Al Qaeda websites present growing threat: FBI chief

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Washington, Mar.18 (ANI): Al Qaeda may be using the Internet to recruit and radicalize, FBI Director Robert Mueller testified Wednesday before a House Appropriations subcommittee.

Mueller said Wednesday that the United States faces an expanding array of Al Qaeda-related threats that extend far beyond the lawless regions of southwest Asia and into the US itself via radical Islamist websites.

"For those in the intelligence community there has been a shift in the degree of concern about affiliates of Al Qaeda growing in strength and presenting a much enhanced threat to the United States," the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) quoted the FBI director, as saying.

US intelligence officials are monitoring the growth of groups based in Somalia and Yemen, among others.

Some 3,000 naturalized US citizens currently reside in Yemen, Mueller said, and intelligence officers are attempting to identify if any have been radicalized, trained, and tasked to return to the US to conduct attacks.

In addition, Mueller warned of the threat of Al Qaeda supporters emerging within the US domestic population who have grown sympathetic to Al Qaeda through contact with militant websites.

FBI agents are attempting to head off traditional means of radicalization within American prisons or in small pockets in certain US communities.

But Mueller said the hardest to counter is the militant international dialogue underway on pro-Al Qaeda websites. (ANI)

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