Homeland security expert says fighting ideology is 'key' to stopping terror

Posted at 6:29 PM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 06:48:57-04

Minutes after learning what happened overseas in Manchester, Don Rondeau started taking calls. 

"Nothing about this attack other than its occurrence at this exact location is a surprise, right?" he asked, rhetorically, addressing the terror attack. 

The homeland security expert is an anti-terrorism consultant and is tasked with teaching and training those on the front lines on how to stop terror. 

While the initial investigation into the concert bombing is still unfolding, Rondeau says there are already lessons that can be learned. 

"The adages of 'terrorists only have to be right once and we have to be right every time,' yeah that's kind of true, but it's still unacceptable after all of this time, all of the money spent, all of the lives lost to be saying that," Rondeau said. 

He says there needs to be a bigger war on ideology - getting to those who are on the path to become terrorists before they want to attack. 

"Somewhere, there's someone vulnerable to the message that it makes sense for them to commit this type of terrorist act and so we have to counter that message," he said. 

In addition, Rondeau says it's going to take vigilance and alertness from both security and event-goers to stop potential danger. 

Programs like 'See something, Say something' and First Observer, Rondeau says, are both necessary and life saving. 

"These are programs that are designed to a:) generate awareness and to keep it on your forefront so if you see something that just doesn't look right, well they want the public to notify someone," he said. 

Without going into detail for security reasons, the homeland security expert says having a plan removes fear and paranoia of any threats. 

"...and put people in a position where they're not paranoid, they just know that this is a part of life and when you have to traverse these types of places, and you visit these types of places that you're alert and that you're aware," Rondeau said. 

Part of the planning, Rondeau mentioned, is learning from events and figuring out how to fix any potential issues that can put people in danger. 

He went on to say it's important not to finger point or place blame and learn from the incidents so they don't happen again.