TSR: The terror report
WOLF BLITZER: More now on our top story. A super-secret report that says the war in Iraq is making America less safe. The White House say there's more to the story. But what are the conditions on the ground?
And joining us now from Baghdad, our correspondent, Michael Ware. Michael, you're very familiar now with all these reports of this new U.S. National Intelligence Estimate report suggesting that the fighting in Iraq over the past three-plus years has made the worldwide terrorism situation against the United States even worse. You've covered al Qaeda extensively over these three years, mostly in Iraq. Give us your perspective.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in terms of the content of the report, Wolf, it is absolutely right. The facts outlined in that document have been self-evident on the ground here at least since 2004. We saw Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the late terrorist leader, arrive in Iraq in the summer of 2003 with the bombings of the Jordanian embassy and the U.N. headquarters.
He followed that the next summer by release of a suicide video. It was his grand declaration of arrival and at that time, it was becoming evident that this local fight was being hijacked and internationalized and coincidentally, Wolf, though the document not released until April to the committee, they first started writing it back then in 2004. Wolf?
BLITZER: Is the al Qaeda and related threats from other associated terrorist groups in Iraq today greater against the United States than it was two, three years ago?
WARE: There is absolutely no question about that. They are bigger. They are more sophisticated. They are more adept at countering the U.S. military. They're so proficient at replacing and replenishing any materiel or personnel that they lose either through arrest or kidnap or seizure. These guys are spreading and growing. They have hundreds, if not thousands, of new Iraqi recruits they certainly did not have two years ago and they did not have when Saddam ruled this country. And we're see a proliferation of these groups, like-minded ones springing up and joining the cause. Wolf?
BLITZER: Are U.S. troops and U.S. officials, U.S. diplomats, government workers, contractors, are they safer in Iraq today than they were a year ago?
WARE: Oh, absolutely not. I mean, not that anyone was safe a year ago anyway. I mean, we look back on the days of the summer of 2003 when there was still relative freedom of movement like it was some halcyon time.
I mean since then, this situation in this country has done nothing, Wolf, but deteriorate. The threat has become greater on all sides, from a variety of directions: al Qaeda, the local insurgency, the militias, the death squads buried within this government, to Iranian influence. All of it has just spiralled deeper and deeper out of control, adding to the risk to every single American here. And indirectly, ultimately, leading to a greater threat against Americans across the world, Wolf.
BLITZER: Michael Ware, our correspondent in Baghdad. Good luck over there, be careful.
WARE: Thank you, Wolf.