CIA Chief: Al Qaeda Likely to Attempt U.S. Attack

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WASHINGTON -- Top U.S. intelligence officials have warned al Qaeda will try to strike America again in the next few months.

However, this time officials say the terrorists will attempt a different type of attack.

Sleepless Nights for the CIA

The threats facing America have been keeping the CIA Director Leon Panetta awake at night. During testimony to a Senate committee Tuesday, the nation's top three intelligence officials reported al Qaeda is changing.

The terrorist group has been deploying operatives into the U.S. to carry out attacks from within, using "clean" recruits with no known connections to the terror network.

Click play for more insight with CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stackelback.

"The biggest threat is not so much that we face another attack similar to 9/11," CIA Director Leon Panetta informed a Senate committee Tuesday. "I think the greater threat is that al Qaeda is adapting their methods in ways that oftentimes make it difficult to detect."

The news comes as so-called underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutullab, the Nigerian man who allegedly tried to blow up a Northwest jetliner on Christmas Day, has started talking to authorities.

Some senators have criticized the FBI's decision to read Abdulmutullab Miranda rights.

"Enemy combatants must be questioned to the fullest by the intelligence community before -- if they are Mirandized -- before they are Mirandized and given an attorney," Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., said.

Lawmakers Demand Military Trials for Terror Suspects

Meanwhile, a group of bipartisan senators is joining forces to block plans to try suspected terrorists on U.S. soil.

"We should not try these people in New York. We shouldn't try them in Illinois. We shouldn't try them in Phoenix." Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said. "We should try them in a courtroom in Guantanamo Bay."

For the time being, however, the Obama administration wants terror suspects tried in U.S. civilian courts.

*Originally published February 3, 2010.

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CBN News
Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at