Skip to comments.ABC NEWS: DOCS SEIZED IN IRAQ REVEAL INSURGENT PLAN FOR ATTACK IN U.S.(Update with story)
Posted on 01/22/2007 12:16:37 PM PST by maquiladoraEdited on 01/22/2007 12:29:11 PM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
ABC NEWS: DOCS SEIZED IN IRAQ REVEAL INSURGENT PLAN FOR ATTACK IN U.S.
Suspects, Reportedly Tied to Al Qaeda in Iraq, Sought Student Visas
WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2007 Mimicking the hijackers who executed the Sept. 11 attacks, insurgents reportedly tied to al Qaeda in Iraq considered using student visas to slip terrorists into the United States to orchestrate a new attack on American soil.
Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, recently testified that documents captured by coalition forces during a raid of a safe house believed to house Iraqi members of al Qaeda six months ago "revealed [AQI] was planning terrorist operations in the U.S."
At the time, Maples offered little additional insight into the possible terror plot. ABC News, however, has learned new details of what remains a classified incident that has been dealt with at the highest levels of government.
Watch the full report tonight on "World News with Charles Gibson."
Sources tell ABC News that the plot may have involved moving between 10 and 20 suspects believed to be affiliated with al Qaeda in Iraq into the United States with student visas the same method used by the 19 al Qaeda terrorists who struck American targets on Sept. 11.
U.S. officials now require universities to closely track foreign nationals who use student visas to study in the United States. University officials must report international students who fail to arrive on campus or miss class regularly.
In August, the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement alerted intelligence agencies and state and local law enforcement about 11 Egyptian students who had failed to report to their classes at Montana State University. The students were ultimately apprehended.
Still, despite the heightened precautions, some security analysts fear that skilled terrorists handpicked because of their clean records and because they are carefully trained could still slip through an academic setting.
The plot was discovered six months ago, roughly the same time that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, was killed by coalition forces. Sources tell ABC News that the suspects involved in the effort to launch the U.S. attack were closely associated with Zarqawi.
The plan also came only months after Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda's No. 2, had requested that Zarqawi attempt an attack inside the United States.
"This appears to be the first hard evidence al Qaeda in Iraq was trying to attack us here at home," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, former chief counterterrorism adviser on the U.S. National Security Council.
The plan was uncovered in its early stages, and sources say there is no indication that the suspects made it into the United States. Officials also emphasize that there is no evidence of an imminent attack.
The hunt for suspects continues, however, and some fear that al Qaeda recruits in Iraq could be easily redirected.
"Anyone willing to go to Iraq to fight American troops is probably willing to try to come to the United States," Clarke said.
Why would ABC news tell us? They are too busy helping the other guys.
This outta get the conspiracy moonbats tweaking, coming just before SOTU.
The left will say it's a ruse invented to shore up Bush's sagging poll ratings.
I wonder how the media will spin this. Probably that we caused it.
Wouldn't THAT make them terrorists?
Thats a lie. There are no terrorists in Iraq, the 'Rats told me so.
Let the whole bloody world know. Without this information leaking, we could organize Delta and SIX to completely and utterly destroy any attack inside this country.
because its Bush's fault for creating the insurgency (sarcasm)
I mean, glad this comes up - on ABC, too! - right before the SOTU.
OTOH, the rats will spin it as 'the US deserves this payback.'
I'm sure Brian Ross is on the beat, hunting down some pervert Congressman.
The key is the word "insurgent"...meaning theirs or ours? ;)
They're telling their allies to back off so they don't get slaughtered.
What was the nature of the planned attack?
Thanks jerks for letting our enemy know that we know his plans.
You guys out to be sent to prison as spies and sabateurs.
There isn't any plan for an attack in the US. This is just to justify continuing the war and to boost Bush's sagging popularity!!!!
(Just doing a little preemptive strike for what we can expect from the left...)