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WNY Congressman responds to Obama's counterterrorism vision

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Late last week President Obama outlined his counter terrorism vision. The President said "America is at a crossroads" when it comes to the changing nature of terrorist threats.  He warns that Americans need to be vigilant against the increase of homegrown terror threats.  WBFO's Eileen Buckley caught up with a Western New York Congressional leader who is a ranking member of the counter-terrorism intelligence committee.

"I received classified briefings about potential terrorist threats," said Congressman Brian Higgins.

Congressman notes that striking a balance between civil liberties and those who are making potential terror threats isn't a simple task.  And recently there is word that Homeland Security has been checking the immigration status of some foreign students at U.S.-Canadian border crossings.

Congressman Higgins said individual liberties should be protected, but at the same time the U.S. must protect its citizens.

"These are tough times....if they have information that says there may be students looking to do harm on the homeland, the y have to be particular caution.  It is just the way the world is in post 9-11," said Higgins.

Higgins said when information points to a certain person or characteristic, those who are in charge of keeping watch of our national security must be vigilant in monitoring those individuals. 

The Congressman points to the recent terror threat a commuter train that runs through Buffalo from New York City to Toronto.  Both U.S. and Canada law enforcement thwarted  a potential terrorist attack. Higgins said that is most "effective means" of protecting our homeland.