Security Expert: ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorists The Next Big Fear

Those Unaffiliated With Bin Laden May Pose Threat To NYC

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — With the death of Osama bin Laden the question on every American’s mind now is are we safer?

With heightened security on the streets, a visible police presence, detection dogs walking the beat, New York City is on alert for a possible post-bin Laden retaliatory attack.

“I’m pretty scared about it. I think it’s a fairly high possibility, yes,” Jill Fickling of Roosevelt Island told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

“I believe that we’re safer today than we’ve been in a long time,” added Scott Turner of Greenwich, Conn.

“I think we need to be on alert on an everyday basis. I don’t think today is any different than yesterday,” said Arti Desai of Clifton, N.J.

The biggest concern, according to New York security expert Bob Strang, are so-called “lone wolfs,” terrorists unaffiliated with any groups but sympathetic to the cause.

He said they’re unsuspecting individuals who can blend in, and strike in the name of bin Laden.

“And the problem is we don’t know who these people are. We don’t know where they are, and we don’t know when they’re gonna strike us,” Strang said.

He pointed out a place like Grand Central Terminal, one of several possible targets under the watchful eye of the NYPD. Other targets include the tunnels underwater, the bridges spanning across and the train system underground. Also, there are symbols like the Statue of Liberty, or even our water supply.

“I mean there are 50 things, right within a few miles of New York City, that are potential targets for terrorists,” Strang said.

Or, as was the case one year ago with suspected terrorist Faisal Shahzad parking his bomb-laden SUV in Times Square, the target could simply be generic.

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said that’s why he’s beefing up security.

“Certainly, the Times Square area, the financial area, lower Manhattan, so there will be more activity, including things the public doesn’t see,” Kelly said.

But in the end, Strang said the best protection is the public on alert.

“If they’re on the train, if they’re in Penn Station or Grand Central, and they see something, they’ve gotta tell somebody,” Strang said.

How can law enforcement stop these terrorists who act on their own? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.


One Comment

  1. Ian MacLeod says:

    “I would go with that if that is the case; not if everybody is being searched,” one New Yorker said.”

    I wouldn’t, not for ANY reason. DO that, and America ceases to exist. Can you people NOT SEE that this is total tyranny? Yes, keep your eyes open. I say make firearm ownership EASIER, as well as Concealed Carry. Armed individuals protect cops and fellow citizens every day. That isn’t the message our “owners” want to give though, so few hear about it. This is trading life in a cage for freedom in the open air!

    “It’s better to be safe than to be sorry,” another person said.”

    Maybe you wouldn’t be sorry to have your underwear checked by a stranger every time you walk in a door, or to have them checking your mail, fondling your daughters, counting your change before you see it, listening to your answering machine. This is a coward’s solution proposed by people who want TOTAL control of the country. Hand it to them like this and we deserve what we get! As Ben Franklin said, “Those who trade freedom for security will have, and deserve, neither.” It may not be exact, but the meaning is there. Aside from which, the so-called “War On Terror” is a lie to begin with. The only terrorists we’ve seen in this country this all began wear badges – our increasingly militarized police! TSA has stopped NO ONE! And they use the expensive and unsafe (ten times as powerful a dose of radiation “as they thought it was” because it makes Chertoff rich (he owns or is part of the company that makes them!). The military and other countries use dogs; the dogs have never missed anything – bombs, firearms etc., where the x-rays and fondlers have never Stopped anything or anyone. And how many terrorists have gotten through to cause damage? None! Police work and dogs work fine. They worked on 9-11, but empire-builders in leading positions and incompetent appointees blocked the info getting to anyone who would act on it. I think acting on it wold have been against orders.

    “Despite the challenges to secure high-volume soft targets like Times Square, security experts said one of the best lines of defense is already in place and doesn’t cost a thing.”

    Yes it DOES cost! It costs us our freedom! Russia and Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, Poland – all did this too, so the people never knew if they were speaking before a government stool pigeon or a friend. No one can trust anyone else in country like that. Is THAT really what you want? Unbelievable!

    “We are millions and millions of eyes and ears. We need to assist the police. We need to assist each other and keep each other safe,” Boehm said.”

    Assist the police, yes! Assist each other, yes! Turn America into a fascist totalitarian police state?? Never! As for “assisting each other,” hasn’t anyone noticed how assiduously the Republicans especially have been removing the means for actually helping each other as fast and viciously as they can? Spend TRILLIONS on illegal, immoral wars, give away MORE trillions to the oil companies, the corporations, the wealthy, but hey! Social Security, paid for by US, the actual workers out of our OWN pockets, is breaking the economy?? We did fine before the taxes were taken off the rich and pinned to the Middle Class. We’re wealthier than we were in the 50s, when one worker could own a home and raise three kids. Now though, all the money has been STOLEN in broad daylight by the already-rich who are holding onto it and scamming for the rest of it!

    “It’s freedom, coming with an increasingly heavy price.”

    IT IS N O T FREEDOM! That “heavy price” IS freedom! You can NOT give away all of your freedom so you can be free! THINK, people!


  2. scott says:

    just being the power the america,,the biggest city also…nyc is for sure the number1 target…

    1. scott says:

      being the power of america..let me correct myself ..the biggest city ..the heartbeat of america..yes its the number1 target..

  3. UNCLE TOM says:


  4. Lillian E. Waters says:

    We need more police on the subway. There should be at least one cop to walk from front to back on each train and one on every platform. What good is it if we see something and we have no one to tell?

    1. nicholas says:

      That is true if there is know one to tell there is many peoples lives at risk. Also need police at bus terminals because any one could be on a bus as well as a train that could be planing to set a bomb at any time of the day

    2. HARELM GOING HAM says:


  5. America You are your own worst enemy BEWARE OF YOURSELF OBAMA IS WACHING says:

    Ameica is turning into a form of yiddish Jerk off isims.

  6. Bill says:

    What kind of b.s. story is this? We want news and info, not some c.r.a.p anxiety story solely written to get more page hits.

  7. JasonS says:

    I am racially profiling on the subway like there’s no tomorrow. Sorry libs.

    1. Jakey says:

      Great plan. The unsuspecting individuals mentioned in this article will go do whatever they like while you’re busy staring down the Persian guy going home from work. I feel safer already!

Comments are closed.

More From CBS New York

Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Listen Live