Terrorists will try to carry out an attack on the United States within the next 90 days, a former Israeli counterterrorism intelligence officer predicts.
Juval Aviv, head of the New York-based intelligence company Interfor and a special consultant to the U.S. Congress, told Fox News his information is based primarily on intelligence “floating in Europe and the Middle East.”
An event is “imminent and around the corner here in the United States,” he said. “It could happen as soon as tomorrow, or it could happen in the next few months. Ninety days at the most.”
Aviv, author of “Staying Safe: The Complete Guide to Protecting Yourself, Your Family, and Your Business,” said Americans should look at what happened in London and expect mass transportation to be the next target of attack.
“We have put all of our emphasis, right or wrong, on the aviation area,” he said. “What has happened, in the last two to three years, based on information we have, the terrorists have realized that they cannot hijack a plane in America soon because the passengers are going to fight back.”
The terrorists are aware, he said, that they have been successful over the last 50 years in Madrid, London, Iraq and Israel in demoralizing the public when they commute to and from work.
“What they’re going to do is hit six, seven, or eight cities simultaneously to show sophistication and really hit the public,” Aviv said.
But this time, he emphasized, it will not only be big cities.
“They’re going to try to hit rural America,” Aviv said. “They want to send a message to rural America: ‘You’re not protected. If you figured out that if you just move out of New York and move to Montana or to Pittsburgh, you’re not immune. We’re going to get you wherever we can and it’s easier there than in New York.’”
Aviv believes the Department of Homeland Security can do much more to educate the public on how to deal with terrorist attacks.
“There’s no education,” he said. “We’re raising the color code alert and that means nothing to anyone. Whether it’s green, yellow, pink, no one ever educated the public how to identify suspicious items or people.”
In Israel, he noted, many terrorists have been apprehended because citizens phoned in a report.
“We don’t have that training on campuses, schools, or kindergarten [in the U.S.],” he said.
Aviv pointed out that terrorists use certain tactics that the public could be made aware of. Terrorists in Israel, for example, often set a bomb to explode then time another five minutes later when the situation has calmed down and rescue teams have responded.
“You need to know all those things and think about those things,” he said. “The government must pursue that. Law enforcement will never have enough people on the street to detect things. We don’t have that kind of manpower. That’s why the government must enlist the public.”
Addressing safety precautions for those who travel mass transit, Aviv advised taking along a bottle of water, a small towel and a flashlight.
“What happened in London is exactly a point to look at,” he said. “Those people who were close to the bombs died, then others were injured or died from inhaling the toxic fumes or getting trampled. The reason you take a bottle of water and a towel is that if you wet the towel and put it over your face, you can protect yourself against the fumes and get yourself out of there.”
He also advises, “Don’t be bashful.”
“If your gut feeling tells you when you walk on to a bus there is something unusual or suspicious, get out and walk away,” he said. “You may do it 10 times for no reason, but there will be one time that saves your life. Let your sixth sense direct you.”