America Is 'Less Safe' Than 2 Years Ago, Intelligence Committee Chairs Say

12/01/2013 10:31 am ET | Updated Dec 01, 2013

The lawmakers who lead the House and Senate intelligence committees both said on Sunday that they believe the United States is less safe from a terror attack than it was two years ago.

Interviewed on CNN's "State of the Union," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she believed that there are now more terrorists with the technological means to carry out a bombing in the U.S.

"I think terror is up worldwide," said Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee. "There are new bombs, very big bombs, trucks being reinforced for those bombs. There are bombs that go through magnetometers. The bomb-maker is still alive. There are more groups than ever. And there is huge malevolence out there."

Feinstein added that there was "a real displaced aggression in this very fundamentalist jihadist Islamic community, and that is that the West is responsible for everything that goes wrong and that the only thing that's going to solve this is Islamic Sharia law."

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said he agreed with Feinstein's assessment.

"I absolutely agree that we're not [safer] today, for the very same reasons," he said. "The pressure on our intelligence service to get it right to prevent an attack is enormous."

Asked about the recent revelations of the National Security Agency's spying programs, Rogers said he worried that the disclosures were distracting the agency from its work.

"Our fear is, every time we do that we take them away from their focus, which is what is al Qaeda's next event," Rogers said.

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