Sharing information is vital to reducing terrorism, states' officials told at conference in Oklahoma City

Al-Qaida is becoming desperate to have a successful attack in the U.S. or face becoming irrelevant, the executive director of the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism tells a group of lieutenant governors who are meeting this week in Oklahoma City.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: July 18, 2013 at 8:45 pm •  Published: July 19, 2013

The nation's second-in-commands were advised Thursday to insist local and state authorities as well as federal law officers in their state share information to reduce the threat of a terrorist attack.

“People are still hoarding information,” David Cid, executive director of the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Tourism, said to about 25 lieutenant governors attending a national conference in downtown Oklahoma City. “They're not sharing properly and bad things are happening.”

Cid said lieutenant governors also should back up their law officers as long as legal methods were used to gather information on possible terrorist plots and “they were trying to do the right thing.”

“Counterterrorism is an uncertain business,” he said. “Intelligence is more art than science. It's often wrong, but it's our only really best chance to preventing terrorism.”

Cid, a former FBI agent, said the core al-Qaida group may become more desperate to launch a major terrorist attack in the United States because of its lack of success since Sept. 11, 2001.

“They must have a win soon or they will become irrelevant,” Cid said. “They'll try to hit us again.

“You can always count on al-Qaida to do the worst things. That's one of their characteristics.”

Splinter groups of al-Qaida or independent terrorists, such as those who set off two pressure-cooker bombs at this year's Boston Marathon, pose a significant threat in the U.S., he said.

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