Tuesday, July 10, 2007

DHS Secretary Chertoff Warns of Increased Risk of Attack

The AP reports:

U.S. counterterror officials are warning of an increased risk of an attack this summer, given al-Qaida's apparent interest in summertime strikes and increased al-Qaida training in the Afghan-Pakistani border region.

On Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the editorial board of The Chicago Tribune that he had a ``gut feeling'' about a new period of increased risk.

He based his assessment on earlier patterns of terrorists in Europe and intelligence he would not disclose.

``Summertime seems to be appealing to them,'' Chertoff said in his discussion with the newspaper about terrorists. ``We worry that they are rebuilding their activities.''

Other U.S. counterterrorism officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, shared Chertoff's concern and said that al-Qaida and like-minded groups have been able to plot and train more freely in the tribal areas along the Afghan-Pakistani border in recent months. Osama bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, are believed to be hiding in the rugged region.