HOUSTON (FOX 26) - There's still plenty that we don't know about what happened in New York, but security experts say it is a reminder that even though Europe has been bearing the brunt of terrorist attacks lately, we are still vulnerable in the U.S.
“Unfortunately, it's a reality that we cannot escape anymore," says security expert Hanan Yadin. "We cannot shove our heads into the sand and say it doesn't exist because it exists and it's here.”
But how about here in the Houston area? How prepared are we? After all, we have Super Bowl LI coming up on Feb. 5, 2017. That's a difficult question to answer.
The Texas Department of Public Safety says there is a plan. Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and first responders are poised to work together should the worst happen. But that is all they can say since to divulge the plan is to hand terrorists useful information. But they can say this -- you are part of the plan as Texas DPS has launched its iWatch app.
“It allows you to report any suspicious activity," explains Texas DPS Sgt. Stephen Woodard. "This way, we can get to it in a timely manner. Most suspicious activity during terrorist events is not reported and that's unfortunate.”
It can be critical. The alleged bomber in New York was caught when an alert shopkeeper saw him sleeping in a doorway and thought it was suspicious and contacted police. But this was after the attacks had happened. not before.
Yadin says even though the law enforcement response in the northeast was chaotic at times, in the U.S., we are pretty well prepared.
“I think we are doing enough but there's no 100 percent," adds Yadin. "You can't prevent everything, but I think terrorism is going to spread more and more."