FBI director says US suicide bombers ‘inevitable’


Walk-in suicide bombers like those who have attacked public places in Israel will hit the US eventually, the director of the FBI said today.

"I think we will see that in the future, I think it is inevitable," Mr Robert Mueller told a local prosecutors meeting in Alexandria, a suburb of Washington.

Mr Mueller said the degree of fanaticism that an informant must exhibit to get into the inner circle of a terrorist group makes it difficult for law-enforcement agencies to penetrate such organisations and prevent such attacks.

"I wish I could be more optimistic," he said. Mr Mueller's prediction follows US vice-president Mr Dick Cheney's warning yesterday that because no specific information is available, the US is finding it difficult to respond to the latest intelligence hints that the al-Qaida terrorist network may be planning another attack.

Mr Mueller said law enforcement officials have been somewhat successful in combating acts of terrorism in Northern Ireland by developing sources who could provide information about terrorist plans and by using electronic surveillance.

But he said the difficulty of getting informants inside terrorist groups targeting the US makes it much harder to obtain advance information.