tv Panelists Discuss Intelligence Gathering and Terror Threats CSPAN June 30, 2017 3:01pm-3:43pm EDT
good morning, i'm katherine herridge, the chief intelligence correspondent from fox news channel i would like to thank our co-sponsors, congressman mike mcfall, and senators marco rubio and chris koons for sponsoring the event today. between my time at fox news channel and abc news in london. i've been covering terrorism since 1987, so for 30 years. i was reminded it was about six years ago that we were celebrating the takedown of osama bin laden at his compound in pakistan, which was in so many respects an extraordinary
accomplishment. later in 2011, a successful drone strike took out an american cleric, anwar al awlaki, who was the first american targeted for death by the c.i.a. and was the first of the digital jihad. and i'm reminded it's one thing to kill a man and another thing to kill his ideas. here we are today in a threat environment which is extremely dynamic and extremely diverse. and the topic of our panel today is whether the i.c. has the tools it needs to blunt this terrorist threat. and i would like to introduce members of our panel. i would like to begin with jane harmon, on my far left. jay harmon is a very familiar face here on capitol hill. she resigned from congress in february of 2011 to join the woodrow wilson center as its first female director, president and ceo.
representing the aerospace center of california during nine terms in congress. jane served on all major security committees and has made numerous congressional fact-finding missions to hot spots including north korea, afghanistan and guantanamo bay. she has has been recognized as a national expert on security and public policy issues has received the defense department's medal for distinguished service. the c.i.a. seal medal and the c.i.a. director's award and the national intelligence distinguished public service medal. immediately next to jane is congressman pete hoekstra. congressman hoekstra is the former chairman of the house permanent select committee on intelligence between 2004-2007 where he partnered with congresswoman jane harmon in passing landmark intelligence reform legislation in 2004. the first modernization of the intelligence community in 50 years. chairman hoekstra is currently working with the investigative project on terrorism as the
shellman senior fellow. congressman will hurd, former undercover c.i.a. officer, entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert, will hurd is the u.s. representative for the 23rd congressional district of texas from san antonio to el paso and includes 800 miles of the u.s./mexico border. in washington he serves on the permanent select committee on intelligence, as well as the vice chair of the maritime and border security subcommittee. on the committee for homeland security and as the chairman for information technology subcommittee on the oversight and government reform committee. immediately on my left is nicholas rasmussen, the director of the national counterterrorism center, what most of you know is the nctc. prior to becoming nctc director he served with the national security council staff as special assistant to the president and senior director for counterterrorism. where he was responsible for providing staff support to the president, the national security adviser, and homeland security adviser. on counterterrorism policy and
strategy he also previously served on the nsc staff as director for regional affairs in the office of combatting terrorism. nick, i want to start with you. flint, michigan, was this an individual who was on any of our watch lists? >> first of all, think it's a little too early to say exactly what we knew and i think i would probably in deference to my fbi and local law enforcement colleagues in michigan, want to step back for a second before we share publicly what was known and what we're learning in the days ahead. i would just say that any law enforcement investigation you know more on day two than you knew on day one and you'll know more on day ten than you knew on day nine. so i think i would be getting out in front of my fbi colleagues if i went very far on the specifics of the individual. that said, the indications are, is that this individual may have been motivated by the kind of
ideology you referenced in your opening remarks. and i think again while it's too soon to draw firmer conclusions, the type of attack that was conducted bears some of the hallmarks of things we've seen in other capitals around the world in recent days. attacks that are not particularly complex that are not particularly large-scale. they are not particularly sophisticated. and yet, they can do enormous harm. they can cause loss of life. they can strike terror and fear and insecurity in the hearts of populations. and so that makes them worthy of our, of our heightened concern. at the same time, it is a different threat environment than the threat environment that we've been living with for much of the post 9/11 period. yes, it is more complex. yes, it is more dynamic. yes, it is more challenging in many ways, it's also worth remembering, not losing sight of some of the progress we've made in mitigating some of those threats that we were the most worried about, a decade ago or
five or six years ago when al qaeda was our principal counterterrorism concern. the threat of a large-scale mass-casualty attack aimed at a u.s. city, i think we've done a tremendous amount to reduce the likelihood that a terrorist group, isis or al qaeda could carry out such an attack. the likelihood of a large-scale attack here in the homeland using weapons of mass destruction, also something i think we've made tremendous progress in building up our defenses to counter that kind of attack. so even as i point to a threat environment that is challenging, disturbing, concerning, all of the words you want to use, i think it's worth differentiating exactly what we talk about when we talk about that threat environment. >> jane, when you sat on the house permanent select committee on intelligence as the ranking democrat, is that what the future looked like in terms of the threat environment? >> well, first of all, let me say about you, catherine, since you introduced all of us in glowing terms, that you are a extraordinarily capable reporter. >> thank you. >> and i think everyone should
respect the quality of journalism you bring to fox. and i want to express my distress that fair and balanced has been removed as the moniker of fox. >> way above my pay grade. >> but i would offer this fair and balanced comment. which is, that the terrorists aren't going to check our party registration before they blow us up. so this is really something we have to do on a bipartisan basis. and pete and i when we served as chairman, which he was and ranking member, which i was, did that. and it's also true that when i chaired the intelligence subcommittee of homeland security and mike mccall was my ranking member, we did that. so just want to put that out there. bipartisanship is not dead. but it needs to be more robust than it has been. no, i didn't imagine that this would happen. we were there on 9/11, there was no contingency survival plan for congress. many of us were milling around in front of the capital and i
remember going to saxby chambliss's apartment just off the hill. he at that time was chair and i was ranking on a new terrorism subcommittee of intel. his tiny little basement apartment had golf clubs which took up half the place and a bed. but there was no place to go and we finally you know commandeered the capital police headquarters and went there and tried to offer help. we never imagined that what came at us on 9/11 was going to metastasize into this. i do want to commend nick and the nctc and the other parts of the i.c. for heroic work trying to get ahead of the problem. no at least speaking for me, we didn't anticipate it and you're right, it's an idea, it's not just a person. and defeating an army is one thing. defeating an idea is a lot harder. >> congressman hoekstra. >> bipartisanship.
>> thanks. lack of technology. the there's no way that jane and i or those of us on the intelligence committee anticipated this especially when we were leaving in 2011. you know i mentioned to jane as you went through the countries that she visited, you didn't mention one that was maybe the most notable. we had some very interesting trips. and that was to libya, to meet with gadhafi. and we were part of the process, a small part of the process that ended up in gadhafi, flipping and actually becoming an ally in fighting radical jihadists threat that was out there. the interesting thing is jane asked me about one of the people that we met, moussa koussa, his intelligence chief, a graduate of michigan state and a big fan
of tom izzo and those types of things. but you know, we took one trip, we went to egypt, we met with mubarak. we met with arafat, we met with assad. later on we met with gadhafi. little did we ever imagine that you know, four, five years later, we would be looking at a threat environment where iraq was a failed state with isis. that syria was a failed, that syria would be a failed state that libya would be a failed state. that egypt would lose control of the sinai. that we would have changed our policy and started working with the muslim brotherhood. and you know, that, that's really changed you know, when you saw those failed states, when you saw the refugees, when you saw the mass migration into europe, the fighters going from europe, some from the united
states, into syria and into libya and now coming back into europe and those countries? those have all created a threat environment that, yeah, i don't think everybody ever saw coming out on the horizon. now the challenge is how do you go back, stabilize syria, stabilize libya, stabilize yemen. we still haven't gotten a strategy to address a number of those issues. >> congressman hurd, we've got pardon me, a handful of failed states which are effectively safe havens for terrorist groups. so does the i.c. have the tools to work with entities and those nations to try and gather intelligence effectively? and if not, how do we do the work-around? >> i'll try to answer that question in less than 50 minutes.
so the intelligence community has the capabilities, they have the resolve, they have the right people, they have the leadership. but this is an issue that's bigger than just the intelligence community. and it starts with i think ambassador crocker is here today and he's going to be talking. and one thing he always says is if you have wing tips and pumps on the ground, it prevents boots on the ground. basically saying when you have diplomats in some of these regions doing the work that diplomats do, can you prevent the need for having to come in militarily, right? so we have to support the state department. we have to make sure that usaid has a strong budget to do their work and we have to make sure that the intelligence community has the operating authorities to bring the hammer down on the folks over there. we also have to think about what day do we celebrate. one of the things, the question i always ask people, that are
experts in this field. i say what day do you celebrate when it comes to the war on terrorism? the best answer i've gotten is from my friend ambassador hank crompton, the for thor head, was involved prosecuting the war in afghanistan after 9/11. he said you don't celebrate a day because terrorism is always going to be here. and the strategies you use to fight influenza are some of the same strategies you have to deal with when it comes to terrorism. so we have to bring the hammer down and stop them from having safe havens. we have to counter their ideology as well. when i was chasing al qaeda in pakistan, afghanistan, they were doing a thing called night letters, writing letters, putting them on people's doorsteps, now isis is doing four social media campaigns a day, translated into 49 different languages. we have to make sure that local law enforcement and commercial security have the information on
taxes, techniques and procedures these bad guys are using, in order to defend on the population from this. so it's a hard problem, it's broader than just the intelligence community. >> nick, you suggested in your earlier statement that we have disrupted significant plots targeting the homeland, is that correct? >> yes, and i'm talking about a sweep of a long period of history and the periods since 9/11. >> let's talk about recently. have we disrupted major plots targeting the u.s. in the last year? >> i don't know that i would say something with that degree of specificity. we are constantly look og to identify individuals who may have dines on the homeland. but i don't think i would put anything into the category in the same way you put it. >> a lot of americans -- >> but i would say we've stopped people that were capable of planning and plotting a major attack on the u.s. you have to remember, when you take key people off the
battlefield, that have the capabilities and the leadership abilities to do some of these things, that counts. and that has, there have been a number of those significant activities over the last year. >> i wouldn't disagree with that at all. i was just trying to kind of carefully parse -- i didn't want to leave the impression that necessarily there was some insip yent imminent plot aimed at the homeland. that just came close to happening. because i think that would be misleading. i want to pick up on something else that congressman hurd said and that is that the different array of things we can do to defend ourselves, including all of the things that the congressman mentioned. but i think one of the things that's underplayed in this discussion, particularly in a homeland context is just an effort to create a greater sense of societal resilience. a sense that we will cope, not just cope, but prosper and bounce back and succeed in living our lives, regardless of what happens on any given day. i would agree with hank
crompton, that unfortunately some form of terrorism will be a semi permanent feature of the landscape. whether it's this ideology or some future ideology. so the answer is to continue to hone our law enforcement and intelligence capabilities and to bring the hammer down when the hammer needs to be brought down. but a big part of the answer is also giving communities around this country the tools they need to protect themselves, the information they need to protect themselves. and an understanding of the terrorist threats so they can understand how to put the terrorist threat into perspective as a raid against all the other things to worry about on a given day. >> i want to p point out how hard this is and to salute the intelligence community for what it is able to do. it will never be 100% effective. now we have learned that the new tools of terror are a big truck and a butcher knife and even if we have gun control in this more gun control in this country, there's still going to be people with validly licensed guns who go crazy and do dumb stuff and kill people.
so that's not the catastrophic threat that you were asking about, catherine. but i don't rule that out, either. i mean there are biological weapons that are pretty easily alaska sesible in hospitals. and anyway, but the other point i wanted to make is resilience matters, yes it does. think britain, keep calm and carry on, they've had more attacks lately than any place. but there also are things that we can do to win the argument. you said this is an idea. and yes, having pumps and wing tips is a way to win the argument. using diplomacy. but there are better arguments against the arguments that recruit child brides to go get their swimming pool in afghanistan or wherever it is. yemen, someplace that peter and i have been. i actually went to yemen. i don't think you did. you did? okay. everything he could do to keep up with me, he actually did. but so -- how do we win the argument? we live our values, that's a
very important part of it. a lot of people want to live here because of our values. we also do effective countermessaging that we, we need to work on more. when john kelly was talking earlier, i think most of you were here, he was talking about the response part. and he was talking about the private sector intercepting bad messages. but the private sectors is also capable of in near simultaneous time, putting on good messages. and having those who have escaped from the horror of these, of isis, or those who are respected imams or respected community figures come up in the same space that some kid is looking at and say wait a minute, here's a, an alter nate idea. and having communities, give these kids opportunities. these lost kids who are susceptible to the messages. i just i think there are some tools we need to invest in more. >> catherine, if i could add on to what jane is talking about,
this notion of you know, in the c.i.a. you learn about covert influence, right or covert action. but we have to figure out as a country, not just as a government, as a country how do we do counter-covert influence? and that opens up a whole lot of questions, and in order to do proper counter-covert influence, you have to have groups like the wilson center. you have to have philanthropic groups. >> thank you for that appreciate that. >> what you all are doing on nafta is awesome. by the way, coming from texas this important issue. but it is that countercovert influence and it is hard to coordinate the various elements within just the intelligence community. so thinking about how you coordinate the federal intel in law enforcement, local law enforcement and the private arena in order to have a somewhat coordinated strategy on
how we're going to deal with this ideology is hard. but i will say this, jane, the bipartisanship that you all showed, that exists. i think today's event is a perfect example, chairman michael call and dutch ruhlsberger are two perfect examples of how we can work together across the ideological divide to make sure we're focusing on protecting our homeland. >> nick, what tools do you want that you don't have right now? >> i guess i would turn the question a little bit and instead of identifying a single tool, saying if i could just go off the shelf and buy that, we'd be set. i think i look at more as a transformational exercise. the intelligence, the discipline of intelligence analysis for understanding the modern terrorism threat is literally changing under our feet as we're doing the job every day. so i often think about this.
the analysts we probably hired ten years ago came with really strong social science backgrounds, good writers, good thinkers who had language schools and understood the dynamics in pakistan and iraq, we're need all of that. we're going to continue hiring those people and training those people. we also have people who know how to look through haystacks of data, sift through that data and draw nonobvious connections that help us shrink the size of the haystack. so we can shine the limited light we have with our resources on those issues of greatest concern. those individuals with the greatest concern. now when i'm talking to young people who want to work in the intelligence community i say, i hope you can right, but i also hope you're digitally literal. i hope i can put you down in front of a spreadsheet with dozens and dodss of potential data points and you can make sense of that. and obviously to hire people like that you've then got to
empower them with the kinds of tools you're asking about, catherine. most of them are things that are available, big data is not a problem that only the government has. there isn't a sector of the private industry that didn't dealing with big data and how to draw useful information out of large piles of data so we can go to school on a lot of that with our private-sector partners and friends, i want to make sure we have the right workforce to be able to do what we need to do five years from now, ten years from now, to fight terrorism. >> this is what i love about the intelligence community, nick's a perfect example. yes, we're going to do it, yes is the answer what is the question? they need the technology like computer vision because when you're looking at satellite imagery and from different parts of the day, a human eye is not going to detect a car that was moved half a pixel. they're not going to be able to detect a gray versus silver car.
and being able to introduce that kind of technology into the analytical framework is going to help make sure we're delivering the kind of results that we need. so not only is it making sure that we introduce that kind of technology. but the folks within the intelligence community know how to leverage it to achieve the desired outcomes. >> on this issue of interrogations, one of the criticisms of the last administration is that we got out of the interrogation business. should we be getting back in to it in a more robust way? >> let me answer your previous question. you know, in terms of does the intelligence community have what it needs? i will answer your interrogation question as well. the, i look at overall environment. these are some of the things that jane and i worked on together when we were on the committee. you know, it is absolutely
essential. and i'm glad that the bipartisan nature. the nonpart san nature of the intelligence community continues. i don't necessarily see that but i'm not here. i think you need that the other thing i think, i look forward to the day when the intelligence community moves back into the background and is not on the front page every day, it has effective oversight with congress. i'm not saying go and do without oversight, but intelligence needs to be done in the background. not on the front page. i look for the day when we restore the public trust between in the intelligence community. we've lost a lot of that now with what's been going on with perceived things that have gone on with nsa and we've had those struggles and those debates in congress. i think a lot of the congress maybe the public is suspicious about what the intelligence community is doing to america. and americans to keep us safe. they have to have a long-term outlook. and i think they need you know,
the creativity, the red-teaming, the alternative scenarios, they cannot have group think this was one of the concepts we identified 2001. as a problem. the terrorists are getting more kretive, you also have north korea. we need the rhett team alternative analysis to lay out the scenarios for policy makers, saying this is what we think is going to happen. here's 180-degree different look at that interrogation? if we're capturing people on the battleground if we're capturing people -- yeah, absolutely we need to interrogate and congress needs to set the limits and the boundaries for how that interrogation takes place. but just saying we're not interrogating is, no. capturing live people is a great source of information that compliments everything else you get we had that struggle. we had the debate about what's acceptable and what's not numerous times.
and that involves congress, congress sets the parameters, the intelligence community implements, but interrogation absolutely needs to happen. a couple of additions to that. it was a very courageous thing, of special operations command to physically go to capture osama bin laden. he was killed, but they did capture if they had used a drone and bombed his facility, the possibility litter, the stuff would not have been captured. so it's not just capturing people, which we should do as an alternative to killing them. where possible. but it's also capturing their data which is crucial. so i want to make that point. but back up, pete, early in the bush 43 administration, we, i was briefed, i think you were not yet chairman, porter goss was the chairman. on the enhanced interrogation techniques, read your "new york times" today this stuff is finally seeing the light of day. and i was briefed by the
then-general counsel of the c.i.a. personally briefed with one staffer in the room. and my response this was very early we all thought we would be attacked again. we're extremely worried about the safety of the country. but my response to that was to write a letter then classified, since declassified, to the general counsel saying i wanted to know policy guidance he was given. about those techniques. he's not the intelligence community doesn't make policy. the intelligence community presents intelligence to policy-makers, who make policy. at any rate i wrote that letter because frankly i was quite shocked by what was on the list that i was briefed about. and i never received a substantive response. and the obama administration in its first term chose basically to operate under the president's commander-in-chief authorities, his article 2 authorities. and he does have those, and they're important. but not to go through congress.
and we had to struggle and you will remember this. to get the memos, we never got them, from the office of legal counsel, and the justice department, not on my watch, we never got them and to get the information that congress needed to do proper oversight. pete is right. that there should be robust interrogation within legal limits subject to congressional oversight. >> let me just reinforce what jane said. because we agreed on a lot of things. this is where where we walked in tandem in almost the whole ten years we were together on the intel committee. regardless of what role. and that is the executive branch has to be accountable to congress and follow the parameters that congress establishes and way too often in the time that we serve, we couldn't get the information that we felt was absolutely
essential for to us do effective oversight. and i think that diminishes the intelligence community, and puts in place a framework where you can have an executive branch whether it's republican or democratic, it doesn't matter. the executive branch has to be accountable to congress, for what happens in the intelligence community. we at that time, we set the parameters and they implement. and you can't have a president moving and doing things, it's only a gang of eight that they wouldn't even share information with. and that's totally unacceptable. >> on the al qaeda question, nick. what is al qaeda's potential to carry out a mass casualty attack directed at the united states? >> i think talking about that a little bit earlier. i was not being very specific. i think we have done a great
deal to degrade and constrain al qaeda's ability. at least a core of al qaeda, the part of al qaeda that carried out the director of the 9/11 attack against the united states. we've done a great deal to degrade that core capability resident in afghanistan and pakistan. there's no question that al qaeda remain as robust, rye sill yent organization with a global presence and that there are al qaeda affiliate organizations around the world that are profoundly threatening to u.s. interests. the amount of time we spend worrying about al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. which attempted to carry out multiple aviation attacks directed at the united states over the last decade. and this goes to some of your question about earlier question about failed states. or safe havens and the difficulty we have in restraining terrorist activity. in places like yemen. the fact that you see isis on the headline in the headlines every day and you read about isis as being a forefront of the global terrorism problem that we're facing, it shouldn't
atrack from the idea that your government we as an intelligence community is still focused, i would argue as a matter of first priority, on al qaeda as a threat to u.s. interests. every bit as much as we're focused on isis. >> one of the nice things of working in this area and it means you sometimes have to make choices about where you stretch and spread your resources. but al qaeda has never stopped being kind of a number one principal terrorism concern from the united states. even as isis has taken over the headlines. >> just on that point is the most active base of operation, is al qaeda's most active base of operations now in syria? >> i guess i would say either syria or yemen. aqap, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula are the al qaeda affiliates who present the most immediate concern to us. >> final question on this point. the bomb-maker al asiri is he connected to the restrictions on
laptop computers going on to flights into the united states? >> i think secretary kelly in his discussion with chairman mckaul talked about the thinking that went into the aviation measures that the secretary enacted a couple of months ago. and i think the best way i would describe that is that ibrahim al asiri, a known al qaeda member operating out of london, focused as a startinging priority, that's one vector of intelligence that we continue to worry about and focus on. but we've also seen other terrorist organizations try, fail and even in some cases have some success at targeting aviation. i would think of what happened in recent months more as an accumulation over time. tied to one individual. because i wouldn't want to send the impression that if we just got the right individual off the battlefield that we would have secured our aviation industry forever. i think one of the things i think is the most concerning to us in the intelligence community is just how persistent and
committed our terrorist adversaries are to going after aviation. if it's not ibrahim al asiri someone else will emerge to pick up the mantle. >> targeting and plotting. >> i don't know that i would go that far, i don't want to talk about specific intelligence matters here. i would feel better if i knew with certainty that he wasn't. i guess that's it. >> i want to bring in pete and jane because you touched on this earlier. what role do you think the current political environment is playing in terms of either helping or impeding war against -- >> is that a trick question? impeding. i'm sure everyone in this room thinks that. i'm not making, having expressing an opinion about the political environment except that the intelligence community cannot become the adversary. or even the participant in the
partisan mud-slinging. it cannot, it has to remain impartial. there is a, a biblical statement in the main hall of the c.i.a., it's been quoted all the time. "and the truth shall set you free." george h.w. bush when he was c.i.a. director was responsible for putting that statement there and that's a hallowed hall. you all know that with the stars on the wall of those, some of whom still can't be identified, who gave their lives to keep this country safer. but we need the most robust intelligence community we can field. pete and i worked on helping to reshape it. in 2004, after the failures of 9/11 and the iraq wmd analysis. and i think we reshaped it in a better way. the director of national intelligence authorities are not perfect. it was congress for gosh sakes. but we worked closely together. we were two of the so-called big four working on that bill. the authorities are adequate to
give the i.c. tools that it needs to do its best job. not a perfect job. there's no such thing as 100% security and you just heard that the terrorists are very agile and try to work beyond us, we have to scramble to keep up. pete is exactly right about red-teaming, by the way. my bottom line here is, we need to praise the i.c., we need to give it will right tools and then give it robust oversight on a bipartisan basis by congress. >> one of jane's favorite comments used to be truth to power. that's what the intelligence community has to do. they have to be able to do the analysis and tell the political leaders, here's what we see, regardless of where the chips may fall politically. and so there's a responsibility then for political leaders to express their views and to hold the intelligence community accountable for their performance, there's also a responsibility for the intelligence community to act in
a way that you know, that has integrity to it. the leaks coming out of it appears some of the leaks coming out of the intelligence community are totally unacceptable. so there's a fall on both sides of the issue right now. the political discourse in regards to the intelligence community and some of the behavior that is apparently coming out of the intelligence community. so there's a responsibility for both of those actors to change their behavior and move back into a constructive framework. >> i'll add on this i spent nine half years as an undercover officer at the c.i.a. i was the dude in the backally collect the intelligence on threats to the homeland. i was one of the early employees in the unit that prosecuted the war in afghanistan after 9/11 if on september 12th you would have told me that it would be 16 years before there was another major attack on the homeland, i would have said you were crazy.
and the reason that there hasn't been a major attack on the homeland is because the men and women in the intelligence community, law enforcement community and the military that are still operating as if it's september 12th. these are men and women of sbek sbeg rit that are working hard every single day. putting themselves in harm's way in order to protect us. and they are not going to workry about whatever drama comes up in this place. in this building. because they're going to do their job. despite who is in power, because they're real professionals. >> i just add one quick thought to that. what went into the politics, because as a serving career person i shouldn't weigh in on the politics. i can say from a workforce perspective, nothing makes the day of an officer working for me more than hearing from a member of congress that they've briefed, whether it's democrat or republican, thank you for your service, i admire what you do. those five or six simple words
can carry you know, long with a sense of duty and commitment that will was just referring to. can carry you forward through a lot of difficult times at the office. so we have the opportunity earlier this spring to host mr. herd and a number of his colleagues out at nctc. having that interaction between members of congress and intelligence professionals i think underscores exactly what all three members of congress have said, current and former, it's our job to stay out of the politics, but we need to be validated out of the politicians that we're doing good work, work that is valued. if that doesn't matter to me, i serve in a position where i don't need to hear that myself. but i hope that the people who work for me can have that level of appreciation offered to them. no the just by the public, but by members of congress. >> i have a couple of final questions for nick. we're heading into the final days of ramadan. lot of americans are waking up
every morning and wondering, when is a vehicle attack going to come to this country. what would you say to them? have we disrupted that type of attack? >> again this is, this came up in the conversation that second kelly had with chairman mccall to start the morning and there's no question but that a vehicle attack is one of those things now that potential extremists or terrorists realize they have at their disposal. it is something that does not require a terrific amount of planning, inordinate amount of resources or any particular set of skills. so while i'm not, i'm in a zero-tolerance business, i'm never going to say that something is inevitable or that we are bound to be struck in this way or that way. but i think what we've seen in europe and what we see in other places around the world is that terrorists will use what they have at their disposal to carry
out operations to try to create fear and insecurity in populations, vehicles are a tool that they're going to be able to use. it gets to something that will said earlier, it's our job in the intelligence community to share the kind of information with state and local authorities who can help build the kind of effective defenses in a city so that operator of a vehicle might be stopped at the earliest possible moment so that first responders, law enforcement, police, know how to disable that individual so if we do, god forbid, suffer that kind of attack. it most, i pray that it will be be a an ordered attack or an attack that is stopped before it causes loss of life. >> i'd like to thank our sponsors of today's event. congressman mccaul and senators rubio, and coons and thank you all for joining us this morning. thank you to the panelists as well, jane harman, pete
hoekstra, will hurd and pete rasmussen. thank you. [ applause ] [ applause ] >> thank you all very much for joining us today. i'm so grateful for the opportunity to be here at the capitol hill national security forum. and i'm grateful to my co-hosts, republican senator marco rubio and i are the senate and co-hosts, chairman mccaul and congressman rupersberger, are the house co-hosts and the four of us respect