Monday, May 02, 2005
On this day:

** Washington Post: Invasion on Iraq Kept U.S. Safe **

Washington Post: U.S. Sees Drop in Terrorist Threats -- Al Qaeda Focusing Attacks in Iraq and Europe, Officials Say By Dana Priest and Spencer Hsu
The intelligence community's daily threat assessment, developed after the terrorist attacks to keep policymakers informed, currently lists, on average, 25 to 50 percent fewer threats against domestic targets than it typically did over the past two years, said one senior counterterrorism official. A broad cross section of counterterrorism officials believes al Qaeda and like-minded groups, in part frustrated by increased U.S. security measures, are focusing instead on Americans deployed in Iraq, where the groups operate with relative impunity, and on Europe. Though some are expressing caution and even skepticism, interviews last week with 25 current or recently retired officials also cited progress in counterterrorism operations abroad and a more experienced homeland security apparatus for a general feeling that it is more difficult for terrorists to operate undetected. The officials represent federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies, state and local homeland security departments and the private sector. "We are breathing easier," said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer, whose officers guard one of al Qaeda's expressed targets, and who is regularly briefed by the FBI and CIA. "The imminence of a threat seems to have diminished. We're just not as worried as we were a year ago, but we certainly are as vigilant."