The United States is losing the war on terrorism and faces an “inevitable” al-Qaida attack with weapons of mass destruction that will be worse than 9-11, according to a counter-terror expert.

“All of the warnings we have today indicate that a major strike – something more horrible than anything we’ve seen before – is all but inevitable,” said Yossef Bodansky, former director of the U.S. Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, in an interview yesterday with the Jerusalem Post.

Bodansky said “the primary option” for the next al-Qaida attack on American soil would be to employ weapons of mass destruction.

“I do not have a crystal ball, but this is what all the available evidence tells us; we will have a bang,” Bodansky told the Post, adding al-Qaida is “tying up the knots” for an attack.

Bodansky, author of “Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America,” and “The Secret History of the Iraq War,” said the jihadist movement is gaining strength as Osama bin Laden’s call to arms draws an increasing number of recruits throughout the Muslim world.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Bodansky said, the number of people trained and willing to die has more than doubled to an estimated 500,000 to 750,000. Intelligences estimates say another 10 million are willing to support them actively while another 50 million would provide financial assistance.

Bodansky was in Israel for the second annual Jerusalem Summit, an international gathering of conservative thinkers, the Post said.

Al-Qaida has not carried out a second major attack, Bodansky explained, because the first one sufficiently sent the message to the Islamic world that the U.S. could be penetrated, and a second attack necessarily would have to be more grandiose.

Now, however, the re-election of President Bush has set the stage for a massive attack with non-conventional weapons, Bodansky believes.

There has been a debate between bin Laden allies and some Islamic leaders over the propriety of such a large-scale attack on U.S. citizens, he told the Jerusalem paper. But, according to bin Laden’s mindset, that has been resolved by the American electorate backing Bush and thus “choosing” to be enemies of Islam.

Though some debate and doubt may linger, the planning for an attack is finished, Bodansky believes.

“They got the kosher stamp from the Islamic world to use nuclear weapons,” he said.

Bin Laden’s theme has shifted since 9-11, Bodanksy said. Previously, perpetual confrontation and jihad against the U.S. was seen as the only way to protect Islam. Now, the emphasis is on punishing American society.

“Just as the West was challenging the quintessence of Islam by means of the globalization era, there was a parallel need by Islamic extremists to strike at – and hurt – the core of American society, this time with weapons of mass destruction,” Bodansky said.

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