Sunday, 14 July 2024

Thompson: Report shows we're losing ground

WASHINGTON, D.C. The release Tuesday of the latest National Intelligence Estimate drew a strong reaction from North Coast Congressman Mike Thompson.


NIEs are the Intelligence Community's most authoritative written judgments concerning national security issues. Though the NIE issued July 17 was classified, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) declassified the report's key judgments and released them publicly.


"The new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on 'The Terrorist Threat to the U.S. Homeland' makes clear that the United States has lost ground in the battle against al-Qa'ida and global Islamic extremists," said Thompson, chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis, and Counterintelligence of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.


"The NIE states that al-Qa'ida has preserved or reconstituted its most dangerous capabilities, and that the group will continue to enhance its ability to attack us at home," said Thompson. "It contradicts the president's assertion that we have to fight the terrorists 'over there' so they don't attack us here."


"Instead of invading Iraq, the Administration should have devoted its attention and resources to rebuilding Afghanistan and rooting al-Qa'ida out of its safehaven in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan," added Thompson. "If we had kept our focus on al-Qa'ida, we might not face 'a persistent and evolving terrorist threat,' as the NIE states, six years after the Sept. 11 attacks."


Thompson has already launched efforts to enhance congressional oversight of intelligence agencies' abilities to address threats identified in the NIE.


He has chaired two subcommittee hearings to date on the threat of a terrorist attack using weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which the NIE states al-Qa'ida is trying to acquire.


A third hearing is scheduled for later this month.


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