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February 5th, 2010
10:57 AM ET

Intelligence community must be part of terror decisions

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/01/08/terror.suspect.visa/story.abdulmutallab.jpg.jpg caption="Abdulmutallab's case is raising questions about how to put terror suspects on trial." width=300 height=169]

Gloria Borger
CNN Senior Political Analyst

Sen. Susan Collins is not prone to hyperbole. She's a moderate Republican who survived the Obama sweep in the last election by winning handily in Maine as an independent thinker. She's not doctrinaire. In fact, she abandoned most of her GOP caucus to support the administration on the controversial stimulus package. And she's an important player, as the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security Committee.

Lately, she's been (uncharacteristically) sounding alarms. She complained last week that the administration treated the Christmas Day bomber as an "ordinary criminal" rather than a terrorist when officials decided to eventually hand him a lawyer some time after his arrest. And now, she's even more concerned. "I am frustrated about it," she told me. "It was such a dangerous decision. It really worries me."

Why the additional angst? Because intelligence officials told a Senate panel this week that al Qaeda and its subsidiaries were actively plotting a new attack against the United States within the next six months. If that's the case, she tells me, we need to get our act together. And fast.

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Filed under: al Qaeda • Gloria Borger • Terrorism
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