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Preparing for potential terror threats in Mid-Missouri

Experts said a terror attack similar to the one in France this week could happen in the United States, or even Missouri.

The former Homeland Security Coordinator Paul Fennewald said law enforcement, both state and federal, is just a part of the equation.

Fennewald said the key to curbing terrorism, foreign or domestic is for citizens to remain vigilant.

Experts said the attacks in France are a stark and brutal reminder that terrorists are real and ready to attack.

“We need to be careful as a country to make sure that we are aware that there are still terrorists out there, they’re everywhere. There may be in this country some that have those same types of feelings and we can’t get lulled into this sense of security,” said Fennewald.

Fennewald said it’s important for citizens to be vigilant, to always be looking and if something is out of the ordinary to report it.

He said intelligence is always being gathered and shared between federal and local law enforcement.

He said big targets such as the Capitol in Jefferson City or the nuclear power plant near Fulton aren’t always what terrorists will attack because of heightened security.

“The thing with terrorism that we have to be really careful of with terrorists, is they always find your weak underbelly and there are institutions or organizations such as schools that we aren’t really doing the absolute nth degree due diligence having a good security posture and are we vulnerable in those areas,” said Fennewald.

Two men pulled off the violent attack that killed 12 in France, the most brutal terrorist attack in years.

Experts said this is the new phase of terrorism. A few or even one person carrying out the attacks.

“Individuals kind of acting alone what we call lone wolf or even a lone wolf pack. They’re going to be a lot harder to pick up on.”

Although, members of Al Qaeda in Yemen said it organized the attack. Fennewald said in many cases terrorist organizations will promote this concept of terrorism, what he calls being a lone wolf in online chat rooms and other venues.

He said he thinks we’ll see more of these types of attacks in the months and years ahead.

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