Transcript for Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson Warns of New Terror Environment Post 9/11
That is a scene this morning in Shanksville Pennsylvania people gathering to remember the victims of united flight 93. Brought down by heroic passengers on 9/11 to prevent an attack on US capitol. It is one of many observers and say on this fifteenth anniversary of the attacks we're joined now from ground zero by the Homeland Security secretary Jay Johnson mr. Johnson thank you. For joining us this morning de Leon un anniversary is that like this were always so concerned. About possible follow on attacks are you picking up any intelligence on an imminent threat. George there's no specific credible intelligence. Around. The programs that are going on today. Indicating any type of terrorist plot directed at these programs today. Point however is in the current environment. Where we have to deal with the prospect of a lone wolf back her self radicalized after just saying there's no specific credible threat. Doesn't tell the whole story. And that's why you see a lot of security out here today in New York City. And other places are where we're observing not a love. And I get so my next question the big question I feel like this are really saved them. Where fifteen years ago I have been speaking with former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani earlier. He talked about a mixed bag I safer in some ways not safer and others. George we are safer when it comes to protecting against another nine elevenths style terrorist directed attack from overseas. Our intelligence community are law enforcement. Has become pretty good at connecting the dots when it comes to. Another overseas. Based terrorist director. Blot on our homeland. We're in a new environment however where we have to be prepared against them try to prevent lone wolf style attacks the self radicalize actor. I sold a Q now have the ability to literally reach into our homeland from social media. Through the Internet to recruit and inspire. It makes for more complicated Homeland Security environment. And so it requires a whole of government approach not just military and law enforcement Homeland Security aviation security. And the like that's new environment we're in George. We've also heard from dollar shot the way he believes that one of the ways to lower the threat is a sop processing visas from countries with a history of exporting terrorism and that a new layer. Screening that he calls extreme vetting let's listen. She's only a. Admitted to this country those who share our values and respect our people. In the Cold War we had an ideological screening test. The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats. We face. Today. Put your response to that. Charged we actually have. A pretty intense warm up betting. More refugees immigrants. Coming from particular parts of the world who meet certain parameters. For example are Syrian refugee program. President wanted us to admit this year 101000 Syrian refugees these are people men women children fleeing violence and terrorism. In Syria. And over the last year we've added. A whole bunch of security checks and precautions. In betting refugees that require some eighteen to 24 months for each individual. And so we have in place now a lot of security around vetting process we always evaluate whether more is necessary given the current. Threat environment but are betting when it comes to refugees for example. Is multilayered and it's it's pretty thorough and what about that ideological test mr. Travis that. Well we we always look for indications. And we've enhanced our ability to look at this prompts captain social media we always look for indications. A radical violent events. There was some lessons learned. Recently. Where we we believe we need to ramp up our are looking at social media. We always look for indications. Been extremist violent nature. And that's that's what we do and we're we're getting better out of every day I'm gonna keep working at it. Ideology in and help itself however you got what you got to define have a little better. Where we're determined to root out. Violent extremism. And that's what we look for. Our homeland is also facing new cyber threats including from Russia wanted to ask you about that because as a rising chorus. In congress saying that the administration. Should publicly blame Russia. For hacking the DNC email system hold them accountable. For trying to influence our elections here senator Ben SaaS of Nebraska Republican. He says that the Obama administration as a reason for not clearly attribute these tax to Russia it contradicts their own cyber strategy. If they're silent because it would invite response that's a jets were operating from a position of weakness they believe that your feeling caught Russian now is going to invite. Future attacks. Well George. You bet there's still investigation around the DNC. Tax. The message I've been sending. To state and local election officials. Is that there's a range. Cyber actors out there that are pretty sophisticated right now. Not just nation state but criminal actors how activist. And we have to do our best to protect. In cyber security our election systems our election process and DHS my departments in a position to. Provide assistance if they outscored we're having that conversation. What state and local officials right now we can do vulnerability assessments. But the question of attribution. Is a complicated one and the investigation. Into the DNC hacking. This is ongoing but are we in danger of having a foreign power and influence our all star vote. We're concerned about the potential for. Someone to. Tried to penetrate our election systems to the extent they are on line on the Internet. Obviously we're very concerned about what happened with the DNC. And it would be very hard to actually Alter a ballot count because our election process. It's so decentralized of some 9000 jurisdiction state. And local that are involved in election process national state and local elections. But we are concerned to the extent election systems have a presence online but that being secure and so we're actively out there are now. Telling state and local officials what Department of Homeland Security can do to help them better secure. There cyber security. Secretary Johnson thanks for joining us this morning.
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