Excerpt From the National Intelligence Estimate

Excerpt From the National Intelligence Estimate

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The text of the declassified Key Judgments section of the National Intelligence Estimate titled "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States."

United States-led counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qa'ida and disrupted its operations; however, we judge that al-Qa'ida will continue to pose the greatest threat to the Homeland and US interests abroad by a single terrorist organization. We also assess that the global jihadist movement -- which includes al-Qa'ida, affiliated and independent terrorist groups, and emerging networks and cells -- is spreading and adapting to counterterrorism efforts.

· Although we cannot measure the extent of the spread with precision, a large body of all-source reporting indicates that activists identifying themselves as jihadists, although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion.

· If this trend continues, threats to US interests at home and abroad will become more adverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide.

· Greater pluralism and more responsive political systems in Muslim majority nations would alleviate some of the grievances jihadists exploit. Over time, such progress, together with sustained, multifaceted programs targeting the vulnerabilities of the jihadist movement and continued pressure on al-Qa'ida, could erode support for the jihadists.

We assess that the global jihadist movement is decentralized, lacks a coherent global strategy, and is becoming more diffuse. New jihadist networks and cells, with anti-American agendas, are increasingly likely to emerge. The confluence of shared purpose and dispersed actors will make it harder to find and undermine jihadist groups.

· We assess that the operational threat from self-radicalized cells will grow in importance to US counterterrorism efforts, particularly abroad but also in the Homeland.


CONTINUED     1              >

© 2006 The Washington Post Company