National Journal reports:
A terrorist cell in Yemen that tried to mail bombs disguised as printers to the U.S. last year poses the most risk of attacking American cities, a senior administration official testified today. As a result, the threat of terrorism remains at its highest level since the 9/11 attacks.
The group known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has surpassed Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida organisation as being the most likely to pull off attacks inside the United States, Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism centre, told the House Homeland Security Committee.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who also testified, said the threat of another attack is the greatest since 9/11.
“The terrorist threat facing our country has evolved significantly in the last 10 years — and continues to evolve — so that, in some ways, the threat facing us is at its most heightened state since those attacks,” Napolitano told lawmakers.
The gravest threat is from the al-Qaida affiliate commonly called AQAP, which is led by radical U.S.-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. “I actually consider al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, with Awlaki as a leader within that organisation, probably the most significant risk to the U.S. homeland,” Leiter said.
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