Published February 11, 2010
Vice President Joe Biden made his latest eyebrow-furrowing prediction Wednesday night, declaring confidently that another Sept. 11-size terror attack is "unlikely" in the U.S., despite signs that Al Qaeda and and other terrorist groups are actively planning more attacks.
Top intelligence officials told congressional lawmakers early this month that the terror network can be expected to try another attack in the next three to six months. But Biden, interviewed on CNN, downplayed the risk.
"Look, let me put it this way. The idea of there being a massive attack in the United States like 9/11 is unlikely, in my view," the vice president said.
It was the latest in a line of sweeping forecasts Biden has made in recent years.
Perhaps most famously, Biden predicted shortly before the 2008 presidential election that Barack Obama, as president, would face a "generated crisis" from the international community to "test the mettle of this guy."
One could argue that the events of the past year and a half have proved him right many times over -- with the North Korean nuclear test, the Iranian election crisis, the Fort Hood shooting and the failed Christmas Day attack, among other things.
But Biden may have a long way to go before he can call himself a true Joestradamus.
He admitted in an interview last July that the administration had been way off in its estimates of how the stimulus package would affect the unemployment rate, having "misread how bad the economy was."
Now the veep is making economic predictions again, saying late last month that the U.S. should start to see a net increase in job creation on a monthly basis, starting in the spring.
Biden on Wednesday did not rule out the possibility of a terror attack in the U.S. -- he said a future terror attack might take an unfamiliar form.
"What's happening, particularly with Al Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula, they have decided to move in the direction of much more small-bore but devastatingly frightening attacks," he said on Wednesday. "The concern relates to somebody like a shoe bomber or the underpants bomber, the Christmas attack or someone just strapping a backpack on them with explosives that are indigenous."