Tags: Homeland Security | ISIS/Islamic State | Travel | terrorism | 911 | morell | russ travers

Counterterrorism Expert: Americans Complacent on 9/11

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By    |   Wednesday, 03 July 2019 02:21 PM

A national counterterrorism expert said Wednesday he's concerned that Americans are becoming complacent because the United States hasn't seen a large-scale terrorist attack on its soil since the 9/11 attacks. 

"When I testify [before Congress] now, 'complacency' is a word that I use a lot, because I do worry that we are a bit of a victim of our own success," Russ Travers, the deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, told former CIA director Michael Morell in an interview for CBS News.

"There's a bit of a fatigue factor, I think, settling in with terrorism in general," he told Morell, now the CBS News senior national security contributor, for his "Intelligence Matters" podcast. 

Travers said the complacency worries him because there are a "lot of ominous trends out there."

He added he is in "complete agreement" with the country's shift away from counterterrorism and to competition with Russia and China, but said the nation still needs to be careful not to "go too far and undermine our capabilities and put us back in kind of a pre 9/11 state."

Travers noted that ISIS has brought together a core group of leaders after its caliphate collapsed earlier this year, and it is still operating insurgent cells. 

More than 14,000 ISIS fighters are still operating in Iraq and Syria, said Travers, marking more than it had six or seven years ago in a network that has spread out to more than 20 countries. ISIS and Al Qaeda fighters sometimes cooperate in Africa but fight against each other in Yemen and Syria. 

Technology has expanded, making searching for intelligence even more difficult, Travers noted. 

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A national counterterrorism expert said Wednesday he's concerned that Americans are becoming complacent because the United States hasn't seen a large-scale terrorist attack on its soil since the 9/11 attacks. 
terrorism, 911, morell, russ travers
282
2019-21-03
Wednesday, 03 July 2019 02:21 PM
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