Former US officials: Al-Qaida still likely to use WMD

AP , Friday 29 Jul 2011

Two top former U.S. officials say a chemical or biological attack by al-Qaida and its offshoots remains a threat, even in the wake of the death of Osama bin Laden

The retired director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Mike Leiter, told the Aspen Security Forum that terrorists know that killing even a few Americans can cause almost as much chaos as the massive plots bin Laden backed.

Leiter says militants from Yemen or Somalia would likely use something simple, like the poison ricin, to kill only a handful but scare millions in the process.

Both Leiter and a former CIA deputy director, John McLaughlin, say the new leader of al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahiri, may copy his affiliates and launch smaller-scale plots.

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