In a yearly threat briefing to Congress, five senior intelligence community figures responded to tough questions in light of the increased terror plots Americans faced last year. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) directly asked each intelligence member the likelihood of another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Each agreed there would “certainly” be another attempt in the next three to six months.
“An attempted attack, the priority is certain, I would say,” said Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence. The other members appearing in front of Congress included, FBI Director Robert Mueller, CIA Director Leon Panetta, John Dinger, acting assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research and Ronald Burgess Jr. the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Blair outlined the possible terrorist threats the United States may face; computer networks and infrastructure attacks, Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and the instability in nuclear-power Pakistan, China’s military buildup, Iranian and North Korean nuclear ambitions as well as Venezuela’s flirtation with communist countries.
“In our judgment al Qaeda also retains the capability to recruit, train and deploy operatives to mount some kind of an attack against the homeland,” Blair testified. He goes on to explain favorite al Qaeda targets remain on a watch list of sorts and include, airplanes, financial institutions in New York City and the Washington Metro system.
"The recent successful and attempted attacks represent an evolving threat in which it is even more difficult to identify and track small numbers of terrorists recently recruited and trained and short-term plots than to find and follow terrorist cells engaged in plots that have been ongoing for years," Blair explained.
While the National Security Congressional briefings proved eye-opening and may have caught many Americans off guard those who work the front lines are privy to the inner workings of our ports of entry and say the daily break downs could be fixed.
It was reported several weeks ago that NYC Customs and Border Protection employees point to the "flying Jihad" flights arriving weekly at JFK. “Looking back to the Christmas Day bomber, we now know he trained in an al Qaeda training camps in Yemen, even with this knowledge we continue to allow hundreds of Yemenis per week to enter the U.S. via terminal one, on a Saudi Arabian flight, many of the passengers are Yemenis in violation of their green card status,” a veteran CBP Inspector said.
The full-body scanners to be placed at airports (in which former DHS Secretary Chertoff is a part owner) will not help solve the problem created and continuously perpetuated by the country's top officials. Many experts agree that the controversial full-body scanners would not have detected the chemicals in the Nigerian underpants bomber.
“I think the message from the Intel community was ominous and accurate, but Washington has still not addressed the potential for attacks on the homeland by terrorist green card holders, instead Washington continues to recklessly place Americans in harms’ way. Actually failing to protect Americans when Intel exists and points to potential terrorist who is in violation of visa misuse,” CBP Agents said.
It has been said Washington is putting on a "Dog and Pony Show" for the American public. “Just as the memo written by A FBI agent detailing an imminent attack using commercial aircraft loaded with passengers and fuel, was ignored by the Washington Elite and bureaucrats before 9/11. It appears the warning that terror cells are already here in the US, aided by U.S. officials ‘look the other way’ policies when it comes to enforcing LPR ‘green card’ regulations and the U.S. Department of State's liberal immigrant and visitor visa policy,” said another CBP Inspector who spoke in anonymity for fear of work place retaliation.
“U.S. officials who could work to secure our nation are busy playing lip service to the media and their constituents while taking no action to ensure America’s safety. The American public should hold Washington responsible for any future attack(s), because these are the very people who have failed to do their jobs- not TSA Agents, Border Patrol Agents or CBP Officers on the front lines.”
Just as alarming is the fact that the Agency responsible for protecting U.S. borders, CBP, still has no leadership in place to orchestrate an intelligent program necessary to protect the country. “The three ‘acting’ Assistant Commissioners running CBP operations now are like having Larry, Moe and Curly in charge. It's time for Washington insiders and bureaucrats to put away their theater make up and work, and do the job the American public pays them top dollars to do,” a CBP Agent explained. “If they can't then it’s time for them to retire and let responsible leaders step up.”
One thing is certain when it comes to national security – nothing is secure. When good rank-and-file agents on the front line are pointing out obvious flaws at the ports of entry, Americas’ front door, citizens expect management to take notice and think outside the box. If this fails to happen al Qaeda will be claiming responsibility for another American tragedy.
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