Spencer S. Hsu
December 4, 2009
[efoods]Al-Qaeda followers are inside the United States and would like to attack targets here and in other countries, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday night.
The secretary’s comments were her bluntest assessment yet of terror threats within the country, and they came one day after President Obama, in announcing his decision to send 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, warned that extremists have been “sent here from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit more acts of terror.”
Addressing the America-Israel Friendship League in New York, Napolitano said a string of recent domestic arrests should “remove any remaining comfort that some might have had from the notion that if we fight the terrorists abroad, we won’t have to fight them here,” rebutting an argument advanced on several occasions by President George W. Bush.
“The fact is that home-based terrorism is here. And like violent extremism abroad, it is now part of the threat picture that we must confront,” Napolitano said. “Individuals sympathetic to al-Qaeda and its affiliates, as well as those inspired by their ideology, are present in the U.S., and would like to attack the homeland or plot overseas attacks against our interests abroad.”