FBI: In wake of NYC attack, no specific threat to Oregon - KPTV - FOX 12

FBI: In wake of NYC attack, no specific threat to Oregon

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Renn Cannon, the Special Agent in Charge of the Portland division of the FBI (KPTV) Renn Cannon, the Special Agent in Charge of the Portland division of the FBI (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

In the wake of the attack in New York City, local leaders with the FBI division in Portland said Wednesday the threat level in Oregon remains low.

However, they also said the attack is an important reminder for everyone to remain watchful, and not be afraid to speak up if something – or someone – doesn’t seem right.

“In the past, we expected to see more networks,” Renn Cannon, the Special Agent in Charge of the Portland division of the FBI, told Fox 12. “What we’re seeing increasingly are the issues of individuals who are self-radicalizing.”

Cannon said he is not aware of any specific threat to Oregon at this time.

While he could not comment specifically on Tuesday’s attack in New York City, he said there is usually some kind of red flag before an event like that – a warning sign family members or neighbors may notice the most.

“The patterns that we’ve noticed are that people become obsessed with violence,” he said. “Whether that violence is inspired by ISIS, inspired by a hateful ideology, inspired by past events – mass shooting events – unfortunately sometimes people become obsessed with those types of events and become inspired to conduct an act of violence themselves.”

Anyone who knows someone who fits that description, particularly if they’ve taken steps to follow through, Cannon said they must be the person who speaks up.

“The mission of the JTTF is to detect and disrupt violence before it happens,” he explained.

Cannon said the Joint Terrorism Task Force evaluates hundreds of threat assessments here in Oregon every year, and thankfully most of them turn out to be nothing.

“It could be something as simple as a bag left unattended at the airport, and hey, there’s a suspicious package. Find out well, somebody lost their bag,” he explained.

But he also knows all too well that an innocent explanation isn’t always the case.

Just since 2016, he said there have been 10 vehicle attacks in Europe and two in the United States. They come from different ideologies, but the pattern of self-radicalization is a common thread, he said.

“We joined the FBI, we joined the police departments, to protect the community,” Cannon added. “Anytime we see something we weren’t able to prevent, whether it’s overseas or here in America, it makes us strengthen our resolve to do our jobs well.”

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