Security expert: 9/11 anniversary is more than history

Beyond the history of 9/11 remembrance.

CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- As we approach the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania. a homeland security expert from Maine says it is a mistake to think of that day only as history.
Chet Lunner of Cape Elizabeth was communications director for the Department of Transportation in September 2001, covering the FAA, the Coast Guard and a dozen more agencies.
After the attacks, intelligence organizations began sharing more information.
Lunner says this was vital.
"Intelligence is the only thing you've got for preventive purposes. So you have to expand the number of people who are cooperating in that, and you have to connect the dots as the 9/11 commission said. We've made progress in that direction. There's still work to be done."
Airport security was also addressed, and Lunner argues that the TSA has done a good job with a terribly difficult challenge.
"There was no Isis on 9/11. There are groups in the Middle East, throughout Syria, that whole volatile area, that are constantly probing our systems and trying to figure out how to recruit people from our side of the ocean to harm our own institutions."
Lunner has been working with officials in Maine on homeland security plans. He says it is wrong to think of Maine a safe and isolated corner of the world.
"Even though this might not be the biggest target or biggest priority on some terrorist list, we easily could play a role as a transit point, a training area, material support for terrorists. That sort of thing." 
And Lunner points out that our international border is cause for concern.
Ultimately he says, it is up to all of us to remain vigilant.
"The classic program which Maine is about to re-energize, is called 'see something, say something.'
It really is part of being a responsible citizen, to keep in the game, stay aware of your surroundings and know who to call if you see something suspicious."

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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