By Bob Cusack - 10/09/09 12:32 PM EDT
Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) said Thursday that a handful of terrorist plots in the United States have been thwarted in the last few weeks.
He added, "They weren't coming from Afghanistan," making his case that many people are falsely claiming that al Qaeda has a large foothold in Afghanistan. He claims there are only about 100 al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan.
It is unclear as to which terrorist plots Webb was referring.
An alleged terrorist plan to attack New York City was averted with the arrest of Najibullah Zazi last month. But Zazi is from Afghanistan.
Two men last month were indicted in North Carolina for allegedly planning to attack the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va. A grand jury also recently indicted a Jordanian for allegedly plotting to blow up a skyscraper in Dallas.
Webb, who served in Vietnam and as secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan, is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Friday. The White House press release did not indicate why Obama and Webb are meeting.
Webb's office did not comment for this article.
During his appearance on C-SPAN, Webb said that the situation in Afghanistan is similar to Lebanon in the 1980s: "This is not Vietnam and it is not Iraq. If I had to have a parallel for what this is — probably more similar to when Lebanon was trying to be assisted when I was there as a journalist in 1983 ... where you had a very small, ineffective central government and a lot of tribal elements around it, a lot of militias that they were training to build a Lebanese national army and they didn't quite do it."
The C-SPAN video of the interview can be viewed here.