Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., listens to testimony from Gen. Keith B. Alexander as he answers questions before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on June 12, 2013.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Intel Committee chairs: America ‘not safer’ today


America is not safer now than it was a few years ago, according to the House and Senate Intelligence Committee chairs.

Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA said there was “huge malevolence” against the United States, and warned that the terrorism threat against the country is on the rise.  “I think terror is up worldwide,” she said. “The numbers are way up.”

The U.S. has spent billions of dollars to expand its global intelligence and counterterrorism programs and has run a targeted killing program aimed at alleged terrorist leaders. That program has been criticized for causing too much collateral damage and stoking anti-American sentiments.

House chair Mike Rogers, R-MI, agreed with Feinstein that Americans are “not safer today” and said that the “pressure on our intelligence services to prevent an attack is incredible.”

Both lawmakers admitted that the more diffuse nature of today’s terrorist groups has made it harder to counter potential threats. Rogers pointed out that the rise in al-Qaeda affiliates spread around the globe raises the risk of a smaller scale attack and makes it “exponentially harder” for U.S. intelligence to keep track of them all.

Intel Committee chairs: America 'not safer' today