Lawmakers Acknowledge Serious Terror Threat

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Washington Some key lawmakers are talking about why the U.S. government has issued a global terror alert and closed nearly two dozen U.S. diplomatic posts in the Muslim world.

The top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee says the moves were prompted by the most serious terrorist threat he's seen in years. Without giving specifics, Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss told NBC's "Meet the Press" that "the chatter" intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies is "very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11."

The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee told ABC's "This Week" that talk of a "major attack" came from "high-level people in al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula." The Maryland congressman, Dutch Ruppersberger, didn't offer any details.

Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican who chairs a House panel on counterterrorism and intelligence, told ABC that the information "was specific as to how enormous it was going to be." He says it included dates but not locations of possible attacks.

King called the threat "a wake-up call." He says in some ways al-Qaida is stronger than it was before 9/11 because it has "mutated" and spread.