Posted on 27 Oct 2010
While the US has succeeded in making it more difficult for Al-Qaeda to launch large complex attacks, such as 9/11, the frequency of future attacks will likely increase and be more difficult to detect, General Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA, told delegates at PCI's annual meeting.
While the US has succeeded in making it more difficult for Al-Qaeda to launch large complex attacks, such as 9/11, the frequency of future attacks will likely increase and be more difficult to detect, General Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA, told delegates at PCI's annual meeting today
Speaking at The threat of terrorism to America's economic recovery session, Hayden added that the threat of terrorism, along with cyber threats and issues in the countries of Iran, China, and Mexico could all affect the nation’s path to prosperity and have consequences for the property/casualty industry.
“As a measure of our success, Al-Qaeda plots and attacks against the United States are almost certainly going to be less complex, less well organised, less likely to succeed, less lethal when they do succeed and more numerous and more difficult to detect,” he explained.
“The question for US citizens and business is how much of your commerce, your convenience and your privacy are you willing to give up...So that we have a higher probability in detecting (attacks),” he said.
The situation in Iran, the second most discussed topic during his time in the Oval Office behind terrorism, is “getting to the point where our government is going to have a duality of a choice: do something or do nothing. And that is a really, really difficult choice,” he warned.
Here you have what is generally recognised as the number one state sponsor of terrorism on a path to nuclear capability, he said. It is an issue on which he believes a decision will have to be made by the end of the next administration.
And cyber wars’ time has come, proclaimed Hayden.
“This one is in your backyard. If the wheels start falling off in terms of cyber security, it could have a direct effect on your enterprise,” he warned.
He added: “The internet is engineered to move stuff around. There are no rivers or ravines on the internet [to defend yourself], it is all flat. Since that has been the design principle it is just inherently unsafe.”