Local FBI chief says there are no specific terror threats for th - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Local FBI chief says there are no specific terror threats for this area

(FOX 8 NEWS) (FOX 8 NEWS)
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

The local FBI chief said Monday that while there are no specific terror threats for New Orleans or the state of Louisiana, law enforcement is on alert as New Orleans prepares to play host to a number of gay pride events.

"We, as a combined law enforcement, intelligence community, are working vigilantly and diligently to ensure that any threats that come up ... that we're addressing them. People should continue to live their lives the way that they've been doing it,” said Jeffrey Sallet, Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans FBI Office.

The FBI said the gunman who mowed down dozens inside an Orlando gay bar had been radicalized. 

"We will be prepared for the events of this weekend, Chief [Michael] Harrison is already committing a full cadre of resources and we've committed to Chief Harrison to provide any resources he needs to supplement that to ensure people are safe,” Sallet said.

Many wonder how the gunman who was already on the FBI’s radar was able to buy assault weapons.

"Without commenting specifically on Orlando, we have a certain set of tools in our toolbox, we operate under the constitution of the United States, the men and women of the FBI do that and our partners from the Joint Terrorism Task Force are doing that on a daily basis and using all the tools that we have to keep people safe,” said Sallet, who was involved in the FBI’s work after the Boston Marathon and the 9/11 attacks in New York.

Miles away in Baton Rouge the Fusion Center works around the clock as it receives tips and information that could head off terror attacks.

"It could be from local law enforcement all the way up to federal agencies,"said Mike Steele, Director of Communications for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security. "Tips from the public can go to that office and that information is shared with all the law enforcement agencies throughout the state.”

He said the “See Something, Send Something” App makes it easy for anyone to report suspicious activity.

"It could be a car parked next to some critical infrastructure in the state, but once you take that picture you can send it to the Fusion Center where it's analyzed," Steele said. "Your information and your picture will be anonymous coming in to the center, but the people working in the Fusion Center will see the picture ... they will also see a code that will let them know exactly where that picture was taken."

"At this point, I don't think there's any level of information that someone should be withholding if you believe that there is anything out of the ordinary,” U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite stated.

Sallet agrees.

"If there are things that give folks pause, if somebody sees somebody doing something that is out of character, or continually involved in making hateful statements, or involved in making hateful statements toward the government, or threats of violence, these are people that people should be keeping on their radar,” said Sallet.

And vigilance is necessary in one’s neighborhood, too.

"Going back to the San Bernadino attacks last year, neighbors say that they saw some things that seemed unusual about the people that were responsible for that attack, but they were also afraid to call in for whatever reason,” Steele said.

"Vigilance is the price of freedom and we really need people's help,” Sallet said.

Still stopping lone wolf attacks can be difficult.

"Stopping lone wolves is the most difficult thing that we can do," Sallet said. "If you are keeping good operational security, meaning you're not speaking with other people it makes it very difficult for any agency, no matter how good you are, or how prepared you are to catch them, the example I would give to you would be the Uni-bomber, the Uni-bomber went 17 plus years without being caught because he didn't include other people in his conspiracy."

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