McConnell told the Senate that the al Qaeda network in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan has suffered setbacks, but still poses a persistent and growing danger from its safe haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
The hearing also dealt with al-Qaeda, interrogation methods used to obtain information about imminent attacks and McConnell also warned about the growing threat of “cyberattacks” by terror groups or homegrown militants.
This is a subject I have written about at length as those that monitor extremists chat sites continue to see "chatter" discussing threats of cyberattacks against the US and more recently information that was reported about actual attacks outside of the US that has caused considerable damage, including blacking out whole cities.
CIA analyst Tom Donahue, at the SANS security trade conference in New Orleans, disclosed recently declassified information about such attacks saying that hackers have, indeed, penetrated power systems in regions outside the U.S. and in some cases causing power outages that affected multiple cities.Before 9-11, America arrogantly assumed that the terror attacks seen across the world, although attempted here in the States would never be carried out successfully to the point of killing large numbers of our citizens in a highly organized attack on our soil.
We were wrong and 3,000 of or fellow citizens deaths proved exactly how wrong we were.
Many of us woke up on September 11, 2001.
We have not had a successful attack on our soil since and many now have turned back over and gone back to sleep, forgetting, waving the dangers away or simply denying the reality that al-Qaeda and others that share their ideology will continue to try to kill as many Americans and innocent people as they can, as often as they can.
Today, February 6, 2008, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, will speak to the US Congress and is expected to report to them that next attack on the United States will most likely be by al Qaeda operating in those under-governed regions of Pakistan.
The Associated Press obtained Mullen's remarks prepared for a separate budget hearing which stated "Continued congressional support for the legitimate government of Pakistan braces this bulwark in the long war against violent extremism."
These annual assessment of the threats facing the United States serve as a yearly reminder of the threats the United States and countries around the world still face against terrorist extremists.