When The Waronterra Fails
Seems that Al Qaeda has completely reconstituted itself thanx to its Musharraf-approved safe haven in Northern Waziristan.
U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded al-Qaida has rebuilt its operating capability to a level not seen since just before the 2001 terrorist attacks, The Associated Press has learned.
The conclusion suggests that the group that launched the most devastating terror attack on the United States has been able to rebuild despite nearly six years of bombings, war and other tactics aimed at crippling it.
Still, numerous government officials say they know of no specific, credible threat of a new attack.
A counterterrorism official familiar with a five-page summary of the new government threat assessment called it a stark appraisal that will be discussed at the White House on Thursday as part of a broader meeting on an upcoming National Intelligence Estimate.
The official and others spoke on condition of anonymity because the secret report remains classified.
Counterterrorism analysts produced the document, titled "Al-Qaida better positioned to strike the West." The document pays special heed to the terror group's safe haven in Pakistan and makes a range of observations about the threat posed to the United States and its allies, officials said.
Al-Qaida is "considerably operationally stronger than a year ago" and has "regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001," the official said, paraphrasing the report's conclusions. "They are showing greater and greater ability to plan attacks in Europe and the United States."
The group also has created "the most robust training program since 2001, with an interest in using European operatives," the official quoted the report as saying.
At the same time, this official said, the report speaks of "significant gaps in intelligence" so U.S. authorities may be ignorant of potential or planned attacks.