Terrorism & the Prism of Resilience

Here I am on WUSA9 discussing the recent attacks in Boston:

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) — Was it domestic terrorism, international terrorism, or could a lone bomber be responsible? Those are key questions now for the FBI after the Boston Marathon bombings.

Aki Peritz, a counter terrorism expert and author of “Find, Fix, Finish: inside the Counterterrorism campaigns that killed Bin Laden and devastated Al Qaeda,” talked to us on Tuesday afternoon.

Peritz told us, “We have to allow the professionals in the law enforcement community to make their decisions and not do it hastily. What we saw in previous instances was that people jumped the gun. People came to conclusions too fast. That’s not something we want to do in such a high profile case like this.”

He described some of the first steps law enforcement takes in the aftermath of this tragedy and others like it: “One of the things is we’re going to have law enforcement sort of make sure the area is secure. They’re going to have very, very trained individuals go through the crime scene and look for evidence. The next thing they’re going to do is they’re going to work with both federal, state and local organizations to determine whether there is a domestic nexus or international nexus. As you know, the government has not actually said who they think is culpable for this attack….we’re going to see this played out over the next couple of days or maybe weeks.”

Pertiz does not think law enforcement knows who is responsible for the attacks yet. “If they knew, let’s say, a terrorist organization that was a foreign terrorist organization, they would have said something by now. I think the smart thing to do is to let the law enforcement folks and the intelligence folks do their business, because this is what they’ve been doing for the last 10 years.”

We asked Peritz is he was surprised that something like this could happen at a Boston Marathon. His reply: “Not at all. The Boston Marathon is obviously a very high profile American event. A lot of people are there. Cameras are there. The media is there. And if Iwere a terrorist, I would want to attack something like this.”

About moving forward from the frightening experience, Peritz said, “The more important issue is looking at things through a prism of resilience. These things will happen, but we are a resilient nation and we will continue forward. At the end of the day, terrorists are not going to collapse American civilization. Only we have that power.”

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