Michael Chertoff's "gut" is telling him we are facing a heightened terrorist threat this summer. Has his gut turned red? Orange? Has he made a Home Depot run for duct tape?
I'm confused by his remarks as they sound awfully dire, but he's not cranking up the official threat level.
"I believe we are entering a period this summer of increased risk," Chertoff told the Chicago Tribune's editorial board in an unusually blunt and frank assessment of America's terror threat level.
"Summertime seems to be appealing to them," he said of al-Qaida. "We do worry that they are rebuilding their activities."
Still, Chertoff said there are not enough indications of an imminent plot to raise the current threat levels nationwide. And he indicated his remarks were based on "a gut feeling" formed by past seasonal patterns of terrorist attacks, recent al-Qaida statements, and intelligence he did not disclose.
There is an assessment "not of a specific threat, but of increased vulnerability," he added.
There have been reports already that suggest intelligence warnings at a similar level to the summer before Sept. 11, 2001 and that al-Qaida may be mobilizing.
In recent days, ABC news reported that a secret law enforcement report prepared for homeland security warns that al-Qaida is preparing a "spectacular" summer attack. On Tuesday, ABC News also reported that "new intelligence suggests a small al-Qaida cell is on its way to the United States, or may already be here."
"We could easily be attacked," Chertoff added. "The intent to attack us remains as strong as it was on Sept. 10, 2001."
I think we all know that we could be attacked again and that there is ongoing intelligence received about that. These comments sound like they are supposed to induce fear instead of confidence that the Bush administration has taken forceful steps to prevent terrorism at home. Isn't that what Bush ran on in 2004?Posted by Martha Griffin on July 11, 2007 to National news