LDT: The terror report
LOU DOBBS: Al Qaeda remains one of the most dangerous threats to our troops three and a half years after the war began. The United States killed the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in June. But that appears to have done little or nothing to reduce the number and threat of al Qaeda attacks. Michael Ware reports from Baghdad. Michael?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, the war in Iraq has made al Qaeda stronger, not weaker, according to a secret U.S. government report. The top 16 American intelligence agencies have told President Bush that al Qaeda and Islamic militants across the world are growing in reach and in influence as a result of the war in Iraq.
Indeed, the report says -- as many people forewarned, as much as two years ago -- that Iraq is now the platform on which the next generation of al Qaeda leaders are being built. It's from here that they say there is now ever-increasing risk to see an export of terrorism.
This is the fulfillment of Osama bin Laden and the late terrorist leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi's vision. They were looking for a platform after Afghanistan to create this new breed of al Qaeda. And according to these U.S. intelligence agencies, that's precisely what has happened now. This significantly undercuts President Bush's strategy for the global war on terror. It suggests that the very thing the president came to Iraq to prevent, he has in fact fostered.
And that's coming from his own intelligence agencies. What brings into question now is why was this report leaked or revealed now? Perhaps it's a reflection of the growing friction that we see here on the ground between U.S. military commanders and intelligence agencies, and their political masters back in Washington, D.C. -- Lou.
DOBBS: Michael Ware, reporting from Baghdad.