From: Reuters
Published May 28, 2008 12:04 AM

No new evidence of al Qaeda threat despite report: U.S.

By JoAnne Allen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - There is no evidence of a direct threat from al Qaeda or that the group has obtained weapons of mass destruction, U.S. intelligence officials said on Tuesday, despite reports that al Qaeda will release a new video urging jihadists to use such weapons to attack the West.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said the bureau sent out an alert to U.S. law enforcement agencies about the expected video. "We got information the tape is coming," he said. "We sent out an alert to law enforcement to let them know the tape was coming."

Kolko said the alert was a routine precaution sent to 1,800 U.S. law enforcement agencies.

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ABC News reported on Tuesday evening that the video was expected in the next 24 hours.

However, IntelCenter, a U.S.-based terrorism monitoring firm, said the video being referred to was actually released at least as early as Monday and is entitled "Nuclear Jihad, The Ultimate Terror."

IntelCenter described it as "a jihadi supporter video compilation" and said that it was not from an official group.

"These videos almost always are comprised of old video footage that is edited together to make a new video," IntelCenter said. "The material in these types of videos do not qualify as an official message from al-Qaeda or any other group."

A U.S. intelligence official said on Tuesday evening that there is no sign that al Qaeda has acquired the capability to use weapons of mass destruction.

"At this point there isn't evidence they've obtained it," the official said on condition of anonymity. "But it's clearly their intent and it's something we need to be aware of and concerned about."

The dollar dipped slightly on the ABC News report against the euro and Swiss franc.

(Reporting by Joanne Allen and Randall Mikkelsen; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Patricia Zengerle)

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