Jonathan Gilliam to Newsmax: Subways Vulnerable ‘Soft Target’ for Terror

Jonathan Gilliam to Newsmax: Subways Vulnerable 'Soft Target' for Terror (Newsmax's "American Agenda")

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Wednesday, 13 April 2022 06:53 PM

People might wish to "quarterback" about the attack on a Brooklyn subway and the arrest of suspect Frank James, who was once on the FBI's terrorism watchlist, but at the end of the day, the shootings happened because the subway was a "soft target" where "any attack could happen any time," former FBI special agent and U.S. Navy SEAL Jonathan Gilliam told Newsmax.

"We have to realize that wherever there are places that people will congregate on any given day is a soft target, and it's a place where the potential of something can happen," Gilliam told Wednesday's "American Agenda." "Law enforcement has to understand that they have to look at the subway platforms and places as a location where a potential something could happen."

His comments came after New York City police arrested James, 62, on a Manhattan street one day after the subway attack Tuesday. He has been charged with several charges, including federal charges of committing a terrorist act on a mass transit facility.

When it comes to a place like a subway, "there's only a limited amount of time where these attacks will most likely happen, and that's when it's mostly packed," Gilliam said. "We're talking about mass attacks here. Any attack could happen anytime."

Frank had been on the FBI's Guardian system but was removed in 2019, Newsweek reported, even though he was continuing to post threatening videos online

There are many reasons the FBI would remove someone, Gilliam said.

"Usually when somebody is taken off the list, it's because they've been checked out when they think it's just an emotional, disturbed person," Gilliam said. "The very fact that he was on that list shows you that he did have specific aspects about what he believed, and the rants that he had had that put him on that list."

Meanwhile, Gilliam said Tuesday's attack shows the dangers of a terrorist attack are not only in the skies, but also on the ground.

"He went and rented a vehicle," Gilliam said. "How come he didn't pop up on a watch list there? We know several attacks where rental vehicles, including with Timothy McVeigh, where they've blown a building completely up using a rental vehicle. I can't go into complete detail about how the terrorist watch list works. But does it work? I don't know if it works.

"I know how it's supposed to work. But I'm not real sure if it works, and this is a perfect case, I believe."

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