Counterterrorism expert: Quick thinking foiled lone wolf’s planned attack

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A counterterrorism expert talked to News 12 about lone wolf attackers following the arrest of a Hudson Valley man for allegedly planning to blow himself up on the National Mall in Washington.

Thanks to a heads up from a citizen and quick thinking from the FBI, Paul Rosenfeld’s plan was foiled.

"If that particular person, that lone wolf, that person keeping to themselves, if they don't talk, there's a very good chance they can become successful,” says Sal Lifrieri.

Lifrieri says if you see something, say something because in the case of Paul Rosenfeld, of Tappan, someone alerting authorities was a case breaker.

The counterterrorism expert says that lone wolf attacks are just getting easier and the public may be seeing more of them in the future.

"You can actually go online and learn how to make these devices and how to conduct these attacks,” he says.

Lifrieri says the internet has allowed for lone wolves to drum up support and recognition in a matter of seconds.

"Today, within minutes you're known not even locally or nationally, you're recognized globally,” he says. "That's a major incentive for people to decide to try and champion their cause." 

He says it’s important to remember that a lone wolf could be anywhere and look like anyone

His advice is to trust your instincts and speak up because even a little bit of information one has could be the missing piece in an investigation.


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