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Philadelphia ambush attack ignites new ISIS fears

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," January 8, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST:  All right, the House Homeland Security chairman was saying that, in his original judgments here, there were concerns that maybe, maybe a lot of these tie-ins to ISIS and a lot of these tie-ins to Syria and all this other stuff.

General Jack Keane is here right now, retired four-star general.

We ask these questions, in whether this guy had help, others we apprehend in this country have help, connections.  Still don`t everything about San Bernardino.  It is a common thread.  What do you think?  

GEN. JACK KEANE (RET.), FORMER U.S. ARMY VICE CHIEF OF STAFF:  Well, yes.

What we do know is, ISIS has been polluting the Internet with appeals to their worldwide following to kill police and to kill military, particularly from the countries that are supporting the effort against them, because they see that as the instrument of power from that country.

And, Neil, the arrests that took place in Belgium around New Year`s Eve, those people were supposedly targeting their efforts against police and military.  We know that, in Paris just recently, we have got a guy walking into a police station with a meat cleaver, and obviously he`s motivated by ISIS.  

So, there is definitely people responding to ISIS` appeal.  And it`s likely this will continue.  And it shows how challenging it is for the FBI and for police to cope with something like this that may not be connected to a network, may not even be connected to any other organization in the United States.  Very difficult to detect.  

CAVUTO:  General, what I wonder too is playing off sympathies or the biases of the moment, with all these controversial police shootings of citizens and all, whatever you think about them, that it`s somehow galvanizes the attention of malcontents or those in ISIS who might seize on an opening here.  

This is the first time I ever heard of a police connection in an ISIS sympathizer, but that they could feed off maybe in some pockets the public concern or cynicism about cops in general.  Right?  

KEANE:  Well, no, ISIS -- ISIS has been advertising this for some time now, for about a year-and-a-half, to attack police and military.  

So, this is part of their mantra.  We have got a very good defense security system in this country.  It is the best in the world and we should feel good about it.  I mean, obviously, our FBI and others are somewhat overwhelmed by all the investigations that have taken place.

But having a good defense is not enough, Neil.  What we also have to have is a good offense.  And when we permit terrorists to have sanctuary, bad things are going to happen.  We let the al Qaeda have a sanctuary for most of the `90s.  They attacked two embassies in Africa.  They attacked the USS Cole.  We did almost nothing about that, except drop a few missiles at them.  The result was 9/11.  

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:  But what if it`s too late for that, General?  

You know, what I wonder about is whether the pockets, the seeds, the cells, whatever you want to call them, they`re here now.  They`re thriving now.  Some of these might not be very sophisticated.  For all I know, this guy in Philadelphia might not have been one of the more sophisticated types, but clearly acting in sympathy with...

(CROSSTALK)

KEANE:  No, I disagree with that.  

CAVUTO:  Really?  OK.

KEANE:  If you destroy the -- ISIS is beginning their fourth year in their sanctuary in Syria.  

And they are on the Internet and social media nets to the tune of something close to 20,000 hits a day coming out of that.  If we destroy ISIS and we put them in yellow suits, with shackles, and we show what happens to an organization when it`s destroyed in terms of killed and captured, and that organization goes away, that incident goes away, I think a lot of the motivation and inspiration goes away.  

The aura of invincibility goes away.  The shroud of success that currently surrounds the organization goes away.  

CAVUTO:  OK.  

KEANE:  It`s not that someone else won`t show up.  I`m not suggesting that.  But we have got to take this sanctuary down in Syria, and until such time, these attacks for a fact will become more frequent, more ambitious, and likely more lethal.  

CAVUTO:  All right, General, good stuff.  Thank you very much, my friend.  Good seeing you again.  All right.  

END

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