The HillTube

King: Terror threat a ‘wake-up call’

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) on Sunday warned of a stronger al Qaeda terrorist network, saying the administration made the right call in shutting down embassies and consulates and issuing a worldwide travel network. 

ADVERTISEMENT
“This is a wake-up call. Al Qaeda is in many ways stronger than it was before 9/11 because it’s mutated and it’s spread and it can come at us from different directions,” King, the chairman of the Homeland Security subcommittee on Counterintelligence and Terrorism, said on ABC’s “This Week.” “And al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula is probably the most deadly of all the al Qaeda affiliates.“

The White House has said the potential threat is “occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula.”

King said the administration has learned from the fatal attack on the diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, and is “firming up” the embassies, adding that the worldwide alert was “absolutely warranted in this situation.”

King pushed back against the suggestion that administration was overplaying the terror warning to divert attention from National Security Agency surveillance activities or perhaps justify NSA programs.

“It’s absolutely crazy to say there’s any conspiracy here. ... I’ve had problems with the administration on different issues. But what they are doing now is what has to be done. They’d be derelict if they were not. And you know we can’t criticize them for doing too little with Benghazi and now criticize them for doing too much.“

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance programs uncovered information about current terrorist threat.

"These programs are controversial, we understand that," Chambliss said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "But they are also very important… If we did not have these programs, then we simply would not be able to listen in on the bad guys."

More in Energy & Environment

The weather wake-up call

Read more »