The US is now safer against a 9/11 type of terror attack, but the country needs to be vigilant against “lone wolf-style” strikes, a top Obama administration official said on Sunday.
“We are safer when it comes to protecting against another 9/11-style terrorist-directed attack from overseas. Our intelligence community, our law enforcement, has become pretty good at connecting the dots when it comes to another overseas-based terrorist-directed plot on our homeland,” US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson told ABC News in an interview.
“We’re in a new environment, however, where we have to be prepared against and try to prevent lone wolf-style attacks, the self-radicalised actor. Islamic State, Al-Qeada, now have the ability to literally reach into our homeland through social media, through the Internet, to recruit and inspire,” he said.
“It makes for a more complicated homeland security environment. And so it requires a whole of government approach, not just military and law enforcement, homeland security, aviation security, and the like. That’s the new environment we’re in,” he said.
Johnson said there’s no specific credible intelligence around the programmes that are going today –- the 15th anniversary of 9/11 attack — indicating any type of terrorist plot directed at these programs today.
“The point, however, is that in the current environment, where we have to deal with the prospect of a lone wolf actor or a self-radicalised actor, just saying there’s no specific credible threat doesn’t tell the whole story. And that’s why you see a lot of security out here today in New York City and in other places where we’re observing 9/11,” he said.
He also expressed concern over the penetration of the online election system.
“We’re concerned about the potential for someone to try to penetrate our elections systems to the extent they are online, on the internet. Obviously we’re very concerned about what happened with the Democratic National Convention (DNC),” US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson was quoted as saying by ABC.
“But we are concerned, to the extent elections system have a presence online, that that be secure. And so we’re actively out there now telling state and local officials what the Department of Homeland Security can do to help them better secure their cyber security,” Johnson said.
The US government is continuing its investigation around the Democratic National Committee hacks, he said.