The top US intelligence chiefs created a commotion at their annual hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on 2 February 2010.
Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair first alluded to a cyberwar, implying that it would be triggered by China and would jeopardize the entire world internet infrastructure.
He later affirmed rather bluntly that the U.S. intelligence community has authority to target anyone, including American citizens, for assassination anywhere in the world if they present a direct terrorist threat to the United States and to other Americans.
In particular, Admiral Dennis C. Blair, CIA Director Leon Pannetta, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Ronald Burgess and Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research John Dinger each stated that Al Qaeda is preparing an attack against United States territory in the next three to six months, by adapting their methods in ways that make it difficult to detect.
At the domestic level, this declaration aims to prepare US public opinion for a new cataclysm and a possible throwback to neo-conservative policies. But vis-à-vis the rest of the world, it is meant to counter the rumour disseminated by certain Middle East mainstream newspapers such as Kheyan (Iran), Al-Binaa (Lebanon) orAl-Wataan (Syria) to the effect that, in order to relaunch the "clash of civilizations"
View the video of the full hearings.