Senator Feinstein On Foiled Terror Plot
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said that the intelligence community had a “substantial victory” this week when it disrupted a potential terror attack on a US airline.
However she is not confident that the bomb would have been detected at the airport had the plot developed further. Feinstein said that the particular material used in this instance is not easily detected by the systems we now have in place, adding “it’s a problem TSA has to grapple with.”
Feinstein also addressed concerns that the news leaks of the plot might have interrupted further intelligence gathering and endangered operations.
The leaks, “certainly jeopardizes the asset, our ability to work” with other countries, the senator said, adding that it alerted AQAP, the al Qaeda group based in Yemen, to the operation.
The intelligence committee chairman says the leak must be investigated and criminal charges brought.
Feinstein, who has just recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan, also reacted to news that a former Taliban official who was now part of the peace process there has been assassinated. She said that this news, and recent gains the Taliban have made, “demonstrates that the Taliban are just waiting to come back.”
She added that Pakistan is the key to eliminating the threat posed to a stable Afghanistan, and so far, they have "done nothing to abate" the problem.