In the wake of news that the British government thwarted a deadly plan to blow up to 10 airliners bound for the United States, U.S. Senate nominee Harold Ford Jr. issued the following statement:
"The President told us that the British attacks are a 'stark reminder that the nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom,' yet his administration has dismantled the very infrastructure that is responsible for catching those terrorists.
"This weekend we learned that one of the terrorists involved in the plot to commit murder on a massive scale is linked with al Qaeda, but this administration, with the complicity of a Republican Congress, eliminated our nation's only intelligence gathering unit exclusively dedicated to going after al Qaeda and its henchmen. Now is not the time to downgrade our commitment or ability to apprehend or kill Osama Bin Laden or other al Qaeda leaders. We need to re-start this unit immediately. Anything less than a robust, fully funded and focused effort to combat terrorism and those who seek to destroy our way of life is unacceptable.
"Let's figure out how the British foiled the attack and what tools Prime Minister Blair has that President Bush has not had. Congress should then immediately give those to our President. By refocusing our efforts on putting an end to the world's most dangerous gang of terrorists, we can keep our nation safe."