Leiter warns of bioterror threats

Michael Leiter, the newly-retired head of the National Counterterrorism Center, recently predicted no easing of threats by the terrorist group al-Qaeda, including the use of biological weapons.

Leiter, a former Obama administration official, said that al-Qaeda still hopes to attack the United States by any means it can, according to Time.com.

Nonetheless, Leiter told an audience at the Woodrow Wilson Center that al-Qaeda’s core leadership is set to be eclipsed by several offshoots of the organization, including al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen.

Leiter said that the single most effective means of destroying the group has become the drone air strike, referring to the Central Intelligence Agency’s campaign against the organization’s leadership.

Leiter called on the United States to stay resilient because it is almost certain that al-Qaeda will manage to penetrate U.S. counterterrorist defenses and launch a successful strike, Time.com reports.

The National Counterterrorism Center is the U.S. government agency responsible for the analysis and integration of terrorism intelligence as well as the strategic planning center for antiterrorism activities.

Leiter has been the recipient of several major awards in recognition for his service to the United States, including the Intelligence Community Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award given in the intelligence community.