Terrorism threats are emerging far more frequently these days from within the United States and focusing less on grand, dramatic strikes, Obama administration officials and leaders of the Senate Homeland Security panel said Wednesday.
That makes it harder to prevent attacks, the officials said. And it poses problems for Congress that lawmakers haven’t yet resolved, such as debates over the treatment and prosecution of U.S. citizens involved in terror plots.
Michael E. Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told the committee that al Qaeda in Pakistan “is weaker today than at any time since the late 2001 onset” of the war on terror.
But at the same time, he warned, the terrorism threat at home has grown “more complex,” and the “number and pace of attacks” has been greater over the past year than in any other since Sept. 11.