Former Attorney General John Ashcroft says the terrorist attack Monday in England "underscores the understanding that we’re in a global war against terror."
Continue Reading Below
Ashcroft told the FOX Business Network the attack, targeting an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester "makes even more important what the president’s trying to do in the Middle East by developing and enhancing, rebuilding a coalition to fight ISIS. This is a savage attack.”
Ashcroft says he's hopeful President Trump’s efforts to build a coalition including countries that have not always worked together, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, is a valuable long-term step in the effort to stop terrorism.
“We must take seriously this assault on civilization," Ashcroft said. "I’m pleased that the president is doing everything he can to rebuild the coalition, but this signals again, we’re at war, the civilized community of the world is at war, a global war against terror.”
Ashcroft said intelligence gathering is critical. “Information is the enemy of terror. When we have the right information we can default and prevent terror rather than react to it.”
But Ashcroft did raise concerns that leaks coming out of D.C. could impede the ability of America’s law enforcement and intelligence communities to do their jobs.
“The vast majority of law enforcement and intelligence community individuals in the United States are very deeply committed to defaulting and deflecting and preventing terrorist attacks, but some of the things like the leaks which undermine the credibility of our intelligence community could be damaging.”