>From tomorrow's edition of The New York Times:

September 24, 2006

Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat 


WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 — A stark assessment of terrorism trends by 
American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion 
and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic 
radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the 
Sept. 11 attacks.

The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more 
direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented 
either in recent White House documents or in a report released 
Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several 
officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who 
have read the final document.

The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal 
appraisal of global terrorism by United States intelligence agencies 
since the Iraq war began, and represents a consensus view of the 16 
disparate spy services inside government. Titled "Trends in Global 
Terrorism: Implications for the United States,'' it asserts that 
Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized 
and spread across the globe.

An opening section of the report, "Indicators of the Spread of the 
Global Jihadist Movement," cites the Iraq war as a reason for the 
diffusion of jihad ideology. 

The report "says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism 
problem worse," said one American intelligence official....

National Intelligence Estimates are the most authoritative documents 
that the intelligence community produces on a specific national 
security issue, and are approved by John D. Negroponte, director of 
national intelligence. Their conclusions are based on analysis of raw 
intelligence collected by all of the spy agencies....

For more than two years, there has been tension between the Bush 
administration and American spy agencies over the violence in Iraq 
and the prospects for a stable democracy in the country. Some 
intelligence officials have said the White House has consistently 
presented a more optimistic picture of the situation in Iraq than 
justified by intelligence reports from the field....

The broad judgments of the new intelligence estimate are consistent 
with assessments of global terrorist threats by American allies and 
independent terrorism experts.

The panel investigating the London terrorist bombings of July 2005 
reported in May that the leaders of Britain's domestic and 
international intelligence services, MI5 and MI6, "emphasized to the 
committee the growing scale of the Islamist terrorist threat."

More recently, the Council on Global Terrorism, an independent 
research group of respected terrorism experts, assigned a grade 
of "D+" to United States efforts over the past five years to combat 
Islamic extremism. The council concluded that "there is every sign 
that radicalization in the Muslim world is spreading rather than 

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