6,477. 10/6/2005

“A White House list of 10 terrorist plots disrupted by the United States has confused counterterrorism experts and officials, who say they cannot distinguish between the importance of some incidents on the list and others that were left off. Intelligence officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the White House overstated the gravity of the plots by saying that they had been foiled, when most were far from ready to be executed. Others noted that the nation’s color-coded threat index was not raised from yellow, or ‘elevated’ risk of attack, to orange, or ‘high’ risk, for most of the time covered by the incidents on the list. The president [Bush] made it ‘sound like well-hatched plans,’ said a former CIA official involved in counterterrorism during that period. ‘I don’t think they fall into that category.’ President Bush announced the list of attacks on Oct. 6 [2005], describing them as serious al Qaeda terrorist plots disrupted by the United States and its allies since Sept. 11, 2001. …Three of the 10 plots were aimed at U.S. soil, and the government also halted five al Qaeda efforts to case possible targets or infiltrate operatives into the country.

 – Sara Kehaulani Goo, “List of Foiled Plots Puzzling to Some,” The Washington Post, Oct. 23, 2005

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