OTR Interviews

'Lone wolf' terrorism: Not something you can drone out of existence

'Greta Investigates: The Lone Wolves of Terror': From the Unabomber to Timothy McVeigh to attack on the Canadian Parliament, a look at lone extremists path of destruction, why they're so hard to detect and what binds them all

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 24, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Joining us is former U.S. attorney general and former federal judge, Mike Mukasey; chief intelligence correspondent, Catherine Herridge, and Frank Cilluffo, director of George Washington University's Homeland Security Public Policy Institute.

Welcome to all of you.

Catherine, it seems like it's not -- they're not getting specific directions for somebody to go to it, but recently with ISIS there's been a call to people to do this directly. But it is more of the sort of ideology out there, and everyone sort of says, you know, they're doing it in the name of the ideology without a specific direction.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: What we're seeing is part of an ongoing reporting here at FOX News Channel over the last five years, is that this has really become a movement and a set of ideas. It's not something that you can drone out of existence. You have to really deal with the ideology first.

So when people are inspired to act, these self-starters, the term "lone wolf," it's not a bad term, but I agree with the judge because very few of these people can do this without some kind of support network, whether it's a support network with physical help, like explosives or weapons, or whether it's ideological support to give them that confidence that they can go forward with a mission.

VAN SUSTEREN: Frank, there's a difference between someone, for instance, the underwear bomber, who got some training in terms of -- obviously, it didn't work out too well on that airplane. But, I mean, he is some specific training and direction. It seems like what happened in Canada, it's like -- I don't see, you know, no mosque or no certain group or some radical said, here's your vest, your suicide vest or here's your gun. It's a little different.

FRANK CILLUFFO, DIRECTOR OF GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY'S HOMELAND SECURITY PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE: No. It's early on in terms of the investigation itself. But you're right, the terrorist threat comes in various shapes, sizes, and forms. Obviously, given that there are thousands of Westerners fighting along side ISIS in Iraq and Syria today, those that get actual training and expertise, whether it's in improvised explosive devices or the like, will be a greater threat from a potential to cause catastrophic attacks.

But the reality is that there are going to be many that don't go overseas, that won't hit a trip wires, won't have that training, but, unfortunately, they can still cause harm, if you look at what happened in Canada this week, not only the shooting yesterday, but also just people mowing soldiers over. You also saw an incident in Jerusalem that didn't get a lot of attention where a Hamas-inspired individual mowed over a number of people, killing a young American baby.

HERRIDGE: Just to jump in, here's the common threat that you see and I believe this started back in 2009, which is the selection of the U.S. military as the target.

VAN SUSTEREN: And the Canadian military.

HERRIDGE: And in this case, yes, the Canadian military. Thank you. The reason that's important is because these are symbol that have weight. So it's not just an attack on an individual. When that shooter walked up to Parliament Hill in Ottawa, they went for the soldier at one of the most symbolic sights in that country, so that was an attack on the Canadian identity and Canadian pride. And it's the same in the United States. It --

(CROSSTALK)

HERRIDGE: Yeah, go ahead.

MICHAEL MUKASEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL AND FORMER FEDERAL JUDGE: We've seen that here with the shooting of an Army recruiter by a jihadi. And, again, focus on the armed forces and focus on really telling people here that you can't be protected by the people who are supposed to protect you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Panel, stay with us.