Al Qaeda continues to target US homeland

U.S. intelligence: Westerners are being recruited & trained at al Qaeda training camps in Pakistan

7 February 2008: This week’s testimony of Michael McConnell, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence confirmed that al Qaeda continues to plan attacks inside the U.S. – and is restructuring to do so. McConnell, who oversees 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, stated that “al Qaeda is improving the last key aspect of its ability to attack the U.S. — the identification, training and positioning of operatives for an attack in the homeland.”

To enhance their capabilities of launching such attacks inside the U.S., McConnell confirmed that al Qaeda is recruiting Westerners to terror camps in Pakistan. Noting that “increased security measures at home and abroad have caused al Qaeda to view the West, especially the U.S., as a harder target,” U.S. intelligence agencies “have seen an influx of new Western recruits” into the tribal areas [of Pakistan] since mid-2006, ” stated Mr. McConnell.

Recent intelligence also indicates that al Qaeda has been targeting the White House, which appears to be consistent with the wishes expressed by Osama bin Laden in a 2005 message. A similar message was broadcast in November 2006 by al Qaeda leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri.