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Qaeda unlikely to disrupt polls: US

world Updated: Oct 24, 2008 23:49 IST

Al Qaeda has shown no signs it plans to attack the United States during the presidential election, but the government must keep guard during the transition to a new president, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said.

Chertoff added the global economic turmoil had yet to cause any visible change in Al Qaeda’s strategy.

He also cautioned about heated political rhetoric in “an intemperate time,” saying it could fuel violence among Americans. “I have not seen evidence that a major element of al Qaeda’s planning is our anniversaries or our elections,” Chertoff said in an interview. “Terrorist operations are undertaken when they are operationally ready. They don’t wait for something that’s an external event, and they don't rush it.”

Al Qaeda attacks around the time of elections in Spain, Britain and Pakistan have caused some experts to warn the United States is potentially vulnerable before the November 4 vote.