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UVA Professor on US Intelligence Advisory Board Speaks on Attack - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

UVA Professor on US Intelligence Advisory Board Speaks on Boston Attacks

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Philip Zelikow, UVA Professor and member of U.S. Intelligence Advisory Board, speaks with NBC29's Matt Talhelm Philip Zelikow, UVA Professor and member of U.S. Intelligence Advisory Board, speaks with NBC29's Matt Talhelm

A University of Virginia professor appointed to President Barack Obama's Intelligence Advisory Board is monitoring the Boston bombings.   

Philip Zelikow tells NBC29, while domestic intelligence efforts are stronger than before 9/11, it was only a matter of time before another terror attack on American soil.

Zelikow directed the 9/11 Commission through its review of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

"You learn not to rush to judgment. You learn first impressions often turn out not to be correct," said Zelikow.

The 2001 investigation immediately pointed to Al-Qaeda, but Zelikow finds it interesting that no one has been able to point fingers at this point.

"It is interesting that no foreign group has claimed credit for the attack," said Zelikow.

Zelikow says intelligence community is working around the clock - under pressure to identify a suspect or group behind the deadly attack. 

"All the intelligence agencies will be canvassing their files to see if there's any clues, any information that may shed some light on this that they may have overlooked," he said.

He assures there is no shortage of threats.

"The country is vulnerable to small-scale terrorist attacks of many kinds," he said." The reason we haven't been attacked is not because nobody has the motive to do it."

Lessons learned following 9/11 have helped foil domestic terror attacks - like the failed bombing in Times Square.  

"We've been doing things to keep them from organizing effectively to carry out the kind of operations in the United States they want to carry out," said Zelikow.

Zelikow says terrorism intelligence will improve following the Boston bombings - but vigilance and resilience are America's greatest effort to thwart future attacks.

"Terrorist attacks become less interesting, less satisfying to the people who might be interested in carrying them out," said Zelikow.

Zelikow says the review of 9/11 helped improve emergency response in cities nationwide. He believes the first response to the Boston attacks will do the same.

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