US Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday there was no “credible information” as yet that Al-Qaeda was behind the attacks in France that have killed 17 people.
“At this point, we don’t have any credible information that would allow us to make a determination as to which organization was responsible,” Holder said in an interview from Paris with ABC’s “This Week.”
“We’ll certainly have to see exactly who was responsible (to) determine what kind of retaliation would be appropriate,” he said. “But we stand in solidarity with the French.”
Holder spoke as dozens of heads of states joined hundreds of thousands of people in a massive display of unity and defiance against terrorism on the streets of Paris.
The country has been deeply shaken by three days of bloodshed that began Wednesday when two brothers stormed a satirical newspaper in Paris, killing 12 people, including some of France’s best known cartoonists.
Four more people were killed Friday in a hostage standoff at a kosher supermarket in Paris by a third gunman, who had shot to death a policewoman the day before.
The gunmen were all killed by police.
Despite the alarms raised by the attacks, Holder said there was no indication of an active threat inside the United States.
“Although there’s not a specific credible threat that I can point to, I certainly think that the environment has changed over the years.”
While Al-Qaeda’s capacity to launch a 9/11-scale attack has been diminished, he said, the threat posed by radicalized “long wolves” has grown.
“When one looks at what happened here in France with a relatively small number of people, when we look at some incidents that have happened in other parts of the world, when we look at what’s happened in the United States, we have a very small number of people, without huge amounts of planning, without huge amounts of resources, inflicting very severe damage.”
General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, echoed Holder’s remarks in a separate interview on Fox News Sunday.
Despite reports one of the attackers had received training in Yemen, Dempsey said, “As far as whether it was directed by Al-Qaeda, I don’t think that linkage has been established.”