Feds: Times Square Mastermind Bigger Threat Than Bin Laden

Napolitano Says American-Born Al-Awlaki A Serious Concern

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A terror power shift leads to a stunning warning from the Department of Homeland Security.

The American-born cleric behind the attempted Times Square bombing has now eclipsed Osama bin Laden as the biggest threat to American security, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

Say sayonara to Osama. Anwar al-Awlaki is now the “boss of all bosses” of the group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The feds said Wednesday he is now the number one threat — the most significant risk — to United States security.

National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter told the House Homeland Security Committee that America’s war on bin Laden has allowed others to come to the forefront.

“It allows the franchises to innovate on their own … and in the case of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Yemen, and folks like Anwar al-Awlaki, they’ve been quite successful at being innovators and that makes our jobs more challenging,” Leiter said.

RELATED: YouTube Removes Videos From Yemeni Cleric | Yemen Arrests Woman Accused In Mail Bomb Plot | Counterterrorism Chief Says The U.S. Remains Vigilant | Officials Say Bomb Plot Just Narrowly Averted

Al-Awlaki’s actions in masterminding attacks like the attempted Times Square bombing, the Fort Hood massacre, the Christmas Day 2009 attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines fight by a man with a bomb in his underwear prompted Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano to say that the threat to our shores is the highest since 9/11.

“The threat continues to evolve. And in some ways the threat today may be at its most heightened state since the attacks nearly 10 years ago,” Napolitano said.

The threat is so great because al-Awlaki was born here, recruits here and has a different strategy than bin Laden.

“They have adapted their strategy and their tactics, so they are now recruiting from within the country, and they are looking for people who are under the radar, screen people who are living here legally, people who have green cards, people who are citizens, people who have no known terrorist activity,” Long Island Rep. Peter King told Kramer.

Bin Laden hasn’t gone away and is a “very determined enemy,” authorities said. But his group is the weakest it’s been in a decade. There have been five disrupted al Qaeda plots in Europe in the last five years.

Please offer your thoughts below.

More from Marcia Kramer
  • Howard T. Lewis III

    These people never heard that education is the key to controlling one’s own mind. SCOTUS says CBS can lie and call it news. Most of the above comments are by people with opinions based on lies, which gets people murdered with topics like these. CBS must go

  • Nestor Delgado
  • Justin Thyme

    Well, that didn’t take long to find a new, scary cartoon bad guy. Time to erase another paragraph from the Constitution.

  • jim

    Hey cbs , go tell your lies to your mother !

    • Ex-Army


      Your absolutely correct.

      How stupid do they think some are?

  • al

    “Anwar al-Awlaki is now the “boss of all bosses”

    Oh, The same one who was reported by Fox News to have had dinner at the Pentagon after Sept 11?
    Then it will be easy to end all this. Just call the Pentagon and have them look for their guest list for dinner in their Rolodex.

  • Gern Blansten

    911 was an inside job.
    The enemies of the US are establishment corporations, wallstreet, the government and media.
    Bin Laden=Goldstein
    Anwar al-Awlaki dined at the Pentagon Just Months After 9/11

  • Hank Warren

    More fake Al Qadea, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our right:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

    • Ex-Army

      1 other thing CBS is recieving funds from the U.S. Taxpayers to spread this garbage. as this new Bin Laden replacement is CIA and was in the White house.

      Just like Bin Laden and the Taliban.

      Any American backing the Government is going to get what they reap.

      Also Patriotism is to a Country not people. Patriot until you understand this you are a threat as well to our freedoms and Liberty.


    i will take this mosque down br\ick b y brick. Garanteed destruction overnight. Not by force, but with LOVE…the LOVE of pure HATE for anyone who thinks a mosque below chambers street at 100 million + isnt a FU to all the dead fvcking people this sick religion KILLED…. go preach peace and kill people. Ill preach FU and gladly rip inards out one by one.

    • Patriot

      I agree, but as much as it might bother you, you have to respect there 1st amendment right as they are American citizens too, because if you don’t, then your not standing for the 1st amendment for the USA as a whole.
      I know, it goes against your natural grain to want have to support there wishes, but save the “good fight” for another day.
      Just like you would be offended if they disagreed here about your statement above, it recipricates. It’s a nessesary evil.

    • Ex-Army

      Wow I am so scared please remove all my Constitutional rights,

      Freedom for all even the Quran burning Psycho preacher.

      Americans are uneducated lazy Apprentice watchers. Exactly the sheeple the US Gov wants. Be scared as you lose your savings, Rights, Retirement and will to live.

      I for one am not falling for the boogie man as the boogie man is in our house. Not external but internal threat to our liberties is what I fear. Not a cave dwelling Arab.

    • Ex-Army

      For IdontcareFU

      Until you stop hating clear you mind and look at who benefits you are a sheeple. All your tough talk is just that. What you state makes you just like that you say your against.

      Our Government has lied and until we tar and feather them and the bankers you will get more of it. You will get it till they get what they want and its your money and life they are after.

      Meanwhile your breathing Cesium from Japan and the EPA refuses to protect you because they dont want people to panic while they are dying from it.


      Arizona is in the headlines because they are fighting the U.S. Gov open borders and if terrorism was a real threat we would close the Mexican border down. However living in the south it is open as always and the local sheriff’s have not gotten Fed support. Meanwhile Falcon Lake is being used as a drug running to America. Read about ATF and Border patrol getting caught selling automatic weapons to drug dealers. Read about $350 Billion in drug laundering money Wachovia and Bank Of America got caught with.

      We are losing Middle Class Jobs and our rights are eroded with the threat of terrorism.

      Let me be clear I do not need the Government to protect me or my neighbors as we are very capable to handle it ourselves.

      Welcome to the new Police State. AMERICA.

      If this offends you then please read the constitution. I want my Sovereighnty and if you dont go to Mexico!

  • Patriot

    I see “very determined enemies” they are foriegn and domestic, make a big scene so you have sombody to blame for the USA imloding. Absolutly discusting, when there out of answers, they bring us to war. Why was Benazir Bhutto assasinated? knew a little too much? Your not fooling anyone in the know.

    • Philip B Kirschner

      I find it ironic that Anwar al-Awlaki dined at the pentagon and had close ties to Rumsefeld Marica Cramer, on top of that during the cold war, BiIn Laden was an asset for the three letter agencies.

  • walter12

    If there is another successful terrorist attack within the US, your god and hero Obama will be gone, he will be finished. If the terrorist is found to have gotten in thru the porous Mexican border, then Obama will be doubly gone and finished.

    • Patriot

      Bin Laden has been dead since 2001-2, the times square bomber is a moron cause the safety valves on the LP tanks weren’t remooved, non event.


    • jimmy

      Hi walter where was your almighty g-d bush junior when we got attacked on 9/11?????

  • Blake S. Davis

    Unfortunately, our intelligence community is utterly incompetent – what would you expect from government workers? I understand that most underlings at the CIA could care less about their work – the training is ridiculously poor – these people didn’t see the fall of Russia, they didn’t come close to finding out about 9/11, even though the plotters couldn’t have been open about it if they put it on a billboard – the CIA never bothered to tell the airlines that there were suicide bombers out there – which would have put a whole different complexion on what happened. The only reason the attacks thus far have failed is because of the incompetence of the plotters – except at Four Hood. And the terrorists will learn – bombs malfunction, guns don’t, so go for guns. We need to ditch the CIA – throw them all out, and come up with something new. And the traditional media has to stop making terrorists look like movie stars – and they do do that!!

    Never happen though – our gov’t is hopelessly corrupt and incompetent, starting with OBAMA on down..

    • Patriot

      Sad thing about this, is there going to show us one way or another that there is something to be afraid of. We run Al Qaeda, search Bruzinski or “Z Big” we invented them and fund them. Bring it big sis, the American people are not afraid anymore. Everyone is awake but you and God help the Traitors to the USA when SHTF.But I know your going to make sure “something” happens.

  • pnutbrand

    Al-Awlaki is a CIA asset. Research it, he has dinner with military intelligence and political heads at the Pentagon.

    • Patriot

      Yes he did.


    • Kevin

      Al-Awlaki dined at the Pentagon reports Fox News. They have to keep us scared to keep that military inductrial complex money machine going http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsKwGRMqoGA

  • Russ

    Fox News reported that Al-Awlaki dined with top military brass at the Pentagon months after 9/11. So just who is really running these attacks? Guys in caves? Really?

  • Nixon

    Don’t forget the camps they are building all over the country to put “revolutionaries” (citizens) when we get tired of what they are doing to us (yes, it’s for real, there is at least one in Pennsylvania)

    • Bob Dawson

      Wow! How about just a little smidgen of proof. You whaco Progressives (I have to assume you are one) just get funnier and dumber each day

      • jimmyd

        Hey bob, plenty of proof for you, but it involves you pulling your head out of your ass. Not sure you can do that.

      • Ex-Army

        Bob is a sheeple watching apprentice.

        Bob your a disgrace to freedom. Your a disgrace to our Country.

        The prrof is at your finger tips yet your to lazy and heaven forbid you miss the next episode of American Idol.

        You will pay for you ignorance. The sad part is if there are enough of you we all may pay.

  • big chuck

    Hurricanes named katrina

  • mikeramsey

    There is one major flaw that they are overlooking when shifting to Americans to do their dirty work; they’re Americans. Educated in America, modern American work ethic, and current American quality standards, will simply give them more of the same – “attempted bombings”. Unable to follow through with assigned tasks. Fail.

    Bin Laden was a meticulous planner, thoroughly vetted his minions, trusted no one, and quietly kept his plans secret. You think al-Awlacky can do all that? He’s proving otherwise.

  • Eric C

    Al-Awlaki had nothing to do with the Times Square bombing. The bombing was orchestrated by Faisal Shazhad, who trained in Pakistan’s federally administered tribal areas under the oversight of elements of the TTP and al-qeada central (the AQ faction belonging to UBL and Zawahiri). I can’t believe that this article is claiming otherwise-it shows a complete lack of scholarship on behalf of the author.

  • minfxbg

    At least we know this son of a sow is alive; so kill him.

  • Stan Deyo
  • McWayne

    Is this the same Anwar Al-Awlaki that was dining at the Pentagon weeks after 9/11? The same Anwar Al-Awlaki that had been named Al-Qeada’s #1 (after Bin Laden) and then invited to the Pentagon for a luncheon? Hm?

  • jerri

    Maybe Janet needs to contact the pentagon. This guy was having dinner with the top brass at the pentagon just months after 9-11. My guess is he was getting orders and being prepped for his new role to terrorize the Americans into giving up their rights so the likes of the DHS can continue having their way with us and have an endless supply of our tax dollars. AMERICAN CITIZENS THE WAR ON TERROR IS A FRAUD, THE DHS IS USING OUR FEAR AGAINST US.

  • Pluribus

    We don’t need a CIA now that we have “See Something, Say Something”.

  • Bill Andivey

    Man, I can’t believe I’m relying to an all-caps typer, but it gives me the opportunity to make my point: Osama is a Pentagon money maker. The last thing the Pentagon wants to do is catch the guy. Think of all the spending cuts that would have to be made if we caught him. Bring home the troops and cut defense spending, and California is history. Now, just as they’ve broached the topic of reducing the Pentagon’s spending, we get another guy leading 100 followers who are going to take our country down. “if we had the CIA of the 1950’s” — what a joke.

    • Jim Minton

      Ah yes another truther raises his empty head. What spending cuts? Do you actually think the war is about Bin Laden? Ok, you are so funny Bill. If only the world was as simply as Bills brain.. Talking about a joke?

    • Harold j

      Eisenhower was a patriot. He saw the horrors of war and the greed of business, e.g., Ford selling equipment to the Third Reich. Later he saw how some US manufacturers of weapons of war couldn’t press the “stop button” when the war ended. They were lobbying hard in DC to keep profits rolling in, and they were successful at taxpayer expense. In no time, we had enough nukes to destroy the world many times over, and the military-industrial complex was ell entrenched. We’re a democratic republic yet it seems the will of the people is constantly thwarted by lobbyists and our elected representatives who gladly take their money in exchange for special favors. Billions are spent on lobbying Congress every year. We keep the bogeyman Osama alive for good reason, as you say. We had at least 10 opportunities to kill him and passed up every one. More than once I’ve seen a former CIA officer speak about this. He’s outraged, but the American public apparently swallows whatever tripe is dished up in the name of national security. Sealing the porous southern border would have happened right after 9-11, if we were truly worried about terrorism. The fact that we have failed to perform that relatively simple task is mind-boggling and telling. Ancient man built the Great Wall of China that still stands today. We can’t even build a simple fence out of reinforced concrete. Yet we can spend hundreds of billions on street cameras, drones, cyber-snooping, grandma scanning devices at airports, etc., etc. Obviously, this is all more about money and power than about national security.

  • John Brown

    One CIA agent is replaced by another. Tim Osman (aka “Bin Laden”) is replaced by Al-Awlaki, who dined at the Pentagon weeks after the 9/11 bombings of the 3 WTC towers. Congratulations were all around. Now that the unconstitutional Patriot Act went down in defeat, DHS gets orders to up the security alerts to permanent red. This is all a ruse by the globalists. Give me back my Constitution and get your CIA-created terrorist bogeymen out of my sight.

    • minfxbg

      enjoy the dinner, John?

  • Jay

    Big Sis, should read the very popular novel Third Party Candidate one of the most read books on the Internet. Everything in that book has come true so far except for the end. It was written four years ago? I think I will send her a copy from Amazon!

  • iamink

    Not only our government, but the FED and all those who control through greed. Live in fear people, thats what they want!

  • SPCartman44

    Take him out immediately before thousands more of our American people are slaughtered!

  • Jack

    We need to go back to the old days in London where enemies of the government (i.e., the crown) were taken to the Tower of London, beheaded and their heads stuck on a pole for all to see while the executioner proclaimed, “thus be to all enemies of the king.” So yes, I think they should cut this guy’s God damn head off.

  • sam

    I am surprised the article actually shows a photo of him, or that they give his name. After all, his image looks very Islamic and his name sounds very Islamic. To me it seems like they are profiling him . . . the poor slob. Based on those indications, I thought it violated his rights to suspect him of anything.

  • Kevin

    I think Obama and illegal immigration are both bigger threats to the USA than Osama is.

    Eventually, OBL will get a nuke or chemical/ biological weapon and he will perpetrate a mass casualty attack on the US. At that point, assuming we have a real president in place (Not Obama, or any main stream Democrat)we’ll vaporize half of Afghanistan, the “border regions” of Pakistan and Iran and that will end large scale islaofacist terrorism. Until then we are just spitting in the wind.

    • Blake S. Davis

      Great comment – this matches my feelings to a “t”.

    • Sarah


    • ChocoCat

      oh brother

  • Creed

    Last year WomanBearPig told us not to be using that word; terrorism. All of a sudden man-caused disasters are a bigger concern?

  • SeeYou

    No one believes anything the government says and never will. They have lost all credibility and they know we know. Look for another ‘creation’ by them to scare us more into their degenerate vision of the future.

    When do the treason trials begin?

    • todd f

      thank you

  • GC

    Why is this piece of excrement still alive?

    • duh

      Because he works for the guys you think should kill him.

  • boogeyman

    So it looks like they finally decided to let go of long dead boogey man Osama. Not enough people are afraid of ghosts to accomplish their goals.

  • McMal1bu

    The Aldous Huxley commenter is absolutely right.. so far the only real results in the “war on terror” is that America is fast becoming a police state and the only losers in all of it are the American people.

    • lingo south

      Yep, one way to take complete control of the people is to scare them into the corral.

    • Kevin

      I’m sorry, If you think America has become a police state, you have no idea what the term means.

      Bloomberg has done more to restrict the rights of law abiding Americans that the Federal Government has.

      • F=MA

        How do you know they had boxcutters? Did any of the boxcutters survive the inferno? Where’s the evidence? It’s a made up story. A fable. You’ve been lied to. Your government lies. It’s your government that’s been hijacked. Stop blaming the downfall of your country on little brown men in caves. The hijackers are in Washington, D.C..

        P.S. Rumsfeld initially said the 15 Saudi “hijackers” used “plastic knives”, not boxcutters. Pay attention. A criminal forgets what lies he’s told.

      • ChocoCat

        No Kevin, the truth is 19 guys attacked us, with boxcutters, and you actually believe we are in a war. That is the real issue, the elephant in the room. 19 guys with boxcutters made you believe the United States was in some kind of danger, and you still do. You still believe we are in danger. It is so pathetic. The safest people in the world, Americans, and we believe we are all in danger. Amazing. Where is the evidence Kevin, 19 guys with boxcutters? Underwear bombers? Really? That is your evidence? Really?

  • Buford T. Justice

    Ah yes. Al-Awlaki is such a dangerous enemy to America that he was invited to an official dinner at the Pentagon just months after the 9/11 attacks. Of course he was only Al CIAda’s #3 man back then… Fox News carried the story on TV. Read about it:


  • Chris

    Is that a bullseye I see in the middle of his forehead?

  • Tim

    A couple months ago a Fox News artcile said this man was dining at the Pentagon a few days after 9/11. Let’s face it, people, this guy is an American agent working on behalf of the military industrial complex in order to strip us of our rights and justify anything the government wants to do to us.

    • Guest

      Until the southern border is sealed, no one can convince me the so-called war on terror is real. No country would be so stupid at to leave its borders porous during time of war.

    • Foxcult

      You can’t use ‘news’ and ‘fox’ in the same sentence and be considered truthful or newsworthy…

      • ra44mr2

        Yea cause CBS is such a bastion of unbiased reporting. Whatever moron. You obviously never actually WATCH Fox news beyond the clips that Chris Matthews shows you so you really have no idea what you are talking about beyond your emotions.

      • John

        Yeah, your right. I heard someone on Fox say the the President had added trillions of dollars to America’s debt, and was in favor moving the debt level up a again. These guys lie like hell at Fox!

  • Arun

    I hope it does, we do not need any mosque near ground zero a place where you teach hatred towards the non believers. Muslims have been unmasked everyone knows what the hidden agenda is.

    • RexKramer

      Ann Coulter, is that you? Still think non-christians will all burn in hell and should be killed or converted?

  • mark zuckerberg

    Facebook is the best thing that’s happened to intelligence in a very long time.

    • ZuckSux

      your stalker is behind you dude, lookout!

  • Tired of the hype

    Sounds like they have this in their sights. He’ll be wacked soon. It’s always a good idea to promote the target before he’s hit. That way your accomplishment is greater.

    • Bob P

      We won’t whack him. Only John McCain knows how to whack him, according to John McCain. I guess this patriot is punishing us for not having elected him.President. For some reason, he’s not coming forward with his plan to get Bin Laden. I’m so proud of our Senators, especially McCain. They’re the best! Obama and McCain’s promises were so creative. (sarcasm for anyone who can’t detect it)

  • aldous huxley

    So anyone can be a potential terrorist. An enemy combatant. Justification for the suspension of Habeus Corpus. Detained indefinitely without any formal charges or any rights.

    The DHS wants everyone under surveillance. Everyone afraid of each other. Begging the government to save them – giving up liberties for security.

    Our government is far more frightening than any terrorist group could ever be.

    • Anonymous

      I’ll gladly defend myself. I don’t need big government to do it for me, especially when they use my taxpayer dollars, which I could use to live a better quality life. When I write to my Congresswoman to express my concerns, I get a canned thank you letter — never a personalized response. The notion of them working for us is absurd. We’re the host and they’re the parasites the way I see it. If I’m wrong, I wish someone would convince me otherwise because I’m uneasy with the conclusion that I’ve reached.

      • Bruce Hayden

        I think those canned letters are issued when the new congresscritter gets elected.
        I’ve lived in numerous states and they are all the same. The ones from one of my Senators goes to my junk mail. Even hotmail recognizes real junk!

    • Paul

      It’s a brave new world.

    • lingo south

      uh huh….right on…

    • todd f

      totally agree alduous… along those lines, I wonder who the people in the gulf regard as the biggest threat to america?

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