Washington - The head of the national counterterrorism centre says the al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq is the strongest it's been since a peak in 2006.
Matt Olsen says al-Qaeda in Iraq has increased the pace of attacks this year.
Olsen is testifying to a Senate committee on the current terror threat to the US.
Olsen did not say that al-Qaeda in Iraq poses a direct threat to the US. He says the group continues to operate in Syria as well.
In 2006, the group was at its peak in Iraq when it bombed a Shi'ite mosque and heightened sectarian killings.