CIA CHIEF: "Al-Qaeda likely to attack U.S. in 3-6 months"

Gee, and the liberals aren’t shouting “fearmongering” as they did under GW Bush? Not to worry, the ACLU loiyahs are already lining up to read their al-Qaeda buddies their Miranda rights.

Al Qaeda can be expected to attempt an attack on the United States in the next three to six months, senior U.S. intelligence officials told Congress on Tuesday.

The terrorist organization is deploying operatives to the United States to carry out new attacks from inside the country, including “clean” recruits with a negligible trail of terror contacts, CIA Director Leon Panetta said. Al Qaeda is also inspiring homegrown extremists to trigger violence on their own, Panetta added.

The annual assessment of the nation’s terror threats provided no startling new terror trends but amplified growing misgivings since the attempted Christmas Day airline attack outside Detroit, Michigan, that militants are growing harder to detect and moving more quickly in their plots.

“The biggest threat is not so much that we face an attack like 9/11. It is that al Qaeda is adapting its methods in ways that oftentimes make it difficult to detect,” Panetta told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Several senators tangled over whether suspected terrorists should be tried in civilian or military court. At the same time, a group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced legislation that would force the Obama administration to backtrack on its plans to try Sept. 11 defendants in federal court in New York and use military tribunals instead.

Panetta said the fear is al Qaeda is relying more and more on recruits with little training using simple devices, as in the attempted Christmas day attack. Panetta also warned of the danger of extremists acting alone: “It’s the lone-wolf strategy that I think we have to pay attention to as the main threat to this country,” he said.

National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said with changes made since the Dec. 25 attack, U.S. intelligence would he able to identify and stop someone like the man alleged to be the Detroit bomber before he got on the plane. He warned, however, that a more careful and skilled would-be terrorist might not have been detected. KNX 1070

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