Magazine article The American Conservative

Deep Background

Magazine article The American Conservative

Deep Background

Article excerpt

Will Miere be á majer terrorist attack seen? Possibly, but it probably won't have anything to do with American elections. It is well known that a number of terrorist groups, most notably al-Qaeda, closely follow politics and elections in the United States and lately there has been considerable speculation from so-called terrorism experts in the media about a possible major al-Qaeda attack around the U.S. elections. According to the talking heads, an attack before November 4 would be an attempt to influence the result, whereas a strike soon after the election would be to "test" the new president. Unfortunately for the experts, their opinions are shaped by a U.S.

So how then does one analyze the considerable internet and telecommunications chatter that U.S. intelligence has picked up that seems to presage a major attack? While it may be true that some terrorists would like to enhance the prospects of John McCain because they prefer a president who, like Bush, will punish Muslims and serve as a recruiting poster, there is no evidence to suggest that anyone who is in a position to carry out a major bombing is motivated to do anything to help the McCain-Palin ticket. Rather, intelligence analysts believe al-Qaeda is preparing to act, as it frequently does, unpredictably and will chose a major but non-obvious target to remind the world that it is still a force to be reckoned with, regardless of what is going on in Washington. …

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