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Al-Qaida intensifies effort to sneak operatives into U.S.: report
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13:02, July 14, 2007

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Al-Qaida is increasing efforts to get operatives into the United States for an attack and has nearly all the resources it needs to carry out such a mission, a news report said Friday.

A report posted on CNN's Web site, quoting two government officials, said a draft of a new U.S. government intelligence analysis expressed concern about the possibility of a growing number of extremists who may already be in the United States, and that al-Qaida is still in pursuit of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.

The classified report, called a National Intelligence Estimate, represents the combined analyses of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.

Several U.S. officials said the final report is expected to emphasize what policy makers have been saying publicly: al-Qaida is regrouping and remains intent on attacking the United States, the CNN report said.

To prevent an attack, a priority for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other intelligence agencies is to run down any leads about potential sleeper cells in, or on their way to, the United States, and about the radicalization of U.S. residents, the report said.

The Washington Post, citing a new administration intelligence report, said Thursday that six years after the Bush administration declared war on al-Qaida, the network is gaining strength and has established a safe haven in remote tribal areas of western Pakistan for training and planning attacks.

The group has significantly rebuilt itself despite concerted U.S. attempts to smash the network, the Post report said.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Tuesday that his "gut feeling" was that the United States faced an increased risk of attack this summer.

"I believe we are entering a period this summer of increased risk," Chertoff said.

But the White House said there was no specific and credible threat of an imminent terrorist attack on the United States, and President George W. Bush denied on Thursday that al-Qaida is as strong today as it was before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"There is a perception in the coverage that al Qaida may be as strong today as they were prior to September 11th. That's simply not the case," Bush said.

Source: Xinhua

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