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Mar. 30, 2004
Insider Report Supplemental from NewsMax.com
Al-Qaida Targeting U.S. Shopping Malls, 'Soft Targets'
U.S. intelligence officials believe that al-Qaida is currently targeting “soft targets,” including shopping malls and shopping centers across the United States.
“I can confirm to you they are focusing in on them, they are keying in on them, we know it for a fact,” a high-level CIA source told NewsMax editor Christopher Ruddy this past week in Washington.
The source said that terrorist cells here in the U.S. are clearly looking to make a “spectacular” attack - and shopping malls are one avenue they are considering because, as the source told NewsMax, “they are easy to attack, and you can score high casualties.”
Both the CIA source and another person close to high-ranking U.S. security officials agreed that any attacks made this year would be intended to score political points before the November elections.
These warnings about al-Qaida were made to NewsMax shortly before FBI Director Robert Mueller’s public comments to Congress last week in which he said that al-Qaida may try to strike in an effort to influence the U.S. elections.
Mueller’s remarks clearly underscore the administration’s worry that a small-scale, high-profile attack would demonstrate that the Bush administration has not made the U.S. homeland safer. Also, such an attack might buttress claims by John Kerry and others that the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq has not improved U.S. security.
NewsMax’s second source put it this way: “Whatever they do, it will be planned to help Kerry and hurt Bush.”
He also added that al-Qaida remains “fascinated” by the concept of attacking U.S. commercial aircraft, though new attacks may not mimic the hijackings of Sept. 11.