Peter King: Al Qaeda 'In Many Ways Stronger' Than Before 9/11

08/04/2013 02:21 pm ET

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) sounded the alarm on Sunday over what he described the serious and credible threat of new Al Qaeda terror attacks in the coming weeks.

The New York congressman, who was speaking on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" about heightened terror alerts across the globe over the weekend, warned that "we have to be ready for everything."

“This is a wake-up call,” King grimly suggested. “Al Qaeda is in many ways stronger than it was before 9/11, because it’s mutated and spread, and can come at us in different directions. And al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula is probably the most deadly of al Qaeda affiliates.” He went on to say that, while the threat was greatest in the Middle East, a coordinated series of deadly attacks across the globe was within the realm of possibility.

King, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, likewise said on Saturday that there was "very little doubt, if any, that something serious is being planned."

"I've been getting briefed fairly regularly over the last seven or eight years," King explained. "This is the most specific [threat] I have seen."

The Obama administration announced last week the closure of 21 U.S. embassies, primarily in the Middle East and North Africa, in response to intelligence of a terror threat linked to Al Qaeda. The State Department on Friday issued a monthlong worldwide travel alert, and on Saturday President Obama sat down with his national security team for a meeting on the threat, though no new information was released as to its nature.

The wide-ranging security moves were received with skepticism by some analysts and congressional officials as an attempt by the administration to wrest attention away from the ongoing controversy over the NSA's expansive surveillance program, according to a New York Times report.

King, who supports such surveillance and recently excoriated Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) over his public stance against the NSA, dismissed the argument that the move motivated by politics.

"I’m a Republican," King pointed out. "I’ve had problems with the administration on different issues, but what they are doing now is what has to be done."

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