Tom Kean: Cybertheft Is New Focus of Terror Threat

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 05:39 PM

By Greg Richter

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Members of the 9/11 Commission came together to issue a new report on Tuesday, the 10th anniversary of their original one, and Chairman Tom Kean says that while the threat of terror is still real, the new focus is on cybersecurity.

"We believe that the terrorist threat has changed, that it's not better. It may be even a little worse," Kean said Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto." 

Up to 17 countries now have branches of the terrorist group al-Qaida, said Kean, a Republican former governor of New Jersey.

Plenty of America's technology already has been lost in what Kean termed a "quiet stealing." He said a national security expert told him it has been the largest transfer of knowledge in history.

"One lesson of the 9/11 story is that, as a nation, Americans did not awaken to the gravity of the terrorist threat until it was too late. History may be repeating itself in the cyber realm," the new report reads.

"The Internet's vulnerabilities are outpacing the nation's ability to secure it," the report states.

The report calls on the government to stay ahead of the threat, but Kean said America should also not take its eyes off traditional forms of terrorism.

The original 9/11 report warned against allowing terrorists to establish another safe haven from which to stage another major attack.

Al-Qaida took three to four years to plan and carry out the 9/11 attacks on the United States from its base in Afghanistan, Kean noted. Now, he said, the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State, or ISIS, has potentially set up another safe haven in eastern Syria and northern Iraq. And Afghanistan could become a safe haven yet again once American troops pull out, he said.

"It's a different threat, and we've got to be able to adjust to the differences in that threat," Kean told Fox News. "We've got to be nimble, and we've got to stay ahead of the terrorists, not behind them."


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