Tags: utilities | terror | threat

Report: Extremists Pose Insider Threat to US Utilities

Thursday, 21 Jul 2011 11:36 AM

By Marti Lotman

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An intelligence report released Tuesday from the Department of Homeland Security, titled ‘Insider Threat to Utilities,’ warns “violent extremists have, in fact, obtained insider positions,” in an attempt to use utility-sector employees for attacks, ABC News reports.

“Based on the reliable reporting of previous incidents, we have high confidence in our judgment that insiders and their actions pose a significant threat to the infrastructure and information systems of U.S. facilities,” the report says.

“Past events and reporting also provide high confidence in our judgment that insider information on sites, infrastructure, networks, and personnel is valuable to our adversaries and may increase the impact of any attack on the utilities infrastructure.”

Although the Department of Homeland Security has said that there was no specific threat made, former White House counter-terrorism advisor Richard Clarke said an attack would be relatively easy.

“There are a lot of very sensitive facilities where someone can get a job on the inside, get access to a control room, flip a switch, which causes an electric power grid to short circuit, causes a pipeline to explode,” Clarke told ABC.

In May, evidence obtained from the Navy SEAL operation that killed Osama bin Laden showed that he was planning a repeat of September, 11, 2011, around its 10- year anniversary.

“The only way you can actually kill the large scale number of Americans that [bin Laden] literally was calculating was through the use of this critical infrastructure,” Chad Sweet, former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff, told ABC News.


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