Intelligence panel heads sound alert, say risk to U.S. bigger
WASHINGTON — The terrorism threat against the United States is increasing, and Americans aren't as safe as they were a year or two ago, the leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees said.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein said there are more terrorist groups than ever, with more sophisticated and hard-to-detect bombs. The California Democrat said “there is huge malevolence out there.”
Rep. Mike Rogers said there's enormous pressure on U.S. intelligence services “to get it right, to prevent an attack.”
The Michigan Republican said that job is getting more difficult because al-Qaida is changing, with more affiliates around the world. He said those are groups that once operated independently of but have now joined with al-Qaida.
Rogers said terrorists are adopting the idea that “maybe smaller events are OK” and still might achieve their goals.
“That makes it exponentially harder for our intelligence services to stop an event like that from happening,” he said in a joint interview on CNN's “State of the Union” that aired on Sunday.
Although neither lawmaker offered specifics about what led them to their conclusions, Feinstein spoke generally of “a real displaced aggression in this very fundamentalist jihadist Islamic community, and that is that the West is responsible for everything that goes wrong and that the only thing that's going to solve this is Islamic Sharia law and the concept of the caliphate.” The caliphate is an Islamic state led by a religious and political leader, or caliph, considered a successor of the prophet Mohammed and who governs by Sharia law.
Rogers said al-Qaida groups have changed their means of communication as a result of leaks about U.S. surveillance programs, making it harder to detect potential plots in the early planning stages.
“We're fighting amongst ourselves here in this country about the role of our intelligence community that it is having an impact on our ability to stop what is a growing number of threats. And so we've got to shake ourselves out of this pretty soon and understand that our intelligence services are not the bad guys,” Rogers said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Scathing report says college trustees fail in mission
- ISIS beheads American photojournalist who was kidnapped 2 years ago in Syria
- Fuel oil spills into Ohio River
- Latest Ferguson protests are smaller, more subdued
- Lighthouse sale draws $78K bid off cost of Portland, Maine
- Monsoon rains wreak havoc in Arizona
- NRA’s ad campaign targets Bloomberg’s push to unify advocates of gun control
- Justice to alter removal process for no-fly list
- Ex-Va. first lady sought credit for loan, sister-in-law says
- Police identify officer who fatally shot unarmed Missouri man
- Judge asked to stop free New York college’s tuition increase