Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

USA intelligence director warns of more Russian cyberthreats

USA intelligence director warns of more Russian cyberthreats

Such "influence operations" will continue in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere, he said.

This has been stated by Daniel Coats, the director of the National Intelligence of the United States, The Economic Times reports.

Iran continues to perform key research and development on nuclear missile capabilities despite the landmark nuclear agreement with Western powers, according to the last US intelligence assessments. Coats declined to provide such details in an open hearing. Sen.

Coats's 26-page statement offered an overview of myriad challenges facing the US, from high-profile concerns such as the actions of Russia, China and North Korea, to more amorphous threats like those posed by slowing global economic growth, the rise of artificial intelligence and the possibility of USA adversaries exploiting genome-editing.

And North Korea's statements that it needs nuclear weapons to survive suggest that Kim "does not intend to negotiate them away at any price", Coats said at a Senate intelligence hearing on worldwide threats.

Coats said the situation will deteriorate, and the Taliban will make gains, especially in rural areas. He recommended that USA forces train with Afghan forces down the chain of command to the corps level, and that the Afghan security forces learn to make better use of intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR) and air support.

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"US-based homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) will remain the most frequent and unpredictable Sunni violent extremist threat to the U.S. homeland", the threat assessment said in a section entitled "Terrorist Threat to the United States".

According to Defense One, Coats spoke to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and talked about the growing number of threats facing the homeland and potentially shrinking the agencies that handle them.

Coats' report also says that Russian actors have conducted attacks on critical infrastructure networks, even going so far as to pretend to be third parties hiding behind false online personas. While the administration has said it will talk with Kim's regime if it shows a willingness to abandon its nuclear and ballistic-missile programs, the report signaled that any such move is unlikely.

Coats testimony was part of a list that included the interim Federal Bureau of Investigation director, Andrew McCabe, who spoke in lieu of his fired former boss, James Comey. Coats said Afghan troops suffer from "combat casualties, desertions, poor logistical support and weak leadership".

Sunni extremists remain the primary terrorist threat to the USA, with home-grown actors posing the biggest concern.

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