Al-Qaeda is Re-Establishing Camps Across the Border from Afghanistan to Pakistan, Time Reports

New York / London (ots) - Saudi Dissident Says Those in al-Qaeda Circles Talk of Second Big Attack.

Before 9/11 Bin Laden said: 'The first attack is going to be this size,' pointing to the tip of his finger, 'and the next is going to be this size,' indicating the whole length of his finger.'

U.S. Looking into Port of Assab in Eritrea as Naval Base to Keep Eye on Traffic Between Yemen, Sudan and Somalia

U.S. security sources in Afghanistan tell TIME that there is now clear evidence that al-Qaeda is re- establishing camps across the border from Afghanistan in Pakistan. TIME's cover story, "Al-Qaeda: Alive and Ticking," will be on newsstands Monday, October 21.

On a recent trip, a TIME reporter accompanied paratroopers from Task Force Panther, based in southeastern Afghanistan, as they patrolled the frontier. Capt. Patrick Willis of the 82nd Airborne, says camps in Pakistan around the town of Mirim Shah are training men in bombing and the use of mines. "They have the same infrastructure they had in Afghanistan," says Willis. "A lot of it has just moved east. They continue to recruit from the young impressionable men in the area." U.S. military intelligence believes al- Qaeda has built the new camps intentionally small so as not to provoke a clampdown from Pakistan's government.

From the camps, convoys of trucks go up well-maintained roads that seem to lead nowhere. In fact, they end in tiny Afghan villages just across the border, where the trucks dump ammunition and weapons in safe houses. Later, according to U.S. Army officials, small groups of between four and a dozen terrorists from the camps cross the border amid the flow of civilian traffic. Once inside Afghanistan, the Americans say, the terrorists are assisted by abettors who provide money, pass on information about U.S. troop movements and safeguard supplies. Loaded with equipment and intelligence, the al-Qaeda forces then move out to harass American troops. Since the U.S. forces cannot cross into Pakistan, they can only try to catch the terrorists after they re-enter Afghanistan.

Saad al Fagih, a London-based Saudi dissident, says those in circles close to al-Qaeda these days talk with "strange confidence" about a second big attack against the U.S. "Before September 11, bin Laden would talk in general terms about a major attack coming and a major, major attack following," says al Fagih. "He would say, 'The first attack is going to be this size,' pointing to the tip of his finger, 'and the next is going to be this size,' indicating the whole length of his finger."

Sources also tell TIME that the U.S. is looking to use the port of Assab, in Eritrea, as a naval base to keep an eye on traffic between Yemen, Sudan and Somalia.

go to:http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,366218,00.html

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