WASHINGTON — Al-Qaida remains the “most serious and dangerous” terrorism threat to the United States and is likely to intensify efforts to place operatives inside this country, a new White House report said on Tuesday.
“Although we have discovered only a handful of individuals in the United States with ties to al-Qaida senior leadership, the group likely will intensify its efforts to place operatives here in the homeland,” the “National Strategy for Homeland Security” report said.
“We also must never lose sight of al-Qaida’s persistent desire for weapons of mass destruction, as the group continues to try to acquire and use chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear material,” it said.
The report said that al-Qaida has protected its top leadership, replenished operational lieutenants, and “regenerated a safe haven” in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
The report updated the White House national homeland security strategy issued in July 2002.
“We recognize that our efforts also must involve offense at home and abroad,” President George W. Bush said in a letter accompanying the report. “Today, our nation is safer, but we are not yet safe.”