Israeli Expert In Tulsa Talks Terrorism

Monday, August 31st 2009, 9:46 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- An expert on suicide bombers from Israel is in Tulsa, training local officers how to find and deal with terrorists. 

People might think suicide bombing training isn't needed in a city like Tulsa but, the expert points to recent examples of terrorists being found in places like North Carolina, Minnesota and Arkansas.

David Harel doesn't expect a suicide bombing to happen in Tulsa anytime soon, but he says we should all be prepared for terrorism to happen somewhere in the U.S.  He says there has been a lot of terrorist activity in America recently and it's not been in places like New York or LA, but, in quiet communities.

He points to the terrorist cell arrested in North Carolina last month, led by Daniel Boyd.  His neighbors say he was a one-man welcome wagon, but the FBI says he had a massive stockpile of weapons and was planning a jihad attack on the U.S.

Before that, 24-year-old Carlos Bledsoe killed one soldier and wounded another at an Arkansas recruiting office.  He was a Muslim convert who told investigators his motives were political and religious. 

And, before that, the first suicide bomber ever from America killed 30 people in Somalia.  He lived in Minnesota.

"Terrorism, when it happens, shocks us, comes out of nowhere, no one's ready for it, hits us when we're not ready," said David Harel.

He says it's critical to respond immediately.  He says the first officers who arrive must handle the threat, not wait for a SWAT team.

It's similar to school shootings.  No longer is the philosophy to wait for experts while people are dying; now officers rush in to confront active shooters.

"It has to be dealt with immediately, the longer you wait to try to deal with it, the worse it gets, every second is critical," said David Harel.

Harel says it's important to learn from past cases of terrorism, so when it does happen here, we're not re-inventing the wheel, we're a step ahead.

David Harel says terrorists are young and have grown up in a high-tech world and are computer savvy.  He says they are much more professional at using tools like GPS and satellite cell phones than terrorists of the past.