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February 04, 2010

Leon Panetta: Al Qaeda Will Attack the US Soon

Spook86 from In From the Cold caught this admission from CIA Director Panetta during Congressional testimony on Tuesday. According to Panetta another attack on the US from Al Qaeda is expected within the next 3 to 6 months.

Now if anyone would know about upcoming attacks it ought to be him so I assume he has enough details that point to an imminent attack to make him willing to predict one publicly. But the cynical side of me also suspects that he's just covering himself in case something does happen since there's less political downside to a false alarm than no alarm whatsoever.

Mr. Panetta offered that chilling prediction today, during Congressional testimony that also included FBI Director Robert Mueller and Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair. The CIA chief said the terror group is utilizing new recruits who are more difficult to detect and trace
British intelligence officials believe the Nigerian was part of a larger group of terrorists that trained in Al Qaida camps in Yemen last year. The whereabouts of those operatives remains unknown. Extended questioning of Abdulmutallab by trained interrogators might have yielded actionable intelligence on those trainees and their operational assignments.

Also unclear is the status of 36 American ex-convicts who traveled to Yemen over the past year, ostensibly to study Arabic. Thomas Joscelyn of The Weekly Standard has unearthed a little-publicized report from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (released last month) that raises concerns about the former convicts and a second group of Americans, who moved to Yemen several years ago and converted to a form of radical Islam.

So if we know that Al Qaeda is planning attacks using non-typical recruits that have been trained in Yemen, you'd think the government would have pulled out the stops Jack Bauer-style to get info out of the only such terrorist they had in custody. But instead they decided to Mirandize the crotch bomber after just 50 minutes.

If I were the Obama administration, I'd be very, very worried that Panetta's prediction will come true. Because if Al Quaeda does pull off a successful attack their actions would rightfully be considered malignant incompetence.

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posted by Maetenloch at 11:20 AM

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