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Friday, July 23, 2004

Qaeda captives stir concern on new strike

July 23, 2004
Al Qaeda members captured in recent weeks in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan have provided important information about a possible impending terrorist attack on the scale of Sept. 11, according to senior American intelligence officials. ...

‘‘We don’t have specificity to exact time, place or location,’’ a senior intelligence official said. ‘‘But it’s more than just them saying generally that there’s something coming,’’ a senior intelligence official said. ...

One senior intelligence official said there was ‘‘no doubt’’ that bin Laden and other Qaeda leaders remained very much focused on carrying out a new attack in the United States or on American targets overseas. ...

Two counterterrorism officials based in Europe said that an intelligence breakthrough pointing to such a renewed threat had come about six weeks ago. ...

‘‘The problem is that Al Qaeda represents an ideological movement, not a finite group of people,’’ the report said. ‘‘It initiates and inspires, even if it no longer directs. In this way, it has transformed itself into a decentralized force. ...

‘‘I wouldn’t characterize what we have now as chatter,’’ a senior CIA official said. ‘‘I think we have some fairly specific information that Al Qaeda wants to come after us.’’

The CIA official, a counterterrorism expert, added: ‘‘This is serious.’’ FR Reprint.


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