Us intelligence says alqaeda ineffecitve
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Sources: U.S. Intelligence Finds Bin Ladenís Network Splintered, Ineffective
By ABCNEWS Investigative Unit
April 24 - The al Qaeda terrorist network is becoming increasingly ineffective, according to a written assessment produced by the U.S. intelligence community, sources told ABCNEWS.
Analysts who track al Qaeda for the intelligence community believe that evidence is mounting that the terrorist organization may lack the command and control, the resources and coordination to conduct an operation of the same magnitude as 9/11.
According to analysts, the terror network has split into two leadership committees. One is said to be operating in Iran and remains in contact with Osama bin Laden, who is believed to be hiding along Afghanistan's border with Pakistan's lawless frontier region.
Saad bin Laden, one of Osama's eldest sons, along with two top-tier operatives listed among the FBI's 22 Most Wanted Terrorists, Saif Al-Adel and Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, are among those in that leadership group, according to intelligence sources.
A joint intelligence effort by the CIA and the National Security Agency has been monitoring the groups' communications, particularly those involving Osama bin Laden, who has been the subject of an intense hunt in the region.
Intelligence sources told ABCNEWS that a recent communication from Osama bin Laden has indicated his displeasure that al Qaeda has failed to exploit the American military campaign in Iraq with terrorist operations against U.S. interests.
U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials believe that bin Laden's displeasure may reflect al Qaeda's crippled operational capability.
There is little question that the network has the capacity to conduct low-level operations involving one, or possibly two suicide bombers, but analysts are increasingly dubious that it can commit large scale, coordinated, high-impact attacks that would cause mass casualties such as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The assessment is not unanimous within the intelligence and law enforcement communities, though. Some U.S. national security officials have told ABCNEWS that they believe that, despite the arrests of top operatives such as Shaikh Mohammad, al Qaeda remains a potent force and a threat to American citizens.
Osama bin Laden and many of his top leaders are still at large, and the network has extensive support throughout the Arab and Islamic world. The organization has also proved to be remarkably resilient and capable of defeating the efforts of allied intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
Intelligence sources told ABCNEWS that the planning for a second-wave operation in the United States appears to have been frustrated by the search for Adnan El Shukrijumah, whom the FBI classifies as a Mohammed Atta-like figure capable of coordinating the new operation inside the United States.
El Shukrijumah's whereabouts are unknown. FBI officials confirmed to ABCNEWS that one of the people they are pursuing in the hunt for El Shukrijumah - an MIT biology graduate named Aafia Siddiqui - was not captured in Pakistan earlier this week, as had been reported. Officials say it was a case of mistaken identity.
Siddiqui and her estranged husband, Dr. Mohammed Khan, are believed to have information about El Shukrijumah, a native of Saudi Arabia who is believed to be a pilot and to have lived for a number of years in South Florida, where he at least briefly studied chemistry.
The U.S. intelligence assessment of al Qaeda is the strongest indication yet that federal officials believe that the United States and its allies are beginning to win the war on terror.
FBI: Al Qaeda Taps Women as Fixers
By Jason Ryan
April 24 - The FBI believes al Qaeda may have turned to women to use as fixers dealing with logistics for the terror network and to conceal operations, sources told ABCNEWS.
The latest FBI intelligence bulletin, which is sent out every week to law enforcement agencies across the country, deals with the possibility of al Qaeda using women, and mentions that they could be used for setting up finance and funding methods, transportation or as couriers.
The bulletin mentions Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani, who the FBI issued a worldwide "be on the lookout" order for on March 18. The issue is whether Siddiqui or her husband, Dr. Mohammed Kahn, knew Adnan El Shukrijumah, a man who the FBI is looking for and who is described as a Mohamed Atta type who may have known "dirty bomb" suspect Jose Padilla.
According the FBI contact, Siddiqui's background and interests show her to be someone who has strong organizational methods.
Siddiqui seems to have an interest in a wide range of fields. She graduated from MIT in 1995 with a degree in biology, and wrote a dissertation on neurology at Brandeis University in 2001. She may have studied some anthropology and archeology and has extensive computer knowledge.
One other woman, October Lewis, has been linked to al Qaeda. She is accused along with five men of belonging to a terror cell in Portland, Ore. In that case, Jeffrey Leon Battle and several others allegedly planned to travel to Afghanistan in the fall of 2001 to fight U.S. forces.
Lewis, who is Battle's ex-wife, is accused of wiring money to Battle to support the effort. They face trial later this year.
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