To Americans who have grown skeptical of terrorism warnings, the professionals in the intelligence community say they understand. They also say this time, it could be for real.
That’s because the level of worldwide jihadist activity this year appears disturbingly familiar to those who hunted Al Qaeda even before the 9/11 attacks.
“What you’ve been seeing has had a feeling, to me, a lot like the summer of 2001, where you’ve got a lot of things happening,” a senior U.S. intelligence official said on Friday.
“It would not surprise me at all to see another terrorist event this summer in the United States,” the official told the Daily News.
Yet many Americans have grown deeply distrustful of such doomsday scenarios which rarely materialize.
President Bush has seeded much of this confusion – as he did last week amid reports of Al Qaeda’s rebirth – when he simultaneously called Osama Bin Laden a “serious threat” and boasted that the U.S. has hurt his ability to strike the homeland.
Add to that several recent arrests of homegrown terrorists in the U.S. hatching sketchy plots hyped by government officials as “the real deal” with “unimaginable” consequences, and the terror-fatigued public’s skepticism may be near a peak.