Sunday, July 01, 2007

US braces for more terrorist attacks

From ABC News:

A secret U.S. law enforcement report, prepared for the Department of Homeland Security, warns that al Qaeda is planning a terror "spectacular" this summer, according to a senior official with access to the document.

"This is reminiscent of the warnings and intelligence we were getting in the summer of 2001," the official told

U.S. officials have kept the information secret, and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said today on ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" that the United States did not have "have any specific credible evidence that there's an attack focused on the United States at this point."

As reported, U.S. law enforcement officials received intelligence reports two weeks ago warning of terror attacks in Glasgow and Prague, the Czech Republic, against "airport infrastructure and aircraft."

The warnings apparently never reached officials in Scotland, who said this weekend they had received "no advance intelligence" that Glasgow might be a target.

Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff declined to comment specifically on on the report today, but said "everything that we get is shared virtually instantaneously with our counterparts in Britain and vice versa."

Unlike the United States, officials in Germany have publicly warned that the country could face a major attack this summer, also comparing the situation to the pre-9/11 summer of 2001.

I'm not surprised that Homeland Security is taking a "nope, nothing wrong here" stance - at least in public. However the federal government has to be worried. It is very easy to build an improvised explosive device. Look at how much damage Timothy McVeigh was able to do with diesel fuel and fertilizer.

I believe that the only reason that the US has not been hit on our own soil since 9/11 is that the strength of our reaction to 9/11 took the al Qaeda leadership by surprise and frightened them.

Osama bin Laden was on record before 9/11 as believing that the US was a "paper tiger" which required one or two hard pushes to collapse. He believed, based on US actions in Vietnam and our ineffectual responses to previous terrorists attacks like the first WTC bombing and the attack on the USS Cole, that there would be no meaningful reaction to the attacks on 9/11.

It probably came as quite a shock to him when he found his safe haven in Afghanistan suddenly invaded by American and allied military forces.

What the terrorists are doing now is biding their time to see if America has the will to fight a long war. The outcome of the last election has cheered them, but the inability of the Democrats to make good on their implied promise to surrender must have them frustrated.

If America allows the surrender party to retain control of the legislature and gives them the White House it will end the restraint which al Qaeda has been showing. We will see the outworking of the old Arab proverb that "a falling camel attracts many knives" as they move in to administer what they believe will be the coup de grĂ¢ce.

Of course they would be wrong. Even a completely incompetent nonentity like John Edwards would have no choice but to respond forcefully to another 9/11 scale attack, but bin Laden would not be the first enemy to mistake America's sometime reluctance to fight for cowardice.