Chairman of the Intelligence Committee Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) on Sunday said more terrorist attacks should be expected in Europe and the United States, adding that all countries are rethinking surveillance tactics in light of the Paris attack to determine how to prevent other terror plots.
“I think every country in the world today is probably looking back at the policies that they’ve got on surveillance for known fighters and trying to determine, is there a point where you stay on them 24/7,” said Burr, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday with guest host Jim Sciutto
And with that impending reality, Burr said keeping up with 20,000 known fighters globally is going to be a “real problem” for other countries as well as the United States. According to his calculations, there are “dozens” of fighters currently under U.S. surveillance that left America for Syria. Though he believes that 100% of them are under a watchful eye, Burr expressed concern over maintaining that while also keeping tabs on other suspects coming in from Syria, and even those already on U.S. soil.
Sciutto asked for further details on any new measures being put into action to watch these suspects in order to not miss a single one, as was the case with the Charlie Hebdo attack.
Oh, Jim, I think post Paris, I think every law enforcement, every intelligence community official in the world went back to chapter one and began to write the new book as far as what we were going to do. They’ve scrubbed information to figure out if we’ve missed anything. But here’s the important thing, they’ve taken what we’ve learned from Paris, they’ve taken what we’re going to learn from the raids in Belgium, and they’re going to run those — that data — and create new dots on the map. And then analysts at all the agencies around the world are going to try to connect those dots to figure out whether there are other individuals, that we don’t know about, that we need to begin to surveil, that we need to look at where they are, what they do, who they talk to.
Combing through the data collected by these new actions, Burr said, could take weeks, or even months. “[It’s] an unbelievable amount of data that’s going to tell us what the next step is in defending this country and, I might say, defending Europe as well,” said the senator.