Terrorism expert says local lessons can be learned from Boston bombings

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wwltv.com

Posted on April 16, 2013 at 10:25 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 16 at 10:42 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

NEW ORLEANS -- Monday’s attack at the Boston Marathon left many here at home questioning whether the same type of tragedy could happen in our area.

As authorities continued scouring the streets of Boston for the how’s, why’s and who’s Tuesday, a UNO professor of political science, who specializes in urban terrorism and disaster policy, weighed in.

“The first thing that really stuck out in my mind was why were there trash cans there at the finish line?" said Dr. John Kiefer. "It's certainly something that London has dealt with for the past 20 years in the wake of IRA bombings. There are no trash cans in the municipal area. It's certainly something that New York City has dealt with and there haven't been many trash cans around many of the venues they've had going on in New York City."

It’s one small change, of many, that could be made in the New Orleans area for the dozens of events held year-round, including possibly sealing off man-hole covers for future street-based events.

"We're just going to have to scrutinize things a lot closer,” Kiefer said. “It's certainly going to take more manpower to do, it's going to incur more of a cost to the city, but it's something we're going to have to consider."

As for considering who to be aware of for possible attacks, Kiefer says intelligence information, or the lack thereof, is always where you start.

"The president, when he came on television yesterday, mentioned that there weren't any long patterns of intelligence leading up to that. That's much more typical of domestic terrorist groups that tend to be more volatile, that tend to react more suddenly," said Kiefer.

He said there were also several positive lessons to learn from the response Monday, including cell phone service being cut off and the quick medical response.

 

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