Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a House committee that the terror threat facing the U.S. is perhaps at the “most heightened state” since the Sept. 11 attacks nearly a decade ago, USA Today reports. Napolitano said the threat from al-Qaeda has been augmented by al-Qaeda-inspired groups and the emergence of homegrown radicals. In the past two years, more than 120 people have been indicted in federal court on terror-related charges; about 50 of them were U.S. citizens, said committee chairman Peter King (R-NY), citing Justice Department statistics.
Don Borelli, a former FBI counterterrorism official who helped oversee the 2009 inquiry into a plot to bomb the New York subway by Denver shuttle driver Najibullah Zazi, said Napolitano and others are right to be concerned. “I don’t think she’s overreacting here,” said Borelli, of the Soufan Group, an international security firm. He said the homegrown threat will require a change in strategy to help identify people vulnerable to radicalization.