“We can do everything we can to protect – but there will be some things that will slip up on us, no matter what,” Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, said on CNN’s State of the Union.
Shelby noted that the recent Times Square plot and last year’s failed attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day had something in common - they were both carried out in the main by a single person. Those types of one-person operations make intelligence gathering and detection that much harder, he said.
“So if they keep doing this and they fan out all over the country, we’re going to have deep, deep challenges ahead in terms terrorism work,” Shelby told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.
Later in the interview, Shelby said that law enforcement officials were lucky when it came to the botched Times Square plot. “It’s been said before: Luck shouldn’t be our policy,” said Shelby, “We’ve got to be more diligent. We’ve got to do more training. We’ve got to realize that individuals are dangerous by themselves especially when they’ve had training.”
Shelby added, “Something’s going to happen and we’re not going to be so fortunate. So we’ve got to be more diligent. We’ve got to recognize that it’s not just big groups or lots of people on one hit day. It’s individuals, spread all over the country.”
Joining Shelby Sunday on the broadcast, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, said government cannot deal on its own with the apparent trend of radicalization of young men who later attempt to carry out attacks on the United States.
“We’re going to have to have clerics who understand true Islam [to] help us in preaching what is the accurate teachings of the Koran because when these guys are told to go blow themselves up and go blow innocent civilians up, that’s not what the Koran teaches,” said Nelson.