Awlaki, Not bin Laden, Now Top Terror Threat to US

Threat 'may be at its most heightened state' since 9/11: Napolitano
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2011 7:25 AM CST
Awlaki, Not bin Laden, Now Top Terror Threat to US
In this image taken from video and released by SITE Intelligence Group on Monday, Nov. 8, 2010, Anwar al-Awlaki speaks in a video message posted on radical websites Monday Nov. 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/SITE Intelligence Group)

Osama bin Laden’s reign as the top terror threat to the US is over: According to the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, he’s been overtaken by Anwar al-Awlaki. “I actually consider al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula with al-Awlaki as a leader within that organization probably the most significant risk to the US homeland,” Michael Leiter said while testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee yesterday.

The US-born Awlaki is the first American to find a spot on the CIA’s kill or capture list, Fox News notes. He’s particularly good at radicalizing followers through the Internet, and he tends to spark smaller attacks that are difficult or impossible to prevent. “The threat continues to evolve," Janet Napolitano added. "And in some ways, the threat today may be at its most heightened state since the attacks nearly 10 years ago.”
(More Michael Leiter stories.)

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