Homeland Security Department (HSD) Commissioner Peter Quennell has been criticized for his comments about the potential threat posed by domestic terrorists, but said that “there’s a good chance” the U.S. is not in danger of a repeat of the Boston bombings.
“I think we’ve been able to take a very hard look at the terrorist threat, and I think it’s fair to say that we’ve done a lot better than the terrorists,” Quennel said Tuesday at a briefing with reporters.
“So I think we’re not there yet, and that’s because there’s a little bit of fear and a little of fear in the country right now,” Quannell said.
“I think that’s an understatement.
A number of Republican lawmakers have called on Quennells to resign amid the controversy surrounding his remarks.”
And I think that there is a good likelihood that we don’t have the level of sophistication that we do have in terms [of] the threat that we have in the United States,” he added.
A number of Republican lawmakers have called on Quennells to resign amid the controversy surrounding his remarks.
The Homeland Security Secretary’s comments come days after he called for a nationwide lockdown and the deployment of agents to the streets of the Southern California region, a move that drew criticism from both Democratic lawmakers and the families of those killed in the Boston bombing.
Quennell said at the time that the response from the public to the Boston attacks was “not good enough.”
“The fact that there’s such a huge, wide-ranging, diverse community out there that’s upset about this and that they feel like the city of Boston and the city is not doing enough is disappointing,” he said.
“There’s not enough public-safety resources.
We need to get our cities and our states in better shape, and there’s too much fear in our communities.”
Quennells response prompted criticism from Democrats, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who called it “dangerous” and said Quennels actions were the “most dangerous” he could imagine.
“He can’t do what he said and he’s got to resign,” Feinstein said at a press conference Tuesday.
“There’s no other choice.”
Quinnell did not address Feinstein’s criticism of his remarks in the press conference, but he did say that he is “hopeful” that the federal government is working to make the region safer.
“We’re trying to make sure that the communities that are at the heart of the problem have more resources, that the public safety infrastructure is better, that we’re working with state and local officials to get more resources out to the communities and to make it safer,” he told reporters.
“That’s our goal.”