Small American Towns Are Possibly Next Terrorist Targets

( – An Ohio law enforcement officer has warned that terror attacks could occur in small towns across America. Sheriff Richard K. Jones of Butler County attended the National Sheriffs’ Association’s Winter Conference in Washington, DC, and heard from FBI Director Christopher Wray, who said America’s heartland could be the next terrorist target.

Speaking to conservative commentator Glenn Beck, Mr. Jones cited the example of a small Pennsylvania town that was shocked to discover that Iranian terrorists had targeted its water supply in a cyberattack because it used equipment manufactured in Israel.

The Aliquippa Water Authority in western Pennsylvania endured an international cyber assault last year by a group known as Cyber Av3ngers, which took control of one of the authority’s stations. Matthew Mottes, the chairman of the authority, said a cyber attack by Iranian-backed hackers was the very last he expected to happen in his small town.

Nonetheless, the FBI is warning that it could become more and more common. Christopher Wray has consistently stated that hacking is the future of terrorism and cited China as a specific danger. He said the systems that make everyday life function will increasingly be targeted and said the consequences could be catastrophic, given the interconnectedness of such systems.

During Congressional testimony in January, Mr. Wray stated that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its ability to take down American infrastructure is the “defining threat of our generation.” Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, chairman of the House select committee on the Chinese Communist Party, said China’s hacking potential is the equivalent of placing bombs on American bridges that are poised to go off in the event of a conflict between China and US-ally Taiwan.

Wray told the committee that the FBI has enjoyed several successes in preventing attacks by China and other adversaries but added that the United States must remain vigilant in a world where Chinese influence is helping reshape the geopolitical landscape.

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