Wednesday’s deadly terrorist attack by hooded gunmen at the offices of a Paris satirical magazine is likely the wave of the future, says Michael Hayden, former head of the National Security Agency and the CIA, who appeared Wednesday on "America’s Forum" on Newsmax TV
"We’re going to get the kinds of attacks like a drive-by shooting in Little Rock or an SUV in Times Square or the kind of event that we see today," Hayden said, noting that officials think terror groups will resort to softer targets because they are seemingly no longer able to pull off attacks like a 9/11.
"This is going to be the new flavor of the threat from Islamic terrorism."
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The gunmen, reportedly shouting "Allah," used automatic weapons and possibly rocket launchers when they stormed the offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo
, which satirizes political and religious leaders, including the Prophet Muhammad.
"It certainly looks as if they've been well-trained, and the presence of automatic weapons and the rocket launchers, I'm sure it's an RPG-7, suggests that there's a bit of a supply line from north Africa into metropolitan France, which should make the French services very, very nervous," Hayden said.
The attack illustrates the delicate balance officials need to strike between personal liberty and providing security to keep people safe, a prickly issue since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked thousands of classified documents detailing U.S. surveillance programs.
"We all share American values and we all, because of our heritage and country, fear government overreach, but you know we wrote our Constitution because the government in front of it, the one under the Articles of Confederation, wasn't too powerful, it was too weak, and we needed to strengthen the government in order to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our prosperity.
"So, government has a positive role to play here, and we've just gone through a period where the popular instinct was government bad," Hayden said.
He pointed out that both North Korea’s recent cyberattack
on Sony Corp. and the French attack were committed by "renegade groups going after free speech."
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"Privacy advocates now need to be sensitive that governments that lack power to defend us end up costing us our liberties in addition to our securities," Hayden said.
Former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz added that recent chatter and a high-terror alert in France over the past month mean similar attacks like the one on Charlie Hebdo are probable.
"One of the formative cultural realities in today's Europe is the increasing Islamization of the population," Fleitz said.
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