In an appearance Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Intelligence Chairs Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) told host Candy Crowley that Americans are not safer now than they were a year ago.
"I think terror is up worldwide. The statistics indicate that the fatalities are way up. The numbers are way up. There are new bombs, very big bombs, trucks being reinforced for those bombs. There are bombs that go through magnatometers. The bomb maker is still alive. There are more groups than ever, and there's huge malevolence out there."
Feinstein also said that terrorists "can get on aircraft with those bombs. They have tried to send four into this country," but did not elaborate on that allegation.
Feinstein added that the main problem is "displaced aggression in this very fundamentalist, jihadist, Islamic community, which blames the Western world for everything that goes wrong and believes that the only solution is Islamic sharia law and the concept of the caliphate."
"And I see more groups, more fundamentalists, more jihadists more determined to kill to get to where they want to get. So, it's not an isolated phenomenon. You see these groups spread a web of connections. And this includes North Africa, it includes the Middle East, it includes other areas as well," Feinstein said.
Rep. Rogers agreed with Feinstein's assessment that Americans are not safer now from terrorist attacks than we were in the past.
"Oh, I absolutely agree that we're not safer today for the same very reasons," Rogers said. "So the pressure on our intelligence services to get it right to prevent an attack are enormous. And it's getting more difficult because we see the al-Qaeda as we knew it before is metastasizing to something different, more affiliates than we've ever had before, meaning more groups that operated independently of al-Qaeda have now joined al-Qaeda around the world, all of them have at least some aspiration to commit an act of violence in the United States or against western targets all around the world."
So much for Osama bin-Laden is dead, and al-Qaeda is on the run.
Rogers also said there is an emerging threat from nations like Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, and said al-Qaeda and other terror groups are recruiting Westerners to their cause. He said the "scary part" is that a large number of people with Western passports are returning their country of origin, including the US, and that they are well trained and radicalized.
"A percentage of them have already gone home, including the United States, by the way, is included in that western number. We are very, very concerned that these folks who have western paper [passports] have gone there, participated in combat events, are trained, are further radicalized, now have the ability to go back in western countries."
"And now they have a connection, a direct connection to al Qaeda affiliates operating in a place where most people would say, well, we have no interest in Syria," Rogers added, "Well, clearly we do. And clearly, that's just one place. And it's starting to spread...Iraq is having its problems now. It's spreading into Lebanon, Jordan has issues, Turkey along the border has issues. This is very, very, very concerning."
This kind of talk raises concerns among those who believe a 'false flag' attack could be used to target American citizens in order to stoke fear and build support for expanding US military presence in the Middle East. It certainly sounds as if Rogers is again attempting to make the case for going to war in Syria, a move the vast majority of Americans are solidly against. Americans voiced strong opposition to going to war in Syria earlier this year when President Obama wanted to send military support to Islamic radical groups, including elements of al-Qaeda, to assist them in overthrowing the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Neither Feinstein or Rogers offered any solid evidence to back their claims of an increased terror threat. In fact their allegation that the terror threat is rising is a complete reversal of what President Obama said to the American people while campaigning for a second term last year. The president, along with Vice President Biden, and a host of Democrat politicians and pundits were all assuring us that the war on terror was winding down, it was all but won, and al-Qaeda was on the run.
This sudden shift in the narrative should be of concern to all Americans.