Chertoff: No Evidence of Specific Al Qaeda Plot to Attack US

July 7, 2008 - 7:23 PM

(CNSNews.com) - U.S. officials are downplaying a report that al Qaeda is planning a terror "spectacular" this summer "reminiscent of the warnings and intelligence" they received prior to the Sept. 11 attacks.

This comes on the heels of attempted terror attacks in London and Scotland's Glasgow airport over the weekend and a car bomb attack in Yemen.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Monday that there is no credible information about a specific attack on the U.S. ABC News reported that the intelligence, received two weeks ago, warns of terror attacks against "airport infrastructure and aircraft" in Glasgow and in the Czech capital, Prague.

"Al Qaeda and its affiliates do intend to carry out further attacks against the United States and the West," Chertoff told Fox News.

"We also know that they tend to want to do attacks that are spectacular or high profile, so it's not surprising to have analysts comment on the fact that this kind of an attack is a very definite possibility," Chertoff said.

"But again, I want to say that's more general analysis that is not based on a specific piece of information about a particular attack," he added.

Security has been ramped up at airports and other mass transit and transportation centers due in part to the recent events in London and in part because of heavy travel during the 4th of July," Chertoff said.

"I wouldn't rule al Qaeda out," he stated. "We have seen, however, different kinds of attacks. Sometimes, there are al Qaeda-affiliated groups that use different methods than what we might call core al Qaeda."

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is using the recent worldwide terror attacks to urge Congress to implement the 9/11 Commission's recommendations.

"As the incidents over the weekend in London and Glasgow demonstrate, we must do more to protect Americans from terrorism. To make our nation safer, we must pass legislation implementing the recommendations of the independent 9/11 Commission," she said in a statement.

"When Democrats took control of Congress in January, the first bill we passed was H.R. 1, which implements the 9/11 Commission recommendations. Six months later, despite strong bipartisan support, it has not become law because of Republican obstructionism," said Pelosi.

"I urge Senate Republicans to stop blocking this vital legislation so we can pass it as our first order of business next week and put it on the president's desk. We cannot wait any longer," Pelosi concluded.

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