WEEI>On Demand>>Counter-Terrorism expert Robert Cressey on how the marathon attack investigation will play out

Counter-Terrorism expert Robert Cressey on how the marathon attack investigation will play out

Apr 16, 2013|

We focus on the news at hand, the tragedy at the marathon. Robert Cressey is a counter-terrorism expect with experience in both the Bush and Obama White Houses and gives us his take on the attack.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

-- -- holly on WEEI end. Mostly talking you guys giving our thoughts on what happened yesterday a lot of emotions certainly today and hearing from you hearing from people who were down there hearing from everyone in the area just processing their their emotions at 5 o'clock an hour from now. We'll have the next law enforcement press conference with. I would assume the governor the mayor. Police commissioner Davis who is. Think -- can whom he the most impressive guy I've seen on television just. Enormous sending control and confident and he he's been fantastic the FB IETC. -- also wanna get the perspective now from Roger Krejci who is a counterterrorism expert. When I looked through this -- Michael it's it's remarkable work at the Department of Defense. Deputy director for war plans in the ninety's and Department of State working on Middle East security. Managed the US government's response of the millennium terror alert the USS Cole attack. In the September 11 attacks. And as they currently or has been excuse me a foreign policy advisor president Barack Obama has also worked in the Bush Administration. -- joins us now right now -- the AT&T hotline Roger how Oreo. -- are -- thanks sir thanks for coming -- we should also mention the you're born and raised in Gloucester went to UMass lol so a a local guy a lot of local ties. What's going on right now and -- we -- we get these we get these briefings from from the task force and from from the people in charge. What are they doing what are they working on. Although I doubt I'd like this is this is personal for me right I grew up in the area I ran Boston in twenty and twenty elevenths site. It -- BI I've dealt with a lot of terrorism event in my professional life but this one hit omen and it and a very different way I'm sure. -- you what you know leasing to things if the first is you've seen the FB IB PD. State police and others locally work in the crime scene -- the forensic work. Put the it's identifying all the fragments from the bomb. I'll look at the crime scene and doing two things right in -- counterterrorism investigation. You wanna find one ride you wanna poll that threat. -- -- -- The second that is that federal level the intelligence community is going through all of their databases of -- And they're trying to look for things that you know a week ago seemed harmless or innocuous. And now all of a sudden may have some relevance to what happened and -- So it's like it's a combined effort right now. I would ask you this Roger mean we've had many are running of the Boston Marathon. Obviously the event has gone on with that without. Any interruptions or anything like this. I would imagine that they do -- very detailed. Security sweep in and make sure things are in order in your opinion. How was this breached -- do you think it was. -- to speculate obviously but. Do you think it was a breach at the last minute post post suite for lack of a better phrase. Yet that -- at my belief based on what we've seen so far so. Yeah they'll BAA Boston Police they do a fantastic job running this event and the security presence that they have. It's always optional. But in the event that stretches over 26 mile. Where you have ingress egress point that you're not. You know going to a magnetometer you're not now wanting people for and do in fact check what you -- go to the -- -- going to Fenway. You're not going to be able that to secure 100%. It's just the very nature of these open type of sporting event we talk about sports security were usually focus on who we now or stadium it's controlled and its central. And live here as a security work extremely well there. In this environment where you if you think about that should think about the hacker hackers there was nothing strange about people coming in with a backpack. Or any type of backpack. Any type -- package. After he finished on the marathon where everybody has packages and backpack which -- So it made -- billion blended at the last minute here. Is actually very easy shrewd move by the attackers do -- or. Talking to Roger Chris CA counterterrorism expert whose work for both the bush and end Obama governments. What do you make of of what we've learned about the bombs that were used the fact that they had all this debris in there the fact that there was a pressure cooker what does that tell you. Thought that the objective of these improvised explosive devices was to kill and -- This is not just a flash bang whenever you put shrapnel and. We learn that in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as as the adversary yet more sophisticated. And there are I -- -- The the whole purpose of nailed -- ball bearing it is to -- I'm what's interest and based on personal crisis it's a pressure cooker then that they quote and quote low tech way of doing. So it leads me down the road these this could have been very local -- -- -- people who just. Picked up information on the Internet and gated in their own building. Their own house whatever and then and then plotted an. The good news is what they did had more explosive power had they done something right. Based on what we've heard so far. And that's still to be the case so lose these days that debt hole any mutual could have been much higher if they're a little more clever what they get. Police say a little more clever and I have what what are your instincts tell you that this is somebody who is. Just beginning this type of thing or cut somebody who has not had done this a lot of times. I -- you think of two categories of potential perpetrated one is the a political or ideological. Motivated attacker probably unit for far right reasons are left. -- he has somebody who's mentally unstable who is mentally ill. And it's doing it for reasons we may -- it will never truly interest. It's political. Then you know you can go -- certain pat but it's something mentally unstable and decide to pull this together based on what they burned off the Internet. The rhyme or reason to it just doesn't make sense that and that for me is. At the marathon. Is that type of event where you just don't expect this type of attack to happen you prepare for. In the security officials are prepared for all sorts of contingencies but -- secure vulnerability of a marathon route that the finish line. Makes it makes it even more this more serving than some of the other tactics in -- -- And I think everybody knows about copycat crimes. In the terrorism world. Does this attack. I'll remind you of another one who is this day a knock off of somebody else and a very misguided attempt to pay tribute to another terrorist. I don't know it's gonna be. Our tribute to another another organization individual but what it makes me think of is this Centennial Park attack during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Where you had a very crude device detonated in Centennial Park two people were killed. Shrapnel involved. And open and that ultimately we found a long time after the attack that Eric Rudolph. Lozano was the arbitrator -- -- member during that period right after the attack. There was a security guard who was. Initially identified Richard Jewell is being a person of contrast we turned out not to have anything to do that. So as we watched this investigation on all we really need to be patient because there could be some -- lead to go in different directions and it's going -- unless unless the law enforcement and it's really lucky with an individual. Or that one thread that I mentioned that leads them right away to who might have been behind the could take some time -- But interest they were talking Roger Christie who is a born in Gloucester is on the Boston Marathon a few times but is a counterterrorism expert. Having worked for for each of the last two president's. It sounds like it's not a huge soup it just based on what you said I I'd draw two conclusions one the it it sounds to you you're gut feeling is that this will be something domestic is supposed to international's parent. Yet that's. That's what I'm heading right now. And then to that you're not surprised that. This is. The they have yet to come up with state not just a perpetrated -- a suspect that it could take awhile. Right because whenever we -- in other acts where we had tremendous amount of information. Right away right after -- jacket because there was information in this system where the government was tracking the intelligent. But didn't exactly know that there who was aware. You know when I was working counterterrorism and even in the summer nine elevenths we knew there was a potential attack coming. The intelligence we -- Point of that so received at that time. So they act as as the FBI at CIA national Concord and so are you an NSA. Review all the information they have got after the attack they're gonna look and Eric that they can match up here and my guess is that it's probably going to be no. Given uniqueness of this attack given that target. I would I'll be surprised -- is an international component to attract. All let me ask you this Roger you you mentioned the Internet somebody following instructions on how to learn how to make a bomb is it that. Simple or does that person have to have some type of expertise will be working with someone. With some expertise to put it together because of its that simple I think. People might be a little frightened. Well it'd be -- reality is it is pretty simple. There. -- with the Internet -- sharing information he outsiders from the information without -- point you're also a group are wrong purposes. They've been -- studies where you don't -- literally go into the cabinet so. Of a typical household in the chemicals that they are peroxide to block peroxide based explosives that they use. Something called -- ATP try acetone tri peroxide that a lot of terrorists have used overseas. Successfully even some have tried to attempt attack the United States. Particularly in New York City. Where they're using ATK. If not you don't need a degree in chemistry you don't need to be a rocket science. How to manual allows. And up to the point the good news is that the people attracted people have not and that's Smart and talented in doing it. -- so as the FBI continues to their forensic analysis of the crime scene and reconstruct the bomb the bomb components. We'll get a better idea of what type of device wasn't that may lead them toward a particular group. Or individuals based on what's called the signature of that device. But the the painstaking work by law enforcement and that's Larry we're really good education that. Well and that's the last I know we start off -- wanna just come back there for last question when you Roger and and I I guess I'm just fascinated by what's really going on behind the scenes have a -- nation works between the FBI the local law enforcement. Other and other Internet you know whether the CIA gets -- ball how. How does that work who who takes charge and what does that look like behind the scenes. Sort of twelve and information sharing and making sure everyone has sustained data. And our coordinating their efforts based off of that so a lot of it -- coordinator at the White House and called counterterrorism security group that I used to be involved and. Within the intelligence community the National Counterterrorism Center. As work and at Washington and the FBI joint terrorism task force where there are over fifty around the nation as one based in Boston that the -- They're sharing information as well -- up the chain down near Washington and an across within the the local law enforcement community. Got you got tremendous capability tremendous forensic capabilities that can be deployed here so I believe we are gonna get answers the other thing that's that's encouraging that. Yeah it was the best and the worst place this this attack to take place. The worst because of the number of people put the best interest first responders that were available as well as the security and video cameras that are around. I think you're going to be able. Put together. Pretty quickly in that period of days if not a couple will be and that might be a threat that the law enforcement community and -- to identify who actually was behind -- -- horrific attack. While Roger thank you so much for joining us so clearly you're an expert in this field then he's certainly seemed to know a whole lot about it it's it's enlightening to talk about a thank you so much. There aren't your god thank you so much that's that's Roger Chrissie again counterterrorism expert who's worked three to the last two presidents -- the US government's response -- the millennium terror alert. The USS Cole attack in the September 11 attacks so he knows exactly what he's doing joins us there for a local -- AT&T hotline guys born raised and Gloucester from the marathon. Two different times it's pick 92 tier process what we just heard at one -- -- -- more your calls more of our thoughts react to what we just heard there as well. And then a joke stick Leonel Jonathan a 1520 minutes from Cleveland where is with the Red Sox get some of the reaction that he felt on the plane with those guys yesterday it's alcohol in W -- Every one should expect continued heightened police presence. -- and everyone should continue. Personally to be vigilant leaving here for all the latest Sports Radio 93 point seven WEEI reaffirm what.

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