founder Joseph Farah reported last week that the al-Qaida terrorist network may have smuggled scores of nuclear weapons into the United States. To paraphrase a famous comedian, that’s scary – I don’t care who you are.

No doubt skepticism among many readers of that story was running rampant, and why not? After all, such a catastrophe-in-waiting couldn’t possibly be true, yet if it were, it surely could not happen in the United States. London maybe, but not here.

Denial is a normal human reaction to events or information that is difficult to grasp. There was lots of that going around before and after the 9-11 attacks. But before you dismiss this story out of hand, you should know a few things – about Mr. Farah and his news organization, of which I proudly used to be a part, and recent actions of the federal government.

Joe Farah is one of the most professional journalists I have ever known. He’s not prone to sensationalism, and he’s far too seasoned (and skeptical) a reporter to be duped. In fact, the more sensational or implausible a story, the more skeptical he is.

Secondly, in case you missed it, the federal Homeland Security department has recently announced a major change in strategy. Following a months-long “Second Stage Review” completed last month, department head Michael Chertoff announced the agency would begin to focus more preparation efforts “on catastrophic events” while working to strengthen “border security and interior enforcement” of “immigration processes.”

Such major policy reviews and revisions of strategy are not made haphazardly. They take planning, dedication of resources and are ordered from the highest levels of our government. So the changes being made by DHS are a big deal.

Perhaps not so ironically, the two top priorities for DHS – preventing catastrophes and securing our borders – match perfectly the information put forth by Farah. And for the record, the WND story broke before Chertoff’s announcement of his department’s change in priorities.

There is ancillary evidence to support the nuclear story’s conclusions as well:

  • In his story, Farah states the al-Qaida nukes were likely smuggled “into the U.S. over the Mexican border with the help of the MS-13 street gang and other organized crime groups.” Jim Kouri, a vice president with the National Association of Police Chiefs and a contributor, reported last month that U.S. counterterrorism experts believe MS-13 “has ties to terrorist groups including al-Qaida.”

  • The Pentagon has also recently adopted a major change from its longstanding “two-war strategy.” Instead of keeping forces designed to fight two major regional conflicts at the same time, “the Defense Department’s most senior officials believe the military should be capable of fighting one major war, while devoting more resources to defending the homeland and fighting terrorism (my emphasis).” Loren Thompson, an analyst at the Lexington Institute, a policy research center in Arlington, Va., told the New York Times the Pentagon’s policy change was necessary because “what we need for conventional victory is different from what we need for fighting insurgents, and fighting insurgents has relatively little connection to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. We can’t afford it all (my emphasis).”
  • Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the Washington Post reported on the existence of a so-called “shadow” U.S. government that, as of March 2002 – when the story broke – currently worked in secret outside Washington, D.C. The reason: “To ensure survival of federal rule after a catastrophic attack on the nation’s capital.” Granted, it was a longstanding plan, but that marked the first time it was activated. And it’s reportedly been updated since.

There is an awful lot of talk recently among the government’s two largest agencies about catastrophic events, nuclear weapons, terrorism and better homeland security. Again, such discussions – and major policy changes associated with them – are not common and cannot be dismissed as simple posturing by officials.

It’s obvious somebody is worried about something. That in itself lends all sorts of credibility to Mr. Farah’s story – not that it, or he, lacked credibility to begin with.

The war on terrorism may about to be ready to enter a new phase. God help us (and the world) if this diabolical plan reaches fruition.

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