Noting that there is an unpredictable “Jihadi globalist movement”, a top Trump Administration official said the Americans should be concerned about a “growing threat environment” across the globe. “Americans should be concerned that we’re seeing a growing threat environment across the globe. We have got a jihadi globalist movement that we cannot predict, and we are seeing it manifest itself in ways that are extremely daunting to law enforcement authorities,” said Thomas Bossert, the White House Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor.
“Three actors with knives are very difficult to thwart,” he said, referencing a slew of terror attacks that have recently rocked the UK and Western Europe. However, the homeland security adviser said there is no credible intelligence of any threats facing the US at this time. “So as people set out this weekend to enjoy their Independence Day holiday with family members and with friends, I think that they should focus on that and feel safe and secure and rest that we’re doing everything we can to protect them,” he said as millions of Americans went out on long- weekend vacation to celebrate the country’s Independence day on July 4.
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“I think they would be remiss in not understanding that the world we live in is increasing in this threat environment and that we spend an inordinate amount of time and resources as the United States, but also as our partners, trying to not only defeat ISIS and their control of the physical caliphate, but their virtual space that they own, their Internet space,” he said. “They’re proselytising. It’s troubling. President Trump has taken a number of steps, controversial and otherwise, to protect Americans,” he said, referring to the various measures that the Trump Administration has taken like the travel ban from six Muslim-majority countries and banning laptops in checking in baggage.
“The threat that we’ve talked about is real. It is extremely troubling. It’s, on one hand, a trends that no one should be surprised with. We’ve seen terrorists, for some reason or another, seek to go after our aviation sector since 9/11, with some zealotry,” he said. “But this particular threat (laptop) that we’ve observed upon taking office has really alarmed us. And so the calculus here is that we’ll never reduce risk to zero, we’ll never be completely safe. What we need to do is balance certain airports from places closer to the risk. We need to ban those devices that we think represent a problem to safe flight from those points of departure,” Bossert asserted.
“But instead of playing whack-a-mole with an underwear bomber here and a shoe bomber there and another kind of bomber on the other hand, what he’d like to do is to implement a comprehensive increase in our security posture around the world. To be honest, this is the most comprehensive opportunity for aviation security improvement since 9/11,” he said. Bossert said all electronics devices represent a threat to aviation security and the US is looking at “all options”.
“Any electronic device represents an issue for security officials. We look at that in a very serious. But there’s also competing interests here of trying to allow people to travel safely and conveniently. So what we’ve done is instead of going after certain airports and certain electronic devices, Secretary Kelly has given the entire world an opportunity to increase their security posture, the entire world of all points of departure,” the White House official said.