- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 30, 2017

The U.S. is seeing a terrorist “surge” as the nature of the threat turns from large-scale operations to “do-it-yourself” attacks inspired online, acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke told Congress on Thursday.

She said the terror threat is at least equal to, and in some ways surpasses, the level of threat before the 2001 attacks that ushered in the modern war on terror era.

But Ms. Duke said the war effort has changed and where in the last decade the U.S. thought it could fight terrorists overseas, “there is no longer a home game and an away game.”

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“We are seeing a surge in terrorist activity because the fundamentals of terrorist activity have changed,” she said.

Ms. Duke also said that while her department is worried about domestic ideological violence, global jihadist threats remain a bigger danger to the U.S.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said the new threat is attacks with hatchets and vehicles, and he said planning and recruitment online have made it tougher to track them.

He pleaded with Congress to renew the government’s chief snooping tool, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the government to collect communications based on foreign targets.

Section 702 is slated to expire at the end of the month and Congress is debating how to renew it, with many lawmakers insisting on new protections for Americans who get snared in the collection.

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