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DHS secretary on homegrown terror: "I don't know how to stop that"

Homegrown terrorism
"I don't know how to stop" homegrown terrorism, DHS secretary says 07:54

WASHINGTON -- Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said he doesn’t know how to stop “homegrown terrorists,” despite saying that the homegrown threat is the “most common” threat facing the U.S.

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“There are so many aspects to this terrorist thing,” Kelly said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “Obviously you got the homegrown terrorists. I don’t know how to stop that. I don’t know how to detect that. You got other terrorist threats that come across the border.”

“I believe in the case of the murder -- in the Paris shooting I believe he was homegrown,” Kelly continued. “But, again, there are so many threats that come in from across border. And it’s essential absolutely to control one’s border.”

Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, made the comments in response to a question about what the U.S. can learn from the deadly shooting on Paris’ Champs-Elysees last week for which the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility

When pressed on the administration’s ability to handle homegrown terrorism, Kelly reiterated that it is a “big threat.” He also again circled back to threats related to border security, a central tenet of President Donald Trump’s agenda.

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“It is a big problem,” Kelly said. “It is -- you know, depending on where you sit is where you stand on this, It is a big threat. Is it the number one threat? I think it’s the most common threat. Unfortunately there are other similar-type terrorist threats that could come from outside the border. You know, the CIA., NSA, all the great men and women of DOD. are doing a great job keeping them away from the homeland.”

“The appeal I would make on the homegrown threat is if you see something, say something,” he said. “Whether you’re a parent, a sibling, an imam. And this extends frankly ... to white supremacists and that kind of terrorism as well. If you see a young man or a young woman going down that path where they’re always on these kind of websites or saying things at church or in a mosque that are clearly disturbing, then tell someone about it so that we can help that kid, young man or woman, before they break the law.”

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On another national security front, Kelly said North Korea isn’t much of a threat right now “except in the world of cyber.”

“They’re pretty aggressive when they want to be in cyber,” he said. 

Kelly also said that “the instant they get a missile that can reach the United States and they have a weaponized atomic device, a nuclear device on it, we are at grave risk as a nation.”

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