Magazine article Newsweek

Al Qaeda's New Threats

Magazine article Newsweek

Al Qaeda's New Threats

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Hosenball with Tara Pepper

Even as the United States steps up precautions against future terrorist attacks, fears are growing that would-be attackers are adapting their tactics to circumvent heightened security measures. Confessions from captured Qaeda operatives and evidence seized recently from terrorist hideouts indicate that one consequence of improved security in the United States and allied countries is that terrorists may be turning toward softer targets, like the Bali nightclub bombed by suspected Qaeda sympathizers two weeks ago.

One U.S. intelligence concern is that Qaeda sympathizers, frustrated by their inability to pull off another 9-11, could turn to Palestinian-style suicide-bombing attacks on U.S. interests both overseas and inside the United States. U.S. counterterrorism experts have visited Israel and Jordan to learn how Mideastern security officials handle the suicide-bombing threat. Some American officials are also expressing renewed alarm about terrorists' using crop-dusting planes to spread biological or chemical agents. U.S. officials say that recent attacks in Bali, Kuwait (shooting at Marines) and Yemen (an explosives-laden dinghy attacked a French oil tanker) could represent a new war on U.S. and Western economic interests.

The threats made against the U.S. economy in a recent video clip by Ayman Al-Zawahiri seem to tie in with fresh evidence collected by U.S. intelligence from Qaeda detainees, terrorist safe houses in Kuwait and at least one captured Qaeda leader. …

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