According to the Wall Street Journal, several top US intelligence officials have determined that an al-Qaeda attack against the United States within the next three to six months is absolutely “certain.”
Officials say that Detroit underbomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has been providing considerable intelligence to FBI interrogators over the past week. It was unclear if this intelligence was the direct basis of the declaration.
But the officials seemed to indicate that Abdulmutallab’s failed attempt at bombing an airliner was at least part of the announcement, showing a growing willingness for even al-Qaeda’s auxiliaries to attempt direct attacks against the United States.
Abdulmutallab’s arrest and eventual (presumptive) trial have been the source of considerable debate, with many in Congress insisting that even though his attack was against a civilian airplane far from any actual warzones he should be turned over to the military for detention and “enhanced” interrogation without legal requirements to charge him with any crimes.
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