Tuesday, November 21, 2017
News Roundup

Authors of 9/11 Commission report warn of cyberattack threats

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WASHINGTON — The authors of the 9/11 Commission report say that a decade after completing their seminal look at the rise of al-Qaida, the threat of terrorism has not waned and the country can ill afford to let its guard down again.

"The threat remains grave, and the trend lines in many parts of the world are pointing in the wrong direction," former commission members wrote in "Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of the 9/11 Commission Report," which was released Tuesday.

The reflections echo many of the concerns voiced in recent years in the intelligence community, particularly in relation to the growing strength of al-Qaida affiliates in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

The authors, including Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, who together chaired the 9/11 Commission, also describe the threat of a cyberattack as a significant concern, likening it to the threat of terrorism before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. They describe the "cyber domain as the battlefield of the future" and say the country needs to take further steps to prevent the cyber equivalent of 9/11.

The report is critical of Congress and urges lawmakers to enact changes in oversight and appropriations for homeland security and intelligence. It notes that in 2004 the Department of Homeland Security, which was created in the wake of 9/11, answered to 88 committees and subcommittees of Congress. Today, that number is 92.

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