A former assistant FBI director said on Sunday that the massive Christmas morning bombing in downtown Nashville, Tenn., should serve as a “wake-up call” on the vulnerability of infrastructure in the nation.
"I think this is a wake-up call and a warning for all of us about how vulnerable our infrastructure is, how relatively easy it is for a single individual to do this,” said Frank Figliuzzi on CBS's "Face the Nation."
"We've concentrated post-9/11 on getting our hands around all the chemical companies' mass orders of precursors for known explosives, and look what an individual can do on his or her own when they simply amass quantities of things that are under the radar screen," he added.
.@FrankFigliuzzi1 tells @margbrennan the #Nashville bombing was a "wakeup call" to how easy it is for a single individual to carry out an attack of this nature.— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) December 27, 2020
Says notion of a "copycat is very real and we should be concerned about it" pic.twitter.com/qnEeIu7Whx
Figliuzzi added that the public "has to be extremely vigilant about those around them that are talking about acting out or that might be able to do this."
"Shop owners and companies who are seeing smaller orders of precursors, that's where all of our vulnerability is," he added.
Figliuzzi said it is possible that the Nashville bombing was carried out by a single person, pointing to the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and noting that Timothy McVeigh was able to pull off his attack by simply acquiring large amounts of fertilizer.
A local man, Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, has been identified as a person of interest in the Nashville bombing, the Tennessean reports. Warner reportedly worked extensively in IT and is believed to be knowledgeable on electronics and alarms.
Host Margaret Brennan noted that Warner was believed to have disliked 5G technology and had become engrossed in conspiracy theories relating to it.
"We're living in an incredibly politically charged environment. There's tremendous dangerous polarization, and it's being fueled by social media conspiracy theorists out there," responded Figliuzzi. "I'm aware that there are groups and individuals who seem to think that 5G technology might be the cause of COVID. that technology generally is targeting us."
#Nashville conspiracies: @FrankFigliuzzi1 says conspiracies that the #nashvillebombing was related to 5G technology shows "there is tremendous dangerous polarization and it is being fueled by social media"— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) December 27, 2020
He stresses vigilance in the U.S. ahead of #InaugurationDay pic.twitter.com/l4BoayEv2h
"You'll find almost anything imaginable and unimaginable online, and it may be that this is partially what drove this individual, and that's why we need to speak the truth about what 5G is where COVID came from," he added.
Figliuzzi warned that the combination of conspiracy theories calling into question the truth about 5G and the coronavirus pandemic coupled with the anxiety surrounding the election and inauguration could contribute to copycat attacks in the near future.