The Washington Post

Chambliss: Threats ‘very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11′

Chambliss Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that the recent signs of a potential terrorist attack are the "most serious threat I’ve seen in the last several years.”

The issue prompted the United States to close many of its embassies over the weekend and issue a warning to Americans traveling abroad.

The U.S. State Department on Sunday extended the closure through Saturday for 19 embassies, consulates and smaller posts “out of an abundance of caution,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a written statement. Several other posts, including embassies in Kabul and Baghdad, will be allowed to reopen Monday.

“There has been an awful lot of chatter out there," Chambliss said on NBC's "Meet the Press". "Chatter means conversation about terrorists, about the planning that’s going on, very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11. We didn’t take heed on 9/11 on the way that we should [have]. But here, I think it’s important that we do take the right kind of planning as we come to the close of Ramadan, we know that’s always an interesting time for terrorists."

Pressed for details about the threat, Chambliss said: "What we have heard is some specifics on what’s intended to be done and some individuals who are making plans, such as we saw before 9/11. Whether they are going to be suicide vests that are used, or whether they’re planning on vehicle-borne bombs being carried into an area, we don’t know. But we’re hearing some kind of that same chatter that we heard pre-9/11 leading up to anecdotes like that, taking place by the terrorists."

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that the potential for an attack is serious.

“There is a significant threat stream, and we're reacting to it,” he said. Asked for details about what the threat entails, the general said: “That part of it is unspecified, but the intent seems clear. The intent is to attack Western, not just U.S. interests.”

Lori Montgomery contributed to this post.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The Democrats debate Thursday. Get caught up on the race.
What to expect at tonight's debate
Tonight's debate is likely to focus on the concerns of African American and Latino voters. Clinton has focused in recent days on issues like gun control, criminal-sentencing reform, and the issues with drinking water in Flint, Mich. But Sanders has been aggressively moving to appeal to the same voters, combining his core message about economic unfairness with his own calls to reform the criminal-justice system.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the polls as he faces rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz as he heads into the S.C. GOP primary on Feb. 20.
Clinton in New Hampshire: 2008 vs. 2015
Hillary Clinton did about as well in N.H. this year as she did in 2008, percentage-wise. In the state's main counties, Clinton performed on average only about two percentage points worse than she did eight years ago (according to vote totals as of Wednesday morning) -- and in five of the 10 counties, she did as well or better.
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.