New intelligence information strongly suggests that Al Qaeda has considered infiltrating the United States through the Mexican border, top government officials told Congress on Wednesday. In a wide-ranging assessment of threats to American security, including those posed by Iran and North Korea, the officials also said intelligence indicated that terrorist organizations remained intent on obtaining and using devastating weapons against the United States, according to the New York Times.
“It may only be a matter of time before Al Qaeda or another group attempts to use chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons,” Porter J. Goss, the new director of central intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee. The warnings from Goss and other top officials came as part of a stark presentation that described terrorism as the top threat to the United States despite what they described as successes in the last year. Goss said the war in Iraq had served as a useful recruiting tool for Islamic extremists, and that both the low Sunni Muslim turnout in elections there and the violence that followed demonstrated that the insurgency remained a serious threat.