Slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was looking to use the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks as another opportunity to strike the US, a top White House counter-terrorism official has said.
“We know from the material recovered from the bin Laden compound that he was looking at the 10th anniversary of 9/11 as an opportunity to strike yet again at the US homeland,” deputy national security advisor John Brennan told the PBS NEWSHOUR in an interview."We know that al Qaeda wants to try to hit us here in the homeland again; they have been thwarted numerous times," Brennan said.
He said the US on a high level of vigilance despite “tremendous work” on security issues since the September 11 attacks.
“But it’s not just al Qaeda, there are other groups that have taken up the mantle of al Qaeda. So we are on our vigilance, and we have made a number of preparations,” Brennan said.
“Our intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies have been very, very diligent in looking at all the different potential actors out there. We are - feel that we’re on top of it right now,” he said.
“So we are on our vigilance. And we have made a number preparations in anticipation of the 9/11 anniversary. But it’s not going to stop on the 9/11 anniversary; we’re going to maintain this vigilance and continue to do everything possible to protect the American people,” Brennan said.
The top White House official said the US is “without a doubt,” safer today than on September 11, 2001.
“This country now has become a much more difficult operational environment for al Qaeda and other terrorist groups,” he said.
The US raised its alert level at military bases ahead of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, as a report warned of “gaps and weaknesses” in the nation’s security apparatus.