Counter-terrorism expert weighs in on ISIS threat, says citizens should be vigilant

Updated:

Loading

BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- An intelligence bulletin was issued to state and local police Friday saying that ISIS militants could attack the US with little warning. The Department of Homeland Security says there hasn't been a specific or credible threat, but want the country to be aware of the group some say is more powerful than al Qaeda.

So what is the risk of this group infiltrating and attacking US soil?

Major Bob Kinder, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran and counter-terrorism expert, says he believes there is a risk simply because the group wants to attack the US, and because this country "can't secure the southern border." The US has to "be vigilant" and citizens have to be aware of their surroundings, and not completely dependent on law enforcement, he explained.

In their most recent email to the parents of slain journalist James Foley, ISIS threatens Americans, saying, "We have left you alone since your disgraceful defeat in Iraq. We did not interfere in your country or attack your citizens while they were safe in their homes despite our capability to do so!"

The letter goes on to say, "As for the scum of your society who are held prisoner by us, they dared to enter the lion's den and were eaten!"

When asked what that message meant to him, Kinder said the group is trying to gain credibility for their actions, which were "horrific."

"They are saying that the United States doesn't belong in the Middle East, that they were 'leaving us alone until we started bombing them,'" Kinder said.

But their "memory of history is skewed," he added.

The email from ISIS also said that the US was given "many chances to negotiate the release of your people via cash transactions as other governments have accepted."

The US has a policy that states negotiating with terrorists is not an option. However, as Kinder noted, the US has negotiated before in Iran and other countries. In a poll posted on MyFoxBoston.com, 85 percent of voters said they disagreed with the policy, while the remainder were in favor of it. Kinder said he agrees with the policy, but mentioned that is easy to say when he "doesn't know Jim Foley."

However, he says the policy makes sense "because we can't routinely negotiate with terrorists or they will make us all susceptible to kidnappings around the world."