Terror Threat 'Most Heightened' Since 9/11, Napolitano Says

The threat of terrorism is at "its most heightened
state" since the 9/11 attacks nearly a decade ago, U.S.
Homeland Security Secretary
Janet Napolitano said

"The terrorist threat facing our country has evolved
significantly in the last ten years -- and continues to
evolve -- so that, in some ways, the threat facing us
is at its most heightened state since those attacks, she
said before the House Homeland Security Committee.

Her comments were a sobering reminder that the
potential of another
attack is real and growing, most
notably from individuals radicalized inside the United
States, despite elaborate security measures
implemented by the government since 2001.

"One of the most striking elements of today's threat
picture is that plots to attack America increasingly
involve American residents and citizens," Napolitano
said, referring to so-called
homegrown terrorists
fueled by the Internet and connections with
operatives overseas.

More than two dozen Americans have been arrested
on terrorism charges in the past two years, according
to government statistics.

Fifty individuals involved in 32 high-profile terrorism
plots involving al Qaeda-like ideology in the past
decade were U.S. citizens at the time of their arrests,
according to a study by the New York State
Intelligence Center. Most were natural-born.

"[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," Napolitano said.

Napolitano made the remarks before the House
Homeland Security Committee, where she testified
with National Counterterrorism Center Director
Michael Leiter.

"This shift is a game changer," Republican committee
chairman Rep. Peter King of New York said. "We must
confront this threat."
FBI and Justice Department officials have reported a
spike in the number of terrorism-related
investigations and prosecutions involving U.S.
residents since 2009.

Many of the suspects -- including Najibullah Zazi,
who plotted New York City subway bombings in
September 2009, and
Faisal Shahzad, the convicted
would-be Time Square bomber -- lived and worked
for years inside the United States before preparing
their attacks.

David Headley of Chicago was convicted of a role in
the November 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed more
than 170 people, and
Colleen LaRose, more
commonly known as "Jihad Jane," was implicated in a
plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist for drawing the head
of the Prophet Muhammad on the body of a dog in

Leiter said the evolution of domestic radicalism has
been aided by propaganda developed by extremists
and pushed on the Internet.

"This narrative -- a blend of al Qaeda inspiration,
perceived victimization and glorification of past
homegrown plotting -- addresses the unique
concerns of like-minded, U.S.-based individuals," he
Terror Threat 'Most Heightened' Since 9/11, Napolitano Says
Homeland Security Officials Call Homegrown Radicalism a Game Changer

Yemen Focus of Counterterror

Homeland security officials said Yemen remains the
"battleground" from which al Qaeda operatives are a
ctively planning attacks against the United States,
training recruits and coordinating plots.

The country is also home to radical Islamic cleric  
Anwar al Awlaki
, a Yemeni-American who has used
the Internet to encourage attacks from abroad.

Asked by chairman King to compare Osama bin Laden
and Awlaki, Leiter said he considers Awlaki and the
group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which he
leads, "probably the most significant risk to the U.S.

Awlaki had ties to the attempted 2009 Christmas day
of Northwest flight 253 and last fall's cargo
bomb plot, Adam Gadahn, a top propaganda master
for al Qaeda, and Omar Hammami, a U.S. citizen from
Alabama turned top recruiter and lieutenant in the al
Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab terrorist network in Somalia.

"He's an extremely dangerous man. He has shown a
desire to harm the United States, a desire to strike the
homeland of the United States," U.S. Attorney General

Eric Holder
said in December. "He is a person who --
as an American citizen -- is familiar with this country
and he brings a dimension, because of that American
familiarity, that others do not."

Holder said that as a threat to the United States,
Awlaki ranks alongside bin Laden.

"He would be on the same list with bin Laden," the
attorney general said. "He's up there. I don't know
whether he's one, two, three, four -- I don't know. But
he's certainly on the list of the people who worry me
the most."

Napolitano and Leiter sought to reassure members of
Congress and the public today that the agencies were
actively working to counter the evolving dangers,
including Awlaki.

Leiter said the agency's new "pursuit groups," created
after intelligence officials failed to connect the dots
and detect the 2009 Christmas Day bomb plot, have
"repeatedly identified key leads that would have
otherwise been missed amidst a sea of uncorrelated

He also said the government has bolstered its
terrorist watch lists and enhanced its search
capability with a "Google-like" function. Previously,
the databases could not be quickly searched or

Authorities said that while the threat of homegrown
terrorism remains acute, the capabilities of al Qaeda
have been successfully degraded to "one of its
weakest points in the past decade."

"During the past two years, al Qaeda's base of
operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas
[of Pakistan] has been restricted considerably,
limiting its freedom of movement and ability to
operate," Leiter said. "The group has been forced to
react continuously to personnel losses that are
affecting the group's morale, command and control,
and continuity of operations."




What a joke... ...what propaganda.

All this talk about Flight 253, but no mention of Kurt Haskell's testimony.

Napolitano talks about homegrown terrorism...
Walmart should play this clip about the Oklahoma City bombing.

I was just about to post that exact clip...

but I didn't know where to fit it in.

One look at that would do anyone in.

Good one!

I posted that video on my news message board... We're supposed to believe that a fertilizer bomb took off the entire face of Murrah Federal building. And jet fuel did THIS: