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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Chertoff Warns Of "Radicalization" Capability Of Internet

Boston, MA (AHN) - U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Monday warned that the Internet provides all the necessary information and communication provision that can transform a vulnerable person into a home grown attacker. Chertoff said that the disaffected people may develop radical ideologies and may acquire potentially violent skills over the Web that could pose a serious threat to U.S. security.

"We now have a capability of someone to radicalize themselves over the Internet," Chertoff said on the sidelines of a meeting of International Association of the Chiefs of Police.

Chertoff said vast information on Internet has eliminated the need for a radically charged person to go to a training camp and acquire the technical skills in things like bomb-making, adding that "this combination of hatred and technical skills...is a dangerous combination."

"Those are the kind of terrorists that we may not be able to detect with spies and satellites," Chertoff said citing the July 7, 2005 attacks on London's transit system, which killed 56 people.

Detailing the DHS move to tackle the issue, Chertoff said the department would deploy 20 field agents this fiscal year into "intelligence fusion centers," where they would work with local police agencies to gather information on possible home grown attackers.

By the end of the next fiscal year, he said the department aims to up that to 35 staffers.
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