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Special Report

How global terrorism assessment will play out in 2016 race

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 22, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

MARCUS DA GLORIA MARTINS, MUNICH POLICE SPOKESMAN (via translator): We're working with the intention of maximizing the safety of the population of Munich. It's up to three perpetrators, and that's what our activities are based on.

JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We're monitoring the situation in Munich very closely. It's an unfolding situation. And it highlights that we all have to be vigilant in homeland security, in law enforcement, really, worldwide.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Talking about this attack in Germany today. So far at this hour, nine dead, 10 injured. A shooting, we don't know if it was just one shooter or if there were others. The hunt continues, according to German authorities at this hour, for other accomplices.

This comes obviously after a series of attacks. Just going back to June 28th, you have the Istanbul airport, 44 killed. Outside of Kabul on June 30th, 40 killed. July 1st, Bangladesh, 22 dead, ISIS claiming responsibility. July 3rd, a Baghdad truck bomb, 292 killed, carried out by ISIS. Then you add in here in the U.S., the five police officers killed in Dallas, in Nice, the 84 killed with that truck in shooting, 300 wounded.
July 17th, Baton Rouge, three officers executed. And today in Munich, let alone you had the Germany train attack where four were wounded with an ax and a knife, also believed to be ISIS.

Let's bring in our panel here in Philadelphia: Steve Hayes, senior writer for The Weekly Standard; Kirsten Powers, USA Today columnist, and Monica Crowley, editor and columnist for The Washington Times. You know, Steve, you look at the list of those attacks, and you understand the angst that people are feeling around the world.

STEVE HAYES, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Yes. It's really almost overwhelming. It seems like every time we sit down here, we're talking about a new attack, a different, wide variety of attacks.
Sometimes you have people using a machete or a hatchet, and they're truly a lone wolf attack. Other times you have attacks that I think experts are probably too quick to label lone wolf attacks because that's supposed to be the new paradigm, and they turn out not to be lone wolf attacks. That's what we heard repeatedly in the aftermath of the Nice attacks, and it turns out he likely had accomplices maybe, double digits number of accomplices.
There are reports, people I've talked to in the intelligence world who think that Omar Mateen, the attacker in Orlando, may have had some additional help that the FBI didn't know about initially.

So I think we have to be careful drawing any blanket conclusions. I hope the president and others refrain from making quick judgments about whether this is a lone wolf attack and let the investigation run its course. But clearly this is one of the reasons that Americans in particular going into this election in November have so much anxiety about terror.

BAIER: We should point out that there was a report that the shooter yelled "Allahu Akhbar" as he was shooting and targeting even children.
Authorities are not saying that this is directly tied to one group, but the preponderance of the attacks, Kirsten, has be to Islamic radicals, in Europe in particular.

KIRSTEN POWERS, USA TODAY: Right. Yes, and one thing that makes them even more terrifying, frankly, is that in the past we would see large urban areas attacked. You would New York City, you'd see the London subway, you'd see Madrid attacked. Now they're completely random -- a gay nightclub, somebody on a train just being attacked. It starts to make people feel like anywhere, even in middle America, they're at risk.

The other issue is they don't have to be affiliated or given direct instruction from ISIS to be doing the bidding of ISIS. That's the sort of new paradigm, now, which is this is what ISIS wants. They want people who are lone wolves that are inspired, and they're still terrorism whether or not they have a direct conversation with ISIS or not.

BAIER: We should point out this is a very serious topic, but here in Philadelphia they are doing sound checks for the Democratic national convention, which starts obviously Monday.

Monica, speaking of this, the politics of this, Donald Trump spent a number of minutes last night talking about the threat of terrorism. How do you think Hillary Clinton is going to deal with this and all the string of attacks that we've seen?

MONICA CROWLEY, THE WASHINGTON TIMES: She's going to have a very difficult time because she was President Obama's steward for national security and foreign policy for the previous four years first term as secretary of state. So she's walking a very fine line because she needs to put some distance between herself and the president because of the rising sense of chaos and disruption and uncertainty and that Donald Trump spoke to last night. When he talked about law and order, he talked about national defense.

So she has to put some distance between herself and the president, but not too much where she alienates him and she alienates the Democratic base.
She is walking a real tightrope here. But I think every time we have one of these attacks, it assists Donald Trump politically because he can continue to say, look, we tried it her way. We tried it President Obama's way, we tried it Secretary Clinton's way. It obviously didn't work. We're in a far more dangerous period of time. The American people are at greater risk.

And the question he posed last night was a spin on Ronald Reagan's famous question, are you better off four years ago -- today than you were four years ago. The question now is, are you safer today than you were eight years ago? And I think the answer is a resoundingly no.

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