Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell said Monday on CBS This Morning there was "nothing routine" about July 4 terrorist attack warnings by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, adding that he would not be surprised if "we're sitting here a week from today talking about an attack."
Federal authorities issued warnings across the United States of potential terroristic targeting of Independence Day celebrations, USA Today reported:
While there was no specific or credible threat of attack, the official said the intelligence bulletin prepared by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI alerted local colleagues to the ongoing threats posed by the Islamic State and other homegrown extremists. The official was not authorized to comment publicly.
The bulletins are frequently issued in advance of major U.S. holidays out of an abundance of caution and concern that operatives may exploit the timing to generate greater attention.
"This one really resonates with me for two reasons," Morell said. "One is there's been about 50 people in the last 12 months who have been arrested in the United States for being radicalized by ISIS, wanting to go fight there, or wanting to conduct an attack here, so there's a lot of people out there who are seeing themselves as aligned with ISIS. Number two, you have this ISIS call to arms during Ramadan. We are right in the middle of Ramadan, call to arms, conduct attacks against our enemies, so I'm worried about this one."
Co-host Norah O'Donnell asked what that meant for Americans over the 4th of July weekend.
"I don't want to tell Americans what to do or what not to do, but Norah, I wouldn't be surprised if we're sitting here a week from today talking about an attack over the weekend in the United States," he said. "That's how serious this is."