Former FBI Agent Reflects on Terrorism

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Jim Burkett knew right away the shooting in California was an act of terrorism. His 23 years as an FBI special agent taught him that. He had this to say when asked about what future terror attacks would look like.

“More directed individuals, maybe smaller groups taking action over here,” says Burkett.

On November 29, the NSA shut down a program tasked with gathering American’s telephone metadata. That program could have come in handy looking into the backgrounds of the San Bernardino couple who shot and killed 14 and injured dozens more.

“We need to explore ways where we can satisfy the public’s concern for safety and the need for the information,” says Burkett.

I then asked if he thought the refugee issue would increase the chances of us seeing another attack.

“Absolutely. I believe it’s going to be so easy to insert active radicalized Islamists into the Syrian population and they’re going to come over here.”

He says there’s no real way to properly vet them since we don’t have any information about them from Syria. Burkett wonders if we’ll see these smaller attacks eventually escalate into another 9/11.

“For the most part I think it’s out of our hands, but we’ve got more and more people concerned about terrorism and being suspicious about terrorists, so information is flowing much better than it did years ago. People are sharing information, agencies are working together so I think we have a better fighting chance of preventing,” says Burkett.

Burkett’s son is in the army and while he says he’s not looking forward to sending more troops overseas, he’s scared to think what our future would be if we didn’t.

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