Fifteen years later, we may not be that much safer.
Department of Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton both warned Sunday that, while national security officials have made strides since the horrific 9/11 attacks, the country continues to face serious threats.
“We’re on a constant state of alert, against not only the (type of) terrorist-directed attack of the 9/11 attack but also terrorism-inspired attacks, the so-called lone wolf, the homegrown violent extremists,” Johnson said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We’re in a relatively new environment now where we’ve got to be concerned about the traditional threat as well as this new threat.”
“We’re better now with detecting the 9/11-style attack, but it’s more challenging now with this new environment we’re in,” Jeh Johnson told CNN.
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
When asked whether the U.S. was safer now than it was in 2001, Johnson hedged.
“We’re better now with detecting the 9/11-style attack, but it’s more challenging now with this new environment we’re in,” he said, citing a more “complex environment” in today’s terrorism landscape.
“There’s this phenomenon now of the terrorist-inspired attack, the lone wolf — that’s the thing that presents the challenge most directly for our homeland,” Johnson said, referencing attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando.
Meanwhile, Bratton, during a four-stop radio and TV blitz, warned that the chances of another terror attack on New York City are likely.
“From our perspective the possibility (of another attack) remains high, not necessarily in the near term, but this is not something that is going to end today, next month or next year,” he said on CNN.
“This is something that’s going to continue through our lifetimes and possibly into the lifetimes of our children,” Bratton added.
“It’s the nature of it,” he said.
Despite the growing concern, “there are no credible threats directed against this day or this event in New York City,” Bratton said.
Former New York Gov. George Pataki added that he, too, thinks “New York City is still a target,” but encouraged city residents to not let such worries affect their day-to-day lives.
“We’re Americans, and because of our freedom we’re always going to be subject to attacks from Islamic radicals or others who just detest the freedom that we are so proud of,” Pataki told John Catsimatidis on his Sunday radio program “The Cats Roundtable.”
“But you can’t live in fear,” he said.