On Saturday, most of the United States' top national security officials met to discuss the possible terrorist threat that has already caused the closure of 21 U.S. embassies and a global travel warning for Americans through the rest of August. The global travel warning is the first issued by the U.S. since the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. According to CBS, the threat is "the most specific, credible threat information in years," and that the plot is underway and the team looking to carry it out is already in place.
On Sunday, an interview with one of those national security advisers, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey, was aired on a Sunday morning news show to hammer in just how serious the government sees this threat.
Dempsey told This Week guest-host Martha Raddatz that "there is a significant threat stream and we're reacting to it." He also said that "the intent is to attack Western, not just U.S. interests."
Also on This Week, Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., emphasized that the threatened attack could be anywhere--the Middle East, Europe, the United States, or a "combined" attack. "We need to be ready for everything," he told Raddatz. The congressman said that "al-Qaida is, in many ways, stronger than it was before 9/11." But King did come to the defense of the Obama administration in how it is handling this new threat, saying that "we can't criticize them for doing too little with Benghazi, and now criticize them for doing too much."
From his post outside of government, Michael Hayden, the former Director of National Intelligence, told Fox News Sunday that "this does look quite serious," and "the al-Qaida danger is not yet over." On the same show, Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., said that this new threat just illustrates why "in a dangerous world, you need the fourth amendment, you need the Constitution."
Conservative pundits on Fox News Sunday were quick to pin some blame for the threat on the president. "A year ago the president said 'al-Qaida is on the run,' and now we seem to be on the run," said Bill Kristol. Former senator Jim DeMint said "our attempt to placate parts of the world, reset whether it's Russia or somewhere else, are clearly not working. And the perception of weakness in this administration is encouraging this kind of behavior."