Report Warns of Al-Qaeda WMD Threat
In a report released yesterday, a former CIA senior official wrote that the threat of Al Qaeda acquiring and using weapons of mass destruction is very much a real one. The report, entitled “Al Qaeda Weapons of Mass Destruction Threat: Hype or Reality,” was written by Rolf-Mowatt-Larssen, now a senior fellow at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, who previously worked as Director of Intelligence and Counterintelligence at the U.S. Department of Energy and as a CIA intelligence officer before that. In the report Mowatt-Larssen chronicles Al Qaeda’s efforts from 1988 to 2003 to obtain and use chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Mowatt-Larssen warns that Osama bin Laden’s threat to attack the West with WMDs is not “empty rhetoric,” but rather is Al Qaeda’s highest goal, and that leaders of the group are willing to wait years to achieve that goal. While the report acknowledges the fact that there have been no attacks in recent years despite Al Qaeda’s capabilities, it remains uncertain as to whether that is attributable to effective counter-terrorism or a tactical decision made by Al-Qaeda.
Read the report at: Harvard.