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November 20, 2003
UN Details al-Qaeda Threat

The UN, which has consistently been AWOL in the war on terror, reports on al-Qaeda capabilities:

Some members of al Qaeda most likely possess portable surface-to-air missiles and may use them to target military transport planes, a U.N. report says.

The threat was among several findings detailed in the report by the United Nations' al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee which also cited a shifting of the terror network's strategy, a move towards "softer" targets and a warning the group was working towards a biological or chemical attack.

Gee, I wonder where they might have gotten chemical or biological weapons??

The report also identifies Iraq as "fertile ground" for al Qaeda, which receives the "funds it needs from charities, deep pocket donors, and business and criminal activities, including the drug trade."

Iraq was fertile ground for al-Qaeda, as British and American intelligence knew for years. The report will be published later this month, but if they only focus on the present instead of where al-Qaeda received funding, shelter, and support in the past, the report will be nothing more than a whitewash. But with countries like Syria serving on the UN committee on counterterrorism, my guess is that a whitewash may be the best result.

The report will confirm something that I've been saying for a few days now, too:

However, the killings and detentions of several members of al Qaeda has damaged the terror network, Munoz said. "They don't have today the capacity to attack the World [Trade Center] towers as they did on the 11th of September, 2001," he said. "That capacity they don't have, that has been destroyed."

In other words, the American war on terrorism, and specifically al-Qaeda, has been effective. The country is safer -- not completely safe -- but we are eroding the ability of this organization to mount large-scale operations against America and its citizens. As long as we persevere, we will continue to erode its operational capability and eventually cut off all support, which will reduce al-Qaeda to rockthrowers. Will the report actually connect those dots? Unlikely.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 20, 2003 6:35 PM

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