There may be no concrete evidence of a specific plot in the offing, but political leaders and intelligence officials in both the US and Britain are warning President-elect Barack Obama that his fledgling administration may be an appealing target for a ‘spectacular’ attack by al-Qaeda, as it struggles to handle a wartime transition of power.
The fears are nothing new, and indeed President Bush was predicting an attack during the transition period virtually as soon as the election results came in. But with CIA Director Michael Hayden’s words of warning yesterday about the growing threat of a resurgent al-Qaeda and comments from Britain’s Lord West about a “significant terror plot” there is an increasing focus on this what-if scenario, even with two months before Obama is actually inaugurated.
And despite Hayden’s claims about Osama bin Laden’s increasing isolation from the day-to-day operations of al-Qaeda, we also had a recent report in an Arabic language newspaper that he is plotting an attack against US interests which would “outdo by far” September 11.
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