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FBI: Terrorism, al-Qaida Pose Biggest Threat to US

FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on FBI Oversight, March 16, 2011

The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says terrorism in general and al-Qaida and its affiliates continue to pose the most significant threat to the United States.

Robert Mueller testified Wednesday at a House of Representatives committee hearing.

He told lawmakers the threats include extremists in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Shabab in Somalia, and the radicalization of lone individuals in the United States.

He said al-Qaida and its affiliates remain committed to conducting attacks inside the U.S. He noted recent attempts, including the 2009 thwarted Christmas Day bombing of an airliner by a young Nigerian man who U.S. authorities say was directed by al-Qaida in Yemen.

Mueller said the FBI has "never faced a more complex threat environment" than it does currently, with not only terrorism, but espionage, cyber-based attacks, and other crimes such as public corruption and organized, financial and violent crimes.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.