New attacks on US 'almost a certainty'


THE US: The US Vice-President, Mr Dick Cheney, emphasised yesterday that any investigation into intelligence failures prior to the September 11th attacks must not compromise information sources and methods.

Mr Cheney and the national security adviser, Ms Condoleezza Rice, yesterday continued to defend the Bush administration against charges that it failed to take appropriate action on intelligence reports it received before September 11th.

A briefing Mr Bush had on August 6th has been the object of scrutiny because it stated that the al-Qaeda networks had used hijackings in the past and could do so again.

Mr Cheney said a future attack on US targets by al-Qaeda terrorists was "almost a certainty".

A White House official on Saturday said US intelligence officials have detected "enhanced activity" which points to a potential new attack against the US or US interests abroad.

The FBI also warned of a possible plot by Osama bin Laden's network to detonate bombs in US apartment buildings.

Meanwhile, a British-based Islamic news agency has released video footage of bin Laden which it said was filmed just two months ago.

The 100-second clip shows bin Laden outside a stone building in a camouflage jacket as he spoke to unseen supporters, extolling the merits of martyrdom.