'Al Qaeda poised for large-scale terror attack on America by July'

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Washington, Feb. 3 (ANI): Dennis C. Blair, President Obama's director of national intelligence, has warned that Al Qaeda and its affiliates may attempt a large-scale attack on American soil within the next six months.

Blair's assessment came at Tuesday's hearing when Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, asked him to weigh up the possibility of an attempted attack in the United States.

His response that "the priority is certain, I would say" was reaffirmed by top C.I.A. and F.B.I. officials.

Citing a recent wave of terrorist plots, Blair and other intelligence officials told a Senate panel that Al Qaeda had adjusted its tactics to more effectively strike American targets domestically and abroad.

"The biggest threat is not so much that we face an attack like 9/11. It is that Al Qaeda is adapting its methods in ways that oftentimes make it difficult to detect," the New York Times quoted C.I.A. director Leon E. Panetta, as saying.

Blair also warned of the threat of a crippling attack on the country's information infrastructure such as telecommunications and other computer networks.

"Malicious cyberactivity is occurring on an unprecedented scale with extraordinary sophistication," he told Senators.

"Sensitive information is stolen daily from both government and private-sector networks, undermining confidence in our information systems, and in the very information these systems were intended to convey," Blair added. (ANI)

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