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January 22, 2007

Details Emerge About Possible Terror Attack On American Soil

ABC News reported today about an Al Qaeda plot to attack inside the United States, discovered during a raid on a safe house in Iraq about 6 months ago but only now being revealed:

Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, recently testified that documents captured by coalition forces during a raid of a safe house believed to house Iraqi members of al Qaeda six months ago "revealed [AQI] was planning terrorist operations in the U.S."

At the time, Maples offered little additional insight into the possible terror plot. ABC News, however, has learned new details of what remains a classified incident that has been dealt with at the highest levels of government.

[...] Sources tell ABC News that the plot may have involved moving between 10 and 20 suspects believed to be affiliated with al Qaeda in Iraq into the United States with student visas -- the same method used by the 19 al Qaeda terrorists who struck American targets on Sept. 11.

U.S. officials now require universities to closely track foreign nationals who use student visas to study in the United States. University officials must report international students who fail to arrive on campus or miss class regularly.

In August, the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement alerted intelligence agencies and state and local law enforcement about 11 Egyptian students who had failed to report to their classes at Montana State University. The students were ultimately apprehended.

Still, despite the heightened precautions, some security analysts fear that skilled terrorists -- handpicked because of their clean records and because they are carefully trained -- could still slip through an academic setting.

The plot was discovered six months ago, roughly the same time that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, was killed by coalition forces. Sources tell ABC News that the suspects involved in the effort to launch the U.S. attack were closely associated with Zarqawi.

Of course this isn't the first time we've heard of Zarqawi planning an attack on U.S. soil; you'll recall that back in 2006 CNN reported he'd halted a plot to release a poison gas in New York's subway system "only 45 days from zero hour.

And while we're on the subject of students as terrorists, wasn't it only a few months ago that the Saudi government approved its largest scholarship program in history? That's comforting!

A 2004 post titled, "Saudi Arabia- The Cat in the Belfry" comes to mind.

Oh well, let's not be picking on the Arabs; they're friends of our former president 'Jimmuh "the Jew hater" Carter. How can we forget that Jimmuh "hearts" bin-Laden and the Arabs.

Posted by Mike in Iraq at January 22, 2007 9:26 PM

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