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Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Johnson: “If you see something, say something” key to preventing acts of terror

Jeh Johnson

Homeland security leaders joined forces on Thursday at the “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland: ISIS and the New Wave of Terror” to discuss how to keep Americans safe from both cyber threats and acts of terror.

Many national leaders were in attendance, including U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez (CD-A), Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, National Counterterrorism Center Director Nick Rasmussen and FBI Director James Comey.

Johnson said that the biggest key to keeping Americans safe from acts of terror is to encourage citizens to speak out if they see signs of such acts.

“We are doing much better now than we used to,” Johnson said. “In terms of the public’s sharing of information with us, that is a work in progress. It is almost always the case that, when someone self-radicalizes, there is somebody else that saw the signs. We all, from the homeland security perspective and the law enforcement perspective, need to continue to encourage the public, ‘if you see something, say something.’”

The Department of Homeland Security launched a community-based grant program to help keep local communities safe from acts of terror, titled the “Countering Violent Extremism Grant Program.” The initiative launched in California, among other U.S. states, and is an effort to deter “homegrown extremism.”

Johnson said that the U.S. rail infrastructure is fairly sophisticated, and cyberattacks are not as big a threat as they might seem on updated systems. Any states that seek to update older systems, or safeguard new systems such as the California High Speed Rail, are asked to work with the Department of Homeland Security and other power leaders to share such secure transit technology.