China and Russia spying at Cold War levels : US spy chief
(AFP) Chinese and Russian espionage operations against the United States are nearing the level of the covert spying duels of the Cold War, the top US intelligence officer warned Tuesday.
Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell was to raise the specter of a new era of intelligence wars during a House of Representatives hearing on a contentious new law on warrantless wiretapping.
McConnell said in an advance copy of his testimony that US undercover agencies must simultaneously battle traditional state foes and Al-Qaeda, as it tries to infiltrate US territory to pull off spectacular terrorist attacks.
McConnell was also to say that Lebanon-based Hezbollah may mull attacks on the US mainland, if it sees the United States threatening Iran.
“China and Russia’s foreign intelligence services are among the most aggressive in collecting against sensitive and protected US systems, facilities and developmental projects,” McConnell said in testimony to the House Judiciary Committee.
“Their efforts are reaching Cold war levels.”
McConnell also said in his testimony that Al-Qaeda remained the most serious terrorist threat to the United States and was increasing its efforts to position operatives on US soil.
“We assess that Lebanese Hezbollah, which has conducted anti-US attacks outside the United States in the past, may be more likely to consider attacking the homeland over the next three years if it perceives the United States as posing a direct threat to the group or Iran.”
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