As bombmakers race to build undetectable explosives for use against the United States, security officials are stuck reacting to — and not heading off — a growing threat to airlines and other potential targets, an anti-terrorism law and security expert told Newsmax TV
"We're always in a reaction phase," retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Addicott, director of the Center for Terrorism Law, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner. "But the truth is, they [terrorists] are going to be able to get through our security no matter what we do, because it's not a perfect world."
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Meanwhile, the adversaries play a "cat and mouse game," said Addicott, in which reports of increased terrorist activity prompt alerts and heightened security measures — such as the warning to airports
issued for the July 4 holiday weekend by the Transportation Safety Administration.
Addicott said the way to anticipate and get ahead of terror plots — to "lean forward in the saddle," as he put it — is through intelligence gathering.
But Addicott, a law professor at St. Mary's University in Texas, said U.S. spying capabilities right now are hindered by debates over privacy
and by a White House that wants to "wish away" the terror threat and retreat militarily from the world.
"Anybody that really has a clear view of what's happening in the Middle East knows that this administration has totally failed in terms of projecting our power over there … to increase our intelligence assets," said Addicott.
"We have been very unfriendly towards our best ally, which is Israel," he said. "Iraq was supposed to be an area where we set-up a headquarters, so to speak, in the middle of the Middle East … but that's a total failure. President Obama pulled everything out of Iraq we have no intelligence there anymore."
"Syria's a disaster," said Addicott. "Libya, of course, is far worse now than it was under the dictator Gadhafi. Afghanistan is about ready to go back into this pit where it came from."
"The jihadists that are inspired by this radical Islamic extremism both here and abroad are growing in numbers … and yet we still have our head in the sand," he said, adding that "this administration, they simply don't take the threat seriously."
Addicott said nobody can look squarely at the Boston Marathon bombing or the report of a Colorado woman
attempting to join ISIS in Syria, and doubt the threat from extremists here and abroad.
He said near-term steps for more protection against terrorist attacks could include increasing inspection of cargo coming into the United States, and tightening airport security.
He said U.S. anti-terror efforts also require better information sharing across agencies and a reduction in the likelihood of human errors — such as misspelling the names
of potential terrorists.
But all of these measures require "smarter, better, [and] more resources," he said. "And so that's the issue. But we like most humans … we react to things. If it hasn't happened yet we're not going to do anything."
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