WASHINGTON: The threat of terrorism against the US was possibly at its highest level since the September 11, 2001, attacks, according to a grim assessment by the Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano.
Al-Qaeda remained at the core of concerns, particularly on the Arabian Peninsula and via US-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, now based in Yemen. But al-Qaeda-inspired local groups and homegrown radicals were augmenting that threat, Ms Napolitano said.
”We have made many important strides in securing our country from terrorism since 9/11, but the threat continues to evolve,” she told the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee.
Al-Qaeda had been diminished by the global fight against terrorism, but the US faced ”threats from a number of al-Qaeda associates that share its violent extremist ideology”, she said.