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What isn’t known or revealed thus far about al Qaeda’s next terrorist attacks is where, when and what kind of attack it will be. They’re likely to be carried out in a highly coordinated, multitarget offensive.

What we do know for sure at this point is that Mr. Obama’s politically driven assurances during the course of his re-election campaign that, thanks to him, al Qaeda is “on the run” was totally bogus.

For the president to make such an extravagant claim throughout his campaign, based in part on the death of Osama bin Laden, was naive at best and duplicitous at worst.

Meantime, the debate over the NSA’s surveillance methods may be the first casualty of this new information. Thus far, no one is saying specifically how these early threats were discovered, except that they were “heard” from terrorist “chatter” on some kind of electronic surveillance by NSA.

If these attacks are foiled as a result of NSA’s use of its telecommunications program, that debate will come to an abrupt end.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and contributor to The Washington Times.