The United States marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, former Navy Seal who killed Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for the most violent terrorist strikes in the country, warned the greatest threat that country is facing today.
Robert O’Neill, a former member of the elite SEAL Team Six said in an interview with Fox News that although there is a growing concern about a rebirth of radical Islamic terrorism, the U.S. is facing much bigger vulnerabilities.
“My biggest concern is the division in this country,” O’Neill said. “Most people are good to each other. But the anger and the division gets the ratings, and that’s what people hear. A lot of people know if they keep people divided they can stay in power and it’s wrong.”
“We can disagree with each other but we’re on the same team when it all comes down to it,” he added.
O’Neill said that the 9/11 20th anniversary should serve as a memorial not only to those who died in the attacks and in the following years (since the U.S. was in the longest war in American history after the 9/1 attack) but also as a memorial and a reminder of the shared American values.
“There were people running out of the towers to live, and there were policemen and firemen running up to die. And we have those people there and it’s very, very important to realize that,” he said as a reference to the criticisms the police force have received nationwide.
“Those are the good guys and they’re out there,” O’Neill added. “When the demons come, someone’s going to be there to defend you and America should realize that.”
O’Neill also shared his experience being in Kosovo for a peacekeeping mission during the 9/11 attacks with SEAL team two. He was deployed more than a dozen times as a SEAL. “That was as close as we ever thought we’d get to combat because there wasn’t war on the horizon,” he said.
O’Neill told the story that they were in an “operation center” with the TV on and sending emails when a breaking news segment took over the program that was currently showing on TV and grabbed their attention.
“We were looking at it, at the North Tower and guys were saying, ‘You know, a small plane? That’s a huge building, that’s a really big hole and that’s a clear day. This is weird.’ And we were all talking about it with some other SEALS and some intelligence people. And then the second plane hit the south tower and that’s when we all knew immediately – this is an attack.”
O’Neill was deployed to Afghanistan on 2005 after being sent in with a Seal team to rescue Marcus Luttrell, a mission that was called Operation Red Wings that was featured I the film “Lone Survivor.”
During the interview, he also shared his main concerns as to how the U.S. is quick to forget the struggle against Islamic Terrorism.
“People do need to realize that, you know, as opposed to yelling at each other on social media – there’s an enemy out there that wants to kill all of us. And it doesn’t matter, really doesn’t matter, what you look like – it’s your ideology,” he said. “You don’t believe what they think you should believe and they’re going to kill you.”
“One of their sayings is, ‘The Americans have the clock, but we have the time,'” he added as a warning to possible future attack. “They’re going to adapt.”
The former SEAL also said on the eve of the 9/11 20th anniversary to find a common ground and be united in shared American values.
“One of my friends Dakota Meyer always says, ‘I don’t want another 9/11 but I’ll take another 9/12 because it united all of us,'” the former SEAL said. “And not just Americans, but our way of life, because I think it was 84 countries lost people in the twin towers.”