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Bernard Kerik: Best Anti-Terror Efforts Can't Be 100 Percent

By    |   Tuesday, 14 October 2014 10:42 AM

The United States is better prepared today than in 2001 when it comes to vetting intelligence on terrorist groups, but it's never going to be 100 percent, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said Tuesday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."

Kerik was discussing use of social media by the Islamic State (ISIS) to goad lone-wolf attackers.

"We're getting better constantly," he said. "The problem we're going to have is if we slip and miss something, and unfortunately, you can't be 100 percent all the time."

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While state and local law enforcement are monitoring a "slew" of intelligence about potential terrorists — particularly in large cities like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and Detroit — in their communities, social media provides an "enormous reach" that gives an edge to jihadists, Kerik said.

"Not only here in the United States, but in the U.K., Europe, to contact their sympathizers, supporters, and give them direction and insight as far as what they would like them to do," he said. "I don't think this is a surprise to U.S. law enforcement, but the reach itself is really enormous.

“When you look at Twitter, Facebook, their campaigns, the ISIS campaigns on the social media networks, is huge. So you don't know who they're contacting, you don't know who's monitoring their transmissions, and these lone wolves, they could pop up out of nowhere and create some major damage."

Radicalized Muslims have hijacked the Quran, said Kerik, who noted that jihadists, some of whom are in the United States, possess an "enormous hatred for the West, for democracy, for freedom, for Israel. They want the annihilation of Israel, the annihilation of Christianity."

While intelligence officials track and monitor social media — shutting down sites quickly — getting ahead of the terrorists is still a daunting task, he said.

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"It's not only the websites, there's recruiters in the mosques," he said. "There's recruiters all over the country. There's recruiters on social media. They're recruiting internationally.

"If anybody that's following the momentum of ISIS, over the last several months they have enormous flocks floating toward Syria and Iraq, coming from the international community, so their recruitment efforts, they're doing quite well.

"Shutting down the media sites, it's not going to stop the overall recruitment. It will hamper their ability to communicate with sympathizers, supporters in some of those radicalized or home-growns here in the United States."

Though some would-be terrorists want to make a name for themselves or draw the world's attention, Kerik characterized most of them as "sleepers" living in the shadows. Whether they can be caught before doing something disastrous is the question.

"It's really going to depend on our intelligence capabilities with the bureau, with the FBI and the CIA and some of the others to sort of monitor, track, identify these people as we can. But the problem is you're going to miss something, and hopefully whatever we miss they fail,  just like the Times Square bomber," he said.

Wannabe terrorists are following the direction of ISIS leadership "just to go out and do something that creates havoc or creates the threat, the fear, creates death and destruction," Kerik said.

"This has been their endgame all along, but given the ability they now have to send out a message like that and hit 15,000-20,000 people, law enforcement, the media, they have to be prepared and they have to recognize these threats are out there and take them very seriously."

In a separate interview Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV, Kerik discussed the growing number of threats against the president and Americans in general.

"The threats on the president today are much more severe than they were in the past. On Barack Obama himself, there's a 400 percent increase on the threats that he has faced versus other presidents," Kerik said.

"Then, you have all of the new ISIS stuff that's talking about bringing these fighters . . . to attack our political figures, the media, the police.

"The threats are much more substantial today, so we have to be prepared for them. That's going to be pre-emptive, proactive planning, strategic planning, and an enormous amount of security that for the most part we do, but it has to be as good as we can possibly get."

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The United States is better prepared today than in 2001 when it comes to vetting intelligence on terrorist groups, but it's never going to be 100 percent, former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik tells "America's Forum."
ISIS, social media, terror groups, lone wolf
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 10:42 AM
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