TODAY   |  August 05, 2013

Ex-CIA official on threat: ‘Handle it, settle down’

Philip Mudd, a former CIA deputy director of counterterrorism and former FBI deputy director of national security, discusses the reported threat that has prompted the U.S. to issue a worldwide travel alert for August and shutter a number of diplomatic posts.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> deputy director of counter terrorism and national security at the fbi. good morning to you.

>> good morning.

>> the new york times said it's a threat that appears to be specifically and maddeningly vague. you understand what it means when the u.s. government said something is specific and credible enough to warrant the closings yet we don't know what, when or where.

>> you have to look at both the information. does it give you information on time, place, and the source. i would focus more on the source. is the source an intercept, an informant in the organization credible. if the source is credible, regardless of whether the information is vague you'll take it seriously.

>> but now what. this was gotten from an nsa intercept. wouldn't those suffolk who is are planning this kind of operation then go underground?

>> i think there's a possibility they will. look, the only resolution to a threat like this is taking the operatives off the battlefield. we may throw them off their game. maybe they'll delay for a month or a year but as long as terrorists like this started a plot, they will conclude it at some point unless they're taken off the battlefield. i'm sure of it.

>> do you assume at this point that operatives maybe in place for whatever is being planned?

>> i wouldn't assume that. i would assume, though, if the operation is underway, they're at least thinking about putting people in places like, let's say cairo or jordan but i wouldn't assume they're there yet.

>> some law makers on the sunday shows yesterday said this intelligence information reminds them of the situation prior to 9/11. you were there. what do you make of the comparison.

>> i think we ought to settle down a little bit. we have been at this 12 years. we faced a major plot in the summer of 2006 when we had operatives in britain trying to explodes planes. we had major plots in new york city well publicized. i haven't seen the intelligence on this but we developed a lot of expertise in 12 years. let's handle it and settle down.

>> always good to get your perspective. thank you.