America

In Some Ways, Terrorist Threat Is Highest Since 9/11, Napolitano Says

Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, "the United States has made important progress in securing our nation from terrorism," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress this morning.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security today (Feb. 9, 2011). i i

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security today (Feb. 9, 2011). Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security today (Feb. 9, 2011).

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security today (Feb. 9, 2011).

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

But, she added, "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's as-prepared-for-delivery testimony is posted here. In it, she says:

— "In addition to the direct threats we continue to face from al-Qaida, we also face growing threats from other foreign-based terrorist groups that are inspired by al-Qaida ideology but have few operational connections to the core al-Qaida group."

— "Perhaps most crucially, we face a threat environment where violent extremism is not defined or contained by international borders. Today, we must address threats that are homegrown as well as those that originate abroad."

— "We are now operating under the assumption, based on the latest intelligence and recent arrests, that individuals prepared to carry out terrorist attacks and acts of violence might be in the United States, and they could carry out acts of violence with little or no warning."

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