Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Al-Qaida Targeting European Recruits

It makes perfect sense, obviously, when your borders are so vulnerable and entry to the country so easy to gain. And why not, since it's already happening.

Al-Qaida Taps Europe for New Recruits
WASHINGTON (AP) — Al-Qaida continues to recruit Europeans for explosives training in Pakistan because Europeans can more easily enter the United States without a visa, the nation's top intelligence officer said Tuesday.

Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said European al-Qaida recruits in the border region of Pakistan are being trained to use commercially available substances to make explosives, and they may be able to carry out an attack on U.S. territory.

McConnell also said he worried that Osama bin Laden's recent video and audio releases may be a signal to terrorist cells to carry out operations, he told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"That's unusual. He had been absent from airwaves over the last year. Our concern is that's a signal," McConnell said. "It just causes us to be concerned and vigilant."

Europeans are being recruited specifically because they generally do not need visas to enter the United States, he said.

"Purposely recruiting an operative from Europe gives them an extra edge into getting an operative, or two or three, into the country with the ability to carry out an attack that might be reminiscent of 9/11," he said.
Doing a search of "al-Qaida European," I came across this chilling warning from August 11, 1998, one obviously that wasn't taken seriously. And it serves as a stark reminder how long we've been dealing with this monster bin Laden and how it was all going on well before 9/11.
One name keeps popping up as investigators search for suspects in the two African embassy bombings -- Osama bin Laden, the terrorist financier who has vowed to wage a "jihad" on U.S. forces in the land of Islam's holiest shrines. No evidence yet has officially linked bin Laden with the car bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, or two previous attacks on Americans in Saudi Arabia to which he has been linked by Washington.

But the U.S. State Department has identified bin Laden, born to a wealthy Saudi family but stripped of his citizenship and exiled first in Yemen, then Sudan and now Afghanistan, as a major sponsor of Islamic militants. Counterterrorism experts in Washington said after Friday's explosions in Kenya and Tanzania that bin Laden topped the list of suspects.
OK, we clearly know his history now, but still aren't getting the message.
Osama bin Laden has the resources to hit anywhere that has open borders. And he will strike again.

If you believe that I am the only one thinking like this ... reconsider. On Monday, a diplomat questioned Secretary of State Albright at meeting that was attended by 800 State Department personnel. The diplomat asked whether the United States sets such a heavy standard of evidence -- that which could hold up in a court of law -- that punishment of terrorists is unlikely. Despite tough statements by successive U.S. presidents and other officials, investigations into most of the 13 terrorist attacks against American facilities overseas since 1983 have produced no arrests or convictions.

Albright could only weakly acknowledge that catching "terrorists" was extremely difficult because they could easily be hidden. While she insisted U.S. law enforcement agencies were working hard on the unresolved cases, she gave the usual line of: "we need to redouble our efforts" and more international cooperation was needed.

Albright, at the meeting, also stood firm against summary justice, stressing: "We are not a nation that retaliates just in order to get vengeance or ... forgets our own legal system while searching for those who have harmed us."
Great. She and Sandy Berger served their nation well.

So did her boss.
Some might ask, how do we find bin Laden? Well, if ABC News and CNN can find him, we should all hope that the massive United States intelligence apparatus, with some help from its allies, could easily find him. After his location is found, you can use your own imagination about how we believe the Navy Seals, Army Rangers or Delta Force should resolve the problem.

For me, the only thing that is "beyond a shadow of a doubt" is that more innocent people will die in the future unless the U.S. stands up and acts soon. The question is: does Bill Clinton and the U.S. government have the political and ideological will to act and save those lives?

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