Friday, May 28, 2010

DHS: Terror attempts on U.S. at all-time high

Just weeks after the failed car bombing of New York's Times Square, the Department of Homeland Security says "the number and pace of attempted attacks against the United States over the past nine months have surpassed the number of attempts during any other previous one-year period."

That grim assessment is contained in an unclassified DHS intelligence memo prepared for various law enforcement groups, which says terror groups are expected to try attacks inside the United States with "increased frequency."

CNN obtained a copy of the document, dated May 21, which goes on to warn, "we have to operate under the premise that other operatives are in the country and could advance plotting with little or no warning."

The intelligence note says recent attempted terror attacks have used operatives and tactics which made the plots hard to detect.

The document specifically mentions the cases of Afghan national Najibullah Zazi, who pleaded guilty in February to plotting attacks on New York's subways, and Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American.

The intelligence report says both men spent significant time in the United States and were familiar with their alleged targets. Furthermore, the plots involved materials that can be commonly purchased in America without causing suspicion.