In her address to the Brennan Center in New York earlier this week, DHS director Janet Napolitano admitted that up to 80 percent of terror cases have been interrupted due to either citizen vigilance or to community policing. She said:
But what is most critical to note and does not get the attention it deserves, is that the public, individual members of the public stopped one-third of those plots. In other words, the kind of vigilance we are encouraging, through something like the See Something, Say Something campaign, has already helped save lives, protect property, helped thwart plots in nearly 3 of 10 discovered since 1999.And when you add the fact that federal, state and local law enforcement, in terms of the other remaining plots, came from old-fashioned shoe leather, old-fashioned police work, and community oriented policing and knowing neighborhoods and knowing what makes sense and what doesn't.Those two things combined together are at least 80 percent of the plots that have been foiled. So vigilance expressed by individuals, vigilance as practiced by trained first responders and law enforcement makes a huge difference. But for us to be informed means that we also need to engage in regular discussion, as a community, as a concerned nation.