THE UNITED STATES has arrested an Al Qaeda terrorist who planned to detonate a dirty bomb in the United States, according to a statement from Attorney General John Ashcroft reported in The Washington Post just a few minutes ago.

These guys are out there, and they’re still trying. As I’ve mentioned before, Al Qaeda isn’t particularly bright by all evidence, but they’re persistent and willing to learn from their mistakes. That’s enough to be dangerous.

UPDATE: Kenneth Silber has a proposal for dealing with the problem of bombs smuggled in shipping containers.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Several readers join with TAPPED in questioning the Administration’s timing here, given that this guy was actually arrested on May 8. Though there are legitimate reasons why they might have sat on the news (hoping, for example, to scoop up confederates before his arrest was known), this is also a legitimate question to raise.