Mueller made these remarks on the country’s national security landscape at a luncheon at the Commonwealth Club of California‘s offices in San Francisco.
During the speech, he outlined the security obstacles the U.S. is currently faced with, in addition to what it will have to do to stay ahead of the curb as technology evolves. Some of the main areas Mueller touched on were counterterrorism, cybersecurity and counterintelligence.
“The horrific events of that day were the prelude to a decade of political, economic, and cultural transformation,” said Mueller. “Globalization and technology have accelerated these changes.”
Mueller began by painting a picture of both terrorist organizations and individual actors, both inside and outside of the U.S. He added that despite the weakening of al-Qaeda through targeted attacks throughout the last decade and the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the organization, operating out of Pakistan, remains committed and capable of high-profile attacks against the West.
Mueller also touched on the growing concern of cyber hacking.
“American companies are losing billions of dollars’ worth of intellectual property, research and development, and trade secrets,” he said. “It is much like having termites in your house — often, by the time you discover them, the damage is done.”
Mueller ended his speech by adding that despite growing threats, the FBI in conjunction with other federal agencies are working hard to ensure public safety.
“The FBI has always adapted to meet new threats. And we must continue to evolve, because terrorists, spies, and hackers certainly will,” said Mueller.