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July 9, 2018

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Rise in Terrorism 3.0 making global security more challenging

The rise of individuals inspired by terrorist groups is creating a new type of threat which governments must adapt their techniques to tackle, a leading security expert has warned.

Michael Chertoff, Co-founder & Executive Chairman of The Chertoff Group, made the comments in the opening keynote address at IFSEC 2018.

Chertoff is best known for his role as the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security, serving under President George W. Bush. He was also the co-author of the USA Patriot Act.

Terrorism 1.0

According to Chertoff, the world’s security authorities have become adept at tackling Terrorism 1.0 – the Al-Qaeda style attacks.

“Bin Laden was a micro-manager. He was insistent on having something high visibility and high impact, he said. “But this was vulnerable, you need to move money, you need to move people, and you need to communicate; we quite quickly worked out how to spot these attacks.”

Terrorism 2.0

Smaller groups carrying out attacks such as Mumbai in 2008 – Terrorism 2.0 – have now morphed into Terrorism 3.0. This is individuals who “get inspired on the internet and just grab a gun or knife and go out and kill someone but before they die publicise it and claim the cause”.

“These are very difficult to detect; people are just picking up car keys or a knife, and the psychological impact of these multiplies what terrorists are trying to do”, said Chertoff.

“In the US in the last few years more people have been killed by people who consider themselves right wing. We live in an angry and volatile period of time, and because of the proliferation of media people see violence as a way of making an impact.”

Terrorism 3.0

“We now need to focus on individuals who are disturbed, often by a psychological issue rather than a political one.”

The government and security services are no longer able to tackle these threats in isolation, Chertoff warned, particularly with the growth in cyber terrorism and social media.

“We need to develop new methodologies including AI to record threatening media over the internet. This involves the private sector as much, if not more, than the government.”

“In airports we also need to use behavioural analytics and what we can gather on social media to determine someone’s risk category and adapt the screening process accordingly.”

Chertoff was speaking as part of a panel which also included the Rt Hon Baroness Neville-Jones, Former Security Minister, and security journalist Frank Gardner OBE.

Baroness Neville-Jones added that the diminishing concept of “nationhood” is exacerbating the problem, where increasingly individuals feel disconnected from their society and are therefore at increased risk of becoming influenced by extremist views.

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