WASHINGTON – The Al Qaeda terror network continues to succeed in recruiting terrorists from the West — possibly the United States.
U.S. intelligence officials on Wednesday told FOX News Al Qaeda has succeeded in strengthening its position in Pakistani tribal regions and is recruiting Western operatives who are better able to help carry out attacks on the United States.
The information comes a day after Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell expressed concerns to the Senate Intelligence Committee about Al Qaeda's continued efforts in Iraq and Pakistan, and the resurgence of Afghanistan's Taliban — the ousted regime that gave refuge to Usama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terror network.
"Al Qaeda remains the pre-eminent threat against the United States," he said.
McConnell said Al Qaeda — while being suppressed to a large extent in Iraq — is moving to other regions, including Pakistan, where it continues to try to launch attacks against the United States.
The tribal regions of Pakistan, while within the country's borders, are lawless and beyond the control of the Pakistani government.
And the next attack on the United states likely would be launched by Al Qaeda from those regions, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said in prepared testimony.
Tuesday, The New York Times reported that a senior intelligence official said there is new evidence Al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan are training Westerners — most likely including U.S. citizens.
That official said there is no evidence the terror group has succeeded in placing operatives inside U.S. borders.
FOX News' Catherine Herridge and Ian McCaleb and The Associated Press contributed to this report.