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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 September 2006, 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK
Democrats seek full terror report
US President George W Bush

US Democrats have urged the Bush administration to release in full a report which finds that US involvement in Iraq has fuelled global terrorism.

Senators said parts of the intelligence report declassified on Tuesday did not give Americans enough information.

President George W Bush released excerpts after leaks to the US media.

Correspondents say the excerpts give some comfort to the White House, saying that victory in Iraq would be a big blow to the enemy.

Mr Bush has accused those behind the leak of trying to mislead the American public for political purposes ahead of congressional elections in November.

But Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has also added to the dispute, saying in an interview for CNN that he stood by remarks in his new book that he opposed the invasion because he feared it would encourage terrorism.

"I've stated whatever I had to ... it has made the world a more dangerous place," he said.

'New generation'

The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report is a collection of the view of all 16 US intelligence agencies.

Jihadists, although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion
National Intelligence Estimate

The released excerpts contain ammunition for both sides in the debate over Iraq, the BBC's Justin Webb in Washington notes.

But Democrat Senators Edward Kennedy, Hillary Clinton and Carl Levin said the public needed to know more from the report and accused the administration of selective declassification.

"The American people deserve the full story, not those parts of it that the Bush administration selects. President Bush should declassify the entire NIE," Senator Kennedy said.

They also called for a briefing behind closed doors with John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence.

Meanwhile, a Democrat proposal for a secret session of the House of Representatives to give lawmakers the chance to discuss the report was voted down.

Congresswoman Jane Harman said there was a second NIE focused purely on Iraq.

"I hear it paints a grim picture," she said. "And because it does, I am told it is being held until after the November elections."

'Mistake'

The leaked excerpts from the report were first published by the New York Times on Sunday.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Mr Bush condemned the leak, calling his critics "naive".

HAVE YOUR SAY
The invasion has given a huge impetus to a global jihad
Harun Ali, London

Declassification would let people judge the document for themselves," he said.

"I think it's a mistake for people to believe that going on the offensive against people that want to do harm to the American people makes us less safe," he added.

Mr Bush has consistently dismissed such reasoning in the past, arguing that Islamic militants had hated the US long before it invaded Iraq or Afghanistan.

Our correspondent says the report gives backing to the White House view that a victory in Iraq would be a big prize with fewer enemy fighters inspired to carry on.

There is also mention of real successes against al-Qaeda.

But the overall picture, including the assertion that the Iraq conflict has become a cause celebre for jihadists, is not terribly comforting for Mr Bush and could be a setback in the elections, our correspondent adds.

Other key points of the report include:

  • Militants, although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion
  • If this trend continues, threats to US interests globally will become more diverse leading to increased attacks worldwide
  • Militants consider Europe an important venue for attacking Western interests
  • The loss of key leaders in rapid succession would probably fracture al-Qaeda into smaller groups that would pose, at least for a time, a less serious threat to US interests.




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