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Negroponte: Classified Document on Iraq War Distorts 'Broad Picture'


U.S. National Intelligence Director John Negroponte says news reports of a document which says the war in Iraq has spawned a new generation of Islamic terrorists distorts what he calls the broad picture.

In a Monday night Washington speech, Negroponte said the war in Iraq is a fraction of the entire classified report, called the "National Intelligence Estimate on Trends in Global Terrorism." He says news reports give people the incorrect impression that the document mostly deals with the relation between Iraq and terrorism. Negroponte says the United States has made notable successes against what he called the global jihadist threat.

"United States counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qaida and disrupted its operations," Negroponte says.

The classified report is compiled from the assessment of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. It is the first such report since the war in Iraq began.

Negroponte says the document does not say there is an increased threat against the American homeland. He says he believes it has actually been reduced since the attacks of September 11.

"We are certainly more vigilant. We're better prepared. And, in that sense, I can safely say we are safer," Negroponte says.

Negroponte says the White House will seriously consider declassifying the report.