is a “high probability” that al-Qaida will attempt an attack with
a weapon of mass destruction in the next two years, the U.S. government
said in a report Monday.
report to a U.N. Security Council committee did not say where the
Bush administration thinks such an attack might be launched.
al-Qaida network will remain for the foreseeable future the most
immediate and serious terrorism threat facing the United States,”
the report said. “Al-Qaida will continue to favor spectacular attacks
but also may seek softer targets of opportunity, such as banks,
shopping malls, supermarkets, and places of recreation and entertainment.”
report said the terrorist organization “will continue its efforts
to acquire and develop biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear
radiological weapon is a so-called “dirty bomb,” which uses traditional
explosives to disperse radioactivity. Such bombs could use lower-grade
radioactive material, which can be more easily produced or obtained
than the high-grade uranium and plutonium used for nuclear weapons.
report said FBI investigations since the September 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks “have revealed an extensive and widespread militant Islamic
presence in the United States.”
U.S. report also noted, “There are hundreds of ongoing counterterrorism
investigations in the United States directly associated with al-Qaida,”
primarily on the East and West coasts and in the Southwest.