The director of the National Security Agency, Lt Gen. Keith Alexander, could take charge of the Pentagon‘s newly formed cyber command set up to protect the country’s computer networks and power grids.

The military intelligence officer will take command of a virtual army of computer technicians and network warfare specialists after the confirmation by the Senate, which has been delayed for about six months, according to the Washington Post.

The NSA director will provide evidence for the new cyber command before the Senate Armed Services Committee on 22 April 2010.

Alexander, in his 32-page response to questions from lawmakers, said that offensive actions in cyberspace, including dismantling a website used by jihadists overseas, were traditional military activities and should not be considered covert operations.

The cyber command will primarily focus on military networks and provide options to the president should attacks on private, critical computer systems and civilian government systems threaten the nation’s security.

The new military command will take the lead role in responding to a cyber attack on the US under a presidential order.