National Intelligence Director James Clapper is right about the current terror threat to the United States — and probably is even understating it, says former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.
In congressional testimony Wednesday
, Clapper said he can't say the threat is any less today than it was in 2001, the year of the 9/11 attacks.
"Now we are facing a much more dispersed threat," Clapper told the Senate Intelligence Committee.
"This is a stunning statement by James Clapper. You can't underline it enough," Bolton said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File."
President Barack Obama said during his 2012 re-election campaign that al-Qaida is on the run
and noted that its head, Osama bin Laden, is dead.
"Clapper's right. The president's wrong," Bolton said. "This is a repudiation of the entire Obama administration political narrative these last several years by his own director of national intelligence."
The Obama administration has tried to define the threat of terrorism "ever more narrowly" for five years so it can say that a say the "little piece of what's left of 'core' al-Qaida has been decimated by drone attacks," Bolton said.
But al-Qaida has never hung organizational charts on the walls, he said. Instead, it operates through affiliated groups that have been growing in number across the Middle East and north Africa.
Al-Qaida isn't likely able to pull off another 9/11-size attack, Bolton said, but its real concentration has always been on the areas where its members actually live. They are trying and succeeding in breaking apart nation states such as Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia, he said.
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