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`Osama was looking to use 9/11 anniv to strike US`

Brennan praised better interaction of government agencies and progress overseas for making the country safer.



Washington: Slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin
Laden was looking to use the tenth anniversary of the 9/11
terrorist attacks as another opportunity to strike the US,
a top White House counter-terrorism official has said.

"We know from the material recovered from the bin Laden
compound that he was looking at the 10th anniversary of 9/11
as an opportunity to strike yet again at the US homeland,"
Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan told
the PBS NEWSHOUR in an interview.

"We know that al Qaeda wants to try to hit us here
in the homeland again; they have been thwarted numerous
times," Brennan said.

He said the US on a high level of vigilance despite
"tremendous work" on security issues since the September 11
attacks.

"But it`s not just al Qaeda, there are other groups
that have taken up the mantle of al Qaeda. So we are on our
vigilance, and we have made a number of preparations," Brennan
said.

"Our intelligence agencies and law enforcement
agencies have been very, very diligent in looking at all the
different potential actors out there. We are - feel that we`re
on top of it right now," he said.

"So we are on our vigilance. And we have made a number
preparations in anticipation of the 9/11 anniversary. But it`s
not going to stop on the 9/11 anniversary; we`re going to
maintain this vigilance and continue to do everything possible
to protect the American people," Brennan said.

The top White House official said the US is "without
a doubt," safer today than on September 11, 2001.

"This country now has become a much more difficult
operational environment for al Qaeda and other terrorist
groups," he said.

Brennan said this country now has become a much more
difficult operational environment for al Qaeda and other
terrorist groups - the measures that have been put in place,
the better integration of intelligence and law enforcement and
homeland security capabilities over the last decade.

"So both from the threat side as well as from the
vulnerability side the advances that we`ve made over the past
decade have been just very, very impressive across the board,"
he said.

Brennan praised better interaction of government agencies
and progress overseas for making the country safer.

"We also have worked very closely with our international
partners. This is not just something the United States alone
can address. So we have developed and enhanced our
relationships with many different partner services overseas,
building their capacity so they can do what they need to do to
prevent those terrorists from coming here to the homeland,"
Brennan said.

PTI

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