High Probability Of Al-Qaida Attack, U.S. Says

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There is a “high probability” that al-Qaida will attempt an attack with a weapon of mass destruction in the next two years, the U.S. government said in a report to the United Nations. The Associated Press says the report did not say where the Bush administration believes an attack might be launched.

“Al-Qaida maintains the ability to inflict significant casualties in the United States with little or no warning,” the report said. “Al-Qaida will continue to favor spectacular attacks but also may seek softer targets of opportunity, such as banks, shopping malls, supermarkets, and places of recreation and entertainment.”

The report said FBI investigations since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks “have revealed an extensive and widespread militant Islamic presence in the United States.” The report noted that “there are hundreds of ongoing counter-terrorism investigations in the United States directly associated with al-Qaida,” primarily on the east and west coasts and in the southwest…

identifying and neutralizing these sleeper cells remains our most serious intelligence and law enforcement challenge.”

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