03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Seven Percent Chance Of Another 9/11 In The Next Decade, Panel Tells Pentagon

The chance of another terror attack on the scale of 9/11 happening anywhere in the world is only 7 percent, according to a new report to the Pentagon from a defense advisory panel -- though the authors emphasize caution when it comes to predicting such events.

JASON, an independent scientific advisory group that regularly advises the government, states that such predictions should be discouraged because "it is simply not possible to validate (evaluate) predictive models of rare events that have not occurred, and unvalidated models cannot be relied upon," in a report obtained by Steven Aftergood's Secrecy News blog.

Yet the panelists justify their own prediction by engaging in an extended critique of Nassem Taleb's "Black Swan" thesis, which says that rare events are beyond the realm of normal expectations.

They argue that Taleb's famous argument doesn't really apply when it comes to far-reaching events such as 9/11:

"Taleb is wrong that a terrorist event of 9/11's magnitude was fundamentally unforeseeable...

This suggests that another 9/11-scale event in the world is unlikely but not improbable in the next ten years, with a probability of about 7%."

Read the report:

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