Experts and lawmakers paint a different story.
The airline attack "is increasingly appearing to be the work of an orchestrated operation by Iraq, Somalia and North Africa might now be seeking to attack the West."The terrorist threat environment to the US is more complicated and multi-faceted today than at any point since 9/11."Asked on CNN if the plane attack bore the markings of Al-Qaeda, former CIA acting director John McLaughlin replied: "it certainly feels that way."Abdulmutallab, McLaughlin said, had been in London, "where there is frequent evidence of recruitment by Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda-related people. He claims to have been in touch with Yemenis, and Yemen is a place where Al-Qaeda is on the move."Abdulmutallab comes from a well-off family in northern Nigeria, but his relatives said he had broken contact with them weeks ago after announcing he was studying in Yemen."Whatever religious views he held while studying in the UK, Farouk did not get the crazy idea of bombing a plane until he went to the Middle East for further study," said Shehu Sani, a neighbor of the Abdulmutallab family and a Nigerian rights activist.http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091227/pl_afp/usattacksnigeriaqaeda_20091227232757(AQAP)," according to IntelCenter, a US group that monitors extremist activity."This would be the first time AQAP has struck outside of its Saudi Arabian/Yemen area of operations and is great cause for concern," it said, pointing to how Al-Qaeda affiliates in