Catching al-Qaida Suspects Will Test U.S.
Whether agents can capture the al-Qaida operatives who cased five prominent U.S. financial sites several years ago will show how far U.S. anti-terror efforts have come since the Sept. 11 attacks. Amid the anxiety and uproar over this week’s narrowly targeted terrorist warning to financial institutions, one thing is certain: There were individuals in New York City, Washington and Newark, N.J., three or four years ago watching and taking photos near these buildings for al-Qaida. They may still be in this country, may even have resumed their surveillance recently. The U.S. government wants to question them. “We have needed this kind of foreign intelligence to tell us what are the specific targets so we can work backward,” former FBI counterterrorism chief Larry Mefford said of the discovery of detailed surveillance of American targets that was uncovered recently in Pakistan and prompted the warnings. Full Story