Reaction to San Bernardino shootings: What can be done to prevent attacks?

- Local Muslims and criminal justice experts here in the valley are weighing in on what happened in San Bernardino.

What the people we spoke to are saying is that attack on December 2nd may mark a turning point, revealing a threat not just in cities like New York or Washington, D.C., but in any city in America and local law enforcement will have to react.

Muslims in the valley condemn the mass shootings in San Bernardino.

"First and foremost, we want to offer our condolences to family and victims of crime.. we are all devastated by this news," said Kristy Sabbah of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

If this was a terror attack, what can be done?

"I really do not know essentially what our organization could do to help prevent this," said Sabbah. "We cannot jump on blaming one religion over another. We are on heels of Planned Parenthood shooting that happened in Colorado Springs as well."

An expert on criminology at Arizona State University believes the attack means police face a huge new challenge.

"It is extraordinarily difficult for local police to know everybody in their community.. attitudes, hostilities towards U.S. or different faith or cultures," said Clinical Professor Michael Scott of ASU's  School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

"It may well be here.. part of the strategy of radical extremists is to encourage more people to engage in this hateful, violent behavior and if that happens to inspire backlash hostile attitudes towards Muslims," added Scott.

Experts say a backlash could encourage even more attacks.  So one focus for police going forward is building closer ties with local Muslim communities and working with them to try to spot people bent on violence to prevent attacks.

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