Skip to comments.U.S. Warns of Al Qaeda Attack
Posted on 05/26/2004 11:26:56 AM PDT by OESY
WASHINGTON - The United States fears al Qaeda is plotting a big attack inside the country or on U.S. interests but has no plans to raise the terror threat level and no details on when, where or how it might occur, top officials said on Wednesday.
"Credible intelligence, from multiple sources, indicates that al Qaeda plans to attempt an attack on the United States in the next few months," Attorney General John Ashcroft (news - web sites) said at a news conference.
"This disturbing intelligence indicates al Qaeda's specific intention to hit the United States hard."
Ashcroft said al Qaeda -- the group blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001 hijack attacks -- has declared that preparations for an attack on the United States were nearly complete.
In a news conference with FBI (news - web sites) Director Robert Mueller, Ashcroft said al Qaeda may hope for a similar response to that which occurred after the March 11 train bombings in Madrid. Those attacks influenced Spain's election and led to the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq (news - web sites).
"Al Qaeda may perceive that a large-scale attack in the United States this summer or fall would lead to similar consequences," ahead of the U.S. presidential election, Ashcroft said.
"Several upcoming events over the next few months may present especially attractive targets for such an al Qaeda attack," said Ashcroft.
Those events include the opening of a World War II memorial this weekend in Washington, the Group of Eight summit in Sea Island, Georgia in June, the Fourth of July holiday and the Democratic and Republican Party conventions in Boston and New York at the end of the summer, ahead of the November elections.
FBI Director Robert Mueller joined Ashcroft and urged Americans to be particularly alert in the coming months.
"Over the next few months we have reason to believe that there will be a heightened threat to U.S. interests around the world," he said in prepared remarks. "Unfortunately, we currently do not know what form that threat may take.
In a series of television interviews, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said there were no plans to raise the color-coded terror alert level, which is currently set at "yellow" -- the mid-point of the five-point scale -- for an "elevated" risk of attack.
WHITE HOUSE DENIES THREAT OVERPLAYED
At the White House, spokesman Scott McClellan denied the government was overplaying the threat.
"We've continued to receive a stream of credible intelligence reporting over the last couple of months that points to the possibility of an attack or attacks inside the United States," McClellan said. "We know that they would like to have a dramatic effect."
Ashcroft and Mueller said the United States was putting out an alert on seven people who have been linked to al Qaeda. The FBI has long been seeking information on at least six of them including Adnan El Shukrijumah, who Ashcroft said could be a "future facilitator of terrorist acts for al Qaeda."
Mueller said the FBI also plans to conduct interviews nationwide to gather intelligence in an effort to disrupt potential threats. Ashcroft warned that al Qaeda may be changing in the face of new security measures.
"Intelligence sources suggest that the ideal al Qaeda operative may now be in his late 20s or early 30s and may travel with a family to lower his profile," Ashcroft said.
He said U.S. intelligence has shown that al Qaeda is seeking recruits who can portray themselves as Europeans. The group also attracts Muslim extremists from north Africa and South Asia, Ashcroft said.
Ridge, who urged Americans to go about their business over the summer, has warned since April that a number of upcoming events raised concerns of a possible attack.
The news conference comes two days after the FBI took the rare step of apologizing to a Muslim attorney, Brandon Mayfield, who was mistakenly jailed in Oregon for two weeks in connection with the March 11 train bombing in Spain blamed on al Qaeda. (Additional reporting by James Vicini)
A placard at FBI (news - web sites) headquarters shows individuals being sought by the FBI in connection with possible terrorist threats against the U.S. The United States fears al Qaeda is plotting a big attack country but has no plans to raise the terror threat level and no details on when, where or how it might occur, officials said on May 26, 2004. They said an attack could coincide with a number of upcoming high-profile events starting with the Memorial Day holiday this weekend and continuing through the November presidential election. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
True to form, Reuters can't resist playing politics with US national security.
Huh? I don't see any 70yr old Catholic grandmothers. They should have thrown one in to subdue the PC crowd.
Bush's fault(sick humor)
Notice how the writer bends over backwards to prevent the word "terror" from being used either to describe the attacks or Al-Qaeda.
One person's journalist is another person's freedom fighter.
Don't say I didn't warn ya...
If you know ANY Islamic or see ANY Islamic, then hold the poster up to their face.
Other than that think of what you do or anywhere you regularly go that would make it a valuable target for terrorism.
At that point, be watchful of Islamic relgious and racial profiles in those areas/activities.
Thanks for the heads up. Hopefully I can thwart the terrorists with my Gravitron Anti-Gravity Device, Cold Fusion Generator, Earthquake Predictor, Remote Viewing Training and Y2K Compliance Software.
Did the FBI mean this guy?
Yahiye Adam Gadahn
Here's the full article from my link above. Adam seemed a strange name for a Muslim to me....
My first seventeen years have been a bit different than the youth experienced by most Americans. I grew up on an extremely rural goat ranch in Western Riverside County, California, where my family raises on average 150 to 200 animals for milk, cheese, and meat. My father is a halal butcher [a butcher who slaughters in an Islamic manner -ed.] and supplies to an Islamic Food Mart a few blocks from the Islamic Center in downtown Los Angeles.
My father was raised agnostic or atheist, but he became a believer in One God when he picked up a Bible left on the beach. He once had a number of Muslim friends, but they've all moved out of California now. My mother was raised Catholic, so she leans towards Christianity (although she, like my father, disregards the Trinity). I and my siblings were/are home-schooled, and as you may know, most home-school families are Christian. In the last 8 or so years, we have been involved with some home-schooling support groups, thus acquainting me with fundamentalist Christianity. It was an eye-opening experience. Setting aside the blind dogmatism and charismatic wackiness, it was quite a shock to me when I realized that these people, in their prayers, were actually praying TO JESUS. You see, I had always believed that Jesus (pbuh) was, at the very most, the Son of God (since that is what the Bible mistranslates "Servant of God" as). As I learned that belief in the Trinity, something I find absolutely ridiculous, is considered by most Christians to be a prerequisite for salvation, I gradually realized I could not be a Christian.
In the meantime, I had become obsessed with demonic Heavy Metal music, something the rest of my family (as I now realize, rightfully so) was not happy with. My entire life was focused on expanding my music collection. I eschewed personal cleanliness and let my room reach an unbelievable state of disarray. My relationship with my parents became strained, although only intermittently so. I am sorry even as I write this.
Earlier this year, I began to listen to the apocalyptic ramblings of Christian radio's "prophecy experts." Their paranoid espousal of various conspiracy theories, rabid support of Israel and religious Zionism, and fiery preaching about the "Islamic Threat" held for me a strange fascination. Why? Well, I suppose it was simply the need I was feeling to fill that void I had created for myself. In any case, I soon found that the beliefs these evangelists held, such as Original Sin and the Infallibility of "God's Word", were not in agreement with my theological ideas (not to mention the Bible) and I began to look for something else to hold onto.
The turning point, perhaps, was when I moved in with my grandparents here in Santa Ana, the county seat of Orange, California. My grandmother, a computer whiz, is hooked up to America Online and I have been scooting the information superhighway since January. But when I moved in, with the intent of finding a job (easier said than done), I begin to visit the religion folders on AOL and the Usenet newsgroups, where I found discussions on Islam to be the most intriguing. You see, I discovered that the beliefs and practices of this religion fit my personal theology and intellect as well as basic human logic. Islam presents God not as an anthropomorphic being but as an entity beyond human comprehension, transcendent of man, independant and undivided. Islam has a holy book that is comprehensible to a layman, and there is no papacy or priesthood that is considered infallible in matters of interpretation: all Muslims are free to reflect and interpret the book given a sufficient education. Islam does not believe that all men are doomed to Hell unless they simply accept that God (apparently unable to forgive otherwise) magnanimously allowed Himself to be tortured on a cross to enable Him to forgive all human beings who just believe that He allowed Himself to be tortured on a cross... Islam does not believe in a Chosen Race. And on and on...
As I began reading English translations of the Qur'an, I became more and more convinced of the truth and authenticity of Allah's teachings contained in those 114 chapters. Having been around Muslims in my formative years, I knew well that they were not the bloodthirsty, barbaric terrorists that the news media and the televangelists paint them to be. Perhaps this knowledge led me to continue my personal research further than another person would have. I can't say when I actually decided that Islam was for me. It was really a natural progression. In any case, last week [November 1995 -ed.]I went to the Islamic Society of Orange County in Garden Grove and told the brother in charge of the library I wanted to be a Muslim. He gave me some excellent reading material, and last Friday I took Shahada [accepted the creed of Islam -ed.]in front of a packed masjid. I have spent this week learning to perform Salat and reflecting on the greatness of Allah. It feels great to be a Muslim! Subhaana rabbiyal 'azeem!
Crank --- I resemble that comment!
"bible code bunch"....say no more.
I have seen 100 people that look JUST LIKE these wanted pictures. Can't we play on the safe side...;)
Yeah..but dont bother to close the borders to terrorists as this might also offend some illegal alien's illegally voting relatives....
And dont ever tell 'we the people' that carrying concealed weapons or even arming themselves
is a good idea (in fact the war on terror is a great excuse to urge disarming honest Americans
...especially those old combat vets from the last 7 or so wars and conflicts....with those nasty "assault weapons"...whatever the heck those are!)
They'll get my C. Crane Wind Up Radio when they pry it from my cold dead hands!
I guess there is one good thing. We all can enjoy our holidays, Memorial Day, 4th of July and so on without any worries. As you know we don't bomb them when they are having a holiday and I am sure that they will reciprocate and honor that precedent.
Out of how many total people that you have seen?
Maybe she hacked the server.
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