New York Times,
classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the
intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of
global terrorism by
opening section of the report, “Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement,” cites the
report “says that the
than a dozen
with knowledge of the intelligence estimate said it avoided specific judgments
about the likelihood that terrorists would once again strike on
National Intelligence Estimates are the most authoritative documents that the intelligence community produces on a specific national security issue, and are approved by John D. Negroponte, director of national intelligence. Their conclusions are based on analysis of raw intelligence collected by all of the spy agencies.
Analysts began working on the estimate in 2004, but it was not finalized until this year. Part of the reason was that some government officials were unhappy with the structure and focus of earlier versions of the document, according to officials involved in the discussion.
drafts described actions by the United States government that were determined
to have stoked the jihad movement, like the indefinite detention of prisoners
at Guantánamo Bay and the Abu Ghraib
prison abuse scandal, and some policy makers argued that the intelligence
estimate should be more focused on specific steps to mitigate the terror
threat. It is unclear whether the final draft of the intelligence estimate
criticizes individual policies of the
Jones, a White House spokesman, said the White House “played no role in
drafting or reviewing the judgments expressed in the National Intelligence
Estimate on terrorism.” The estimate’s judgments confirm some predictions of a
National Intelligence Council report completed in January 2003, two months
released by the White House timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the
Sept. 11 attacks emphasized the successes that the
“Since the Sept. 11 attacks, America and its allies are safer, but we are not yet safe,” concludes one, a report titled “9/11 Five Years Later: Success and Challenges.” “We have done much to degrade Al Qaeda and its affiliates and to undercut the perceived legitimacy of terrorism.”
document makes only passing mention of the impact the
report mentions the possibility that Islamic militants who fought in
On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee released a more ominous report about the terrorist threat. That assessment, based entirely on unclassified documents, details a growing jihad movement and says, “Al Qaeda leaders wait patiently for the right opportunity to attack.”
The new National Intelligence Estimate was overseen by David B. Low, the national intelligence officer for transnational threats, who commissioned it in 2004 after he took up his post at the National Intelligence Council. Mr. Low declined to be interviewed for this article.
The estimate concludes that the radical Islamic movement has expanded from a core of Qaeda operatives and affiliated groups to include a new class of “self-generating” cells inspired by Al Qaeda’s leadership but without any direct connection to Osama bin Laden or his top lieutenants.
also examines how the Internet has helped spread jihadist
ideology, and how cyberspace has become a haven for terrorist operatives who no
longer have geographical refuges in countries like
early 2005, the National Intelligence Council released a study concluding that
But the new intelligence estimate is the first report since the war began to present a comprehensive picture about the trends in global terrorism.
In recent months, some senior American intelligence officials have offered glimpses into the estimate’s conclusions in public speeches.
jihadist networks and cells, sometimes united by
little more than their anti-Western agendas, are increasingly likely to
emerge,” said Gen. Michael V. Hayden, during a speech in
more than two years, there has been tension between the Bush administration and
American spy agencies over the violence in
agencies usually produce several national intelligence estimates each year on a
variety of subjects. The most controversial of these in recent years was an
October 2002 document assessing
The broad judgments of the new intelligence estimate are consistent with assessments of global terrorist threats by American allies and independent terrorism experts.
panel investigating the
recently, the Council on Global Terrorism, an independent research group of
respected terrorism experts, assigned a grade of “D+” to