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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Philip Mudd
"Takedown: Inside the Hunt for Al Qaeda" is an insider account by a former high-level official at the CIA and FBI about how both agencies substantially upgraded their counterterrorism capabilities after the U.S. government's failure to prevent al Qaeda's catastrophic attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
TAKEDOWN: INSIDE THE HUNT FOR AL QAEDA
Former counterterror expert Philip Mudd, discussing on "Fox News Sunday" the motives behind last week's Boston Marathon bombing, suggested the suspected bombers acted autonomously.
Taliban militants threatened to behead Americans in Afghanistan, as gunmen opened fire Tuesday on a memorial service for civilians killed by a U.S. soldier and protests erupted over a series of U.S. actions that is spreading outrage throughout the country.
In 2009, Philip Mudd, then a senior official in the FBI's national security branch, told lawmakers, "While there are no current indicators that any of the individuals who traveled to Somalia have been selected, trained, or tasked by al-Shabab or other extremists to conduct attacks inside the United States, we remain concerned about this possibility and that it might be exploited in the future if other U.S. persons travel to Somalia for similar purposes."
Although the American intervention was criticized at the time for not pressing sufficiently to roll up Osama bin Laden and his escaping forces (who ultimately made their way to Pakistan's tribal regions), Mr. Mudd explains: "But then, the fight was up in the air: ousting the group [i.e., the Taliban] that had hosted the architects of 9/11 was a primary focus, and the hunt for al Qaeda leaders was only a part of that mission."