US Govt Concern About Potential Al Qaeda Attack on US Homeland This Summer
By Jeffrey Imm
Both ABC News and the Associated Press are reporting new U.S. government concerns of an attack on the U.S. homeland this summer, and in the case of ABC News, reports of an Al Qaeda cell intending to attack a government facility or facilities.
ABC News reports that "new intelligence suggests a small al Qaeda cell is on its way to the United States, or may already be here. The White House has convened an urgent multi-agency meeting for Thursday afternoon to deal with the new threat." The meeting will address ways to minimize or counter the threat, and steps to harden and protect government facilities.
ABC reports that from former FBI agent Brad Garrett that 'It suggests they have information that the cell or cells coming this direction want to attack a government facility'.
ABC also reports that "Law enforcement officials say the recent failed attacks in London have provided important new clues about possible tactics. And officials say the London attackers use of the Internet left important clues that are being used to decode other e-mails that had initially been deemed unimportant but are now taking on new significance. A senior administration official said the level of concern of a new terror attack is now higher than it has been in some time".
Associated Press also reports that "U.S. counterterror officials are warning of an increased risk of an attack this summer, given al-Qaida's apparent interest in summertime strikes and increased al-Qaida training in the Afghan-Pakistani border region. On Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the editorial board of The Chicago Tribune that he had a 'gut feeling' about a new period of increased risk. He based his assessment on earlier patterns of terrorists in Europe and intelligence he would not disclose. 'Summertime seems to be appealing to them,' Chertoff said in his discussion with the newspaper about terrorists. 'We worry that they are rebuilding their activities.' "
On July 1, ABC reported that "A secret U.S. law enforcement report, prepared for the Department of Homeland Security, warns that al Qaeda is planning a terror 'spectacular' this summer, according to a senior official with access to the document. 'This is reminiscent of the warnings and intelligence we were getting in the summer of 2001,' the official told ABCNews.com."
ABC also previously reported on a June 9 Al Qaeda / Taliban "graduation" ceremony, where a Pakistani journalist recorded video of the "graduation" ceremony and reported that "[l]arge teams of newly trained suicide bombers are being sent to the United States and Europe"
In other news about threats, there have been links between British Jihadist investigations and threats against the USA. On July 5, it was reported by the Daily Telegraph that 45 UK doctors were making plans to attack US facilities such as the shipping facilities for USS John F Kennedy in Jacksonville, Florida - that "45 Muslim doctors threatened to use car bombs and rocket grenades in terrorist attacks in the United States during discussions on an extremist internet chat site". On July 6, it was reported by AP and the Philadelphia Inquirer that two of the UK car bomb doctors sought work in the United States in Philadelphia. On July 4, the UK Sky News reported the full text of an email from British Anglican cleric Canon Andrew White who has said of an April discussion with Al-Qaeda representative where "[h]e told me that they were going to start killing in the UK then the USA".
ABC News: Al Qaeda Cell in the U.S. Or On Its Way, According to New Intel
Associated Press: Officials Worry Of Summer Terror Attack
ABC News: Secret Document: U.S. Fears Terror 'Spectacular' Planned'
ABC News: Suicide Bomb Teams Sent to U.S., Europe
Daily Telegraph: 45 Muslim doctors planned US terror raids
AP: U.K. Terror Suspects Made U.S. Inquiry
Sky News: Full Text Of Vicar's Terror Warning Email