Al-Qaeda's threat to attack the United Sates using weapons of mass destruction is not "empty rhetoric," a new study claims. The report, written by a former CIA official with extensive knowledge of classified files, says al-Qaeda is gathering the materials and expertise required to use chemical, biological, and even nuclear weapons in a sophisticated, methodical, and professional way. When they're sure they'll inflict maximum damage, they'll strike.
"If Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants had been interested in . . . small-scale attacks, there is little doubt they could have done so now," Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, who led the CIA's hunt for WMDs, tells the Washington Post. His report comes as a Congressional panel prepares to release its assessment of America's preparedness for a large-scale attack. The panel's initial report, from 2008, said a WMD attack was likely by 2013.