Big cities ramp up security: The ongoing crisis in the United States in exclusive-Afghanistan makes a “gaping hole” in the intelligence-gathering capabilities of law enforcement agents because researchers are losing access to the eyes and ears on the ground, former police and customs commissioner Ray Kelly told to media.
Kelly said in a phone call Friday that police units in major U.S. cities such as New York could speed up security and intelligence efforts to protect against any terrorist threats from ongoing attacks in Afghanistan.
Kelly was the first person to serve two terms in charge of the New York Police Department, taking on a second role a few months after the September 11, 2001 attacks. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and served as Commissioner of the US Customs Service, which is divided into Immigration and Customs Enforcement and US Customs and Border Protection.
Pace University has somewhat praised him for leading the NYPD to a “formidable new ability to counter the terrorist threat.”
Speaking about the preventive measures New York City is taking amid concerns about Afghanistan, Kelly said researchers are “doing more than they are doing.”
For the NYPD, including other methods such as improving public resources, working with informers, and searching chat rooms for signs of suspicious activity, he said. Intelligence-gathering skills and resources already exist, Kelly explained, “You are accelerating what you are currently doing.”
Representatives of police departments in major cities such as Washington, DC, Atlanta, Seattle, and Los Angeles said they are working closely with federal partners and are constantly monitoring for any threats. Representatives from the NYPD and the Chicago Police Department did not respond to requests for information on any threats earlier this week and how they are responding.
But the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan — the controversial withdrawal of American troops from the country and its potential implications — is likely to “widen the gap in our intelligence-gathering capabilities,” Kelly explained.
“It’s very difficult to make it when you don’t have men on the field,” he continued, explaining that he was referring to people other than military personnel.
Kelly has two types of intelligence: human intelligence and symbolic intelligence. He predicted that human intelligence accumulated by sources other than military personnel would be difficult to come by in the future.
The National Security Agency defines “signals intelligence” as “taken from communication systems used by electronic signals and foreign targets, radars, and weapons systems”.
“Human intelligence, in general, is something that initiates intelligence,” Kelly explained. “You can’t fly over Afghanistan and take pictures of everything and know what that means. You need the human element a lot of times for that kind of focus to happen.”
He added: “It’s very difficult to do this with any consistency – you need someone who can guide you. It seems very difficult to start that kind of thing again in Afghanistan.
On August 14, the Taliban overtook the Afghan capital and quickly seized most of the country. Thousands of people – Americans and Afghans with special immigrant visas – have been evacuated ever since. President Biden said the US-led move would end by August 31.
A suicide bomber has killed at least 13 American servicemen and more than 150 Afghans at a Kabul airport on Thursday.