Al Qaeda Planning ‘Major Assassination’
Bill Gertz – Bin Laden hints major assassination
U.S. intelligence officials say a high-profile political assassination, triggered by the public release of a new message from Osama bin Laden, will lead off the next major al Qaeda terrorist attack, The Washington Times has learned. The assassination plan is among new details of al Qaeda plots disclosed by U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports who, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the killing could be carried out against a U.S. or foreign leader either in the United States or abroad. The officials mentioned Saudi Arabia and Yemen, two nations that are working with the United States in the battle against al Qaeda, as likely locales for the opening assassination. The planning for the attacks to follow involves “multiple targets in multiple venues” across the United States, one official said.
The new details of al Qaeda’s plans were found on a laptop computer belonging to arrested al Qaeda operative Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan of Pakistan. “We’re talking about planning at the screwdriver level,” one official said. “It is very detailed.” Khan was arrested July 13 in Lahore, Pakistan, along with Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian who was indicted in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa and was on the FBI’s list of most-wanted terrorists. U.S. and allied counterterrorism officials are pursuing leads on other terrorists based on the data from Khan’s seized laptop. At least one arrest in Britain has been made so far, and others are expected, the officials said. Additionally, U.S. intelligence officials said they think that several al Qaeda terrorists already in the United States are part of the plot, although their identities and locations are not known.
There sure was a lot of information on that laptap. One wonders whether it is real or an elaborate counter-intelligence operation.
Hat tip: Command Post
Rusty Shackleford sent an email to several bloggers, getting the ball started, presumably having seen it first on Drudge Report.
Jeff Quinton and Kevin Aylward point to bizarre rantings at Democratic Underground charging that the Republicans are planning to assassinate Kerry and blame it on al Qaeda. John Little observes, “This issue transcends politics but its hard not to note that apparently al Qaeda and the Democrats share the same Ã¢€œAnybody but BushÃ¢€ election year mantra.” I wonder how the stores manage to keep enough tin foil in stock.