Barcelona Jihadists Only One Of Several Al Qaeda Cells Poised To Attack Europe

The Jihadists in Spain seem to be the tip of the iceberg… It appears from information provided by possible French Intel informant that attacks were planned in Spain, Germany, France, Britain and Portugal.

The Barcelona cell include six suicide bombers, other cells are publicly unknown at this time. I am sure each consisted of about the same number of operatives.

This would have enabled Al Qaeda to show a sign of strength at a time when they are appearing weak and loosing ground in Iraq.

Europe seems to be the prime target for Al Qaeda at this point and they have a strong base to hide in Muslim communities and many European countries. I hope Europeans start to recognize the seriousness of the threat they face and start to do something about it before these scumbags do successfully attack again…

The time for complacency is over.

MADRID, Spain (CNN)— Suspected Islamic extremists arrested last week in Barcelona were planning al Qaeda-style attacks in Spain, Germany, France, Britain and Portugal, according to an informant who “infiltrated” the group, Spain’s El Pais newspaper reports.

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Interior Ministry photo of bomb-making material found after suspected Islamic militants were arrested.

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“If we attack the metro [subway system in Barcelona], the emergency services can’t get there,” one of the suspected suicide bombers told the informant, El Pais reported on Saturday. “Our preference is public transport, especially the metro.”

El Pais reported that it had access to the informant’s testimony to Spanish officials.

CNN has confirmed that authorities have given high importance to an informant’s testimony.

The judge who ordered 10 suspects held for allegedly plotting a suicide attack in Barcelona, cited in his rulings the testimony of an informant. CNN has viewed the rulings.

Spain’s Interior Minister last Friday said an informant warned of a planned suicide attack against Barcelona’s metro on the weekend of January 18 to 20. But he added that, for now, “there is only the testimony of an informant” regarding the timing.

The informant told authorities the cell comprised six suicide bombers, including himself, El Pais reported on Saturday.

Spain’s attorney general, Candido Conde-Pumpido, said last week that the cell could have contained six suicide bombers, two explosives experts and two ideologues.

Judge Ismael Moreno, in rulings last Wednesday, wrote that the informant had named three suspected suicide bombers and an explosives expert, all of whom had traveled from Pakistan to Barcelona since last summer. The judge ordered these four men held, out the total of 10 jailed suspects who are from South Asia.

They include nine Pakistani nationals and a man from India, who is Muslim.

A court-appointed translator told CNN that all 10 suspects testified during their arraignments that they were innocent.

The cell planned three attacks in Spain, one in Germany and others in France, Britain and Portugal, according to the informant, El Pais reported.

On Sunday, another El Pais story added that the “wave of attacks” was to have been carried out by the Barcelona group and other extremist Pakistani cells were to attack elsewhere in Europe.

The informant told authorities about potential links between the Barcelona group and suspected extremists in other countries, the interior minister said Friday.

The informant had traveled by train from France to Barcelona on January 16, a few days before police made arrests in Barcelona, El Pais reported Saturday. A day earlier, the newspaper reported that the informant worked for French intelligence.

Al Qaeda was planning to take responsibility for the first attack in Barcelona through Baitullah Mehsud, a Taliban commander whom the Pakistani government blames for last month’s assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, El Pais reported.

“Only the leadership of the organization knows what requests the emir (Baitullah) will make after the first attack, but if they are not carried out, there will be a second attack in Spain, and a third,” a cell leader told the informant, El Pais reported. “And then in Germany, France, Portugal and the United Kingdom. There are many people prepared there.”

In Barcelona, two pairs of suicide bombers were to attack in separate metro stations, the paper said, citing the informant’s testimony. One of the cell leaders said the bombs were supposed to be hidden in backpacks or bags and that other cell members were to detonate them by remote control, the paper added.

Two other pairs of suicide bombers were to strike elsewhere in Spain, while another suicide bomber was to attack in Germany, although the informant said he did not know where or when those attacks were to occur, El Pais reported.

Three other terrorists were assigned to attack in France and two in Portugal, El Pais reported, although it did not mention locations or times for those attacks either.

Civil Guards initially detained 14 people in Barcelona, but released two before arraignments last Wednesday. The judge then released two more, leaving 10 in jail for further investigation. It was not immediately known if the alleged informant may have been among those arrested and released.

“This cell was preparing to attack,” Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said Friday in an interview with Spanish radio network SER. “It’s clear they were going to try, whether last weekend (January 18 to 20) or within 15 days.”

But he said police have not found explosives “in sufficient quantity” to have carried out the assault.

“We have found a modest quantity of explosives,” Rubalcaba said, adding that they may have been intended for use in training the suspects.

The judge in his rulings wrote that the group “had achieved human operational capacity and were very close to achieving full technical capacity with explosives, with the aim of using those explosives for a jihadi terrorist attack.”

Rubalcaba said that, for any such suspected terrorist cell, “the time from getting explosives to carrying out the attack can be very short.”

The judge wrote that police had found nitrocellulose and mechanical and electrical elements that could have been used to make one or more bombs.

More than 300 suspected Islamic extremists have been arrested in Spain since the Madrid train bombings killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,800 on March 11, 2004, Rubalcaba said.

Last October, more than a dozen Islamic extremists were convicted in Madrid for their roles in the train bombings.

The 2004 bombings came just three days before general elections, in which Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero won an upset victory.

The latest arrests in Barcelona come less than two months before the next general elections, to be held March 9, when Zapatero seeks re-election.

Spain remains on “permanent alert” against Islamic terrorism. Al Qaeda communiques regularly make specific references to Spain

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Saddam’s Downfall

Here’s another story the liberal media does not want you to know. They are so intent on chanting that Bush Lied that they want to bury the truth.

The truth is simple, Saddam Hussein had a program to convince the world that he had weaopons of mass destruction and had all intentions of starting it up once the heat was off. He had the assests in place to resume the program at will, sort of like Iran’s “suspended” nuke program…

The program was so good they he believed it himself…

But the liberals will keep chanting that Bush Lied… Wake up, it is only a lie if he knew it to be false and said it anyways… Bush, Congress, intel agencies around the world, governments around the world believed that he had weapons of mass destruction. The liars are the ones that deny they believed it or campaign that they only believed it because of Bush’s lies…

NEW YORK – Saddam Hussein allowed the world to believe he had weapons of mass destruction to deter rival Iran and did not think the United States would stage a major invasion, according to an FBI interrogator who questioned the Iraqi leader after his capture.

Saddam expected only a limited aerial attack by the United States and thought he could remain in control, the FBI special agent, George Piro, told CBS’s “60 Minutes” program in an interview to be broadcast Sunday.

“He told me he initially miscalculated … President Bush’s intentions,” said Piro. “He thought the United States would retaliate with the same type of attack as we did in 1998 … a four-day aerial attack.”

“He survived that one and he was willing to accept that type of attack,” Piro said.

In 2003, a close aide of Saddam’s told The Associated Press that Saddam did not expect a U.S. invasion and deliberately kept the world guessing about his weapons program, although he already had gotten rid of it.

Keeping up the illusion of weapons program
Saddam publicly denied having unconventional weapons before the U.S. invasion, but prevented U.N. inspectors from working in the country from 1998 until 2002 and when they finally returned in November 2002, they often complained that Iraq wasn’t fully cooperating.

Piro, a Lebanese-American who speaks Arabic, debriefed Saddam after he was found in an underground hideout near his home city north of Baghdad in December 2003, nine months after the U.S. invasion.

Piro said Saddam also said that he wanted to keep up the illusion that he had the program in part because he thought it would deter a likely Iranian invasion.

“For him, it was critical that he was seen as still the strong, defiant Saddam. He thought that (faking having the weapons) would prevent the Iranians from reinvading Iraq,” Piro told Scott Pelley of “60 Minutes.”

Piro added that Saddam had the intention of restarting an Iraqi weapons program at the time, and had engineers available for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

Kuwait invasion after insult to Iraqi women
Piro also mentioned Saddam’s revelation during questioning that what pushed him to invade Kuwait in 1990 was a dishonorable swipe at Iraqi women made by the Kuwaiti leader, Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah.

During the buildup to the invasion, Iraq had accused Kuwait of flooding the world market with oil and demanded compensation for oil produced from a disputed area on the border of the two countries.

Piro said that Al Sabah told the foreign minister of Iraq during a discussion aimed at resolving some of those conflicts that “he would not stop doing what he was doing until he turned every Iraqi woman into a $10 prostitute. And that really sealed it for him, to invade Kuwait,” said Piro.

Russian Spys In The UN Stole $500 Million in Iraq’s Oil For Food Program

Well another reason has surfaced on why Russia was against invading Iraq

UNITED NATIONS —  A former Russian top spy says his agents helped the Russian government steal nearly $500 million from the U.N.’s oil-for-food program in Iraq before the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Sergei Tretyakov, who defected to the United States in 2000 as a double agent, says he oversaw an operation that helped Saddam’s regime manipulate the price of Iraqi oil sold under the program — and allow Russia to skim profits.

Tretyakov, former deputy head of intelligence at Russia’s U.N. mission from 1995 to 2000, names some names, but sticks mainly to code names. Among the spies he says he recruited for Russia were a Canadian nuclear weapons expert who became a U.N. nuclear verification expert in Vienna, a senior Russian official in the oil-for-food program and a former Soviet bloc ambassador. He describes a Russian businessman who got hold of a nuclear bomb, and kept it stored in a shed at his dacha outside Moscow.

The 51-year-old Tretyakov had never spoken out about his spying before this week, when he granted his first news media interviews to publicize a book published Thursday. Written by former Washington Post journalist Pete Earley, the book is titled “Comrade J.: The Untold Secrets of Russia’s Master Spy in America after the End of the Cold War.”

“It’s an international spy nest,” Tretyakov said of the U.N., during an interview this week with The Associated Press. “Inside the U.N., we were fishing for knowledgeable diplomats who could give us first of all anti-American information.”

His defection was first reported by the AP in 2001. Shortly after, the New York Times broke the news that he was not a diplomat, but a top Russian spy who was extensively debriefed by the CIA and the FBI.

Some of the people named or referenced by a code name in the book have denied Tretyakov’s claims. The Russian mission to the U.N. said Friday it would have no immediate comment.

Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, described Tretyakov’s allegations as potentially serious violations of law and U.N. rules.

But Dujarric said it would be up to others to prosecute if the allegations are substantiated: “Since the U.N. can’t prosecute, it is now up to national governments to prosecute.”

An 18-month investigation into the oil-for-food corruption, led by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, culminated in an October 2005 report accusing more than 2,200 companies from some 40 countries of colluding with Saddam’s regime to bilk the humanitarian program in Iraq of $1.8 billion.

The program was aimed at easing Iraqi suffering under U.N. sanctions imposed after Saddam’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. It allowed Iraq to sell oil provided the bulk of the proceeds were used to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian goods and to pay war reparations. Volcker’s reports blamed shoddy U.N. management and the world’s most powerful nations for allowing corruption in the $64 billion program to go on for years.

Tretyakov defected to the United States with his wife and daughter in 2000, after serving as a double agent passing along secrets to the U.S. government. He calls his defection “the major failure of Russian intelligence in the United States” and warns that Russia, despite the end of the Cold War, harbors bad intentions toward the United States.

The decision to defect, he said, was made only after his mother died in 1997, and he had no other close relatives alive in Russia who could be used to blackmail him. The Tretyakovs now live in retirement in an undisclosed location.

“I got extremely disgusted with the Russian government, and I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not very emotional. I’m not a Boy Scout,” said Tretyakov, who was accompanied during the interview by his wife, Helen, and Earley. “Knowing people who are running Russia, I started feeling that it’s immoral to help them. And finally in my life, when I defected, I did something good in my life. Because I want to help United States.”

Hillary Clinton Education By Citizens United Not Timid

Roger Stone, GOP Strategist, has pissed off the liberals with his latest 527 organization… The CUNT is simply using a t-shirt with their groups name as a campaign against Hillary… Well I guess Hillary’s supporters are reading into what it means… Or then again maybe they are seeing the truth…

“Legendary” GOP Strategist Launches Hillary Namecalling Effort

A couple of days ago, a group called Citizens United Not Timid filed papers with the IRS as a “527” organization. Then we saw that Roger Stone had signed on as the group’s “assistant treasurer.” Uh oh.

Stone, regular TPM readers know, is a Republican operative who prides himself as something of an elder statesman of GOP dirty tricks. He went to work for Richard Nixon at age nineteen, making him the “youngest Watergate dirty trickster.” He continues to idolize the man, even sporting a tattoo of Nixon’s face between his shoulder blades. On his website, the StoneZone, he proudly touts Nixon’s endorsement of him as “one of the very few excellent political professionals.”

His career with the GOP took off from there, leading to spots with Ronald Reagan’s campaigns, Bob Dole’s presidential campaign, two of Sen. Arlen Specter’s (R-PA) campaigns (Specter reportedly counts him as a friend), among others. James Baker tapped him to lead street protests in Florida to shut down the recount in 2000. Most recently, he was hired by New York Republicans for their battle with Gov. Elliot Spitzer (D), a gig that exploded when he was accused of making a threatening phone call to Spitzer’s 83 year-old father (Stone denied it).

So what’s Stone up to? Fortunately, he laid the whole scheme out to The Weekly Standard.

It’s this simple: it’s all about the group’s acronym, which, used in conjunction with Hillary Clinton, is supposed to be irresistibly humorous. That is the beginning and the end of it. The group will not be running ads in any form and will not be making any robocalls. They’ll be making T-shirts. That’s it. You can buy them for $25 on their website:

In addition to this website being blast-emailed to hundreds of thousands of addresses that Stone and [another GOP operative] have accumulated over the years (working off over 170 different email lists of everyone from opinion-makers to political activists to industry associations), Stone is counting on T-shirt sales to further serve as “billboard education.” He figures the whole thing will end up taking on a viral nature, thanks to the yuks factor….”The more people go to the site, the more people buy the T-shirts,” Stone explains…. “The more people buy the T-shirts, the more people wear the T-shirts. The more people wear the T-shirts, the more people are educated. Consequently, our mission has been achieved.” Though neither the word itself nor even the acronym is ever mentioned, “it’s one-word education. That’s our mission. No issues. No policy groups. No position papers. This is a simple committee with an unfortunate acronym….”

Presumably Stone learned this gimmick from working on Nixon’s 1972 Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP).

Yes, that’s it. That’s the stroke of genius from the man whom Tucker Carlson insists on calling “legendary Republican strategist Roger Stone” every time he appears on his show (twice this month). The Standard explains that Stone is “trying to tap into deep-seated sentiments about Clinton that pundits and rival candidates can’t articulate.”

There is, nonetheless, a valuable lesson here. Stone walks the Standard‘s Matt Labash through how he set up his 527. All that’s needed is a name. He chose Jeff “Noodles” Jones, a local bartender/DJ in Miami, to serve as the group’s chairman. It doesn’t matter that Noodles doesn’t have much of a clue about anything — in fact, that’s the point. As long as he doesn’t have a criminal record (a mistake Stone almost made when selecting a chairman), he’s OK. Voila! Attack group. Stone explains:

“A 527 doesn’t have a wife,” Stone explains. “It doesn’t have a brother-in-law who knows a lot about politics, or a union president who calls and doesn’t like the color of the suit, or bimbo eruptions. It’s the perfect candidate, because it has no personal characteristics.”

No personal characteristics indeed. The group’s IRS filings are studiedly anonymous, disclosing their purpose as “To educate the public about the importance of moral character and integtiry [sic] in those who hold public office.”

Labash writes that Stone wants Democrats to know that “if Hillary is the nominee, a hard 527 rain is going to fall.” And already the anti-Hillary groups are getting themselves crossed up. No sooner had Stone filed his organization’s papers than Citizens United, a group headed by David Bossie that’s been attacking the Clintons for nearly twenty years and recently released Hillary: The Movie, sent a cease and desist letter to Stone, alleging infringement.

Obama Still Using Rezko Funds

Well Obama is just as bad at Clinton and Ron Paul in his campaign finances… It appears that his camp still has at least $100,000 of  Tony Rezko’s raised funds, including funds from his wife… The rest of the funds come from close friends of Rezko or employees.  Mr. Obama, come clean and relinquish all of these fraudulent funds…

How Much Did an Accused Political Fixer Raise for Obama?

ABCNews.com Review Shows an Additional $100,000 in Rezko-Linked Contributions Not Returned by the Campaign

Barack Obama, Tony Rezko

“We have returned any money that we know was associated to Mr. Rezko,” Obama told Diane Sawyer on Wednesday morning during an appearance on “Good Morning America.” “That is something that if there’s additional information we don’t know about, we’d be happy to return the money.”

The Obama campaign says it has given away more than $85,000 in Rezko-linked contributions since Rezko was indicted on federal fraud and extortion charges in the fall of 2006.

An ABCNews.com review, however, has identified an additional $100,000 in contributions made to Obama from Rezko’s associates that have not been returned, including $19,500 in contributions from Rezko’s wife and employees of Rezko’s business enterprises. The ABCNews.com review includes individuals who have been linked to Rezko in news reports, court documents and public records.

Other news organizations have reviewed Obama’s campaign finance records and have also found Rezko-linked contributions that are more than double what the campaign has publicly acknowledged. The Chicago Sun-Times, which published its review last June, found that “Obama has collected at least $168,308 from Rezko and his circle,” and earlier this week the Los Angeles Times reported that it had found that Rezko and his associates had given “Obama more than $200,000 in donations since 1995.”

When asked to respond to the findings, campaign spokesman Bill Burton replied, “We think they are casting a wide net and overestimating.”

But the campaign does acknowledge that it does not have an exact record of money raised by Rezko. Its best estimate of what Rezko has raised is $60,000, including contributions from a fundraiser Rezko held for Obama in 2003. “We don’t have an exact record of the money raised at the event, but we have given to charity all contributions that seemed appropriate to return,” said Burton. “We review our donations and where there are questions, we make decisions about donating to charity those which, in the circumstances, do not seem appropriate to retain.”

The Chicago Sun-Times reported on Saturday that Obama was the unnamed “political candidate” referred to in a court filing in the Rezko case last month. The court document accuses Rezko of funneling money from a kickback scheme to Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign through an associate. Obama is not accused of any wrongdoing in the document, according to the Sun-Times.

Obama has known Rezko for more than 15 years. Much of the scrutiny surrounding their relationship has centered around a real estate deal involving Obama’s home on the South Side of Chicago. Obama says he approached Rezko for “advice” as he sought to purchase the house in 2005. The owner of the house was trying to sell a neighboring vacant lot as a part of the deal, Obama later told the Chicago Tribune he could not afford to buy the lot because “it was already a stretch to buy the house.”

Rezko’s wife purchased the vacant lot and later sold a part of it to Obama to expand his yard. Obama has since called his decision to involve Rezko in the deal “a bone-headed mistake.”

Obama is not the only presidential candidate who has had to face questions surrounding contributions linked to a fundraiser. Sen. Hillary Clinton returned more than $850,000 in cash linked to her fundraiser Norman Hsu, after it was revealed that Hsu was a wanted fugitive.

Now for those Obama supporters that are to naive to understand this, Obama claimed he did not know about Rezko’s reputation when he initially accepted his donations, however now there is no excuse

After ABC News cited a December 2006 Washington Post story about Sen. Barack Obama’s knowledge of legal problems faced by his friend Antoin “Tony” Rezko, the Obama campaign complained that the Post story mischaracterized what Obama had told the Washington Post reporter.

The Post reported that “Obama said that he was unaware of Rezko’s brewing troubles in 2005,” at the time Obama called Rezko about a real estate deal. Washington Post assistant managing editor Bill Hamilton told ABC News it stood by its reporter’s story.

“Our story was accurate and the Obama campaign never raised any questions before,” he said.

Obama’s knowledge of the extent of the investigation of Rezko, now under federal indictment, is important because it raises questions about his judgment in approaching a man who was under federal investigation.

The Post reported that Obama said he “should have seen some red flags” Here is the full transcript of what Obama said to the Post, as provided by the Obama campaign:

Peter Slevin, Washington Post reporter: You must have been aware he was under investigation, no?

Barack Obama: Well, I’ll be honest with you. I’ve known him for 20 years — well, let me make sure I’m not exaggerating here, 1991, so, 15 years, I’ve known him for 15 years. He had never asked me to do anything, had never behaved in any untoward way with me. And, the, you know, I wasn’t particularly knowledgeable about these various issues that he was involved with, but as I’ve said before, there’s no doubt that I should have seen some red flags in terms of me purchasing a piece of property from him. Again, my focus was just making sure that the purchase itself met ethical guidelines, but there’s no doubt that the optics of it I think – partly – well, no, I’ll just stick to that, there’s no doubt I should have been more attuned to it.

Slevin: Did you know that he was having trouble then, what was in the newspapers?

Obama: Well, the way — I was aware of what was in the newspapers, but I certainly was not aware of the serious charges that have subsequently been brought. I had no idea that those kinds of issues would be raised.

Obama also told the Washington Post and other reporters that while his contact with Rezko had been entirely legal, he made “a bone-head mistake” to approach Rezko about a personal business deal because it could appear to be improper.

Pakistan’s Fool Proof Nuclear Weapons Security

Pakistan is quite delusional if they think that their nukes are secured and the rest of the world in insane if they are going to believe them.

Yes, Al Qaeda is not likely to break into a nuclear installation and steal weapons, however that is not the real threat. If Al Qaeda and the Taliban can overthrow the Pakistani Government, they will have control of the nuclear arsenal. That is were the real threat is.

To make Pakistan’s nuclear weapons security program fool proof, the have to either remove the fool who thinks it is and replace them them someone willing to dismantle the program for everyone elses protection or the current regime must do so.

Pakistan Calls Nuke Program Security ‘Foolproof’

But Some Question Whether More Needs to Be Done to Keep Arms From Terrorists

pakistan
Pakistan’s medium-range Shaheen-1 (Haft-IV) ballistic missile takes off during a test flight from undisclosed location in Pakistan January 25, 2008. Pakistan’s army chief dismissed on Friday fears that the country’s nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of Islamic militants as the military test fired a nuclear-capable missile. (Reuters/Stringer)
Pakistan’s nuclear program has “foolproof” and “second to none” security, the head of the program insisted today, calling doubts about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal “inaccurate” and “based on a lack of understanding.”
Retired Lt. Gen. Khalid Kidwai, the director-general of Pakistan’s Strategic Plans Division, did acknowledge that as militants have increased their attacks in the last six months “the state of alert has gone up,” but insisted there were no specific threats to the nuclear program.

His assertions come as politicians in the United States and the head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog have questioned the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. Mohammed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat that he feared “nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of extremist groups in Pakistan or Afghanistan.”

Today Kidwai said that ElBaradei had “no business to talk like that. If you open and shoot your mouth without any information — that is very bad.”

“The security mechanism in place is functioning efficiently and we are capable of thwarting all types of threats — whether these be insider, outsider, or a combination,” he told a group of mostly foreign journalists.

In the last year militants based along the volatile border with Afghanistan have launched a string of assaults aimed mostly at the military and the police, but also politicians and civilians. That has fueled fears that the militants may have their eyes on a larger goal: nuclear sabotage.

But the man who Pakistan blames for masterminding the attacks, most notably the one that killed former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, said on Friday that he had no intention of attacking the nation’s nuclear institutions.

“We are afraid on the American bomb, not the Pakistani bomb. At least the Paksitani bombs are in the hands of Muslims,” Baitullah Mehsud, the head of a coalition of militant groups known as the united Taliban of Paksitan group, told Al-Jazeera in his first television interview.

In response, Kidwai warned that “words mean nothing. [Mehsud] could change his mind tomorrow. He has a capability. We are ready for him.”

But the government has some doubters. Pervez Hoodbhoy, the chairman of the physics department at Islamabad’s Quaid-e-Azam University, says the program’s safeguards are not foolproof.

“They may well have taken good care of certain things like electronic locks and safety devices, and they probably do keep the weapons disassembled. But they cannot know for sure that, in the times ahead, the custodians of the weapons will always be responsible to the government,” he told ABC News.

“Following U.S. practices, they now do psychological screening of personnel,” he said. “But I would find it hard to believe that such tests can spot the difference between those men who are merely strong in faith versus those who believe, in addition, that nuclear weapons are needed for defending the faith.”

Before ElBaradei made his comments, which he later backed away from, Sen. Hillary Clinton suggested that Pakistan should be willing to give up control over its own nuclear program.

“I would try to get [President Pervez] Musharraf to share the security responsibility of the nuclear weapons with a delegation from the United States and, perhaps, Great Britain, so that there is some fail-safe,” she said during a debate last month.

The Pakistani government has responded angrily to such proposals, and Kidwai said that Pakistan would “never” give up control over its nuclear facilities, saying there was “no conceivable scenario, political or violent, in which Pakistan will fall to the extremist.”

Pakistan’s weapons, he said, are “not on hair trigger alert,” and are safer because of that than they would otherwise be, though he did mention that they could be ready in “no time.”

For nearly two hours inside a barracks in Rawalpindi, the headquarters of Pakistan’s military, Kidwai used a PowerPoint presentation to describe exactly how the nuclear program is run and safeguarded.

He said that ultimate control of the program is held by a group known as the National Command Authority, whose chairman is the Pakistani president and whose vice-chairman is the prime minister. The Strategic Plans Division, which he heads, then handles “anything and everything that has to do with the nation’s nuclear capability,” including storage, safety, security, training, even running its own counter intelligence service.

A third tier, known as the Strategic Forces Commands, is the chain of command within the air force, army and navy that is responsible for actually launching the weapons.

After receiving a similar briefing earlier this month, Sen. Joseph Lieberman said he was “impressed by the specific explanation I had about the system that is in place here… Overall I felt reassured.”

Kidwai said 10,000 soldiers were deployed to defend nuclear facilities, and the 2,000 scientists working in particularly sensitive areas were subject to intense inspection, including their political beliefs, their financial situation and their moral backgrounds.

He acknowledged that two Pakistani scientists had met with Osama bin Laden before the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but he said they had ultimately been cleared of any wrongdoing. And he said one scientist had been fired after giving an anti-Musharraf speech in a mosque.

But the program is perhaps best known for the world’s most famous scientist-turned-proliferator.

Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities exploded into the public in May 1998, when the country announced it had conducted as many as six successful nuclear tests in response to Indian tests carried out just weeks before.

It took almost six years after that for the government to publicly acknowledge the actions of A.Q. Khan, known as the father of the Paksitani bomb. Khan sold nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea, and Syria, and was only caught, Kidwai said, when Pakistan created its nuclear controls in 1999.

Today, when asked about Khan, Kidwai was adamant that Pakistan had long since eliminated the loopholes Khan exploited to sell technology.

“A.Q. Khan happened in an era when there were no tight controls,” he said. When Khan headed the nuclear program, Kidwai said, “he was given the trust. He betrayed it. It’s as simple as that.”

Manhunt For 3 Jihadists

Al Qaeda has set it’s sites on Spain yet again. I guess with their inability to strike within the US they are going after Europe still. Germany, Britan and Spain seem to the their prime targets… Why? I guess they have integrated themselves into the Muslim neighborhoods so well, they are hard to weed out… A key note is where these guys are from, Pakistan… I think it is time the world brings pressure on the Pakistanian Government to step up their efforts or allow other forces to intervene and hunt down the leaders of the terror organizations that are using Pakistan as a base camp.

Law enforcement officials throughout Europe say they are are urgently hunting for members of an al Qaeda terror cell that was allegedly planning to attack the transit system in Barcelona.

Sources tell ABC News those being sought are believed to be bomb makers and suicide killers who were working with a 14-member operation.

While it is unclear whether the Barcelona attacks were imminent, Spanish authorities say they have no doubt that the threat was serious.

The plot was allegedly developed by senior al Qaeda leaders hiding in Pakistan, with members of the cell making their way into Spain in recent days.

“Here we are looking at something different: a well-organized group who were going beyond ideological radicalism to acquiring materials to make explosives and therefore eventually to carry out violent attacks,” Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said at a press conference last week.

U.S. officials tell ABC News that in the wake of the thwarted attacks on Barcelona’s transit system they are deeply troubled by this latest example of a reconstituted al Qaeda.

The National Intelligence Estimate released last year warned that al Qaeda was training scores of recruits in the tribal regions of Pakistan.

“If this story is true, it means that al Qaeda is alive. It has money. It has people that are trained. It has a network to send people — large numbers of people — out as a team and that it has the capability of striking thousands of miles from its base in Pakistan,” former government counter-intelligence official and ABC News consultant Richard Clarke said of this latest incident.

The pace of plots directed or inspired by al Qaeda has been intensifying in recent months, with Europe as the focus.

Last September in Germany, three Islamic radicals were accused of targeting U.S. military installations there.

Also in September in Denmark, suspected terrorists were charged with planning a bombing campaign.

Then in December, Belgian authorities arrested 14 men who were allegedly plotting to free an al Qaeda prisoner using guns and explosives.

Now U.S. officials say they are desperately searching to see if the Barcelona cell has ties to any operatives in the United States.

U.S. intelligence has been warning for months that Europe is at risk and could be the gateway to an attack here at home.

Three more Jihadist from Spain’s investigation are at large and their target is unknown at this time, I would imagine it is somewhere else in Spain as these groups tend to plan their attacks to be coordinated to maximize the terror factor… Although they may strike elsewhere as their original targets are surely being watched closer at this point…

ABC News has learned that the manhunt that began in Spain for suspected terror cell members has now extended to France and other European Union countries.

The attorney general in Spain said today that there are three cell members they are urgently searching for and that the missing members could be suicidal terrorists with a mission to attack somewhere outside of Spain.

Investigative sources tell ABC News the cell members are Spanish residents, including both nationals and foreigners. They are believed to have recently traveled to Spain from Waziristan, Pakistan, an area known as a hotbed for al Qaeda training and Taliban resurgence.

The 14 suspected terrorists arrested last weekend in Spain were in the final stages of preparing a suicide attack using multiple bombs, according to sources close to the investigation being conducted by Spanish Central Intelligence (CNI) and the Guardia Civil Islamic Counterterrorist Unit.

The men were of Pakistani, Indian and other ethnic backgrounds. Many appear to be legal residents of Spain, but some of the suspects’ legal statuses are still unknown. One of the men arrested, Maroof Ahmaed Mirza, is described as an Imam, a legal resident of Spain and a Pakistani national.

The raids capped what was known as Operation Cantata and took place in the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona after authorities established the readiness of the group based on intercepts and informant information, sources told ABCNews.com.

Seven searches were conducted, including searches of two mosques, according to police reports. Investigators seized four timers, described as “mechanical clocks without numbered spheres,” various empty pyrotechnic cartridges, multi-colored wires, latex gloves, kitchen gloves, severe batteries of varying voltages, cables used for detonators and other various materials, according to an inventory of the searches.

Spanish authorities believe the intended target was the Barcelona subway system and that the plot would have used two to four suicide bombers wearing explosive vests that were to be detonated simultaneously while another plotter detonated three to four more devices placed in the subway, investigative sources told ABC News. The Barcelona rapid transit system has 150 stations along nine lines and runs over 71 miles. It serves 1.6 million residents in Spain’s second largest city.

“For this reason, the Barcelona rail system makes a great target for the Islamic radicals coming to Spain,” said a source close to the case. “The (Raval) area of Barcelona has become a great location for the al Qaeda cells for recruitment, financial support and possible targets.”