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High – cyberterrorism



Risk of cyber terror high

WSJ 6/29 (Patience Wheatcroft, 6/29/10, " Cyber Terrorism Seen as Threat ", http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704103904575336703726142746.html?mod=googlenews_wsj)
Fast-evolving technology is affecting both the spying game and potential terrorist tactics. Cyber terrorism is now perceived as a real threat. The U.K. parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee, in its 2009/10 annual report, cited evidence it had received from the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6. He had said that "The whole question of cyber security is shooting up everybody's agendas" and that it is "a major new challenge to the intelligence community." The fear is that modern nations are so dependent on technology that widespread interference with systems could wreak havoc. Remember the dire warnings that preceded the dawning of the new millennium? Scare-mongers assured us that computers would be unable to cope with the change of digit involved in passing from the 1990s into the year 2000. Unless the "millennium bug" was fixed, they claimed, elevators would freeze, cash machines would refuse to pay up and, in the most extreme scenarios, there would be "blood on the streets." In the event, the warnings, some of which emanated from people keen to expensively rectify the bug, proved unfounded. However, deliberate concerted attacks on a nation's technology could engender real chaos. In the words of the MI6 director-general: "At the moment my under- standing is that there will be considerable impact if a state, be it Russia or China, and probably those are the most likely, decided to do serious damage to us one way or another." There are already believed to have been state-sponsored cyber attacks. In 2007, during a diplomatic row between Estonia and Russia, Estonia found many of its government, banking and media Web-sites disrupted. Russia denied any involvement although Estonia insisted that it could trace some of the million or more computers it estimated were used in the attack to addresses in Russia. More recently, Dennis Blair, the U.S. director of national intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence committee that "Malicious cyber activity is occurring on an unprecedented scale with extraordinary sophistication." He added that: "Sensitive information is stolen daily from both government and private-sector networks, undermining confidence in our information systems and in the very information these systems were intended to convey." Mr. Blair was talking as Google had accused the Chinese authorities of hacking into its computers in the escalating dispute over Chinese users being denied unfettered access to the service. However, his remarks indicated that his fears were of a much graver threat. Some see the potential for damage to be inflicted by attacking a country's technology infrastructure as so great that they have dubbed it a "cyber Pearl Harbor". There are other, less apocalyptic, motives behind much of the cyber-espionage that is currently taking place. Certain countries are keen to gather up any commercial and scientific information that they can reach and are doing so through the use of battalions of smart hackers. Companies keen to protect themselves against such spying have to be constantly vigilant about Internet security, but that may prove no match for the sophisticated spies. Security experts are clear that potential aggressors are now amassing detailed information with which they could launch a cyber-terrorism attack. Since last year, the U.K. has a Cyber Security Strategy but it will struggle to beat those that have a cyber terrorism strategy.

Low – generic



No risk of global terrorism – Somalia’s attack meant nothing

Washington Post 7/19 (Fareed Zakaria, 7/19/10, " The failed-state conundrum ", http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/18/AR2010071802734.html?hpid=opinionsbox1)
"What happened in Kampala is just the beginning!" So warned Abu Zubeyr, the leader of al-Shabab, which claimed responsibility for the bombings in the Ugandan capital that killed more than 70 people who had gathered to watch the World Cup soccer finals. In the bombings' wake, al-Shabab has drawn renewed attention for its murky links to al-Qaeda, and analysts once again are warning that failed states are a mortal threat to American national security. In fact, the case of Somalia and al-Shabab proves precisely the opposite. That Somalia is a failed state is beyond dispute. Foreign Policy magazine just published its annual Failed States Index, and for the third year running Somalia ranks No. 1. Somalia has had no functioning government since 1992, longer than probably any other present-day state. This is a tragic situation, but U.S. policymakers seem convinced it's also one that poses a grave danger to American national interests. "Dealing with such fractured or failing states is, in many ways, the main security challenge of our time," Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said. Hillary Clinton has voiced strong support for this view. When Condoleezza Rice was secretary of state, she used to call failed states the worst threat to American security, as did a host of scholars, U.N. officials and pundits. The chief exhibit for this far-reaching claim was, of course, Afghanistan, which descended into chaos in the 1990s and became a staging ground for al-Qaeda as it prepared to attack America. But Afghanistan's story is a bit more complicated. The Taliban came to power there with support from the Pakistani military, which had long supported radical Islamists. The group also received private and public support from Saudi Arabia, which viewed it as a convenient dumping ground, far from home, for its radicals. Today there are very few al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan -- 60 to 100, says CIA head Leon Panetta -- and al-Qaeda operates out of Pakistan. As scholar Ken Menkhaus has pointed out, global terrorism seems to profit less from failed states and more from weak ones, such as Pakistan, where some element of the regime is assisting the terrorists. After all, many drastically failed states (Burma, Congo, Haiti) pose no global terrorist threat. The trouble with trying to fix failed states is that it implicates the United States in a vast nation-building effort in countries where the odds of success are low and the risk of unintended consequences is very high. Consider Somalia. In 1992, after the government's collapse, U.S. troops were sent into the country as part of a U.N. mission to avert famine, but they soon became entangled in local power struggles, ending in a humiliating withdrawal. About a decade later, worried by the rising strength of a radical movement called the Islamic Courts Union, Washington began funding rival Somali factions and finally gave tacit backing to an Ethiopian intervention. The Islamic Courts Union was destroyed but regrouped under its far more radical, violent arm, al-Shabab, which is on the rise. Somalia highlights the complexity of almost every approach to failed states. If Washington goes after the militants aggressively, it polarizes the political landscape and energizes the radicals, who can then claim to be nationalists fighting American imperialism. If it talks to them, it is accused of empowering jihadis. The real answer, many argue, is to strengthen the state's capacity so that the government has greater legitimacy and the opposition gets discredited. But how easy is it to fast-forward political modernization, compressing into a few years what has taken decades, if not centuries, in the West? All these dilemmas are on full display in Afghanistan. What to do in Somalia? In a thoughtful report, Bronwyn Bruton of the Council on Foreign Relations makes the case for "constructive disengagement." The idea is to watch the situation carefully for signs of real global terrorism -- which so far are limited. Al-Shabab's "links" with al-Qaeda seem to be mostly rhetoric on both sides. But if they become real and deadly, be willing to strike. This would not be so difficult. Somalia has no mountains or jungles, making it relatively hospitable for counterterrorism operations. Just be careful not to become a player in the country's internal political dynamics. "We have a limited capacity to influence events in Somalia, to influence them positively," says Bruton. "But we have an almost unlimited capacity to make a mess of things."
Terrorist scares don’t mean anything – the risk of attack is still low

CNN 7/8 (Paula Newton, Stephanie Halasz, 7/8/10, " Terror suspects arrested in Norway and Germany ", http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/07/08/norway.terror.arrests/)

(CNN) -- Norwegian authorities announced the arrests of three suspects Thursday in connection with an ongoing investigation into terrorist plots in New York and the United Kingdom. Their apprehension was made possible through international cooperation, including information from U.S. authorities, they said. The suspects had been under surveillance for several months, the Norwegian authorities said. The three are suspected of plotting terrorist attacks and having connections to al Qaeda, the Norwegian prime minister's office said earlier. All three of the suspects are in their 30s and of foreign descent, the Norwegian Police Security Service said. One is a Norwegian citizen and the other two are permanent residents. The Norwegian citizen is of Uyghur origin, police said. He went to Norway at the end of the 1990s as a resettlement refugee and obtained citizenship in 2007. The second is an Iraqi-Kurdish man who went to Norway at the end of the 1990s and was granted a residence permit on humanitarian grounds. The last man is an Uzbek who went to Norway as an asylum seeker at the beginning of the 2000s. His application for asylum was rejected, but he was later granted a residence permit in Norway based on family reunification, police said. The ethnic Uyghur and the Uzbek were arrested in Oslo, Norway, the prime minister's office said. The Iraqi citizen was arrested Thursday morning in the western German city of Duisburg, the general prosecutor's office in Frankfurt said. The office said officials there are now working with Norwegian authorities on his extradition. Police said they had "sufficient control" of all three suspects while they were under surveillance and that the public was never in any danger. Authorities had considered arresting the men before now, but they decided to apprehend them Thursday because parts of the case became known in the media. "This would result in a considerable risk of destruction of evidence and evasion in the further investigation of the case," the police service said. "Hence, (we) chose to apprehend the individuals today." The police service said any groups in Norway that may constitute a threat to national security are small and primarily involved in supporting activities abroad, so Thursday's arrests will not change the current threat level in the country, which remains low.





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