'Serious national security threat' needs US attention, says top congressional intel member

Several media outlets reported that the threat concerns a space-related Russian military capability

Mike Turner, chairman of the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has asked the President to 'declassify all information relating to this threat'. EPA
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The chairman of the US House intelligence committee issued an ominous statement on Wednesday warning of a “serious national security threat” and calling on President Joe Biden's administration to declassify related information so Washington can debate how to best respond.

Mike Turner, chairman of the Permanent Select Committee of Intelligence in the House of Representatives, gave no further details on the nature of the threat.

The Republican representative has requested that Mr Biden “declassify all information relating to this threat so that Congress, the administration and our allies can openly discuss the actions necessary to respond to this threat”.

Several US media outlets, citing unnamed administration sources, reported that the threat concerns a space-related Russian military capability.

White House National Security Council Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a press briefing that he was “surprised” by the memo, because he will be “personally briefing” congressional leaders on the issue on Thursday.

“That's been on the books,” Mr Sullivan told reporters.

The Senate committee quickly responded by saying that it “has the intelligence in question and has been rigorously tracking this issue from the start”.

“We continue to take this matter seriously and are discussing an appropriate response with the administration,” Senate Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Mark Warner and vice chairman Marco Rubio said in a statement.

“In the meantime, we must be cautious about potentially disclosing sources and methods that may be key to preserving a range of options for us action.”

According to the House Intelligence Committee's schedule, it had a closed meeting last night “to consider a motion to call information to the attention of the House”.

The warning comes as the Biden administration and the Democratic Party push the Republican-controlled House to pass a package providing more aid for Ukraine in its war against Russia. The package also includes billions in aid for Israel and Taiwan.

Updated: February 14, 2024, 11:26 PM