WASHINGTON, April 16 (UPI) -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday she was sorry U.S. veterans were mentioned in a report on right-wing extremism.
CNN said some veterans groups were offended by the departmental report and that Napolitano told the news network's "American Morning" the assessment was not intended to offend U.S. veterans.
"I know that some veterans groups were offended by the fact that veterans were mentioned in this assessment, so I apologize for that offense. It was certainly not intended," Napolitano said.
The Homeland Security report said U.S. veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq may be targeted for recruitment by extremist groups.
Veterans groups appeared to be split over the report with the American Legion offering criticism and the Veterans of Foreign Wars backing the governmental effort.
"I think it is important for all of us to remember that Americans are not the enemy. The terrorists are," said David K. Rehbein, the American Legion's national commander, said in a letter to Napolitano.
"A government that does not assess internal and external security threats would be negligent of a critical public responsibility," stated Glen M. Gardner Jr., national commander of the VFW.