DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources report that US president-elect Barack Obama, European and Russian heads of state in Washington for the G20 conference over the weekend were briefed about a probable early al Qaeda attack.
Obama and his team have been advised that a new al Qaeda strike is highly probable in the United States or against a key US target in Europe, North Africa or the Middle East.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly 372 of Nov. 14 disclosed that al Qaeda’s Yemen base, a reliable barometer for Osama bin Laden’s schemes, issued a Directive to All Fighters in Arabia on Nov. 9 presaging a major operation in the United States that will “change the political and economic world” and be “far bigger than 9/11.”
The notice said “the operation is very near” and “precise instructions were in the hands of “the fighters, who are already on their way to America” armed with bin Laden’s orders. The pretext offered for the attack is the rejection by the US and Europe of al Qaeda’s four-year old truce offer whose original pre-condition was the withdrawal of their armies from Iraq and Afghanistan.
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The day after the new president’s election, al Qaeda issued a little-noticed statement declaring Barack Obama a murtad, i.e. an apostate whose betrayal of Islam is judged the most heinous. Believers have the duty to execute a murtad unlike other non-believers whose death sentence is optional.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Thursday night, Nov. 14, Central Intelligence Director Gen. Michael Hayden said: “Al Qaeda, operating from its safe haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas, remains the most clear and present danger to the United States.” He was addressing a Washington think-tank.
“Today, virtually every major terrorist threat that my agency is aware of has threads back to the tribal areas. Whether it is command and control, training, direction, money, capabilities, there is a connection to the FATA (Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas.)”
Hayden also mentioned Yemen and Somalia as important al Qaeda theaters of operation.
In private, most heads of the intelligence agencies fighting al Qaeda admit that an attack on the United States or major American interest outside is only a matter of time.