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The manhunt in Boston is over but what did we learn about the terror threat and how best to protect the homeland.
We're joined now by two men who have been on the front lines here in Washington Philip -- Who's that more than a quarter century at the CIA the National Security Council and the FBI.
And commissioner Charles Ramsey had on the Philadelphia Police Department.
Joins us from there gentlemen welcome to both of you.
Commissioner Ramsey as head of the nation's fourth largest police department.
What have you learned from Boston is there any way just to stop what appears to have been a small domestic terrorists now.
Well certainly it's a challenge and I don't think anyone can say that we can totally.
Stop these kinds of attacks from occurring but we do learn as these incidents take place and we take steps that we can -- protect our problem.
-- -- we interviewed you seven years ago it turns out as a power player when you were the number two man on the FBI's national security branch.
Was there and I'm not just talking about the FBI was there any kind of a break down here and our national security operation and specifically with regard to the FBI are you troubled by the fact.
That they were alerted by the Russians to the older brother they interviewed and they said he was not -- -- he goes to Russia he comes back.
And they don't seem to have -- -- No I'm not troubled by this for a few years reasons first people fail to consider the implications of false positives you look at one guy we could've gotten.
You forget the other 101000 who would come in the net if we look at every person like this every -- So I look at this and say you know these kinds of things happen but I suspect there wasn't a dropped ball here and and in overall.
Do you see any way that you could have prevented these two guys.
Well I mean we're gonna have to see what kind of -- connections they had weathered the travel the Russia last year actually meant something.
But what I've seen so far says we've got two kids you -- close radical circle.
Breaking that circle in a state like ours that is an open society is virtually impossible but what is your sense and I understand is speculation at this point but informed speculation where they acted alone where that part of a group.
And do you see any al-Qaeda fingerprints on -- that's the only fingerprint I've seen might possibly have been ideology but not operations every step of the way here was pretty rudimentary.
For example if you look at some of those initial photos you've got a kid.
With a hoodie and a cap if you watch obscure himself that he goes on the cap goes toward yet operational training -- -- -- who did it because there were temperatures.
But unfortunately they were amateurs who heard -- crowd of people that's correct.
Commissioners some law enforcement officials are criticizing.
And authorities in Boston for locking down.
The entire metropolitan community a million people for about twelve hours -- -- we don't do that when there is -- serial killer on the loose they did do that first -- I out of and they're saying it's over an overreaction question.
Would you have done that was at a reasonable response.
I don't know we would have done it -- I don't know we would have thought of doing it but certainly I think it was genius I think it was absolutely the right thing for them to do.
You have to remember the one brother when he was killed.
Had some kind of device on his body.
You don't know the second person had a device on their body as well he could easily get on a subway car for an example suicide bomber.
Very very dangerous to the public at large -- -- think they get absolutely the right thing.
And I don't know where the criticism is coming from well I guess I guess and it's not really criticism it's a question how long do you hold a city hostage in a situation like that.
It depends on the situation.
Again it was a bold step and I'm not suggesting that you take it and every sit situation.
But I'm not privy to all the information that they had at the time and they had to make that decision.
So you have to assume that they knew a little bit more than the public at large.
They did the first priority is to maintain the safety of the public and not allow any more people -- seriously killed or injured.
This about one thing that a lot of us learned this week is how wired.
A big city has with all the surveillance cameras all the electronic intercepts all the weapons detectors.
Give us a sense if you will of trade craft how do you identify within -- couple of days to individuals would apparently turned out to be the right people.
Two individuals out of thousands and thousands of spectators along the marathon.
I think you're looking at these sort of explosion of video Smartphones -- you get from places like ATMs.
And how incredible that's turned out to be is an investigative tool even ten years ago I'm not certain we would had.
Those videos those photos rapidly enough to identify these guys who you can put together what do whatever kind of intelligence picture you want but that video was critical but when you have the video give us a sense take us inside that special operations center.
How do you identify these two guys what what we did in this case is to say we're gonna release it to the public because we don't have time to conduct a month long investigation.
If these guys do something tomorrow and we didn't release the video to identify them that's -- potential mistake but how do you identify that the guys so you can release today.
What one of the things are gonna do is to say hey.
Put -- if we have a tip line if this guy's your neighbor if he lives in your apartment you've got to take the risk of taking 101000 phone calls for that one that works.
Commissioner Ramsey New York has something called.
The -- of steal it at 3000.
Cameras Justin lower Manhattan do you come away from.
This experience thinking that you need even more cameras even more electronic surveillance.
In downtown Philadelphia.
Yeah I wish we had a 3000 cameras to be honest with you you know innocent it's an invaluable investigative -- litigation historical record.
Both before during and after an event takes place if you look at the London bombings in 2005 -- the Boston -- Boston bombings in 2013.
Had it not been for cameras these cases would be a lot more difficult to solve in a timely fashion.
At social media onto that now with people just taking photographs videos aren't related to the Internet.
But being able to have that footage to be able to go through and identify who might have done what they give a situation.
It is just invaluable.
And how do you identify them as it it is is that.
As simple as looking to see when it did locate where that the bomb site wasn't look to see -- in the back was placed there and then go backwards.
Yet if they can determine where the explosion may have originated from and certainly you can go back and check footage who was in that area.
Was how long of that package been there who may have dropped that package.
-- you can you identify the people in the crowd that could be.
Witnesses to this I mean it -- it gives you a record that you would not normally have.
And people across the street just taking photographs there with thousands had to be thousands of photographs and video.
Footage that they had to go through.
-- -- -- to mod what do you see as the aftermath of Boston do you think we have to fear -- -- more of these small domestic terrorist cells.
And how does one force -- need to respond more effectively not necessarily to catch -- they did that pretty well but to prevent it in the first place I think you'll see at least.
Copycat threats when I sat there every night with the threat matrix after every event that's the matrix US government uses to track -- -- to track threats.
-- after every event someone would call and say I wanna do something like that what I fear though is that people too quickly are gonna categorize this is terrorism.
This looks more to me like column -- that it does like al-Qaeda cute kids who radicalize.
Between themselves and -- closed circle and go out and commit murder.
How would charge these guys murders not terrorists.
But that just real quickly I mean the -- you have the -- reports from Russia they said they worried that he was involved with radical Islam he goes and spends six months.
In Russia in Chechnya in that area whether a lot of radicals whether -- -- separate us are radical Islamic -- -- -- -- off the idea.
That there was some outside influence.
I'm not writing that off what I'm saying is we want to categorize his bid this quickly with a simple term in in looking at the psychology of clusters like this which I did for twenty years.
The psychology is not that simple it's to kids who decided.
For whatever ideology.
That they wanted to commit murder in the murder pieces as significant as the terrorism -- -- -- commissioner -- wanna thank you both for coming -- today we have all hope some lessons have been learned and now will be put into action thank you gentlemen thank you thank you.
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