a safe haven in remote tribal areas of western Pakistan for training and planning attacks, according to a new Bush administration intelligence report to be discussed today at a White House meeting.

The report, a five-page threat assessment compiled by the National Counterterrorism Center, is titled "Al-Qaida Better Positioned to Strike the West," intelligence officials said. It concludes that the group has significantly rebuilt itself despite concerted U.S. attempts to smash the network.

Although the officials declined to discuss the assessment's content because it is classified, the CIA's deputy director for intelligence, John A. Kringen, told a House committee yesterday that al-Qaeda appears "to be fairly well settled into the safe haven in the ungoverned spaces of Pakistan."

"We see more training. We see more money. We see more communications," Kringen said.

U.S. counterterrorism officials said that the implications for U.S. domestic security are not immediately clear, despite a warning Tuesday by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that reports of heightened al-Qaeda activity and public threats gave him a "gut feeling" that the country faces an increased chance of a terrorist attack this summer.

Chertoff clarified those remarks in a telephone interview yesterday, saying that what he meant to convey was "a more general, strategic sense of the threat environment," based on publicly reported information rather than secret intelligence.

It "was designed to drive strategic or policy actions, not result in some immediate operational step," Chertoff said of his warning in a Chicago Tribune interview, and "to remind people that the best on the ground asset we have is individuals' vigilance."

White House spokesman Tony Fratto declined to sound any alarm yesterday. "There continues to be no credible, specific intelligence to suggest that there is an imminent threat to the homeland," he said in response to questions about Chertoff's remarks.

At the same time, authorities worldwide are investigating leads arising out of the failed bombing attempts in London and Glasgow two weeks ago, which British authorities are combing for links to al-Qaeda. Since the attempts, the FBI has assembled a team of agents and analysts to focus on potential summertime threats.

The mixed messages underscore the administration's ongoing struggle to communicate timely security warnings at a time of widespread political controversy over its past handling of terrorism-related intelligence matters.

" 'Gut feeling' doesn't help any of us," said Kerry Sleeper, homeland security adviser to Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas (R), who has worked for months with federal authorities to improve intelligence sharing as co-chairman of a National Governors Association panel. "A gut feeling is not the way to convey information to hundreds of thousands of first responders across this country that are responsible for identifying, interrupting or responding to a terrorist attack."

"Nearly six years into the war on terrorism, you would hope that we would be basing our security decisions on more than somebody's gut feeling," said Georgetown University terrorism expert Bruce Hoffman.(There are 2 pages to this article)
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: U.S. Warns of stronger Al-Qaeda

Good post, I voted for Bush. I think 6 years ago most had no idea that this would happen. However. Six years ago I was afraid we'd be frequently attacked on our soil. Thankfully we haven't. For that I am thankful. Not to say that won't change. However. I am obviously concerned that we have put an incredible amount of time, money...& especially 3,500 lives + many injuries into this war with little to show. I also, am starting to get concerned & hope we can actually find a solution. When you are dealing with muslim jihadists, it's not always easy.
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: U.S. Warns of stronger Al-Qaeda

That's for sure.
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: U.S. Warns of stronger Al-Qaeda

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Good post, I voted for Bush. I think 6 years ago most had no idea that this would happen. However. Six years ago I was afraid we'd be frequently attacked on our soil. Thankfully we haven't. For that I am thankful. Not to say that won't change. However. I am obviously concerned that we have put an incredible amount of time, money...& especially 3,500 lives + many injuries into this war with little to show. I also, am starting to get concerned & hope we can actually find a solution. When you are dealing with muslim jihadists, it's not always easy.
Yes. Bipartisan politics need to take a backseat in this next election. I vote Democrat generally, but at this point I would consider anyone who has an effective evacuation plan.

I was hardly in the middle east, but I found while visiting many European countries that America is totally destroying its foreign relations on this campaign. I encountered PHYSICAL confrontations solely because I was an American.

It made me sick, but It made me scared. Not for my own safety (I can hold my own against a 5'5" Italian on too much wine), but for the future of our own homeland security. The pot is boiling. The water is rising and I can't even fathom life after it spills...

There is no easy way out of this war. The situation is absolutely out of control and is only looking to get more serious. I don't even know what a good plan is at this point... Something needs to happen, though. I just hope it doesn't spiral into complete chaos while our government sits on their hands...
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: U.S. Warns of stronger Al-Qaeda

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Yes. Bipartisan politics need to take a backseat in this next election. I vote Democrat generally, but at this point I would consider anyone who has an effective evacuation plan.

I was hardly in the middle east, but I found while visiting many European countries that America is totally destroying its foreign relations on this campaign. I encountered PHYSICAL confrontations solely because I was an American.

It made me sick, but It made me scared. Not for my own safety (I can hold my own against a 5'5" Italian on too much wine), but for the future of our own homeland security. The pot is boiling. The water is rising and I can't even fathom life after it spills...

There is no easy way out of this war. The situation is absolutely out of control and is only looking to get more serious. I don't even know what a good plan is at this point... Something needs to happen, though. I just hope it doesn't spiral into complete chaos while our government sits on their hands...
the civil war in Iraq has to be the most chaotic place on our planet right now. the civilian death toll is uncomprehendable. i hear our leaders speak of "winning" in iraq... is such a simple concept even possible in a region deeply seeded in tradition and faith? i think our terminology on important matters is disgustingly simple... and it evokes answers that are vague and equally simple... giving our leaders the ability to answer away any tough question with a simple catch phrase that'll cover any deeply philosophical and social/political integrated question one might ask.
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Old 07-12-2007, 04:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: U.S. Warns of stronger Al-Qaeda

Not to worry - President Bush assured us today at his press conference that steady progress continues to be made.

For a alternative viewpoint, you might want to read another story (excerpts and link below) that ran on the front page of The Washington Post today.

CIA Said Instability Seemed 'Irreversible'

By Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 12, 2007; Page A01


Early on the morning of Nov. 13, 2006, members of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group gathered around a dark wooden conference table in the windowless Roosevelt Room of the White House.

For more than an hour, they listened to President Bush give what one panel member called a "Churchillian" vision of "victory" in Iraq and defend the country's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki. "A constitutional order is emerging," he said.

Later that morning, around the same conference table, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden painted a starkly different picture for members of the study group. Hayden said "the inability of the government to govern seems irreversible," adding that he could not "point to any milestone or checkpoint where we can turn this thing around," according to written records of his briefing and the recollections of six participants.

"The government is unable to govern," Hayden concluded. "We have spent a lot of energy and treasure creating a government that is balanced, and it cannot function."

Later in the interview, he qualified the statement somewhat: "A government that can govern, sustain and defend itself is not achievable," he said, "in the short term."


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews
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Old 07-12-2007, 05:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: U.S. Warns of stronger Al-Qaeda

the ONLY way there will ever be a peaceful iraq is if the "PEACE seeking citizens" of iraq decide to take there collective heads out of the sand and start working with authorities to root out the war mongering extremist. i mean if someone starts launching mortars on my street, odds are i'm gonna know about it. if i'm not in support of the violence, you bet your ass i'm gonna do what i can to help the proper authorities find the perps. if they fear reprisal, an anonomous phone call or letter would do the trick.
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Old 07-12-2007, 05:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: U.S. Warns of stronger Al-Qaeda

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the ONLY way there will ever be a peaceful iraq is if the "PEACE seeking citizens" of iraq decide to take there collective heads out of the sand and start working with authorities to root out the war mongering extremist. i mean if someone starts launching mortars on my street, odds are i'm gonna know about it. if i'm not in support of the violence, you bet your ass i'm gonna do what i can to help the proper authorities find the perps. if they fear reprisal, an anonomous phone call or letter would do the trick.
Unfortunately, given General Hayden's perspective, it appears you will have as much chance of calling the Ghostbusters for help as the "proper authorities" if you are looking for help in Iraq.

Sort of like spending every day living in New Orleans in the days after Katrina came through.
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Old 07-12-2007, 06:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: U.S. Warns of stronger Al-Qaeda

More scare tactics by our Gov......Keep the people scared....lol
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: U.S. Warns of stronger Al-Qaeda

I don't think it's a scare tactic at all. It's to keep people aware of what is going on.
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