US facing highest terror threat since 9/11: Homeland Security chief

Washington, Feb.10 (ANI): US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has warned that the country is facing its highest terror threat since 9/11.

Addressing members of the US Congress on Wednesday, Napolitano said: "The terrorist threat facing our country has evolved significantly."

Napolitano warned that attacks could be carried out with little warning, and added that Al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked individuals have attempted a number of recent attacks against the US.

The BBC further quoted her, as saying that state and local law enforcement officials are increasingly needed to combat terror, and the federal government must focus on supporting their efforts to secure communities.

She also said that homegrown radicalization is a growing threat, and one the United States could not ignore.

"As I have said before, we cannot guarantee that there will never be another terrorist attack, and we cannot seal our country under a glass dome," she said.

She added: "However, we continue to do everything we can to reduce the risk of terrorism in our nation."

The country's counter-terrorism response currently includes local "fusion centres" aimed at facilitating intelligence sharing, a nationwide reporting initiative for suspicious acts and the "If you see something, say something" campaign created to "foster public vigilance," Napolitano said.

As previously announced, the US is replacing the colour-coded terror alert system with a more useful one that can keep the public informed as much as possible, she added.

More than 60 US citizens have been charged or convicted of terrorist acts or related crimes since 2009. (ANI)

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