13 April 2016
As Singapore ramps up national security with the wider use of CCTV cameras and measures at public venues – from malls to leisure hubs and stadiums – counter-terrorism veterans are cautioning people not to view technology as the “total solution” to foiling terror attacks.
Said Mr Michael Chertoff, the former United States Secretary of Homeland Security: “I can tell you during my experience in counter-terrorism that many of the most significant cases we developed – cases that actually prevented attacks – can be because a concerned citizen saw something funny. Whether it’s because photographs were taken, or somebody (was) lurking around or (there was) some kind of suspicious behaviour, they reported it to the authorities.”
He added: “We need to make people lose that sense of self-consciousness that sometimes causes them not to report something because they are embarrassed or they are afraid that they are going to look unduly alarmed.”
He also cautioned against blindly rolling out scanners and metal detectors at public places like shopping malls, saying these would create unnecessary choke-points.
Mr Chertoff, along with Australia’s former director-general of security David Irvine, were in Singapore this week for a programme for senior national security chiefs, organised by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. They spoke to current affairs programme Talking Point in separate interviews.
CENS / Broadcast / Online
Last updated on 15/04/2016