Tags: Emerging Threats | Homeland Security | War on Terrorism | Tom Ridge | Fourth of July | Fourth of July threats | Navy Yard

Tom Ridge: Keep Threat Alerts in Perspective, Enjoy Holiday

By    |   Thursday, 02 July 2015 02:37 PM

The United States will remain at a heightened state of alert indefinitely, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Thursday, but still he urges Americans to keep matters in perspective and enjoy the holiday weekend.

"Unfortunately, this has become a permanent condition of our world," Ridge said on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports" show. "We in the United States are playing defense, and until the broader global community is playing offense against this 'JV Team,' we're going to be living under these perilous conditions for a long, long time."

The heightened state of alert was on display Thursday morning as local and federal law enforcement rushed to the U.S. Navy shipyard installation in Washington, D.C., after reports surfaced of a shooter. As it turned out, there was no shooter, but the reaction showed the state of alert departments are now displaying, Ridge said.

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But there is a big difference with this year's Fourth of July holiday, given the number of terror incidents that have been occurring and the fact that the Fourth coincides with the Muslim Ramadan holiday. Ridge noted that security will be ramped up on all levels, "from the FBI and the military in Washington, D.C., and globally all of the way down to the local level."

And as there is help available "at a moment's notice," Ridge called on Americans to keep matters into perspective.

"The National Safety Council said this weekend there will probably be over 400 deaths on the highways and maybe as many as 50,000 people seeking medical assistance because of injuries," Ridge said. "People in the United States of America should be assured their professionals are at the ready to help them respond if an incident occurs ... everybody ought to enjoy the weekend. Accept the fact we will be at a heightened state of alert for years to come. It's a special weekend and Americans should enjoy it."

On CNN about an hour later Thursday, Ridge responded to House Homeland and Intelligent Committee Member Peter King, who has commented that he believes this weekend marks "the most intense level of concern I've seen maybe since 9/11."

Ridge said he doesn't have access anymore to all the information that King had, but told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that it is a much more "complicated world" than it was in the days after the 9/11 attacks.

"Everyone else will tell you, this is a much greater global scourge," said Ridge. "I don't think we're doing enough overseas ... we're playing defense at home. Is it heightened? I just don't want America to be hyper about it. It is a permanent condition."

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The United States will remain at a heightened state of alert indefinitely, former Homeland Security Sec. Tom Ridge said Thursday, but still he urges Americans to keep matters in perspective and enjoy the holiday weekend. Unfortunately, this has become a permanent...
Tom Ridge, Fourth of July, Fourth of July threats, Navy Yard
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2015-37-02
Thursday, 02 July 2015 02:37 PM
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