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National Security

FBI director: Cyberattacks by terrorists are 'small but potentially growing problem'

At the Aspen Security Forum on Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey said terrorist groups appear to be in the early stages of plotting cyberattacks against Americans.

"We are picking up signs of increasing interest," he said. "It's a small but potentially growing problem." Comey did not share any details on what type of attacks they might be working on, but did say groups that have a hard time recruiting followers in the U.S. are interested in cyberattacks.

Comey also said the FBI is looking at hundreds of people in all 50 states as part of active terrorism-related investigations, and the agency has found that ISIS and al Qaeda have two very different recruiting styles: Al Qaeda spends more time looking into a person's background, and sends them on small scale missions as a test. ISIS does not have the same standards, and targets "often unstable, troubled drug users" to carry out attacks anywhere in the U.S. The FBI is thoroughly investigating Mohammod Abdulazeez, the man who allegedly shot and killed five military members last week in Chattanooga, with Comey saying the agency is "literally trying to figure out every second of his life."