This is really great. During the time that the United States has been increasingly bogged down in a civil war in Iraq, Al-Qaida has rebuilt inside Pakistan, in the apparently ungovernable area between Pakistan and Afghanistan. (You can read an article about this by clicking on the link in this entry's title.) This is a quote from the article:
Al-Qaida is "considerably operationally stronger than a year ago" and has "regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001," the counter terrorism official said, paraphrasing the report's conclusions. "They are showing greater and greater ability to plan attacks in Europe and the United States."
The group also has created "the most robust training program since 2001, with an interest in using European operatives," the official quoted the report as saying.
At the same time, this official said, the report speaks of "significant gaps in intelligence" so U.S. authorities may be ignorant of potential or planned attacks.
John Kringen, who heads the CIA's analysis directorate, echoed the concerns about al-Qaida's resurgence during testimony and conversations with reporters at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday.
"They seem to be fairly well settled into the safe haven and the ungoverned spaces of Pakistan," Kringen testified. "We see more training. We see more money. We see more communications. We see that activity rising."
The article then goes on to state that this could strengthen Bush's hand in his confrontation with Congress over Iraq. Democrats need to start asking the following question: "What in the hell does Iraq have to do with Al-Qaida's operations in Pakistan?"
In fact, this report actually strengthens the argument for getting out of Iraq's civil war. We need to use our military to go after Al-Qaida in this border area between Iraq and Pakistan.
This article also points out that Al Qaida has more money to use to conduct operations. Where are they getting the money? Is it coming from Saudi Arabia sources? Is it coming from sources in Iraq which are using the Iraqi breakdown in law to carry out criminal activities which make money to fund Al-Qaida?
This article also explains why Bush and other administration officials are starting to use Al-Qaida as a justification for staying in Iraq. They know that this leaked report will generate news stories like the one linked to in this entry and they want the public to confuse staying in Iraq with actually doing something about Al-Qaida. Meanwhile Al-Qaida grows stronger in Pakistan while we are mixed up in a civil war in Iraq. Lovely.