RealNews

Official: al-Qaida Seeks Chemical Strike

The top intelligence official at the Homeland Security Department, worried about an increased risk of attack in coming months, says al-Qaida wants to strike on U.S. soil with something other than a conventional explosive — perhaps with a chemical or biological weapon. Retired Lt. Gen. Patrick Hughes said in an Associated Press interview that America has gotten better at predicting and safeguarding itself against attacks since Sept. 11, 2001. But Hughes said he fears that new terrorists “are being made every single day on the streets of the Middle East.” As Homeland Secretary Tom Ridge prepares to testify Wednesday before the Sept. 11 commission in New York, Hughes and his deputies at the agency’s information analysis division say the nation’s security has improved since the terrorist attacks claimed nearly 3,000 lives. “We had a dark age on 9/11,” Hughes said in the interview Monday evening. “Now, we are trying to make ourselves more secure in a way that is palatable and constitutionally right.” Still, significant threats remain, especially now, as high “background noise” from terrorists and heightened sensitivity during the election year has officials on guard for a possible attack whose nature they can’t quite pin down. Full Story

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