Former DHS official warns about complacency

Tuesday - 5/4/2010, 7:05pm EDT

Rich Cooper

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From "The System Worked: Faisal Shahzad's Failed Bomb in Times Square" by Rich Cooper on the Security Debrief blog:

"Between the discovery of the [Times Square] bomb early Saturday evening by an alert T-shirt vendor, we had:

* The calm and orderly evacuation of Times Square by the NYPD's finest;
* The wide distribution of the collected Times Square video imagery of the suspected bomber;
* The tracking of the vehicle's identification number;
* The interviewing of the vehicle's original owner to determine its sale and new whereabouts;
* The culling of e-mail records to review the sales transaction from Craigslist to verify suspects;
* Working with local law enforcement in Connecticut to monitor Shahzad's residence in Bridgeport; and
* Apprehending him before midnight on an Emirates airliner bound for Dubai

"The system worked.

"Every dollar spent on the NYC advertising campaign of 'See Something? Say Something;' on security cameras and first-responder training; and on all of the interagency cooperation between the NYPD, the FBI and other federal and regional law enforcement - it all showed the return on investment that our nation's leaders have wanted and expected. In short, everything worked.

"As much as there is to praise and applaud by all of the parties involved with this incident, there remains much for us to be vigilant.


Rich is a former official at DHS and now a principal at Catalyst Partners, and the Vice Chairman of the Homeland Security Division of the National Defense Industrial Association. He joined me to talk about the tracking of Faisal Shahzad, and the reasons he says we need to stay vigilant.