Al Qaeda eyes bio attack on US from Mexico: ReportJune 3rd, 2009 - 7:28 pm ICT by IANS
By Arun Kumar
Washington, June 3 (IANS) Al Qaeda has threatened to smuggle a biological weapon into the United States via tunnels under the Mexico border to stage another mass-casualty terrorist attack on the country, according to a media report.
US counter-terrorism officials have authenticated a video by an Al Qaeda recruiter threatening to do so, the Washington Times reported Wednesday describing it as “the latest sign of the terrorist group’s determination to stage” such an attack.
The video aired earlier this year as a recruitment tool makes clear that Al Qaeda is looking to exploit weaknesses in US border security and also is willing to ally itself with white militia groups or other anti-government entities interested in carrying out an attack inside the US, the daily said citing unnamed counter-terrorism officials interviewed by it.
The officials, it said, stressed that there is no credible information that Al Qaeda has acquired the capabilities to carry out a mass biological attack although its members have clearly sought the expertise.
The video first aired by the Arabic news network Al Jazeera in February and later posted to several websites shows Kuwaiti dissident Abdullah al-Nafisi telling a room full of supporters in Bahrain that Al Qaeda is casing the US border with Mexico to assess how to send terrorists and weapons into the US.
The Times cited a US counterterrorism official as saying al-Nafisi is a “person of interest” and a veteran recruiter for Al Qaeda.
Misidentified on some blog sites as a professor, he is an Al Qaeda associate who is thought to have communicated with senior Al Qaeda leaders in recent years, the official said.
The recruiter is also said to have close ties to Mullah Mohammed Omar, the senior Afghan Taliban leader now thought to be in Pakistan, the Times said.
Al-Nafisi “is a significant ideological player in terrorist circles, and that makes him dangerous because he can inspire his followers to do extremely bad things”, the official said.
In the video, al-Nafisi emphasised that Al Qaeda had chemical laboratories in Afghanistan prior to the US invasion. He described his admiration for Hezbollah and said that Al Qaeda continues to have scientists and resources at its disposal.
In the video, obtained and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, al-Nafisi also suggests that Al Qaeda might want to collaborate with members of native US white supremacist militias who hate the federal government.
The Times cited Sean Smith, a spokesman for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, as saying the US takes such threats seriously.
- Al Qaeda plotting bio attack on US via Mexico? (Lead) - Jun 03, 2009
- US seeks to destroy Al Qaeda's core in Pakistan (Lead) - Jun 30, 2011
- New face of terror: radicalised in US, trained in Pakistan - May 12, 2010
- Al Qaeda forms 200-strong force: Report - Dec 30, 2011
- Domestic terrorism number one priority for US intelligence - Feb 11, 2011
- Intending underpant bomber was British double agent - May 11, 2012
- Terror plot to bomb US-bound plane foiled (Lead) - May 08, 2012
- Qaeda likely to attempt frequent small-scale but deadly terrorist attacks in US: Officials - Sep 23, 2010
- LeT has global ambitions, ready for mass killing: US - Jan 16, 2010
- Al-Qaeda had been one of most lethal organisations under bin-Laden: Study - May 04, 2011
- LeT, Al Qaeda connection posing global threat: US - Aug 06, 2010
- Al Qaeda planning Mumbai-style attacks in Europe, US: CNN - Nov 11, 2010
- Al Qaeda stockpiling chemical weapons: US official - Sep 09, 2011
- International terrorist attack frequency on the wane: US report - Aug 06, 2010
- S. American drug gangs funding al-Qaeda terrorists - Dec 30, 2010
Tags: al jazeera, arabic news network, arun kumar, biological attack, biological weapon, border security, close ties, counterterrorism, follo, government entities, mass casualty, mexico border, mexico report, militia groups, mullah mohammed omar, recruiter, recruitment tool, taliban leader, terrorist group, washington times