Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned yesterday that the threat of terrorism against the United States was in some ways “at its most heightened state” since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
In addition to the threats by al Qaeda, the militant group behind the attacks nearly a decade ago, Napolitano said the country faces new threats from those inspired by the group and those already inside the United States.
“The threat continues to evolve; and in some ways, the threat today may be at its most heightened state since the attacks nearly 10 years ago,” Napolitano told the U.S. House of Representatives’ Homeland Security Committee.
She also said in her testimony to lawmakers that U.S. officials believed there may be individuals who want to carry out attacks already in the country and that “they could carry out acts of violence with little or no warning.”
Individuals associated with al Qaeda and the Taliban have tried to carry out several attacks against the United States, including by a Nigerian man who allegedly tried to blow up a U.S. airliner with a bomb hidden in his underwear and another individual who plotted to attack the New York subway system.