Paola Totaro at The Age reports that Osama bin Laden is planning another strike against the US, bigger than 9-11:
And according to a former senior Yemeni al-Qaeda operative, the terrorist organisation has entered a "positive phase", reinforcing specific training camps around the world that will lead the next "wave of action" against the West.
The warning, on the front page of an Arabic newspaper published in London, Al-Quds Al-Arabi – and widely reported in the major Italian papers – quotes a person described as being "very close to al-Qaeda" in Yemen.
The paper is edited by Abdel al-Bari Atwan, who is said to be the last journalist to interview Osama bin Laden in 1996. According to the report, bin Laden is himself closely following preparations for an attack against the US and aims to "change the face of world politics and economics". The operative is quoted as saying that "this will be shown by the fact that we now control a major part of the south of Somalia".
The article goes on to describe suspicions a major strike is planned for the UK and that the attackers will be UK-born Muslims, trained in al Qaeda camps — presumably in the lawless Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan.
This could be just bluster on bin Laden’s part: al Qaeda has suffered a crushing defeat in Iraq, which calls into question the reason for their existence and whether Allah is really on their side, and the al Qaeda leadership may be trying to recover some of their lost luster by bragging of outdoing their greatest victory.
On the other hand, Pakistan has turned into a fairly safe haven for these medieval psychos, and they have rebuilt their training camp structure there. Before 9-11, it would have been thought crazy that 15 guys with box cutters could kill thousands of Americans. The Bush Administration has since taken these threats very seriously; let’s hope the incoming Obama Administration continues to do so.
(hat tip: Jihad Watch)