9/11 terror threat ‘ongoing’: U.S. security chief
WASHINGTON — The United States remains on alert for a possible terror attack, even though the 9/11 anniversary has come and gone without incident, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday.
“We consider it as an ongoing threat,” Napolitano said, testifying before a congressional panel.
Napolitano and FBI director Robert Mueller appeared before the US Senate Homeland Security panel to discuss US vulnerability to terror threats 10 years after the September 11 attacks by Al-Qaeda.
Officials had feared Sunday’s 10th anniversary could provoke terrorists to try to make a statement by launching a fresh attack on US targets, but no such event materialized on the day marked by national ceremonies and tributes.
Mueller echoed Napolitano’s view that the terror threat to the United States has not disappeared, and said continued vigilance was needed.
“It is a standing threat that we are following up on,” Mueller told the committee.
“Even though September 11 has now passed, we do not believe that it necessarily means that we should have backed down” on US security efforts meant to thwart acts of terror, Mueller said.
The FBI is working with the Department of Homeland Security, the National Counter Terrorism Center, and other federal agencies “and we’ll continue to do so” to keep fresh acts of terror at bay, Mueller said.