Speaking before a Senate Committee, the head of U.S. Intelligence discussed the continuing threat from al Qaeda as well as concerns about political instability, WMD, and other issues.
National Director of Intelligence Michael McConnell began by telling the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that "You will see from the testimony that many of the key topics I touch on are not traditional 'national security' topics. Globalization has broadened the number of threats and challenges facing the United States."
Not surprising, he cites al Qaeda's resiliency as a continuing major concern. He cites especially the concern that terrorists find sanctuary in Pakistan's border area.
McConnell also discussed in his full testimony threats from weapons of mass destruction; threats to the U.S. information infrastructure; political stability and of national and regional conflict in Europe, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and Eurasia; financial capabilities of Russia, China, and OPEC countries and the potential use of their market access to exert financial leverage to achieve political ends, and humanitarian concerns about effect of rising prices of food and energy in poorer countries.