Former CIA director R. James Woolsey says the monitoring of some Muslim groups in the United States is not unlike how police once kept an eye on Catholic Churches for immigrants from southern Italy who had possible mob connections.
Woolsey told "Newsmax Prime" with J.D. Hayworth on Newsmax TV
that in the 1970s, for example, the New York City Police Department "would likely have paid attention to Catholic churches where there were lots of folks from, let's say, southern Italy.
"Because back 20, 30, 40 years ago, a place where people from southern Italy congregated might be a reasonable candidate for the folks in 'The Godfather,'" Woolsey said Wednesday, referring to the Oscar-winning 1972 Mafia movie starring Marlon Brando.
"So [back then], you might spend more time looking at those neighborhoods than a Muslim [neighborhood]. It depends. It depends on the threat."
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Woolsey's comments came amid worldwide concern after Tuesday's horrific bombings of an airport and train station in Brussels which killed 31 and injured as many as 270. The Islamic State (ISIS) has taken credit for the explosions, which were carried out by two suicide-bomber brothers.
Now chair of the Leadership Council at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and chancellor of the Institute of World Politics, Woolsey said it is "entirely possible" ISIS has an operational readiness to attack anywhere in the world — and particularly on significant dates.
"You have a drive particularly for these types of terrorists to come at us on any kind of anniversary. A date that is historically important to us or them," Woolsey said.
"I'm worried that, for example, about Easter and a potential disruption of religious ceremonies, say, in Rome. There are just a lot of things that drive them but they could be, yes, on an accelerating path."
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