Al Qaeda's European Recruitment Strategy

By Matthew Harwood

Before Congress once again to defend the newer, more muscular version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee al Qaeda is intent on recruiting from Europe and exploiting Europeans' easy travel to the United States.

According to the Associated Press:

Al-Qaida continues to recruit Europeans for explosives training in Pakistan because Europeans can more easily enter the United States without a visa, the nation's top intelligence officer said Tuesday.

Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said European al-Qaida recruits in the border region of Pakistan are being trained to use commercially available substances to make explosives, and they may be able to carry out an attack on U.S. territory.

The recent arrest of three suspected jihadists by German police alleged to have plotted attacks on American targets in Germany  provided credibility to McConnell's threat assessment. Trained in Pakistan, the three were going to use commercially available hydrogen peroxide to make their bombs, reported as more powerful than the bombs that killed over two hundred people in Madrid and London in 2004 and 2005.

Read McConnell's prepared testimony here.


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