Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick assailed U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff for scaring people with his “gut feeling” about an imminent terrorist attack without providing any evidence of new intelligence, the Boston Herald reports. A Chertoff aide defended his remark, while a leaked federal intelligence report suggested al-Qaeda has rebuilt its organization to pre-Sept. 11 levels. Patrick said Washington is keeping him in the dark on terror intelligence and questioned why the leaked report was classified. “Frankly, I don't think it is helpful to have the secretary of Homeland Security telling us what he feels. He should tell us what he knows,” Patrick said.
Government officials speaking to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity said a leaked document cites a thriving safe haven in Pakistan as one reason al-Qaeda is “considerably operationally stronger than a year ago” and has “regrouped.” Patrick's Undersecretary of Homeland Security Juliette Kayyem said the leaked report illustrates the larger problem of valuable intelligence being withheld. “This is consistent with what the governor was concerned about, which is that we can't have these extremes of reacting to a gut feeling or not knowing about a classified memo that lo and behold appears today. This is the kind of thing that ought to be shared. The fact that it's a leaked classified briefing is actually as disconcerting as acting on a gut.”