In 2008 the Defense Science Board issued a report on the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) to the USA they urged the Obama administration "to do everything possible to prevent the worst people from acquiring and using the worst weapons.". This included a strongly worded policy of retaliation against any group or nation that launches a WMD attack on the USA. They also said Defense and other agencies like Homeland Security should have better operational contingency plans for natural disasters or terror attacks(1 ).
Also according to a study ordered by Congress in 2008 the number of "high-containment" tripled. These labs can work with biological agents that can be used in WMD's. the study said "The rapid growth in the number of such labs in recent years has created new safety and security risks which must be managed,". The study also criticized the Bush Administration for not paying a much attention to the threat of biological agents(2 ).
The GAO released a report in 2009 about Labs that work with Dangerous viruses. They noted the lack of over site "Since no single agency is in charge of the expansion, no one is determining the aggregate risks associated with this expansion," and added "As a consequence, no federal agency can determine whether high-containment laboratory capacity may now meet or exceed the national need or is at a level that can be operated safely." (3).
Al-Qaida is attempting to capitalize on the global economic crisis. In 2008 gloating over the American economic crisis, a user of a Al-Qaida linked site said "now is a golden opportunity. If America is hit now, it will never survive, unless God permits it." (4 ).
Professor Bruce Hoffman of Georgetown University in Washington said "In terms of al-Qaida's propaganda, for at least the past six years - they have constantly hit on the issue that they will bankrupt us. So, consequently they see recent global economic events as providing proof of the effectiveness of their strategy. That may be completely divorced from reality, but, unfortunately, propaganda does not have to be true to be believed,"(5 ).
He also said "Al-Qaida has been able to survive for the past seven years largely because it has proven enormously adaptive and innovative across the board. It is not to say that the means that it funds itself or even communicates are not extremely cumbersome and time consuming - it just means that al-Qaida is willing to invest the time and the patience in order to ensure that it continues to have a flow of money and is still able to communicate to its supporters,"(6 ).