Photo: WFIU Public Radio (Flickr)
The authors of the original report that detailed the events surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attacks say the next big threat to the United States is cyber-terrorism.
The commission released a new report assessing current terrorist threats to the United States, as well as updates on the recommendations the committee made ten years ago, and whether those recommendations have been adopted as policy or made into law.
Speaking at a symposium in Washington D.C. Tuesday, former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton, who co-chaired the 9/11 Commission, applauded efforts over the last ten years to cripple terrorist networks, but warned of new threats to national security.
“Despite our achievements, the threat of terrorism persists today,” Hamilton said. “Al-Qaida spin-offs that share its extreme ideology and hatred of the United States have proliferated and are now operational in more than 16 countries.”
Hamilton noted some specific concerns Including the Sunni extremist group that is taking hold in Iraq known as ISIS, al-Qaida bomb threats to commercial airliners, and most of all, threats to cybersecurity.
“The vulnerability of our cyber systems and the vast stealing of our intellectual property over the Internet pose a huge national security challenge,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton says government data collection has boomed in the last ten years, and that while it is a vital tool in preventing terrorist attacks, it must be balanced against civil liberties.