NYT: Spy agencies say Iraq war worsens terrorism threat

Published: Saturday September 23, 2006

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Spy agencies say that the Iraq war has worsened the threat of terrorism, according to a front page article in Sunday's New York Times.

"A stark assessment of terrorism trends by U.S. intelligence agencies has found that the U.S. 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," reports Mark Mazzetti.

"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 who were involved in preparing the assessment or have read the final document," the article continues.

Excerpts from Times article:


The intelligence estimate, completed in April, is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by U.S. intelligence agencies since the Iraq war began, and it 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 U.S. intelligence official.


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

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