Last week, on one of its password-protected websites, Al Qaeda said that the election of John McCain was preferable to Barack Obama. This is because McCain is more likely to continue the polarizing policies of the Bush administration, which have angered radical Muslims and made it easier for Al Qaeda to recruit new terrorists. But the polls suggest that Obama will win, so will Al Qaeda attempt to influence the election by staging a terrorist attack in the US in the next few days? The site said, “Al Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election.” Richard Clarke, the former White House Counterterrorism director, suggested that Al Qaeda prefers John McCain and could use terror tactics to swing the election in his direction. Of course, it is also true that an Al Qaeda endorsement of McCain might be calculated to drive voters away from him and in the direction of Barack Obama. In either case, the endorsement has not been widely reported in the US media. Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff has said that he has “not seen evidence that a major element of al Qaeda’s planning is our anniversaries or our elections. Terrorist operations are undertaken when they are operationallyready.” Let’s hope that time is not now, or ever.

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