U.S. Cites New Bin Laden Plans

Associated Press
Tuesday, March 1, 2005

New intelligence indicates that Osama bin Laden is enlisting Abu Musab Zarqawi, his top operative in Iraq, to plan potential attacks on the United States, federal officials said yesterday.

Zarqawi has been involved in attacks in the Middle East. He has not been known to have set his sights on the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security issued a classified bulletin to officials over the weekend about the intelligence, which spokesman Brian Roehrkasse called "credible but not specific." There is no immediate plan to raise its national terror alert level, he said.

Bin Laden was in contact with Zarqawi within the past two months in an effort to enlist him in attacks, said an official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The move may reflect the al Qaeda leadership's desire to involve Zarqawi in activities outside Iraq, the official said.

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