US: Al-Qaida efforts to sneak in terrorists up

Al-Qaida is stepping up its efforts to sneak terror operatives into the United States and has acquired most of the capabilities it needs to strike here, according to a new US intelligence assessment, The Associated Press has learned. The draft National Intelligence Estimate is expected to paint an ever-more-worrisome portrait of al-Qaida's ability to use its base along the Pakistan-Afghan border to launch and inspire attacks against the United States over the next several years. Yet, the government's top analysts concluded that US soil has become a harder target for the extremist network, thanks to worldwide counterterror efforts since the attacks of September 11, 2001. The document also discusses increasing concern about individuals already inside the United States who are adopting an extremist brand of Islam.