Burr: Paris attacks offer chance to collect more intelligence on terrorists
Posted January 13, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — U.S. Sen. Richard Burr said Tuesday that he had "a heck of a week" last week to assume the chairman position of the Senate Intelligence Committee amid terror attacks in France that left more than a dozen people dead.
Yet, the North Carolina Republican sees the attacks on a satirical newspaper and a Jewish supermarket as an opportunity to collect more intelligence on the terrorists and possibly link that to other people and activities in order to head off more attacks.
"What really keeps you up at night are the things that you don't know exist," Burr said in an interview with WRAL News. After combing through the new data, "it's our ability then to truly make the American people safer because we're able to answer the question, 'What didn't we know before?'"
Burr said he wouldn't discourage people from traveling to Paris, Washington, D.C., or anyplace else that could be a target for terrorists, and he likewise took a conservative approach to the U.S. enacting additional precautions. Rather, he said, law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the U.S. need to focus on "connecting the dots."
"If we look at these incidents as individual acts, it doesn't help us prepare. We've got to look at the terrorist world globally and understand this is war," he said. "If we globally accept this as war, then the effort will be much more coordinated and the information we get will be much more effective at ending what we see as a rash of terrorist acts."
Burr also said he's looking forward to a productive session of Congress, one that will prove the Republican majorities in the House and the Senate can properly govern the country.
"I'm tired of the threats in Washington," he said, referring to President Barack Obama's vow to veto bills that would allow construction of a gas pipeline, undo his immigration reform effort and repeal some federal regulations. "I want to get down to passing good legislation."