The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), along with other U.S. intelligence agencies involved in homeland security, released a report Tuesday, titled The Terrorist Threat to the US Homeland. The report includes a “National Intelligence Estimate” that is the most authoritative judgment to date on current terrorist threats to the homeland and national security issues.
The FBI played an extensive role in cooperation with The Director of National Intelligence to provide analytical judgments of the intelligence community regarding the likely course of future terrorist threats and attacks on the U.S. homeland. The Director of National Intelligence is responsible for:
Integrating domestic and foreign intelligence to eliminate gaps in our understanding of threats to our national security
Bringing more depth and accuracy to intelligence analysis
Ensuring that U.S. intelligence resources generate future capabilities as well as present results.
The intelligence agencies who produced the report, have made several key analytical assessments. Their judgments are:
That the U.S. homeland will face a persistent and evolving terrorist threat for the next three years. The U.S. currently is at a heightened threat environment.
That al-Qaida is and will remain the most serious terrorist threat to the homeland. Only a handful of al-Qaida operatives have been discovered in the U.S., but it is believed that al-Qaida will intensify efforts to put operatives in the homeland.
That al-Qaida will enhance its capabilities to attack the U.S. through greater cooperation with regional terrorist groups, especially those in Iraq (AQI). It is believed that al-Qaida’s association with AQI will help to strengthen its relationship with the broader Sunni extremist groups, who may help raise resources and recruit operatives to attack the U.S.
That al-Qaida will likely focus attacks on prominent political, economic, and infrastructure targets with the goal of producing mass casualties, visually dramatic destruction, significant economic aftershocks, and fear among the U.S. population.
That al-Qaida will acquire and use chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear materials in attacks.
That Lebanese Hizballah may consider attacking the U.S. over the next three years, especially if they perceive a direct U.S. threat in Iran.
That radical Internet sites, like Salafi, will increase their aggressive anti-U.S. propaganda and actions. This may prompt violent and extremist cells within the U.S. to grow and become sufficiently radicalized, viewing an attack on the U.S. as legitimate.
That other non-Muslim terrorist groups probably will conduct attacks on the U.S. over the next three years, but on a lesser violent scale.
That globalization and technological will allow small numbers of people to connect with larger mobilized attack planners, all without a centralized organization, training camp, or leader.