The State Of Our Defense

The Bush Administration believes al-Qaeda is poised to strike the U.S. again, but has it done enough to improve homeland security?

When top officials at the FBI arrived for work last week, they had reason to feel even more anxious than usual. Beginning each day before dawn, FBI Director Robert Mueller and his top aides huddled on the seventh floor of the J. Edgar Hoover Building, reviewing overnight intelligence reports gathered from human and electronic sources around the world. Taken together, the reports suggested what intelligence officials had suspected for weeks: al-Qaeda operatives, in the words of a senior U.S. official, "are in the execution phase of some of their operations." The intelligence sources couldn't pinpoint the kind of strikes in the...

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