Terrorism concern rises following lone-wolf attacks in Canada - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Terrorism concern rises following lone-wolf attacks in Canada


The former deputy director of the CIA recently expressed his concerns about a terrorists targeting the United States after the events that played out this week in Canada.

“I am now more worried about a terrorist attack in the United States than I have been for a long, long time,” Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA, said.

So, what is the risk of those type of attacks happening here at home?

Dr. Wayne Bowen, Chair of Department of History at Southeast Missouri State University, has served as an anti-terrorism officer in the military. He says though the attacks in Canada are tragic, they're certainly not the first of their kind.

"Every major Western European country has been a victim of terrorism,” Bowen said,

The shooting in Canada is being called a lone wolf terrorist attack.

"[That is] where you have a single or one or two radicalized individuals who may be interested in engaging in global jihad, may have connections online but aren't really active members of an Al-Qaeda cell or they're not officially members of the Islamic state,” Bowen said.

Even though the attack in Canada happened more than a thousand miles from the Heartland, it's something of which Bowen says we should all be aware.

"Ninety percent of the Canadian population lives within 100 miles of the U.S. border, so almost anything that happens in Canada is going to be a direct impact on the United States,” Bowen said.

Still, he says it is important to keep it all in perspective.

"It's extremely unlikely that anyone is going to have any engagement with terrorists unless they serve overseas, as some of us have done, but that doesn't mean it's not a threat to the country and it doesn't mean that we shouldn't be aware that small attacks like this can grow,” Bowen said.

He says educating ourselves and understanding the nature of these attacks is our first defense.

"It's nearly impossible to stop a dedicated killer willing to sacrifice their own life and that's what we are seeing in almost all these cases,” Bowen said.

The Department of Homeland Security has enacted the "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign. It's all about strengthen hometown security and raising public awareness of indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime. Security officials stress the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper local law enforcement authorities.

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