Napolitano: Regular Citizens Have Big Security Role

Saturday, 06 Nov 2010 10:12 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- Regular citizens around the world need to realize they can play a big role in thwarting terrorist attacks, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Saturday.

"They will be the ones that notice something in the neighborhood, see something on the street," she told a panel at an international forum hosted by the German Marshall Fund public policy group.

"Maybe somebody will pass along a quiet message about 'Hey, these young people have gone over to Somalia. We don't know what they're doing, but now they're back and you may need to know about that,"' she said.

Although there have been no major terrorist incidents in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, police and intelligence services have disrupted 11 plots against New York City alone, officials say.

Last month, a Pakistani-born U.S. citizen who tried to set off a car bomb in New York's Times Square said more attacks on the United States were imminent. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Napolitano said a street vendor had noticed smoke coming from the vehicle and alerted police, who cleared the area. Without that tip, "we may very well have had a serious explosion," she said.

She pointed to the "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign as an example of how the public could be more engaged. The program stresses the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities.

"The citizens themselves in our countries need to understand ... that they have an important role to play as well," she said.

In the wake of the failed Times Square attack, Napolitano and other security officials said U.S. authorities were having a harder time detecting terrorism threats on American soil.

They said al Qaeda and its affiliates were plotting smaller-scale incidents, such as shootings and car bombings. They also cited a rise of home-grown militants, including about two dozen U.S. citizens who have trained in Somalia.

Napolitano said U.S. local law enforcement authorities also had a big responsibility, since one federal department could not handle all security issues.

"If something happens in the United States, (people) are not going to call the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C.," said Napolitano.

"They're going to call their local police department, so they need to be fully informed and empowered and they need to have information shared with them about techniques, behaviors, tactics that we are receiving."

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Mike McCaul: GOP Will Shut Down Obama, Not the Government, Over Immigration

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 13:33 PM

Republicans aren't going to shut down the government over President Barack Obama's immigration order, House Homeland Sec . . .

SNL Mocks Obama's Amnesty Bill with 'Schoolhouse Rock' Skit

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 12:56 PM

Saturday Night Live took on President Barack Obama's executive order to halt deportations of up to 5 million illegal im . . .

Pope to Urge Europe to Tackle Racism, Religious Intolerance

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 12:29 PM

Pope Francis is expected to take Europe to task over racial and religious intolerance during a visit to the European par . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved