With fears rising ahead of the busy Fourth of July weekend, former Secretary of Defense William Cohen joined the FOX Business Network’s Connell McShane to discuss the threat of terrorism.
“There’s no place to hide. The fact that the focus is now on airports doesn’t mean that you can go to any other place and feel reasonably safe. The next attack might come at a mall. It might come at a popular restaurant or a [disco] or any other place where people gather,” he said.
The former Secretary of Defense said even though measures can be taken to “extend the perimeters” of security in planes and airports, terrorists will always find a soft target to create chaos.
“We have to be concerned about [terrorists]. We have to double and make sure we intensify our intelligence and look at those who are traveling who might be suspicious because of their past travels. But frankly, there’s really no safe place that one can be today and rest assure that nothing will happen,” he said.
The latest poll conducted by Fox News revealed that Americans are less confident in the government’s ability to thwart terrorist attacks. Cohen said the results could be due to discontent with life, job losses and integration since the terror attacks of 9/11.
“You now have a situation in which we live in a free and open society and in a free and open society you allow people to move and to speak and to acquire things like guns and the country is awash with high-powered weapons and you have people who have access to them without much restriction and therefore those who are inspired to commit heinous crimes are given the capability of doing so,” he said.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Thursday announced that next week Congress will take up whether people on the ‘no fly list’ should be allowed to purchase a weapon. Cohen says this action is “absolutely necessary.”
“Why would you be on a watch list [and] not be able to go on a plane and yet be [able] to go into a gun store or a Walmart (NYSE:WMT), wherever and acquire a semi-automatic weapon?” he said.
He also disagrees with Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s approach to defeat terrorism through love.
“As far as the terrorists are concerned we have to go out and kill them. To the extent that we have to wage another form of war that is at the social media level, we have to try to educate people about the lies they are being told,” he said.