February 5th, 2010
07:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton names biggest threats to U.S.

(CNN) - The biggest threats to America's national security come not from Iran or North Korea, but from trans-national non-state actors, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN's Candy Crowley in an exclusive interview to air Sunday.

"Most of us believe the greater threats are the trans-national non-state networks, primarily the extremists – the fundamentalist Islamic extremists who are connected to al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula," Clinton said. "Or al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan."

"They continue to try to increase the sophistication of their capacity," the nation's top diplomat added. "The attacks that they're going to make and the…biggest nightmare that any of us have is that one of these terrorist member organizations within this syndicate of terror will get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction."

In the wide-ranging interview that will air on CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley," Clinton also said Iran's latest behavior is a clear indication the country has nuclear ambitions.

"It's like an old saying that if you see a turtle on a fence post in the middle of the woods, he didn't get there by accident, right? Somebody's put him there. And so you draw conclusions from what you see Iran doing," she said.

Clinton specifically pointed to Iran's rejection late last month of a proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency calling for the country give up a significant portion of its low-enriched uranium in exchange for fuel for Tehran's research reactor. Iran has maintained its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

The full interview will air Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.

soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. cmoore

    Biggest threat to US = Liberal Democrats

    February 5, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  2. randall

    She forgot to mention the number one threat on U.S. soil.... known as the Republican party!

    February 5, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  3. iceaxedave

    Hillary Dillary Dock
    Iran ramped up the clock
    The Doomsday Clock
    The one that ticks
    For Israel won't
    Sit back in the sticks
    Hillary Dillary Dock

    February 5, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  4. John

    Clinton names biggest threats to U.S.

    Saudi terrorists, Taliban fighters, Fox News, Tea Partiers, loopy conservatives.....

    February 5, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. Derek in DC

    Obama, please walk at your front door. Look to your left. Now look to your right. Does this look like global warming to you? LOL.

    February 5, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  6. aliou

    The biggest thret to American security is Big international company.
    The big company sends the US military fighting and spending our money to oblivion everywhere in the world to create venue for profit making companies to establish or to protect their interest. And all of that, no one even have a clue what 's going on. That is the biggest threat to our country. The sooner we see that the better.

    And now, these same companies would decide who would rule or represent this country anywhere in congress or any elected position with their big $$$. IF you feel that these countries have their hands tied in their back while we request them to catch up with us? Wait till the next elections when big companies call the games. You would have a taste of the medecin that we have been dishing around the world and make the rest of the world hate us.

    February 5, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  7. Big Joe

    The #1 threat is liberals trying to destroy this country and economy with their rampant socialism. Here's a hint, libtards! We don't want your socialism!

    February 5, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  8. Marc

    Anybody see Jon Stewart on Bill O'Reilly? He totally schooled O'Reilly , not only on O'Reilly, but on Fox News itself. He even got O'Reilly to admit Glen beck is basically just a conspiracist with no actual facts to back up his maniacal rantings. And yes, Hillary is correct to a point; she forgot to add the extreme right wing faction in this country. The "we want our country back" crowd, the secessionists and their ilk. These folks just can't get by the fact that Obama(a black man) won the election fair and square. As did all the other Congressmen and Senators. So they are working with Fox News day and night 24X7 to make him and his administration look bad.
    No matter what he suggests, it's just No NO No! In the long run they cannot win as this country is turning browner and browner every year and there's not a darn thing they can do about it!

    February 5, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  9. aliou

    To what's right is "tea party".
    Did Obama cause the recession in 2008? 2009 was only a consequence of 8 years of Bush W-MD (weapons of mass destruction)

    February 5, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. aliou

    Agree that our biggest problem is our taliban tea party.

    February 5, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  11. bennie new york

    No, she's right. The greatest threats to us are probably non-state militant groups. I'm glad she emphasized this because our foreign policy as of late has failed to realize the independence of Al-Qaeda from any nation. This isn't to say that nations like Iran don't pose a threat, if not to us then to other countries. As for North Korea, they aren't that dangerous- as soon as we threaten some kind of recourse they back down because they know they it's them against the world and they don't stand a chance. Iran on the other hand doesn't seem to have that figured out.

    February 5, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  12. Lee Bartholomew

    See this is was Bushy never learned. He's thinking on a pre 9/11 mindset. He wanted to fight an actual country. So he switched from our enemies to Iraq...

    February 5, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  13. Lee in TN

    Hillary is exactly right! Finally a Secretary of State that is telling us the truth.

    February 5, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  14. Crashish Laroque

    I am not an American, but I am a person that (overall) repsects America and feels that on the balance the world is a much better place with America in it.

    Reading these coments I have to say that this polorized, hateful sniping from both sides is utterly unproductive and terribly childish. Your country, and indeed the world faces many challenges. Certainly we all see the world in different ways, and feel it should be run in different ways, and see different sollutions (and indeed even core problems.) But I believe we generally want the same things, so we should be working together.

    The next time you're ready to blame someone esle, or criticise someone esle, or insult someone else, ask yourself: "Am I being part of the problem, or part of the sulution?"


    February 5, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  15. j

    I would agree that any terrorist attack is like to be non-state based. Does she also include home-based terrorist?

    I would also agree that the teabaggers and conservatives are a pretty big threat to the constitution and rule of law. They're the ones that think it's okay to torture people.

    February 5, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  16. jake

    Hey Dean Buddy I couldn't have said it better

    February 5, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  17. Scott, Tucson


    With ever increasing immigration of Muslims into this country and their high birth rates, it won't be too long until we see them wanting to impose Sharia laws first among themselves than onto the rest of us. Just look at the troubles Britain is having with their Muslim populations, the same is in store for us.

    February 5, 2010 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
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