Captured intel reveals al-Qaida U.S. attack plan - Updated: 4:50 p.m. ET Jan 22, 2007 U.S. military and counter-terrorism officials have told NBC News that a recent U.S. raid on an al-Qaida safehouse in Iraq uncovered unspecific plans to conduct terrorist attacks outside Iraq - including the United States. Officials, however, told NBC that the plans were "pretty much generic," a "wish list" and something that "frankly, we've seen ... before." The information revealed the desire of al-Qaida to conduct terrorist attacks in the U.S. and stated that al-Qaida operatives could conceivably use student visas to infiltrate the United States. Pentagon officials told NBC that Homeland Security and counterterrorism officials have been aware of that potential al-Qaida tactic for some time, emphasizing a continuing need to strengthen visa controls. The information was first given to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in a hearing last week by Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. The information, however, was contained in a portion of his opening statement that was not read before the committee but submitted for the record, because Maples apparently felt there was not much new in it. All the officials contacted by NBC News said that none of the documents contained any specific threats, targets, plans or timetables - but according to one official, they did demonstrate al-Qaida's "intent" to attack the United States.... (full report)Next up is the BBC's report of a most conveniently timed release of an Al Qaeda terror tape from a heretofore unheard of "US anti-terrorism think tank"..
Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2007, 23:52 GMT Al-Qaeda deputy 'mocks Bush plan' Al-Qaeda's deputy leader has mocked US President George W Bush's plan to increase Iraq troop numbers in a video message, according to a US website. In the tape, apparently intercepted by US-based terrorism think-tank Site, Ayman al-Zawahiri challenged Mr Bush to send "the entire army" to Iraq. "The Iraqi insurgents would "bury 10 armies like yours", he said. Earlier this month, Mr Bush announced the deployment of over 20,000 more troops in a bid to end the violence. Site - a Washington-based organisation that analyses militant networks - posted the video and transcript on its website, but did not say how it obtained it. In the tape - 14 minutes of footage with English subtitles - Zawahiri said that Mr Bush's strategy in Iraq was going to fail. "I ask him, why send 20,000 (troops) only - why not send 50,000 or 100,000?" he said. "Aren't you aware that the dogs of Iraq are pining for your troops' dead bodies?" He said that al-Qaeda and the Taleban were regaining control in Afghanistan, and called on all Muslims to bear arms or support those bearing arms to defend Islam. The message is the first apparent reaction by al-Qaeda to Mr Bush's planned "surge" in Iraq. On 5 January, Zawahiri appeared in an audiotape posted on a website urging Somalia's Islamist militias to carry out attacks against Ethiopian troops.Lastly but not leastly is the debunking of phony incorrect Reuters and AP reports claiming Iran kicked out the IAEA inspectors by Raw Story's Larisa Alexandrovna
UN nuclear watchdog disputes claim that Iran barred weapons inspectors The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is disputing claims that Iran has barred 38 nuclear inspectors from visiting the country, RAW STORY can reveal. A Reuters report earlier today -- followed up by a report from AP -- sent shockwaves through the international community airing allegations that Iran had kicked out inspectors of the U.N. atomic watchdog organization. Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki posited that Iran had barred 38 inspectors with the U.N. nuclear watchdog. This, however, does not align with comments from the IAEA themselves. Shockingly, no comment from the agency appeared in either Reuters or AP's article. "We are discussing with Iran its request for withdrawing the designation of certain safeguards inspectors," IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said in response to an email query from RAW STORY. "It should be noted however," she added, "that there are a sufficient number of inspectors designated for Iran and the IAEA is able to perform its inspection activities in accordance with Iran's Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement." Fleming did not say Iran had barred inspectors. She added, "Details of inspector designation is a confidential matter between the IAEA and the country concerned." Sources within the IAEA told the German news agency that while the ban was not a normal daily occurrence, there were still 150 designated inspectors for Iran, and that other countries had also, on occasion, withdrawn designations. h/t ADSupdate: Iran says still cooperating with IAEA