SU National Security Expert Says Bombing Suspect Likely a "Home-Grown" Terrorist

Sep 19, 2016

A national security expert at Syracuse University says suspect linked to the four bombings in and around New York City doesn’t appear to have any links to an international terrorist far.  Director of National Security Studies Bill Smullen says it seems 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami of New Jersey is a home-grown terrorist who may have allegedly had help planting the bombs.  Smullen says the presence of cameras assisted in his capture. 

Ahmad Khan Rahami is an American citizen of Afghani descent. The graphic underneath his mugshot is from the FBI.

Virtually everywhere you go, there's someone watching," Smullen said.  "In this particular case, thank the Lord there were those cameras available to record exactly what he was doing, and exactly what damage was done.”                 

Smullen says a terrorist attack could happen anywhere in the United States, not just New York City.  He says the best way to prevent an attack is by speaking up and notifying law enforcement officials if you notice someone behaving strangely.

"The term 'intervention' is something I believe strongly in," Smullen said.  "Get into somebody's life in one way or another if they're acting unusually, or if their behavior does not seem ordinary.   If we do that, we're going to catch more people like this.”                      

Smullen says although New York City has some of the best counter-terrorism capabilities, people still need to be watchful and prepare for ways to prevent more attacks in the future.

"I think we need to be alert for it.  I don't think we need to change our way of life," Smullen insisted.  "But we need to be a lot more thoughtful with regard to how we are going to prepare for these kinds of events because it does not appear as if they are going to go away any time soon.”                                                 

Officials are still investigating the motive for the bombings.