FBI on guard against terrorist cyber attacks
FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies at congressional hearing
March 15th, 2012
06:57 PM ET

FBI on guard against terrorist cyber attacks

By Carol Cratty

FBI Director Robert Mueller said Thursday he is concerned about the potential for terrorists mounting cyber attacks and that the bureau is working "to stay ahead of these threats, both at home and abroad."

"While to date terrorists have not used the Internet to launch a full-scale cyber attack, we cannot underestimate their intent," Mueller testified to a Senate Appropriations subcommittee in which lawmakers pressed him about what additional funding and laws may be necessary to combat the cyber threat.

Mueller did not provide many details during the public session, but later met with senators behind closed doors to provide additional information.

Mueller noted that terror groups are becoming more "cyber savvy." As examples, he cited al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which publishes an online magazine called Inspire, and the Somali group Al-Shabaab, which has its own Twitter account.

More importantly, however, he said, terrorists are "using cyberspace to conduct operations."

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina asked Mueller whether a cyber attack suspect tied to al Qaeda would be treated differently than a regular criminal suspect. Many members of Congress have said terror suspects are better handled by the military than going through a criminal court process.

But Mueller did not debate the issue, saying when a cyber intrusion happens, his agency's goal is to find out who is behind the computer.

"At the point in time of an intrusion, you don't know whether it's going to be a country, a terrorist or the 18-year-old kid down the block," he said.

Post by:
Filed under: Al Qaeda • Al-Shabaab • AQAP • Cybersecurity • FBI • Terrorism
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. michaelfury

    And whatever happened to these black boxes, Mr. Director?


    March 16, 2012 at 9:00 am | Reply
  2. michaelfury

    So who was behind these computers, Mr. Director? Why did the FBI tell the 9/11 Commission these hard drives did not exist when video of their data recovery was already on Convar's website?


    March 16, 2012 at 7:33 am | Reply
  3. wanker

    of course they just like the rest of us

    March 16, 2012 at 5:01 am | Reply
  4. concerned citizen

    Stop fighting Israeli wars my good comrades.

    You owe them nothing. Not your pity, and certainly not blood and treasure.

    Tragic things if this sort will continue, as long as we bloody our hands on israels behalf.


    March 15, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  5. Hahahahahahaha

    Better check all those porn sites! Hahahahahahaha

    March 15, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Reply

Leave a Reply to michaelfury


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.