Al Qaeda reportedly at pre-9/11 strength

A classified intelligence report, leaked to the AP, says that Sauron has regained much of his former strength. He cannot yet take physical form, but his spirit has lost none of its potency.

Er, wait, wrong link, sorry. The report actually says that Al Qaeda has rebuilt its strength to pre-9/11 levels.

However, the Bush Administration denies yesterday’s ABC report that an “urgent meeting” has been called in response to new intelligence indicating that “a small al Qaeda cell is on its way to the United States, or may already be here.” That followed on the heels of a previous ABC report that Al Qaeda is planning a “spectacular” attack in the U.S. this summer. But White House spokesman Tony Fratto says, “There continues to be no credible, specific intelligence to suggest that there is an imminent threat to the homeland. … There is no emergency meeting.”

12 Responses to “Al Qaeda reportedly at pre-9/11 strength”

  1. Anonymous says:


    Be afraid! Not for any specific reason or anything, but hopefully it will take the pressure off us for a little bit.

    Love and kisses,
    -The White House

  2. Brendan Loy says:

    Considering the White House keeps denying these reports, I’m not sure that’s fair. Of course, it’s possible that a Bush-supporting mole is leaking them in the first place. But given the vastness of the federal bureaucracy, and the historic hostility between, for example, the CIA and the hawks, I don’t think we can just assume that.

    The “Bush Administration” is not a single monolithic entity with a Borg-like collective consciousness. It is made up of many, many moving parts, not all of whom have the same agenda. And even the ones who do have the same agenda, roughly speaking, will sometimes act on it in different ways. Not every single thing that comes out of the executive branch is a directive from the top.

    It’s possible, just possible, that whoever leaked these reports did so because they honestly think the public should be warned about the threat, not because they want to boost Bush’s poll numbers or whatever. It’s also possible, as I said in the previous post, that the motivation is more Cover Your Ass than Scare The Population Into Submission. God knows that if an attack actually happened and these reports hadn’t been made public in some form, their authors (and those authors’ superiors) would get raked over the coals in the media, just like with the various pre-9/11 “warnings.” We can’t have it both ways, but we always try to.

  3. Sandy Underpants says:

    I want to apologize for the alarming report. For years I have put off buying an overpriced home in a nicer area of Los Angeles, because I know that the day after I close escrow a nuke will go off in Beverly Hills and my house will be worth 10 cents. Well I just made an offer yesterday and this comes out. Don’t panic though, I’ll turn down their counter and keep this wonderful city safe… for now.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Brendan, I am curius: when do you have time to study for the bar? I barely have time to glance at your blog and check my email. You must be a master of time management and/or multi-tasking.

  5. Brendan Loy says:

    You must be a master of time management and/or multi-tasking.

    Heh. Either that, or I’m not studying enough.

  6. Sandy Underpants says:

    Well they are having it both ways by saying “there’s nothing to worry about” right after saying “looks like a good summer for terror”.

    “Not every single thing that comes out of the executive branch is a directive from the top.”

    Truer words have never been spoken. I don’t think the top has directed anything since being sworn in as President. Unless your top is Cheney or Rove, that is.

  7. B. Minich says:

    Well, Michael Chertoff has a gut feeling about terrorism happening this summer. I guess that replaces the color coded system now . . .

  8. anon says:


  9. Anonymooose says:

    All I have to say is that ABC is pretty much at the bottom of my list for credible news sources. Right below MTV.

  10. Andrew says:

    I’m kind of curious as to what exactly it means that al-Qaeda has “rebuilt its strength to pre-9/11 levels”. Pre-9/11, al-Qaeda operated pretty much unhindered, had a cell of 20+ terrorists in the United States training as pilots or otherwise supporting a mission to crash planes into various U.S. landmarks, and had the freedom to scout potential targets at will while the money flowed unhindered. Meanwhile they operated safely in Afghanistan, preparing for future attacks.

    Now, we’ve run them out of Afghanistan, and we’re now in the perlexing situation wherein al-Qaeda has some vestige of safety in the hinterland regions of Pakistan, areas where we more or less cannot attack due to intricate political delicacies. They’ve also racked up scores of kills and recruits in Iraq, and gotten plenty of hands-on practice to boot.

    But other than that, tell me again just how they are as strong or dangerous as they were on 9/10/01? I’m not trying to poopoo the terrorist threat, but I hardly believe the noose has loosened enough to where al-Qaeda could have the freedom and resources to plan and carry out another 9/11. The GWOT is far from won, but this latest selective leak (and trust me, these kinds of leaks are always orchestrated to build false perceptions) just doesn’t make much sense to me.

  11. Alasdair says:

    Andrew – aren’t the MSM in their annual run-up to trying to get another Pulitzer ? Isn’t this fairly typical for MSM’s equivalent of ‘sweeps’ ?