United Nations inspectors gathered evidence that left “little doubt that a chemical weapon was used in the attack by the Syrian regime last week,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. ABC’s Martha Raddatz reported Monday, Aug. 26 from the region that “the U.S. is more convinced than ever before that this was a chemical attack and it is now up to President Obama to decide what to do.”
Raddatz said that possible options are being discussed for a response from the U.S. Retired USMC colonel, Stephen Ganyard, ABC News consultant, comments “We want to use our aircraft and our bombers to launch glide weapons, standoff weapons, from well outside the Syrian surface-to-air missile threat, so that our aircrews will not be in any danger and can return home safely.” Raddatz said that the White House does not want the U.S. to act alone. The U.S. has aggressively tried to get U.N. authorization for a possible strike. Russia could stand in the way, however, “the U.N. secretary general has already promised action if the reports are true and has inspectors on the ground this morning.”
Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has said that “any attack by the U.S. would end in failure.” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated, “Such a crime against humanity should result in serious consequences.” An administration official said any potential U.S. strike would need to be timely to avoid future chemical attacks.
Robert Mueller, outgoing FBI director, warns of a potential threat here at home. After 12 years as head of the intelligence bureau, Mueller is now stepping down and making stark admonitions about concerns for the safety of Americans that have kept him up at night. During his final days in office, Director Mueller, in an interview of the FBI’s Strategic Command Center on Friday, Aug. 23, “made clear that the threat of terror at home and abroad remains urgent,” said ABC News’ senior justice correspondent, Pierre Thomas.
Director Mueller sees a potential threat to Americans here at home as the war in Syria has become bloodier. According to Thomas, Mueller believes that Americans are “now joining Islamic radicals fighting in Syria, possibly including al-Qaeda.” Mueller said, “You are concerned about, number one, the associations they will make. And, secondly, the expertise they will develop and whether or not they will utilize those associations, utilize that expertise, to undertake an attack on the homeland.”
Thomas asked the director what concerned him most in his final days in office. Mueller replied, “The possibility of a plane being taken down. The possibility of a weapon of mass destruction in the hands of a terrorist or a terrorist group who are not afraid to launch it — chemical, biological. And, cyber — the ability to impact, substantially, the financial markets or the energy sector.”
Mueller said that the Boston Marathon bomber was homegrown and “a painful reminder that the FBI’s work is never done.” It was not directed from overseas, “which is a major ongoing threat.” The outgoing director said, “I can't believe the devastation and the injuries that a number of persons lost their limbs — their legs, and the like. You could not help but be horrified.” These type threats, the director fears, cannot be stopped.