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Homeland Security

04 August 2004

White House Report, August 4: Al Qaeda

Terrorist group still poses threat to United States

Al Qaeda operatives continue to plot against the American people and go through "meticulous planning before striking," White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan told reporters August 4 on board Air Force One en route to Davenport, Iowa.

McClellan described al Qaeda as "an enemy that is patient and disciplined" and, as demonstrated through previous attacks, "very lethal."

The spokesman defended the recent decision to raise security alerts in several financial-service centers, and said that the stream of intelligence gathered by U.S. officials in Pakistan "paints an alarming picture" regarding al Qaeda's plans to attack the United States.

The administration issued the terror alerts "during a heightened state of alert," said McClellan, and officials are confident that al Qaeda is "involved in plotting to try to carry out an attack to affect the outcome of the democratic process" in the United States.

In addition to the documents found in Pakistan, McClellan announced that a recently captured al Qaeda operative was found with "computer files with very detailed and specific information about some of al Qaeda's intentions."

"This is an active al Qaeda operative who we know has ties to other al Qaeda operatives who are involved in plotting to carry out attacks against the American people," he said.

"This is a time when we must all work together to make sure we're doing everything we can to meet that responsibility," said the spokesman. "And that's what we're doing."

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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