FBI director: Public must help spot radicals

- The NYPD showed off its latest addition to the force, the Strategic Response Group. The 600 officers are trained to deal with active shooter scenarios, biochemical attacks, and terrorism. SRG was created just six months ago due to growing terror threats. Its officers performed the first demo on Randall's Island for Commissioner Bill Bratton.

"We need to be aware but not be fearful," Bratton said. "We need to be aware so that people will give us information to work with so that we can act on it very quickly."

The message was clear from police headquarters during the 35th anniversary celebration of the Joint Terrorism Task Force with FBI Director James Comey.

"Please do not let these savages accomplish what they want to accomplish," Comey said. "They actually believe that they can freak out America into a way that damages us."

Comey and Bratton said that NYPD and FBI need the public's help because the threat of ISIS can be hard to see.

"Who is going to hear about the radicalization besides those closest to them?" Comey said. "It's highly unlikely to be an FBI agent. It's far more likely to be a Suffolk County cop, an MTA officer -- someone who knows the community."

Comey said that unlike al Qaeda, the Islamic State is carrying out smaller attacks. The group is recruiting fighters to come overseas or kill where they are. Making things more difficult, most of the terrorists are communicating through encrypted messaging systems that can't be accessed by investigators.

"This is not public posting; this is private messages back and forth just like any of us emailing a friend or a family member," Comey said. "The government is only intercepting that with probable cause and a court order. And if we don't know anything about the person, we have no predication to be doing that in the first place."
 

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