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Napolitano: Terror Threat at "Most Heightened State" Since 9/11

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, speaking before the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, said the terrorist threat in the U.S. is at “its most heightened state” since the September 11 attacks almost 10 years ago.

“Since 9/11, the United States has made important progress in securing our nation from terrorism," Napolitano said.  "Nevertheless, the terrorist threat facing our country has evolved significantly in the last ten years -- and continues to evolve -- so that, in some ways, the threat facing us is at its most heightened state since those attacks.”

Napolitano noted that along with the continuing threat from al Qaeda and its affiliates, counterterrorism officials must now contend with Americans who are “homegrown” terrorists in the U.S.

“One of the most striking elements of today’s threat picture is that plots to attack America increasingly involve American residents and citizens,” she said.

Napolitano also repeated a statement that she made last October that the DHS and other security agencies, “Are now operating under the assumption, based on the latest intelligence and recent arrests, that individuals prepared to carry out terrorist attacks and acts of violence might be in the United States, and they could carry out acts of violence with little or no warning.”

Napolitano added a DHS working group has now developed a curriculum to counter-violent extremism in the U.S. that is being shared with police groups and law enforcement agencies.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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