A top US security chief has warned that Islamic State militants are planning another huge terror attack on the same scale as 9/11. The acting Secretary of Homeland Security in the United States, Elaine Duke, warned that recent attacks involving knives and vehicles were to keep followers of the terror group engaged. But she said that US intelligence suggested extremists are planning an attack involving a big explosion to cause maximum casualties.
She also said it was clear terrorists want to hijack planes to target civilians, mirroring the devastating attack in the US in 2001.
Ms Duke warned of the threat at an event in London (AFP/Getty Images)
The MailOnline reported that Ms Duke, speaking at an event at the US Embassy in London, said: The terrorist organisations, be it ISIS or others, want to have the big explosion like they did on 9/11 . They want to take down aircraft, the intelligence is clear on that.
However, in the interim they need to keep their finances flowing and they need to keep their visibility high and they need to keep their members engaged, so they are using small plots and they are happy to have small plots. Referring to a series of recent atrocities in which terrorists have attacked people using knives or vehicles, she said: Creating terror is their goal and so a van attack, a bladed weapon attack, causes terror and continues to disrupt the world but does not mean they ve given up on a major aviation plot.
Her warning comes after MI5 director general, Andrew Parker, said the UK faced its biggest terror threat yet.
Terror threat: Islamic state (AP)
The chief of the normally secretive organisation gave a speech warning that it was taking less time for terrorists to plan attacks as they could exploit safe spaces online to evade detection. And Ms Duke said the internet was providing the means for more home-grown terrorists in the US through the use of propaganda.
She added that one of the biggest threats to the safety of aviation travel was the free movement of goods and people between countries.
What we believe is that because of the movement of goods and people, we have to raise the baseline worldwide, we can t only consider our borders, she said. She said US officials have strong measures in place to prevent another attack but added: Terrorists are strong, they are adaptable and the terrorist threat is the highest it has been since pre-9/11 .
We have got to have every tool that s possible.
Almost 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 attack when planes were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.
- ^ UK facing ‘worst terror threat in 34 years’ warns MI5 chief (www.standard.co.uk)
- ^ Lack of police helicopters could put lives at risk in terror attacks (www.standard.co.uk)
In an episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” set to air Wednesday, Jesus Campos recounts for the first time on TV the night of the shooting. Campos was wounded by Paddock on October 1, minutes before the gunman sprayed gunfire on concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival from a hotel room in the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort Casino. More than two weeks after the attack, Campos said his health is improving.
“I’m doing better each day, slowly but surely . Just healing mentally and physically,” he told DeGeneres. Campos had been in the building, patrolling the halls when he was sent to check on a door on the 32nd floor . He used the stairwells to get there, but couldn’t get past a barricaded door and had to use the elevator. “There was metal bracket holding the door in place,” he said. He said he called security dispatch to report the blocked door and that’s when he heard drilling sounds.
“As I was walking down, I heard rapid fire.” Campos said. “And at first I took cover . I felt a burning sensation . I went to go lift my pant leg up and I saw the blood . That’s when I called it in on my radio that shots have been fired.” Paddock shot through the door, striking Campos in the upper right thigh. “And I was going to say that I was hit, but I got on my cell just to clear the radio traffic so they could coordinate the rest of the call.”
While hiding in a doorway, Campos alerted a hotel building engineer who was called to check on the door and a woman who came out of another room. He thanked first responders, medics and members of the community who helped everyone in need that night. “Everything puts pieces together on how everyone came together to help that night even in the darkest hour,” he said.
Campos had been scheduled to appear on several news networks last week but those interviews were canceled. “Jesus Campos wants to tell his story at a time and place of his choosing . He’s asked that everyone respect his request for privacy . We could not be more proud of Jesus,” MGM said in a statement. Campos had been hailed a hero by authorities who initially said he diverted the gunman’s attention and made him stop firing on the crowd.
The resort’s owner had disputed the times earlier provided by police but recently said Paddock was shooting at concertgoers “at the same time as, or within 40 seconds after,” Campos first reported shots.
CNN’s Keith Allen contributed to this report.
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