Terror Commander: New Attack Will Dwarf Failed Bomb Plot

Brian Ross and Maddy Sauer
ABC News
Saturday, July 14, 2007

Comment: Right on time, when Homeland Security head Chertoff says there will be an attack, and top Neo-Cons as well as military analysts are inviting one in order to "save a doomed foreign policy," the Taliban and Al-Qaeda pop up and promise to deliver for their bosses.

As senior intelligence and law enforcement officials met again today in the White House Situation Room to deal with the "summer terror threat," a top terror commander said an attack was coming that would dwarf the failed bombings in London and Glasgow.

Taliban military commander Mansour Dadullah, in an interview broadcast on ABC News' "World News With Charles Gibson," said the London attacks were "not enough" and that bigger attacks were coming.

"You will, God willing, be witness to more attacks," he told a Pakistani journalist in an interview conducted just four days ago.

Just last month, Dadullah presided over what was termed a terror training camp graduation ceremony in Pakistan, supposedly dispatching attack teams to the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Germany.

In this new interview, Dadullah talked about the ease with which he and his men operate inside Pakistan.

"We have many friends," he said. "It is very easy for us to go in and out of the tribal areas. It is no problem."

Indeed, the rugged mountains of Pakistan have emerged as a safe haven for al Qaeda and the Taliban.

"They are the central front for al Qaeda," said Seth Jones, who studies the area for the RAND Corporation, a national security think-tank. "They are the area al Qaeda has based its international and regional operations. It is a very serious threat to the U.S. security," he said.

Pakistan continues to deny al Qaeda enjoys a safe haven in its territory.

"The problem is people don’t understand the local environment," the Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Mahmud Ali Durrani, told the Blotter on ABCNews.com.

"Pakistan is doing more than its share. We have done a lot, we have captured a lot, we've killed a lot, and we continue to do it not just for your sake, but more so for our own sake," he said.

In testimony before Congress this week, U.S. intelligence officials were straightforward in saying they believe Osama bin Laden is in Pakistan and freely operating there.

"It's not that we lack the ability to go into that space," said Tom Fingar of the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

"But we have chosen not to do so without the permission of the Pakistani government," Fingar told members of Congress who demanded to know why the U.S. did not take more decisive action against a known enemy.

U.S. officials say Pakistan consistently denies the U.S. military permission to go after known al Qaeda training camps.

The situation has grown even worse since February, officials say, when Vice President Dick Cheney traveled to Islamabad to demand Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf take action.

"Their (al Qaeda's) situation is actually better today than it was even then," said the RAND Corporation's Jones.

"The U.S. has provided $5.6 billion in coalition support funds to Pakistan over the past five years, with zero accountability," said Congressman Patrick Murphy, D-Calif., at the hearing.

"Why is Pakistan still being paid these large sums of money, even after publicly declaring that it is significantly cutting back patrols in the most important border area?" he asked.

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