Retired Israeli officer: Charleston could be target of terrorists

Retired Israeli officer: Charleston could be target of terrorists

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A former Israeli military intelligence officer said Monday Charleston could be the target of a terrorist attack if enemy combatants being held at Guantanamo Bay are moved to the Navy brig in Hanahan.

Illan Handelman is in Charleston to pitch the idea of a local community terrorism awareness project.

Handelman said living in Israel he knew what it was like to live each day under the threat of a terrorist attack.

"Expect the unexpected, that's what's my philosophy," Handelman said.

Now retired, Handelman trains police all over the world, teaching them counter terrorism tactics.

In a video provided to Live 5 News, the former military commando is working with cops in Mexico who are fighting the drug cartels.

But it's here in the United States, where Handelman said police need to be properly trained to spot terrorists before they attack.

He says the deadly Boston Marathon bombing is a good example.

"There is a backpack on the street and nobody pay attention. This won't happen in Israel, happened in the past, but not now," he said. Usually in Israel when there is a marathon, there is undercover police agents, special unit which are trained to detect which is the unusual from the usual."

Handelman said terrorists are always thinking of new ways to attack, to take victims by surprise.

"I don't think in the United States the police officers are ready for thousands of scenarios," he said. "Where did they put the bomb in Boston, in a backpack, in a cooking thing that nobody would pay attention to that. See what happened?"

The former army commando said he has learned to be on the lookout, no matter where he is.

"It's in my blood, to look to scan, to analyze."

Handelman said it's not a matter of if, but when terrorists will strike on American soil again.

No decision has been made on moving the detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

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