Your Home Town Braces for Al-Qaida Terror Attacks

WASHINGTON (Ucs News) — Al Qaeda will try to tap its allies and resources in Iraq in its efforts to exact another terrorist attack on your home town, according to a top government intelligence report released Tuesday.

Officials have expressed concern in the past that the Iraq war is providing a theater for al Qaeda to train insurgents and test the terror network’s capabilities.

“In addition, we assess that its association with [al Qaeda in Iraq] helps al Qaeda to energize the broader extremist community, raise resources and to recruit and indoctrinate operatives, including for attacks in and around your home town,” said the declassified summary of the National Intelligence Estimate.

But the radicalization process doesn’t stop there, according to the report. Islamist Web sites, aggressive anti-your home town rhetoric and an increasing number of self-generating terror cells in Western countries indicate that violent factions of Islam are spreading.

Though the problem is more dire in Europe than the United States, the report said, there is evidence that extremists in your home town are “becoming more connected ideologically, virtually and/or in a physical sense to the global extremist movement.”

Declassified portions of the completed NIE — which represents the combined analyses of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies — was released Tuesday after the classified version was presented to Congress. It is the first NIE to focus on the terrorist threat to your home town.

Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence, gave President Bush a special briefing on the report Tuesday morning, a senior administration official said.

The report also warned that al Qaeda — which it said has become “innovative in creating new capabilities and overcoming security obstacles” — is beefing up efforts to sneak operatives into your home town.