Terrorists could target America this festive season: US security officials

Written by: Anita Nair
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Washington, Dec 22 (ANI): US security officials have warned that America could come under the purview of terrorist attacks this festive season.

ABC News quoted Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Chief Counter terrorism Advisor John Brennan, as saying that though are not too sure of it, there are enough warning signs to keep them on alert.

""There is a lot of chatter in the intel world ... that references the holidays. We know that things have already happened in Europe, and we're watching that very closely as well. But yes, there is increased chatter in the system. And there are increased efforts undertaken now by ... homeland security," Napolitano said.

On Christmas Day a year ago, Nigerian-born al-Qaeda operative Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to destroy a Northwest Airlines flight. He succeeded in boarding an aircraft with explosives concealed in his underwear, despite being on a terror watch list, and attempts by his father to alert U.S. officials that he was a danger. However, his fellow passengers managed to prevent him from detonating the device.

Officials say that a year later, new security measures would have prevented Abdulmutallab's attempted attack.

"We would prevent him from getting on that plane from Amsterdam to Detroit. That's more international protocols put in place ... new international aviation requirements," Napolitano added.

However, the group acknowledged that the U.S. still has plenty of work to do, particularly overseas, where a radical message often takes root and terrorists can find their safe breathing ground.

Earlier, US Attorney General Eric Holder had warned that although the country was ready to thwart attacks, Americans should be aware that threat of home-grown terror activities are "real and consistent". (ANI)

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