The threat of further terror attacks are growing, not diminishing, in the 14 years since the 9-11 attacks, New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Friday, and the dangers are more challenging now.
"The threat from Al Qaeda, which pulled off the 9/11 attack successfully, unfortunately, still remains, but the more persistent threat and the growing threat to us no you is ISIS or ISIL," said Bratton, who appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe"
show with retired Gen. Michael Hayden and John Miller, New York's deputy police commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism.
The new threat, Bratton continued, is that ISIS uses social media to inspire people to come to Syria to join their fight, and "they're also encouraging people living in this country to take up arms against their country."
Miller, a former journalist who covered the 9-11 attacks and even interviewed terror chief Osama bin Laden before the attacks occurred, said Friday that as a police department official, he's seeing a busier terrorism activity level.
"If you just look at the period between June 2 and June 29, we had nine arrests from Boston to North Carolina, including half a dozen arrests in New York City and New Jersey of people who were at various stages of plotting the beheading of named enemies of ISIS in Manhattan," said Miller, and "pressure cooker bombs focusing on the July 4th celebrations in New York City. So these plots are all interdicted, prevented from good intelligence, but the threat hasn't gone away at all."
Hayden, who was National Security Agency director at the time of the 9-11 attacks, agreed that today's threats are more numerous, but less well-organized and complex, which means they are "less likely to succeed, less lethal even if they do succeed, but far more numerous, and that makes their problem more difficult."
Bratton said the NYPD is constantly adjusting to meeting the changing threat, including assigning 450 additional personnel to Miller's operations.
"Those sites of attacks would be certainly potentially less lethal than the experience of 9/11 with the 3,000 deaths there," said Bratton, "but their propaganda value to the terrorists is still very, very significant."
Also on Friday's show, Hayden spoke about the news that Democrats have enough senators to pass the deal that's been reached with Iran.
"Frankly, I think we really need to take a second look at what it is we think we've agreed to by executive agreement, not treaty, in 8, 10 and 15 years when the real limits come off the Iranian program," he commented.
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