Posted by: mutantpoodle | July 17, 2007

NIE: Biggest Threat is US-created

dhs-threat2Today’s National Intelligence Estimate is full of the good news/bad news you’d expect from a government report – this one, of course, on a phenomenally serious matter.

The good news?

…greatly increased worldwide counter-terrorism efforts over the past five years have constrained the ability of al-Qa’ida to attack the US Homeland again and have led terrorist groups to perceive the Homeland as a harder target to strike than on 9/11. These measures have helped disrupt known plots against the United States since 9/11.

The bad news?

We are concerned, however, that this level of international cooperation may wane as 9/11 becomes a more distant memory and perceptions of the threat diverge.

In other words, as other countries look at our actions and strategies as counter-productive – see Guantanamo, for example.

But here’s the kicker (and apologies for burying the lead):

We assess that al-Qa’ida will probably seek to leverage the contacts and capabilities of al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), its most visible and capable affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the Homeland. In addition, we assess that its association with AQI helps al-Qa’ida to energize the broader Sunni extremist community, raise resources, and to recruit and indoctrinate operatives, including for Homeland attacks.

In other words, al-Qa’ida’s biggest asset going forward in planning and executing attacks on the U.S. mainland is through a group which exists only because we invaded Iraq and mangled the occupation so badly as to foment a regional al-Qa’ida group, and furthermore, that the U.S. presence in Iraq is a prime recruiting tool of extremist Sunni Muslims everywhere – including, potentially, here in the United States.

Oh, and as for “fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here”?

Never mind:

We assess that the spread of radical—especially Salafi—Internet sites, increasingly aggressive anti-US rhetoric and actions, and the growing number of radical, self-generating cells in Western countries indicate that the radical and violent segment of the West’s Muslim population is expanding, including in the United States.

It’s hard to overstate how much of a clusterfuck Iraq had made of our “Global war on Terror”, or whatever it is we call it this week. An international focus on Afghanistan, the one-voice unity of the world in denouncing the World trade Center attacks on 9/11, and the disintegration of al-Qa’ida’s marketing pitch – that the western Judeo-Christian nations were on a crusade to destroy Islam – would have made al-Qa’ida a dangerous but largely marginalized terrorist organization with few friends and fewer outrages on which to recruit.

Look what we created instead. Heckuva job, Bushie.

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