On May 26, 2004, Attorney General John "Ashcroft told the nation that 'credible intelligence from multiple sources indicates that al-Qaeda plans to attempt an attack in the next few months. This disturbing intelligence indicated al-Qaeda's specific intention to hit the United States hard.' He said that the government estimated that al-Qaeda was 'almost ready to attack the United States.' Warning that al-Qaeda was 'seeking recruits who can portray themselves as Europeans,' he asked for 'unprecedented levels of cooperation' from all levels of law enforcement and from the public. When [FBI Director Robert] Mueller stepped to the podium, he identified 'Fourth of July celebrations, the Democratic and Republican conventions, and the November presidential election' as possible terrorist targets."
– Ian S. Lustick, Trapped in the War on Terror, 109
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