Afghanistan terror: 9/11-era legislation enforcement officers, specialists weigh in on

Afghanistan terror: 9/11-era legislation enforcement officers, specialists weigh in on

Terrorism specialists and former top-ranking legislation enforcement officers say the US should not solely be ready to guard towards threats brought on by the occasions exterior of the nation, similar to within the Center East, however should additionally look ahead to any threats created by people coming in. 

The US has totally pulled out of Afghanistan after weeks of speeding to evacuate People and Afghan allies from the nation and its newfound Taliban rule. However a number of specialists, together with former prime cops in main U.S. cities, warned that the U.S. safety measures have to be far-ranging, spanning not solely from using intelligence and monitoring air journey and airport exercise, but in addition guaranteeing that these introduced into the nation have solely good intentions.

Former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis informed Fox Information “the good majority of individuals” in search of refuge from Afghanistan within the U.S. “are on the lookout for a brand new life – and plenty of of them have helped the US.”

“You do not need to say something adverse in regards to the individuals who … have really risked their lives to combat terrorism in a really possible way,” Davis defined. “However the reality is that when giant numbers of persons are introduced into the nation like this, the vetting course of needs to be very intense. And I do know from doing investigations all over the world that making an attempt to do a background investigation on somebody who has come from a rustic like Afghanistan is nearly, may be very troublesome to do.” 

Then-Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis speaks throughout a media briefing within the car parking zone of the Watertown Mall on April 19, 2013 in Watertown, Massachusetts. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Photographs) (Photograph by Jared Wickerham/Getty Photographs)

Davis led the Boston Police Division’s response to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and served as commissioner from 2006 to 2013. 

Now the president and CEO of personal safety agency The Edward Davis Firm, he informed Fox Information states like Afghanistan, which he known as “a really primitive nation,” lack databases or techniques to report legal conduct or suspicious exercise.

“The federal authorities has an unlimited quantity of intelligence that they’ve gathered by being within the nation for 20 years. However it’s not good,” he continued. “And you are worried about individuals slipping by means of that will have ailing intent.”


Ray Kelly, former police and customs commissioner, informed Fox Information it was vital that the U.S. be “very cognizant” of potential dangers and “take our time in vetting” those that are coming in. 

World Commerce Middle bombing Police Commissioner Ray Kelly comes out of the outlet with Emergency Service Cops.  (Invoice Turnbull/NY Each day Information Archive through Getty Photographs) (Photograph by Invoice Turnbull/NY Each day Information Archive through Getty Photographs)

“Look, they needed to get in another country in a rush,” Kelly defined. “However now that they are within the U.S., or someplace within the U.S., I believe we’ve to gradual the method means down, and do as thorough background checks as potential.”

The Marine Corps veteran was the primary particular person to serve two nonconsecutive phrases on the helm of the New York Police Division (NYPD): First, on the time of the World Commerce Middle bombing in 1993 and once more simply months after the assaults on Sept. 11, 2001. He additionally served as commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service, which has since been separated into Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Safety. 


Tempo College has beforehand applauded him for main the NYPD in its “formidable new capability to deal with the specter of terrorism.”

Kelly had related ideas as Davis concerning the problem of vetting people coming from Afghanistan.

Taliban fighters wave from the again of a pickup truck, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. (AP Photograph/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi) (AP Photograph/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi)

“It is a troublesome course of, however I nonetheless assume we’ve to undergo it, as a result of there’s undoubtedly a possible risk there,” he mentioned. “One one that desires to do us hurt and trigger an terrible lot of injury.”

The Taliban is a jihadist militant group that ran Afghanistan within the late Nineteen Nineties. 

The U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 ousted the insurgents from energy, however they by no means left. After they blitzed throughout the nation in latest weeks, the Western-backed authorities that has run the nation for 20 years collapsed. 


Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, an knowledgeable on Islamism, described the ideology of radical Islamist teams as having widespread parts together with “the idea of jihad.” He outlined jihad as being “a militant conquest to create Islamic states.”

“Everybody has a unique, some gentle variations on that theme. However whether or not it is ISIS’s Islamic State or the Taliban’s Islamic State, they’re all basically a theocracy with varied types of coercion constructed into their autocratic interpretations of their theology,” Jasser mentioned.

Jasser, the president and founding father of the American Islamic Discussion board for Democracy, added: “It is virtually as for those who’re taking a look at … totally different flavors of soda or no matter it’s. The underside line is, is that they’re all jihadists, that the most important risk to their jihad is Western secular democracy and Western rules.”

Regardless of the billions of {dollars} spent by the U.S. and NATO over almost 20 years to construct up Afghan safety forces, the Taliban seized almost all of Afghanistan in simply over per week amid the U.S. troop pullout. The fundamentalist group swept into Kabul on Aug. 15 after the federal government collapsed and embattled President Ashraf Ghani fled the nation.

There are issues that Afghanistan will as soon as once more develop into a base for militants to plot towards the West, very similar to what result in the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults that triggered the U.S. invasion. 

Spokespersons for police departments in main cities, together with Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Seattle and Los Angeles, have informed Fox Information they’re working carefully with federal companions and are repeatedly monitoring for any potential threats. Representatives of the NYPD and Chicago Police Division didn’t reply to requests final week in search of data pertaining to any threats and the way they’re responding. 

Kenn Honig was with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for 28 years and, as such, was a primary responder to the scene of the 1993 World Commerce Middle bombing and the assaults on 9/11. Throughout his stint with the Port Authority, he served because the supervisor of its Emergency Operations Middle. He was additionally a commanding officer for New York’s LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Worldwide airports. 

Honig mentioned that whereas there’s “completely no solution to 100% assure {that a} devoted terrorist will not be going to assault someplace,” there are specific safety measures that he would count on. He recognized “seen patrol monitoring,” each seen and invisible safety, a higher police patrol presence, and monitoring the Web, together with chat rooms and the darkish internet for any suspicious exercise. 

Commissioner Kelly beforehand informed Fox Information that departments in main U.S. cities, similar to New York, will doubtless be ramping up safety and intelligence efforts to guard towards any terror threats posed by the continuing assaults in Afghanistan.

Talking about prevention measures that New York Metropolis would doubtless take amid issues associated to Afghanistan, Kelly mentioned investigators are “doing extra of what they’ve been doing.”

 (L TO R)  New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, New York Governor George Pataki and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg bow their heads at a memorial service for these killed through the September 11 assaults on the World Commerce Middle July 15, 2002, at Contemporary Kills Landfill within the New York Metropolis borough of Staten Island. (Photograph by Spencer Platt/Getty Photographs) (Photograph by Spencer Platt/Getty Photographs)

For the NYPD, that entails honing in on public sources, working with informants and scouring chatrooms for any indicators of suspicious exercise, amongst different strategies, he mentioned. The intelligence-gathering expertise and assets are already there, Kelly defined, “you’re simply ramping up what you’re doing presently.”

Former New York Police Division Commissioner Howard Safir informed Fox Information there was not one single factor police departments in main U.S. cities must be doing. In the beginning, he mentioned, was that legislation enforcement departments “need to depend on our intelligence businesses to verify they’ve sufficient property.” 

“We have to proceed to do what we’re doing at airports, and enhance it even,” mentioned Safir, who served as NYPD police commissioner from 1996 to 1999.  


He added that he noticed the lethal use of airplanes as being “the most important risk.” 

“We have now hardened loads of services,” mentioned Safir, now the CEO and chairman of a safety firm known as Vigilant Assets Worldwide. “We have now much more individuals concerned.”

The Related Press contributed to this report. 

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