Americans must take a more proactive role in helping ferret out terrorists to prevent events such as the Boston Marathon bombings of a year ago, says David Katz, a former DEA senior special agent and a homeland security expert.
"We don't have the cultural experience that places like, say, Israel have, where every citizen takes upon himself or herself the security of their neighbor," Katz told Ed Berliner, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"For example, in Boston, those bags [containing the bombs] just sat out in the crowd and no one paid them any mind," he said Tuesday.
"In Israel, if a bag is left unattended for a second, they don't wait to call law enforcement. Somebody's instantly saying, who's bag is that? Is that anyone's? And they're backing away, getting to cover."
That's because of the litany of "horrific acts of terrorism" they have experienced, said Katz, founder and CEO of Global Security Group Inc.
"We haven't, thank God, had that. But we need to get a little more close to that, where average citizens if they see something that's out of place or suspicious, they're the ones that sound the alarm," he said.
"Because otherwise we're going to have more and more events like this, and there's really no way to stop them."
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Katz said there is also some reluctance for different law enforcement agencies to share information on the not-always-sound basis that it would be a breach of security.
"To some extent it still does go on. There are exceptions to the rule. I know the DEA has an incredible intelligence sharing operations," he said.
"My former partner runs it and he makes sure there is 100 percent sharing, but there are agencies that keep things to themselves and … they delude themselves that it's for a national security interest.
"Sometimes withholding information leads to tragic results … We saw that in 9/11, [with] the bridge between the FBI and CIA …"
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