Experts: Attack in Chelsea considered ‘franchise terrorism’

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind — Following the suspected terror attack in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood Saturday night, cities across the nation remain on heightened alert.

Terrorism expert, Peter Beering, says he believes the explosion and another attempted explosion are considered “franchise terrorism.” That’s when extremist groups encourage members to attack at any opportunity.

“Instead of a highly centralized plot being controlled from some faraway place, that this is radicalized elements that have acted on opportunity that they see happening in their immediate vicinity,” Beering said.

These types of terror acts are more common than planned out and plotted attacks in America, according to experts. In this case, there were no major scheduled events centralized around the attack. Saturday night in Chelsea was any average night for residents and visitors. Beering said he believes that is the exact point terrorists look to make.

“Terrorism is the exercise in frightening a population and what could be more fighting than detonating an explosive device in a Chelsea like kind of a neighborhood where there isn’t anything particularly drawing attention to it,” Beering said.

The attackers used pressure cookers and pipe bombs. These materials are easy to come by, but they’re also easy to trace. Beering said he believes the suspects will likely be caught.

“There are lots and lots of parts and pieces of evidence. The evidence is all in smithereens, but the smithereens are like one giant 3-D Jigsaw puzzle and you can piece those pieces back together and then you know exactly what the device was, where it came from,” Beering said.

As for any concerns for similar attacks in Indianapolis, Beering said local law enforcement is vigilant in investigating leads and looking at any connections to attacks in other states. If you see something suspicious, you’re encouraged to report it.

“Many terror plots have been unfurled because someone was alert and noticed something that looked out of place and reported that to the authorities,” said Beering.