A new report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says that Al Qaeda is no longer the U.S.'s biggest terror threat; it's Iran. The agency, which heads up the 16-member Intelligence Community, reported that thanks to the hit on Osama bin Laden and the deaths of other Al Qaeda bigwigs in 2011, the group's structure and capability to carry out attacks has "weakened significantly." In prepared testimony accompanying the report Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said last year's alleged plot by Iran to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C. "shows that some Iranian officials — probably including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei — have changed their calculus and are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime," the Washington Post reports. The upshot of all this for the city-dwelling potential terrorism victim is that "smaller-bore strikes from regional nodes are more likely than elaborate, mass-casualty plots," the Post says. That means less worry about another 9/11 and more about smaller attacks like the thwarted alleged bomb plot in Washington D.C. And, according to CNN, more cyber-attacks from places like Russia and China. Oh, and don't expect sanctions to work any magic on Iran. CNN pulls this quote from the report: "Iran's economic difficulties probably will not jeopardize the regime, absent a sudden and sustained fall in oil prices or a sudden domestic crisis that disrupts oil exports."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.