Be Alert, Good Citizens

ABCNews is reporting that an Al Qaeda cell is on the way to, or already in, the United States.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials tell ABC News new intelligence suggests a small al Qaeda cell is on its way to the United States, or may already be here.

The White House has convened an urgent multi-agency meeting for Thursday afternoon to deal with the new threat.

In response, all Americans who use public transportation, or not, and who work in pretty much any field, or who maybe stay at home, are being asked to look for anything suspicious, even mildly so, or not at all, because you can never be too safe.

And not to sound like a Clinton-era Republican, but please ignore the President’s poll numbers, the defection of Republicans from support of the Iraq strategy, and the upcoming hotness of the make much sexy time DC madame’s phone number logs.

Also, if anyone has any “new and improved” flypaper for the Bush administration, please let the White House know. The old stuff doesn’t seem to be sticking.

Seriously, (if I need say it again) I’d be surprised if Al Qaeda wasn’t already here, hadn’t been here for some time, plotting with patience, living a sinful Western life in the knowledge that blowing up a shopping mall, bodies shaved to pristine glory, will get them their virgins. That, if anything, makes these latest dire warnings of them digging some Neil Diamond ring more hollow to me.

Al Qaeda is planning to attack us?

Well, uh… duh.

7 Responses to “Be Alert, Good Citizens”

  1. The Heretik : Whopper Wednesday Says:

    […] This all came on the same day Bush warned again the war in Iraq was all the work of al Qaeda. And if we don’t stop them there, they will follow us over here. Or they are here already. Be afraid. Very afraid. […]

  2. Robin Roberts Says:

    Isn’t a vague line in a CIA daily brief about Bin Laden intending to attack US targets the basis for all of the ridiculous claims that Bush was responsible for 9/11 ? So I’m not following ridiculing the dissemination of this threat intel.

  3. andy Says:

    A vague line? It was two pages stating bin Ladin was planning attacks on the United States and that the mode of attack would be the hijacking of aircraft. While not enough to stop 9/11 in my opinion (although had intelligence agencies communicated effectively, enough piece might have fit), it’s certainly more actionable than “they’re on their way!”

    Because, well, I think we know that (or I suspect, as I said, they are here and have been for years).

  4. geoff Says:

    You mean this PDB, mustering all of 1 and 1/4 pages, the only current intelligence consisting of this sentence:

    “Nevertheless, FBI information since that time (1998) indicates patterns of suspicious activity consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.”

    The gist of the briefing is that OBL has been planning attacks since 1997, has always been frustrated, is still trying, and might now be up to something.

    Actionable? Hardly.

  5. Robin Roberts Says:

    Andy, you exaggerate the contents and specificity of the PDB, which frankly was less specific than the report you ridicule.

  6. andy Says:

    “Aircraft, hijacking, and New York” (while not enough to do much) is less actionable than “the Arabs are coming! the Arabs are coming!”?

    OK, if you say so.

  7. geoff Says:

    You’re misreading the sentence. The “recent surveillance” relates to “other types of attacks,” not “hijackings.” Reading the entire PDB, it sounds like business as usual – the information given was largely historical, and the “current” intelligence only said that Al Qaeda has appeared to be up to something over the past 3 years. Not much there.

    That said, I don’t exactly agree with Robin’s comment either – the unclassified Key Judgments were useless. As I ranted at my site, this was the product of 16 intelligence agencies working for 3 years, and the best they can come up with is: “Al Qaeda is still a threat and still wants to attack us?”

    I know that declassified versions of documents lose about 90% of the content of classified versions, so there’s hope that the real assessment is more impressive. But they shouldn’t have bothered with this release – it was just embarrassing.

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