Following the terror attacks in New York and New Jersey over the weekend, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said there is an emerging threat that could compromise national security.
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“The singular initiative or initiative by small groups of people around the world, not directed and planned in the grand scale, represents an additional kind of threat now that’s important for us to safeguard against,” Ashcroft explained.
Ashcroft, who served in the George W. Bush administration, stressed the significant role the average citizen can play in helping authorities prevent future violent attacks.
“I’m delighted that citizens tipped off the police to something that was suspicious and resulted in this apprehension,” Ashcroft said. “It illustrates the fact that law enforcement is simply too important a function than to leave to law enforcement officers themselves… the American public has to be a part of safeguarding its liberty.”
Recent violence toward police worries Ashcroft, who believes it has been detrimental to U.S. national security.
“After 9/11 law enforcement officials were heroes and now they’ve become targets,” he said. “That’s really damaging to our ability to remain secure as free people and to live in a community characterized by liberty and freedom when the people who enforce the law that allow us to have freedom are targets and that’s a tragedy.”