Terror Alert Info is 3-4 Years Old

Unbelievable. The New York Times is reporting that the information that al Qaeda may attack specific buildings in New York and Washington is three to four years old.

Much of the information that led the authorities to raise the terror alert at several large financial institutions in the New York City and Washington areas was three or four years old, intelligence and law enforcement officials said on Monday. They reported that they had not yet found concrete evidence that a terror plot or preparatory surveillance operations were still under way.

Was the terror threat issued to prevent Kerry from leaping ahead in the polls? Yesterday I didn't think so. Now, like many other people, I'm not sure. Especially after reading a comment like this:

"You could say that the bulk of this information is old, but we know that Al Qaeda collects, collects, collects until they're comfortable,'' said one senior government official. "Only then do they carry out an operation. And there are signs that some of this may have been updated or may be more recent.'' (our emphasis.)

Parse that sentence for a minute:

"signs" as in indications, not proof or evidence
"may have been updated," not "has been updated"
"may be more recent," not "is more recent" or "is very recent."

If this is all the Administration had to issue the alert, it's gone beyond "the little boy who cried wolf" to disingenous (at best) or outright deceitful.

[link via Just a Bump in the Beltway.]

Update: Agonist details the discrepancies between the accounts crediting a July 13 arrrest of an al Qaeda operative and seizure of his computer, with accounts dating the information 3-4 years ago, before 9/11.

Update: Jeff at Protein Wisdom disagrees with us.

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