Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Intelligence chiefs say another terror attempt in U.S. is 'certain' - CNN.com

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  • "Washington (CNN) -- Another attempted terrorist attack on the United States in coming months is "certain," the heads of major U.S intelligence agencies told a Senate committee Tuesday. Al Qaeda remains the top security threat to the United States, but a growing cyber-security threat also must be addressed by the U.S. intelligence community, the heads of the CIA, the FBI and other agencies told the Senate Intelligence Committee. The hearing covered a range of security issues and became contentious, with Republicans on the committee arguing with Democratic counterparts and the intelligence chiefs on how the Obama administration has handled terrorism suspects such as the failed Christmas Day bomber of a U.S. airliner. Asked by committee chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, of the likelihood of another attempted terror attack on the United States in the next three to six months, the officials agreed with Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair's initial answer of "certain." While none of the intelligence chiefs, who included CIA Director Leon Panetta, FBI Director Robert Mueller and others, cited a specific pending threat, their testimony made clear that an evolving al Qaeda remains their top concern. "My greatest concern, and what keeps me awake at night, is that al Qaeda and its terrorist allies and affiliates could very well attack the United States," Panetta said. Al Qaeda is adapting methods to make their plots more difficult to detect, shifting from large attacks with multiple players to using individuals without any background in terrorism, Panetta said. He noted the Christmas Day attempt as an example, saying the suspect had a U.S. visa but little history of involvement with terrorist groups. "Obviously, they decided to make use of someone like that within a very short period of time" of the suspect coming into contact with al Qaeda, Panetta said."

    tags: Muslim, Islam, US, Government, Al-Qaeda, Warnings, News


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