tv Terrorist Threats to America CSPAN August 31, 2014 1:30am-1:58am EDT
they are following at least 400 british citizens would've gone to syria. they cannot sell because people do not go to see. get their passports stamped and return home. to go to jordan or turkey. and that they enter syria. there are 3000 europeans would've gone to syria and iraq to fight. there are many across the globe. when you think about europe, think about the fact that many of those people have passports and are able to come back to europe and then travel to the united states after that. syria has been involved in a terrible situation for many years -- three plus years of civil war, 150,000 people have died. the home of isis is there as well as other hardened al qaeda groups. there is another group. they were most recently infamous for the fact they were
-- you remember this a couple of weeks ago, they were talking about if you are coming out of europe, you had to turn on before boarding a plane -- we forget about the terrorist plot that never happened. it may surprise you to know there has been as many as 60 terrorist plots against the united states since 9/11. a few of those have been successful. they are terrible things. these terrorist have been able to bring these things to fruition. we have the boston bombers, couple of recruiters killed by islamists in arkansas. we had that one spark away from setting off an suv in times square. there have been 60. some people were told you had to turn off your cell phone or computer because what was going on -- that al qaeda was in the arabian peninsula and planning to put explosives inside a cell hone or inside a computer to
put it on an aircraft bound to the united states and blow it up. i don't know if that threat has been lifted. that is what we are dealing with. it is this group that they are dealing with in syria. they were going to be the operatives. the massive bomb maker is in yemen. i will talk about him now. he is the underwear bomber guy. a second plot where we actually penetrated al qaeda and the arabian peninsula and walked off with the device before it could be used. this is the group of a bomber that was involved in the surgically implantation of explosives into human eings.
in fact, i don't know if this is true, the story is that a syrian planted a bomb inside of his brother, send him to saudi rabia, he met with a saudi prince and was meant to kill him in a suicide bombing. his brother died in the bombing and i believe two bodyguards but the prince was not killed. this has happened already. this is what we're up against. also syria, people forget about iraq is syria's best ally. hezbollah is also fighting there to protect the regime in damascus. there is no end to this conflict. it will continue to serve as a terrorist training ground for some time to come.
some of these terrorists at some point may decide not to stay in the caliphate isis and return home. who knows what they will do then? we talked a little bit about iran. their fighting in both iraq and syria. there are operatives involved in the fight today. they're nervous about what is going on because it is a sunni group. iran is a persian country. iran's rise will be curtailed by the loss of an ally in damascus or a loss of ally in baghdad. these two fights are must wins. iran has ambitions in that part of the world and these two countries as well as others are key to that. unfortunately, iran's nuclear program has been little slowed. maybe the centrifuges are not
being used as much but they have compiled enough uranium to turn it into a higher-grade uranium. while these negotiations are going on, iran has time to work on its weaponization of this material. it has time to perfect delivery vehicles. the u.s. government publicly has not moved off the fact that they said a few years ago that iran will have a missile capable of reaching the united states by 2015. that is next yea they can put a satellite into space. they probably have been helping the north koreans do that as well because they followed iran and that capability. all of you are probably too young to remember because you probably read it in e-book. sputnik, 1957.
when the soviets but that little satellite into space we were very unhappy about that. it was a public relations disaster for the united states as the soviets had bested us scientifically and technically. in the balance of the pentagon, the dr. strangelove there, really concerned. they knew if he could put a satellite into space and a significant payload into space or orbit, you can put a warhead anywhere. the soviets actually beat us in he race. same thing here. iranians started out with the peaceful side ally program and eventually, if they wish to, develop an intercontinental ballistic missile program. the intelligence community believes that maybe soon as next year. afghanistan -- another thing we
have in them talking about but as you know, there are 30,000 americans fighting there. i worry -- what i really worry is what we're seeing in iraq is what we will see in afghanistan in the coming years. i didn't talk a lot about iraq but it has not gone well since u.s. forces left at the end of 2011. i worry that is what we will see in afghanistan. we are reducing the troops. they will be totally gone. we may have an interim force. we are waiting for new president to get on board and have some political problems with vote counting in everything. we are looking for a bilateral security agreement which we never achieved with iraq which is why the forces left at one ime. if we do not get that, we will not have any forces. if we stay, the president is looking at 10,000 troops but they will be all be gone by 2016 regardless of the
conditions on the ground. unfortunately, we think about as we draw down the afghan forces will stand up. we are drawing down, afghan forces are standing up but violence is also up. we are dealing with some really tough actors. we are talking about not only al qaeda, but the taliban and also the network which is probably the most active and difficult insurgents we are dealing with. my view is if afghanistan could return to its pre-9/11 state, that is a place where terrorists can plan, train, and operate and that is not good news for us. equally troubling to me is that afghanistan if you think about the geography could be used as a safe haven by pakistan taliban. they can unsettle the pakistani overnment. pakistan, we haven't heard much bout them lately either.
pakistan is a country with a nuclear arsenal of more than 100 million nuclear weapons. we know some of these groups like al qaeda would like to get their hands on some of those nuclear weapons and there has been some concern about their arsenal. i am not in the circles where they are talking about these things but i know there has been tremendous amount of concern in the last thing we want to see is have al qaeda or anyone else get their hands on a nuclear weapon. frank covered this stuff but i think the al qaeda or offshoot of them or affiliate, that threat is growing. i talked about al qaeda in the arabian peninsula in yemen. up until isis gained prominence, i would say that they were the most dangerous roup we faced. i mentioned some other plots -- the underwear plot, the printer cartridges, they have the best bomb maker. we have libya, tunisia.
nd they were responsible for what happened in benghazi. igeria, we heard about them in the terrible kidnapping of these young schoolgirls. they are also involved in a lot of terrorist acts against the government. somalia. another group we are particularly worried about because the fbi will tell you that the number of somali-americans have gone there to fight. there has been a long-standing concern about will they return to the united states and will we know if they have gone and be able to do something about it if we need to? many of these groups are working together, especially the ones in africa. another concern is that each one of these groups will try to outdo each other in a drive to
gather more foot soldiers, funds, and publicity. isis is the most high visibility terrorist group out there now. will you see funding go that way, foot soldiers go that way. these other groups who also have agendas will want to steal some of that away from them so there will be some rivalry and they may do some things that they won't try before to bring that publicity in their direction. another thought, the idea that their activities, these terrorist group activities like the ones i mentioned -- they are happening very far away. people say it is just a regional thing. that can change in one oment. that can go from just something in dealing with the country you are dealing with, the government to becoming a transnational or international terrorist threat, including targeting the united states. russia.
russia is on a roll, isn't it? took crimea this year. wasn't much of a response. it is supporting insurgency in eastern ukraine today. it sent what they are calling aid trucks across the border into ukraine. ukrainian government is basically saying it is an invasion. the military trucks have been painted gray and they were not escorted by the international committee of the red cross. who knows what is in those trucks because they have not been inspected. russia also has as many as 40,000 troops, combat ready troops across the border from ukraine it can certainly go in at any time they want. is a much more capable force them ukrainian army. frank would be the person to talk about this -- the u.s. government has come out and said russia is violating the treaty. a regan treaty you probably
worked on. it is about forces in europe and now we find out that russia, we believe, russia has violated that treaty, that arms control treaty. they have been threatening nato allies in recent years. russian president vladimir putin plans to restore his russia's cold war era power and prowess in my estimation and it is something we should be very concerned about. in asia, north korea. we have a new, young and enigmatic leader. he is not the reformer we thought he may be. he is turning out to be quite hard-line. my concern is that he wants to make his mark on the world. he doesn't have the credentials that has grandfather has. it was somebody who was
involved in the korean war or his father kim jong-il who had held the reins of power for many years under his father. this is the grandson. he doesn't feel like he has the credentials, the chops with the military, with the korean workers party to perhaps hold that party so he has been involved with a lot of purges. the concern is you may be involved in a misperception or mistake that could lead to some serious consequences on the korean peninsula. he has an increasingly robust nuclear weapons program. north korea has said three nuclear attempts. there is rumor of a fourth test but it hasn't happened yet. last year, he was able to put a satellite into space harking back to what i was talking about with iran. we believe north korea has the capability to put it into the convention until ballistics
somewhere on the west coast of the united states. at some point in the future, it could become more accurate and have a longer range. it will be even a greater threat to us. let me talk about china lastly. i am getting the hook here. there is so much to talk about. beyond the united states, or he as the potential to shape this entry more than china. any of you keeping up on the news, you know that. china is increasingly powerful whether you are talking militarily, politically, or economically. in my opinion, china would like to replace the united states in the pacific, if not globally. i think it is taking steps to do that. it has already thrown its weight around increasingly in territorial disputes in the east and south china seas with u.s. allies -- the philippines and japan. many china analysts believe they are testing american
result in the pacific. unfortunately, this perception and miscalculations could lead to dire consequences. i think as china's confidence grows, the rivalry will only intensify with the united states. bottom line -- we are living in an increasingly dangerous world where u.s. interests face growing threats. is my view that a failure to proactively rise to the challenges with international leadership, diplomatic resolve, economic vitality and military strength could mean some very dark days ahead. fortunately, that choice is ours. thank you very much. >> i think we were supposed to move this.
is that possible? we have a few minutes of time for questions. i went much longer than i was supposed to. we will take any questions we have time for. is there a microphone somewhere in the back? great. uestionable questionable can you hear me now? one of the things that surprised me since 9/11, and i thought we would be vulnerable to it, would be individual bombing attacks in lots of areas like we saw in the ideast and southeast asia. how, we have avoided that here or is a factor that it is a plan for later on on a much grander scale?
>> it is a great question. the issue, in part as peter said, they have actually been trying to do attacks. fortunately, it has been good work on the part of our first lines of defense to prevent that from happening. some places, we have been bloody lucky. i happen to think another thing is at work and it goes back to that arc i talked about of mohammed's life and the model that the muslim brotherhood follows. i think there is a very strong sense on the part of those in the brotherhood's apparatuses in this country. there are scores, if not hundreds of them by the way. almost every muslim american organization that you hear about, notably outfits like the council of american islamic
relations or the islamic society of north america, are muslim brotherhood front organizations. i think their view is do not engage in those acts of violence. it is premature. it up only anger the americans and make our job more difficult. i think that is at work with some. not suspect peter would agree with me -- we are on borrowed time. the more we indulge this kind of behavior, the more we leave he borders porous. the more we signal weakness. the sharia interpretation of that behavior is the time has come to go violent, to make them feel subdued. >> i have a question for each of our speakers. frank, this is a question a response to what you said about some of the muslim brotherhood's actions to get
into american culture. you talked about interfaith conversations. in our clery, it is increasingly reaching out. is that something that should be resisted and how can that message to be delivered to our clergy? the other question is for peter. one of the major groups that you omitted from your discussion was talking about what is going on in israel. the big client of iran, hamas, has distracted attention away from the iranian nuclear program and a lot of people that are interested in israeli politics believe that was the goal of that. is that something you believe is well?
>> i think that was a good point. i couldn't talk about everything. very disturbed by the fact that we had a friendly state in israel fighting a terrorist group today. that is something that we could see down the road won't be talk about isis. terrorist groups taking on states. my interpretation of what hamas did was an act of desperation. they have been a complete failure in the gaza strip and unfortunately the palestinian people are being held hostage to their inability to govern and their policies. this is obviously something we need to be concerned about. hamas has fallen out with the government in damascus, the syrian government who has been a strong supporter of them because they are actually siding with the violent islamists in syria. iran is still very much concerned and israel is worried about opening up the borders because of what is going to come across those borders. even egypt has closed the crossings because of those
concerns. i cannot speak for the government is israel but my interpretation is humanitarian issues -- the concern is that weapons will come in. we have seen these large number of rockets fired into israel which the iron dome missile defense system, something we should be thinking about when i talk about icbms, work tremendously. those rockets were fired indiscriminately at civilian targets. it was only because of the capabilities of those systems that the u.s. helped with that israel was able to stay protected. it was such a lopsided military engagement. yes, hamas is a major problem and a friend of iran. my cents and was an act of desperation because hamas
having lost the muslim brotherhood in egypt did it as an act of desperation but there are many different interpretations. >> i will leave you with one thought about sharia it would be that this really is about power, not about faith. the problem for the faith community in this country is they are being encouraged to believe it is the other way around or the power has nothing to do about it, it is just about faith. it is really seductive. that old line about in world war ii when they came for the socialists, i demog and so on. when they came for me, there was nobody left. the faith community here, many of then, not all, but many of them have been encouraged to believe that unless they stand up for their muslim counterparts, there will be a
repression of freedom of religion more broadly. and so you have, i think, innocently many pastors, priests, rabbis, what have you, offering unbelievable opportunities for influence operations to imams who are, again, not all of them by any means, but mostly the ones who are working this particular line of the civilization jihad deeply imbued with the sharia agenda. and interestingly enough, one of the first things that they do, and this happened by the way in the vatican back in june or july, one of the first things these imams typically do is they go into some prayer incantation in arabic which consecrates the space they're in to ayala.
-- allah. and declamations against the infidels. but if we find people of faith helping to provide what amounts to cover for these islamists, it will be just one more successful inroad that they're making in keeping us listless about what they're up to and therefore much less capable of defending ourselves against them. thank you for the question. >> is this on? oh, this is kind of a basic question. >> we have to wrap up. >> ok. if you were going to prepare for being off the grid, what books would you recommend, what websites would you recommend or what quick tips? >> well, i'm for being prepared and for people being
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