Peter King: 'Mutated' Al Qaida Stronger Than Before 9/11

Image: Peter King: 'Mutated' Al Qaida Stronger Than Before 9/11

Sunday, 04 Aug 2013 12:08 PM

By Greg Richter

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Al Qaida is stronger than it was before the 9/11 terror attack because it has "mutated and spread" and can hit from many directions, says Republican Rep. Peter King of New York.

The former House Homeland Security chairman told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that the intercepted terrorist communications that caused the closings of 22 American embassies and consulates for a day across northern Africa and the Middle East is "a wake-up call."

"Al Qaida on the Arabian Peninsula is probably the most deadly of all the Al Qaida affiliates," King said.

"The assumption is that it's probably most likely to happen in the Middle East at or about one of the embassies, but there’s no guarantee of that at all,” King told ABC.

“It could be in Europe, in the United States. It could be a series of combined attacks. It could be the same concept as the 2006 liquid explosive planned attacks where there were going to be a series of combined attacks carried out almost simultaneously. So we have to be ready for everything," King said.

Appearing on the same show, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Maryland Democrat, denied a New York Times report that putting emphasis on the terrorist threat was a good way to divert attention from the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance program.

“We have NSA people going to work every day whose purpose is to collect information against terrorist attacks,” Ruppersberger said, noting that many in the agency have died in their attempts to gather intelligence for the U.S. military. "The people who work at NSA are hardworking people who follow the law.”

King agreed, saying "It's absolutely crazy to say there's any conspiracy here. The government would have been totally negligent if it did not take the actions taken."

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