Noting the uptick in recent terrorist attacks, the NYPD's deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism says terrorist groups on retreat in the Middle East have turned to social media propaganda campaigns to launch lone-wolf attacks on the west, calling it "terrorism for dummies."
"They've really dumbed it down to a point that this is terrorism for dummies, which is why we are seeing attacks generated by one person with rudimentary tools, low tech, low cost, and high impact," NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller told John Catsimatidis on "The Cats Roundtable" on 970 AM-N.Y. "That becomes an intelligence collection issue, because they're not conspiring with anybody else or communicating with the terrorist group overseas.
". . . This is not a New York-based phenomenon. This is a global phenomenon."
Miller lamented to host John Catsimatidis "we went from having zero terrorist attacks to having three in 19 months," pointing to these ISIS-inspired attacks:
- Chelsea bombing in September 2016.
- Halloween attack on bicyclists on the west side highway.
- Attempted suicide bombing under the Port Authority bus terminal in the subway.
"We went from 9/11 up to  without a successful terrorist attack in New York City, and starting in 2017 up through recent months we've had three," Miller said. ". . . So, one of the questions we've been asking is, 'so, what's different?' Why are we seeing this?
". . . They have been forced to turn down their ground operations, but they have also been alternatively turning up their propaganda operation to the point they're still putting out videos, they're still using social media, and they're still communicating with a message that if you can do an attack where you are anywhere in the west – whether that's London, Paris, New York – do it and do it with what you have on hand.
"If you have a gun, use a gun. If you have a truck, use a truck. If you have a car, use a car. If you don't have of that, set a fire.
". . . This again is the dumbing down of the technological part, which is you don't have to build a bomb or figure out a chemical weapon."
Miller noted after the Ryder truck attack in Toronto this week, New York has been bolstering its protections for New Yorkers with additional bollards to shield pedestrians from trucks or cars in heavily trafficked areas.
Also, he says, the public can help through "see something, say something."
"Our best eyes and ears are the 8 1/2 million citizens, 56 million visitors – and our 36,000 cops – but public has a lot more eyes and a lot more ears," Miller told Catsimatidis.
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