Skip to comments.CIA'S Tenet Warns Of More Planned Al Qaeta Attacks
Posted on 02/06/2002 7:37:38 AM PST by blam
CIA's Tenet Warns of More Planned Al Qaeda Attacks
Wed Feb 6,11:16 AM ET
By Tabassum Zakaria
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - CIA Director George Tenet said on Wednesday Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network remained a potent force that was seeking nuclear and biological weapons and had plans for more attacks on America and its allies.
Despite the military campaign after the Sept. 11 attacks, in which Afghanistan's Taliban rulers were ousted and more than 1,000 suspects were arrested in 60 different countries, Tenet told Congress: "Al Qaeda has not yet been destroyed."
"Al Qaeda leaders still at large are working to reconstitute the organization and resume its terrorist operations," he said. "We must be prepared for a long war, and we must not falter."
He said operations against U.S. targets could be launched by al Qaeda cells already in place in major cities in Europe and the Middle East and that the network could exploit its connections to other groups in countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Indonesia and the Philippines.
"Al Qaeda also has plans to strike against U.S. and allied targets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia," Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee in his first public appearance before Congress since the Sept. 11 attacks.
"American diplomatic and military installations are at high risk -- especially in Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey but across the rest of the world as well," he said.
He said terrorists had considered attacks inside the United States against big government or private facilities, famous landmarks and infrastructure such as airports, bridges, harbors and dams.
PURSUING NEW WEAPONS
"High profile events such as the Olympics or last weekend's (football) Super Bowl also fit the terrorists' interests in striking another blow within the United states that would command worldwide media attention."
Tenet said the Sept. 11 attacks suggested that al Qaeda and other terrorist groups would continue to use conventional weapons.
But he said the movement was working to acquire some of the "most dangerous" chemical agents and toxins, while documents recovered from Afghanistan showed bin Laden was pursuing "a sophisticated biological weapons research program."
He said bin laden was also believed to be seeking a nuclear device and al Qaeda may be pursuing a "radioactive dispersal device" -- a so-called dirty bomb.
He said Iraq, which Washington says is trying to develop weapons of mass destruction and threatens its neighbors and the world, had had contact with al Qaeda. The Iraq leadership -- aggressively secular, in contrast to the religious mantle claimed by bin Laden -- has denied similar allegations in the past.
While contacts may have been limited by conflicting ideology, "tactical cooperation between them is possible -- even though Saddam is well aware that such activity would carry serious consequences," Tenet said.
Some influential figures in Washington have been pressing for military action to oust Saddam and President Bush last week declared Iraq, Iran and North Korea an "axis of evil", warning of possible pre-emptive action against them.
The CIA director also repeated U.S. allegations that al Qaeda members had fled across the border into Iran. "Tehran has also failed to move decisively against al Qaeda members who have relocated to Iran from Afghanistan," he said.
Tehran, which traditionally has strongly opposed the Taliban, denies it has knowingly allowed members of al Qaeda to cross into Iran.
Tenet said places like Somalia where there is an absence of a national government creates an environment in which groups sympathetic to al Qaeda "have offered terrorists an operational base and potential haven."
It would have to be by al-Qaeda already in place because our security, especially at our airports, has gotten so much better since 9/11 They could not have slipped through the boarders since then unless they were disguised as a middle-eastern man.
I don't think they'll demand a nuclear response, but I'm sure they'll demand the elimination of all illegal aliens from our shores or it's gonna be 'open season' on Arabs in America.
If there was a suitable target I'm not sure I would argue with the sentiment. I propose clandestine assassination squads that are authorized to make pre-emptive strikes.
"Why were we utterly unaware of the planning and execution of the Sept. 11 attacks? In other words what went wrong?" asked Shelby, of Alabama.
What went wrong, indeed. Too busy fighting the cannabis wars?