NIE: Al Qaeda will probably try to use AQ in Iraq to attack U.S.; Update: Environmental angle disappears in AP story

posted at 12:41 pm on July 17, 2007 by Allahpundit

Read it yourself on the DNI website. It’s two pages long and, as Noah Shachtman says, a bit of a snoozer — except for one part. Money:

We assess that al-Qa’ida will continue to enhance its capabilities to attack the Homeland through greater cooperation with regional terrorist groups. Of note, we assess that al-Qa’ida will probably seek to leverage the contacts and capabilities of al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), its most visible and capable affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the Homeland. In addition, we assess that its association with AQI helps al-Qa’ida to energize the broader Sunni extremist community, raise resources, and to recruit and indoctrinate operatives, including for Homeland attacks.

NPR evidently has a source in the intel community who’s seen the full briefing because they claim the NIE expects an attacking within three years, specifically.

The leftist meme du jour, most recently restated by the New York Times’s stooge ombudsman, is that Al Qaeda in Iraq really isn’t that significant and, to the extent that it is, doesn’t have much to do with the “real” Al Qaeda anyway. Declareth Clark Hoyt:

“Remember, when I mention Al Qaeda, they’re the ones who attacked the United States of America and killed nearly 3,000 people on September the 11th, 2001,” Bush said in the Naval War College speech.

Actually, Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, which came into being in 2003, pledged its loyalty to Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda the next year but is not believed to be under his operational control.

If it’s not under his direct control it’s not for lack of trying. The obvious implication of the finding is that we can’t afford to leave AQI intact, but that means a sustained campaign in Iraq and the left won’t like that. So expect them to stick with withdrawal on grounds that either (a) AQI wouldn’t have existed but for the U.S. invasion, ergo we sort of deserve to lie in the bed we made or (b) the NIE was cooked by Bush to justify a sustained campaign and should be dismissed out of hand. That’s their approach to the Anbar awakening and to certain inconvenient facts about Iran. It’ll also be their approach to this New York Sun scoop on one of the non-declassified assessments in the NIE placing AQ leadership in two areas bordering Afghanistan: to the east, the Pakistani tribal regions and to the west…

One of two known Al Qaeda leadership councils meets regularly in eastern Iran, where the American intelligence community believes dozens of senior Al Qaeda leaders have reconstituted a good part of the terror conglomerate’s senior leadership structure…

The other Shura Majlis is believed to meet in eastern Iran in the network established after Al Qaeda was driven from Afghanistan in 2001.

Following that battle, a military planner trained in the Egyptian special forces, Saif al-Adel, fled to Iran. Mr. Zawahri then arranged with the then commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Ahmad Vahidi, for safe harbor for senior leaders.

The three main Al Qaeda leaders in Iran include Mr. Adel; the organization’s minister of propaganda, Suleiman Abu Ghaith, and the man who some analysts believe is the heir apparent to Mr. bin Laden — one of his sons, Saad bin Laden. The locations of the senior leaders include a military base near Tehran called Lavizan; a northern suburb of Tehran, Chalous; an important holy city, Mashod, and a border town near Afghanistan, Zabul, the draft intelligence estimate says…

The late founder of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, had multiple meetings with Mr. Adel after 2001. In the past year, the multinational Iraq command force has intercepted at least 10 couriers with instructions from the Iran-based Shura Majlis. In addition, two senior leaders of Al Qaeda captured in 2006 have shared details of the Shura Majlis in Iran…

An intelligence official sympathetic to the view that it is a matter of Iranian policy to cooperate with Al Qaeda disputed the CIA and State Department view that the Quds Force is operating as a rogue force. “It is just impossible to believe that what the Quds Force does with Al Qaeda does not represent a decision of the government,” the official, who asked not to be identified, said. “It’s a bit like saying the directorate of operations for the CIA is not really carrying out U.S. policy.”

If it’s true then we’d have to do something about it, so it must be a lie. Then again, what could we do even if we had the will? Trade them for the Irbil Five?

Incidentally, it’s not only Muslim terrorist groups who are considered a threat. Scroll down to the end here to see who else the feds have their eye on.

Update: Probably just an editing artifact but the paragraph at the end of the last link is now gone. It was a reference to non-Muslim threats like the Earth Liberation Front.

Meanwhile, a little more fuel for the fire in the “how much does Iran know?” debate.


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“It’s a bit like saying the directorate of operations for the CIA is not really carrying out U.S. policy.”

Turn out this is true.

pat on July 17, 2007 at 12:55 PM

AQ isn’t terribly significant anyway, yet the MSM continue to insist that we shouldn’t be in Iraq in order to hunt down and find UBL at any cost because he personally attacked the homeland on Sept 11.

Oh, and according to a j-skool wonder at the white house presser this morning, its easy to find UBL, because of all that medical equipment he’s lugging around, according to intelligence reports she no doubt disbelieves.

Of course, if it really were all that easy, and were she a good journalist, maybe she’d take the time to go to Afghanistan herself to claim the 50 million herself. What better way to highlight Bush’s incompetence than to be shown up by writers!

But there’s one too many assumptions in there.

cadetwithchips2 on July 17, 2007 at 1:10 PM

Al Qaeda in Iraq is a problem?

But Mrs. Silky Pony (and his wife Elizabeth) have proclaimed Iraq to be a hotbed of violence perpetrated by sectarian Sunni vs Shiite factions.

This is confusing. I’m beginning to think the MSM and Dem presidential candidates aren’t leveling with us.

Huh.

fogw on July 17, 2007 at 1:11 PM

Allahpundit

Incidentally, it’s not only Muslim terrorist groups who are considered a threat. Scroll down to the end here to see who else the feds have their eye on.

Yes indeed scroll down and read the reader comments and see who the fed’s should have their eyes on.

doriangrey on July 17, 2007 at 1:15 PM

Yes indeed scroll down and read the reader comments and see who the fed’s should have their eyes on.

doriangrey on July 17, 2007 at 1:15 PM

Is that what AP was getting at? Because I read that article three times and could not find a reference to non-muslim groups.

RushBaby on July 17, 2007 at 1:40 PM

Is that what AP was getting at? Because I read that article three times and could not find a reference to non-muslim groups.
RushBaby on July 17, 2007 at 1:40 PM

I think the article’s been edited since Allah’s first post.

Slublog on July 17, 2007 at 1:41 PM

I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry at thought of President Hillary having to deal with a domestic terrorist attack.

c6gunner on July 17, 2007 at 1:41 PM

With more and more of this type of news coming out, and all the Anbar, Diyala, and other such stories of Iraqis kicking AQ out of their towns, I think it’s going to get harder and harder for the Nuts to continue to perpetrate their denial.

Look for them to sound crazier and crazier as more of this comes out!

JamesLee on July 17, 2007 at 1:43 PM

I think the article’s been edited since Allah’s first post.

Slublog on July 17, 2007 at 1:41 PM

Looked again and it does say it was updated 3m ago.

RushBaby on July 17, 2007 at 1:44 PM

RushBaby on July 17, 2007 at 1:44 PM

That’s odd. Here’s the language from the NIE:

The arrest and prosecution by US law enforcement of a small number of violent Islamic extremists inside the United States—who are becoming more connected ideologically, virtually, and/or in a physical sense to the global extremist movement—points to the possibility that others may become sufficiently radicalized that they will view the use of violence here as legitimate. We assess that this internal Muslim terrorist threat is not likely to be as severe as it is in Europe, however.

We assess that other, non-Muslim terrorist groups—often referred to as “single-issue” groups by the FBI—probably will conduct attacks over the next three years given their violent histories, but we assess this violence is likely to be on a small scale. We assess that globalization trends and recent technological advances will continue to enable even small numbers of alienated people to find and connect with one another, justify and intensify their anger, and mobilize resources to attack—all without requiring a centralized terrorist organization, training camp, or leader.

So basically all great news.

Slublog on July 17, 2007 at 1:49 PM

I like how the media uses al-Qaida in Mesopotamia instead of al-Qaida in Iraq. Fun little trick, eh?

Bad Candy on July 17, 2007 at 1:58 PM

RushBaby on July 17, 2007 at 1:40 PM

Is that what AP was getting at? Because I read that article three times and could not find a reference to non-muslim groups.

Nope, but if you read those comments it’s pretty obvious that there are some seriously deranged people in this country who could use the old J Edgar Hoover treatment.

doriangrey on July 17, 2007 at 2:00 PM

Slublog,

It IS odd that USA Today, in the article AP linked to, didn’t downplay the muslim threat and single out the NIE assessment regarding non-muslim single issue groups. Anybody know anything about the author, Richard Willing? I’ll bet that poor guy is getting fired right this minute!

RushBaby on July 17, 2007 at 2:03 PM

(a) AQI wouldn’t have existed but for the U.S. invasion, ergo we sort of deserve to lie in the bed we made or (b) the NIE was cooked by Bush to justify a sustained campaign and should be dismissed out of hand

Or a third option: the invasion galvanized and provided invaluable training for new jihadists after the Bush administration, in a preview of coming attractions here at home, failed to secure the Iraqi border.

One thing I know to be true, if the NIE is even partially correct. The war is not making America safer, at the cost of 12 billion dollars a month. “Fiscal conservatism? What’s that?”

rho on July 17, 2007 at 2:10 PM

It IS odd that USA Today, in the article AP linked to, didn’t downplay the muslim threat and single out the NIE assessment regarding non-muslim single issue groups. Anybody know anything about the author, Richard Willing? I’ll bet that poor guy is getting fired right this minute!
RushBaby on July 17, 2007 at 2:03 PM

Heh. What bothers me is that the paragraph just disappeared without any note as to why and what was changed.

Slublog on July 17, 2007 at 2:10 PM

So there WAS another paragraph there? Did you get a look at it before it disappeared?

RushBaby on July 17, 2007 at 2:14 PM

the invasion galvanized and provided invaluable training for new jihadists

Im glad rho also caught the white house presser, too, and is taking talking points from dropouts with notebooks and pencils

cadetwithchips2 on July 17, 2007 at 2:14 PM

So there WAS another paragraph there? Did you get a look at it before it disappeared?
RushBaby on July 17, 2007 at 2:14 PM

I was almost positive there was – it summarized the portion of the NIE I quoted above.

Slublog on July 17, 2007 at 2:16 PM

Update: Probably just an editing artifact but the paragraph at the end of the last link is now gone. It was a reference to non-Muslim threats like the Earth Liberation Front.

Thanks, AP.

RushBaby on July 17, 2007 at 2:19 PM

Third stringers.

Tony737 on July 17, 2007 at 2:46 PM

Or a third option: the invasion galvanized and provided invaluable training a nice place to die for new jihadists after the Bush administration, in a preview of coming attractions here at home, failed to secure the Iraqi border.

One thing I know to be true, if the NIE is even partially correct. The war is not making America safer, at the cost of 12 billion dollars a month. “Fiscal conservatism? What’s that?”

rho on July 17, 2007 at 2:10 PM

Fixed. And per the 12 billion a month, I’d rather the Feds spent moeny on liquidating jihadis instead of funding abortions and paying welfare queens to have more babies they cannot take proper care of. But that’s just me.

VolMagic on July 17, 2007 at 4:36 PM