Al-Qaeda has a ”small presence” in the USA, but authorities have found no evidence linking suspected terrorist operatives to any active plans for attacks here, the FBI’s top counterterrorism official said Thursday. FBI agents across the nation continue to monitor an undisclosed number of suspected al-Qaeda operatives who are believed to be involved in fundraising and recruiting for Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network, said Larry Mefford, the FBI’s assistant director for counterterrorism and counterintelligence. In several cases, federal authorities are conducting electronic or physical surveillance of potential suspects to try to learn more about their activities and their contacts. ”We do have evidence” of al-Qaeda’s presence in the USA, Mefford told reporters in a briefing at FBI headquarters. ”It certainly exists.” Full Story
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