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David Cid - Making Headway on Terrorism

Value Added: The Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terror is dedicated to improving the policies and intelligence skills of officers in the United States.
David Cid - Making Headway on Terrorism

David Cid - Making Headway on Terrorism

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Homeland Security Institute – Rose State College

Show Details

Show 1629: David Cid - Making Headway on Terrorism
Air Date: July 17, 2016



Rob McClendon: Well, the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Training Center in Oklahoma City dedicated to improving the policies and intelligence skills of the 850,000 uniformed officers here in the United States. Earlier, I sat down with the executive director of MIPT, David Cid.

Rob: David, in recent history, we’ve really seen three major domestic acts of terrorism, ’93 World Trade Center, ’95 Murrah here in Oklahoma City and then of course 9/11. How have they impacted law enforcement?

David Cid: The major acts of terrorism have really changed the entire dynamic of law enforcement. You can almost say they went through a sea change, a deep, profound and lasting change where we came to the realization that existing law enforcement policies and procedures were insufficient to prevent major acts of terrorism. Prior to that, we had presumed that they were sufficient, and even after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, despite the fact that we had not prevented it, the rapid evolution of events and resolution of that investigation gave people the impression that the existing system was adequate, when in fact it was not. We realized that after the Murrah building bombing and certainly again after 9/11. And that has resulted in some changes that have made significant differences in the way law enforcement operates in this country.

Rob: So what more can we do from a law enforcement perspective domestically?

Cid: I think we have to focus relentlessly on the collection and use of actionable intelligence. Because there are too many soft targets to protect using physical security, we have to use intelligence to do so. We have to give law enforcement the authority and the power that they need to collect and use intelligence well. They have to concentrate on developing human sources, or informants, which are, despite their problems and unreliability and tendency to commit crimes, the most powerful collection mechanism that we can employ within the context of putting people inside an organization. We have to make sure that the 850,000 uniformed officers in this country are part of our counterterrorism cadre. That’s like 10 Marine divisions; they’re out there every day and every night, 24/7, driving around looking for things. We have to make sure they know what to look for, they know how to report it, and they know how to follow up on it. Those are the kinds of things that we can do.

Rob: And while life does go on, as everyday citizens, terror doesn’t, isn’t always at the top of our mind, but our world has changed.

Cid: Yes, it has. It’s a complex world. It’s a dangerous world. We have to stay attuned to it. And we have to stay focused and alert. And we do that through the use of intelligence. And what the average person can do is to be aware of their surroundings, and if they see something unusual, report it. In New York they say this, they say, see something, say something. If you see something that’s unusual, report it to the police. Let them sort it out.

Rob: Thank you, Mr. Cid.

Cid: You’re welcome.

Rob: And I continue my conversation with David Cid on our website. Just go to and click on this week’s value added.