Washington: A former top CIA covert officer has said there are currently more foreign spies on American soil than there were even at the peak of the Cold war.
“If you look at the threat that is imposed upon our nation every day, some of the major nation states -- China in particular -- [have] very sophisticated intelligence operations, very aggressive operations against the US,” said Hank Crumpton, who also served as deputy director of the CIA's Counter-Terrorism Centre.
“I would hazard to guess there are more foreign intelligence officers inside the US working against US interests now than even at the height of the Cold War, it's a critical issue,” he told CBS.
Crumpton also expressed his concerns about what al Qaeda was doing in North Africa and the danger they pose.
“I'm particularly concerned about Al-Qaeda in Yemen, which is fractured as a nation state,” the report quoted him, as saying.
“The Sahel, if you look at Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb, they pose a threat, and in Somalia. Those are the places I'd be concerned,” Crumpton added.
He also stressed that the US should not withdraw the troops too quickly as he fears al Qaeda could make a comeback in Afghanistan.
First Published: Saturday, May 12, 2012, 18:24