FORT LAUDERDALE - A specialist on militant Islamic groups said Tuesday that the federal government could do more to lower the risk of terrorist attacks in the United States.
Steven Emerson, director of the Investigative Project, a nongovernmental antiterrorism group, spoke to the Sun Sentinel before attending a private fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six Resort.
"I think we've gotten lax on the [U.S.] borders," Emerson said. "I also think that the exchange of intelligence is not filtering down to the local levels as it should be."
Before the Nov. 4 general election, vice president-elect Joe Biden had predicted the new president would be tested by a world crisis in his first six months in office. Emerson on Tuesday said the risk of attack could be reduced by shoring up security at the United States' highest-profile entry points.
He also said the United States should stay abreast of identity fraud abroad that could help terrorists enter the country, and that it should monitor parts of the country with large clusters of cultural centers, areas where terrorists may more easily find aid.
Tuesday's fundraiser was hosted by the Jewish Federation of Broward County, a nonprofit group aimed at helping the area's Jewish community.
Emerson said he was surprised last month's attacks in Mumbai were widely covered by the American news media, saying he wished as much attention were paid to other terrorist attacks.
Emerson's work includes a 1994 documentary called Jihad in America. The documentary was controversial among some Arab-American groups who, in the past, have said he exaggerated the extent of terrorist activity in the United States.
Juan Ortega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-356-4701.