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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Us National Intelligence Estimate On

VZCZCXYZ0016
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1374 1991637
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181637Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8668
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001374

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; US NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE ON
TERRORISM; AMIA ATTACK ANNIVERSARY; US-LATIN AMERICAN TIES 07/18/07


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Today's leading international stories cover the latest US
Intelligence Estimate, according to which Al Qaeda remains
determined to mount attacks on major targets in the U.S.;
Argentina's observation of the 13th anniversary of the criminal
attack against the AMIA; and the status of the US-Latin American
relationship.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "Al Qaeda recovers strength and prepares attacks in the US"

Hugo Alconada Mon, daily-of-record "La Nacion's" Washington-based
correspondent, writes (07/18) "Almost six years after the Bush
administration launched the capture of Osama bin Laden, the US
number one enemy stays alive and his whereabouts are still unknown.
Even worse, Al Qaeda, the terrorist network he leads, intends to
launch another attack in this country within three years, which will
be as devastating as the September 11 attacks.

"The prediction, which could not appear more conclusive, is part of
the National Intelligence Estimate, which is regularly prepared by
the 16 US federal intelligence agencies. This NIE report was the
broadest and most thorough in 20 years.

"The report raised several alarms. It warned that Al Qaeda 'could
use its contacts in Iraq' to launch the attack and that Hezbollah
could also attack the US in the event Bush orders an attack on its
protective shadow, Iran.

"... In the opposition's view, the report was one more piece of
evidence of White House lack of competence. They accused the White
House of 'failing in its most basic duty,' which is protecting the
US and capturing or killing Bin Laden...

"However, in the Bush administration and the G.O.P.'s view, the
report is a breath of fresh air. On the one hand, it renews US
public support for the 'global war on terrorism' and, on the other
hand, it notes that no other attack has occurred in the country in
almost six years that have passed, in contrast to Spain, Turkey and
London, (which suffered attacks).

"In this way, the NIE would only have a damaging effect if an attack
took place in the country during Bush's term in office. In this
case, it would represent a tragic repetition of the alert US
intelligence provided to the then newly elected president in August
2001 in Texas. The report, entitled 'Bin Laden has decided to attack
the US,' which was overlooked by Bush and his staff until September
11."

- "AMIA Debts"

Leading "Clarin" carries an op-ed piece by Agustin Romero, professor
of International Relations at the National University of Buenos
Aires, who opines (07/18) "... One could say that Argentina has
taken important steps to fight international terrorism, but many
issues are still pending...

"As a matter of fact, it is not understandable that, after having
suffered two criminal acts of this kind in its own territory,
Argentina lacks a clear definition of terrorism...

"The country should soon have some anti-terrorist legislation
consistent with international standards... Argentina has not yet
declared organizations like Hezbollah or the Islamic Jihad
illegal."

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

WAYNE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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