Interview With Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army Van Hipp

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," November 27, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, right now, the Department of Homeland Security warning of a growing threat of terrorist attacking U.S. cities with IEDs. These are the devices used in the roadside attacks we hear so much about in Iraq.

Well, my next guest says that Al Qaeda has much bigger plans. Van Hipp is the former deputy assistant secretary of the Army.

Secretary, how much bigger?

VAN HIPP, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: I think the biggest threat — if you talk to the Pentagon top scientists, they will tell you the number-one threat facing America today is a biological attack on the country.

They have seen some intel that causes them to believes that you don`t have to have a Ph.D. in microbiology to engineer some of these biological pathogens.

CAVUTO: So, our focus on IEDs is mistaken?

HIPP: No, it`s a good focus.

But I hope — and I hope this is going on, that our Department of Homeland Security is working with the Pentagon. Don`t forget, Neil, the Pentagon has spent $3 billion over the last two years to develop IED countermeasures. We need to leverage the investment made by the Pentagon over the last two years.

For example, when talk about IEDs, the two big threats, this individual suicide bomber detection — I mean, the individual suicide bomber scenario and the car bomb scenario, we have got some pretty darn good technology sitting on shelves that the Pentagon has developed for the individual suicide bomber. Let`s go ahead deploy what the Pentagon has got there, but let`s allocate the additional resources to deal with the car bomb scenario.

CAVUTO: I am always surprised, Van, that we haven`t done more here to address that, or that this hasn`t come here as something we have to address.


CAVUTO: Are they waiting for something much bigger?

HIPP: Neil, I think we have been mighty, mighty lucky.

CAVUTO: Really?

HIPP: I think we have.

But I have got to tell you, I have spoken to some of the scientists and engineers in our government. And I have gone through some of these individual suicide bomb detection scenarios, and I have seen the stuff that works. And I asked the guys...

CAVUTO: But they can easily do it.

HIPP: We can do it.

But I asked them, why haven`t we deployed it? And you know what the answer is? Van, it is only an 85 percent solution.

Well, let me tell you, that`s better than what we got right now, which is a zero percent solution. Deploy what we have got. I think it will be a great deterrent effect to the terrorists.

CAVUTO: Van Hipp, thank you very much.

HIPP: Good to be with you, Neil.

CAVUTO: With all that breaking news, good seeing you here.

Van Hipp. All right.


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