PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Fourteen years after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, terrorism still remains a prominent threat in the United States and around the world.
Now terrorism has taken on a new face, according to officials, and military and local law enforcement are always working to combat those threats.
“If you think about when the World Trade Center, when the planes hit the World Trade Center, everybody is leaving, fleeing which they should,” said Col. Steven O’Donnell of the Rhode Island State Police. “And law enforcement and fire and EMS just go.”
Col. O’Donnell said one way to remain safe from terror threats is to always stay vigilant – and make sure to call police if something seems out of the ordinary.
“You saw it seven months ago. An arrest in Warwick, where we had a terror suspect get charged and indicted right out of Rhode Island,” O’Donnell added.
Earlier this year, Nicholas Rovinski, 24, was arrested as a part of an ISIS plot to murder a woman and attack police officers.
Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed said terrorism has changed drastically over the last 14 years.
“Its gone from a small group of fanatics with a very hierarchical organization to a much more dispersed, both geographically and in terms of their social networking,” he said. “And they still are formidable and we have to adapt as fast as they’re adapting.”
Reed says military focus is also changing – from counter terrorism to cyber operations. The military now has to maintain a flexible and agile strategy.
“That’s why we’re working much more cooperatively at every level, federal, state, local, police. We’re trying to ensure they have the best equipment, best techniques, best intelligence to deal with these new threats,” Reed said.