WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — A former high-ranking CIA official warns the United States should be on alert for a possible terror attack over the holidays.
Former CIA Deputy Director and CBS News senior security contributor Michael Morell told “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is now “incentivized” to pull off a Paris-style attack in the U.S.
“Here at home I do think we need to think seriously about a possible attack over the holidays for two reasons,” Morell said. “ISIS has thousands of followers here in the United States, the FBI knows that. They’ve now been incentivized by what happened in Paris to try to do something here and we know that those same people were focused on the Fourth of July, so you’d think they’d still be focused on the holiday period.”
The State Department issued a worldwide travel alert heading into Thanksgiving weekend.
“U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowed places. Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events,” the alert states.
The State Department added that “authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue.”
Morell discussed with “CBS This Morning” what would change if the U.S. did suffer a Paris-style attack.
“I think this is a fundamental question that should be grappled with in the Situation Room. If we had a Paris-style attack in New York or Washington, what would our policy then be vis-à-vis ISIS? And then a second question is if that would be our policy the day after, why isn’t that our policy the day before? That’s the fundamental lesson we learned from 9/11,” he said.
Officials say there is no specific, credible threat against the U.S.