Tags: Emerging Threats | Exclusive Interviews | ISIS/Islamic State | MidPoint | War on Terrorism | Mike Baker | attack

Ex-CIA Officer Mike Baker: Terror Attacks Likely to Increase

By    |   Wednesday, 07 January 2015 05:50 PM

Terrorist attacks like the massacre of 12 people at a Parisian humor magazine that mocked radical Islam are difficult to stop even when authorities are at their most vigilant and aggressive, former CIA officer Mike Baker told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

"The reality is when you're talking about counter-terrorism, you're not going to prevent every attack," said Baker, president and co-founder of the private intelligence firm Diligence LLC. "It's impossible."

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French officials' best chance to prevent the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical politics and culture publication, would have come beforehand, while the attackers were planning their hit and scouting their target, said Baker.

"That's when they're most vulnerable," said Baker. "So, proper counter-surveillance is at that point where you're getting close to the actual operation taking off. Good, solid counter-surveillance to pick up that last effort by the hostiles in their surveillance, in their planning — that's your best opportunity for preventing it.

"That obviously didn't happen," he said, adding, "This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. These attacks are only going to increase, but the reality is you can't stop every one of them."

Baker doubted that French law enforcement and counter-terrorism officials feel at all constrained by a sense of political correctness or a fear of insulting Muslims while trying to weed out the potentially violent radicals in the mix.

"The reality is, yes, of course, the political correctness doesn't help anything, but the French services are, if anything, more aggressive than a lot of services out there in trying to stop [terrorism]," said Baker. "They understand the problem, the depth of the problem."

The difficulty, he said, is that with "well-trained, well-motivated terrorists" who know how to communicate, assemble, arm themselves, move money and plan an attack, "you've got limited opportunities to pick this up."

"It's not like the movies," Baker said of how counter-terror experts intercept plots, "and unfortunately a lot of the public is kind of conditioned by feature films, beach books. They think that this is easier than it is."

Baker said that it would be helpful if the Paris attack served as a wake-up call to the threat posed by Islamic terrorism, but he wondered whether it would.

"We're all like raccoons: We get focused on the next shiny object," he said.

Even as people are tweeting in support of the victims in Paris, said Baker, there's "a chorus, sort of from the traditional progressive liberal orchestra, saying, 'Well, it's not all Muslims.'

"I've actually seen quotes from some members on the left saying, 'Look, it's not difficult: you can support free speech; you can also support the idea that you shouldn't slander someone else's religion,'" said Baker.

He said "that apologetic point of view" does not encourage moderate Muslims to take a stand against their radicalized, violent counterparts.

"How about them getting out there and actually taking part and condemning this in a very, very public and visual way? In a consistent way?" said Baker. "Just keep hammering at it. You've got to [force] the extremist mindset within the Muslim community into a box, and you've got to shut the lid on that thing and bury it."

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Terrorist attacks like the massacre of 12 people at a Parisian humor magazine that mocked radical Islam are difficult to stop even when authorities are at their most vigilant and aggressive, former CIA officer Mike Baker told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Wednesday.
Mike Baker, attack, Paris, magazine
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2015-50-07
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 05:50 PM
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