Sunday, September 12, 2010

Article On Terrorism Worth Reading

Slate has republished an article which examines why, after so many years, there has not been another terrorist attack in the United States.

To summarize, the author examines 8 theories floating around, with "worry" levels ranging from very low to very high.

  1. Terrorists got really lucky on September 11, 2001. Dozens of "red flags" were flying in the days before the attack, and if only one of them had been followed up on, the 9-11 attacks would have been foiled. Terrorists really aren't as smart as we like to think they are, and there aren't even a fraction as many as we believe.
  2. Terrorists (other than Al Qaida) really would rather attack other Muslims, Israel, and "near enemies" rather than "far enemies" like Europe and America. It's only disaffected individuals, or small two/three member gangs of "wannabes" who try to put together plots against Europe and America, which have so far been easily foiled by law enforcement.
  3. American Muslims get along quite well in American society, and have no reason to attack their own country, or allow foreigners in their midst to hatch plots.
    1. Additionally, in America, the number of Muslims who are middle eastern is not as high as you think: almost half of american Muslims are African or white. In addition, a large number of Middle Easterners in America are Christian.
    2. Most middle-eastern Muslims in America are Shi'ites, whereas most terrorists are Sunni.
    So, the number of potential terrorists in America is much, much smaller than the term "Mulsim" or "middle eastern" would lead you to believe especially when compared to the social makeup of middle-eastern Mulsim communities in Europe... especially England.
  4. Al Qaida is looking for an attack more destructive than 9-11, feeling that small and ineffective attacks will only weaken it tactically (though they have committed terrorist acts in other countries since 9-11). So, they have forgone further attacks until they can make it really count.
  5. Al Qaida is busy fighting Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, and therefore doesn't need to go to America to engage in a fight against the United States (though it is proven that very few people fighting against American soldiers in Iraq are foreign, or in Afghanistan are anything other than local resistance fighters).
  6. Increased vigilance on the part of The American Government has thwarted any further attacks (though the attacks that have been thwarted have ranged from improbable to laughable to far-too-obvious).
  7. There is a theory that Al-Qaida times their attacks to coincide with elections in order to try to effect the outcome. (While true, the outcomes are varied in the results, and the long-term effects are seldom what Al-Qaida would naturally hope for.) So they are waiting for an election to stage their next attack.
  8. The most worrying theory is that it is simply too soon for the terrorists to attack again, because it would not yet be "terrorizing" enough, and that security is still too tight. They are waiting for the U.S. to let down its guard.
Anyway, read the whole article. It takes a while, but it really is an interesting look into the state of terrorism and counter-terrorism in the world today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Slate has republished an article which examines why, after so many years, there has not been another terrorist attack in the United States.

Well it certainly has not been for a lack of trying. Times square incident 6 months ago could have been serious if properly executed. The shoe bomber on a plane 18 months ago could have been serious if properly executed.
Increased airport security has raised the risk a little. But the main reason is they are all busy elsewhere (in Iraq and Afghanistan).

And finally, most terrorist cells have lost funding due to the world wide recession. Yes, it affects their ability to raise necessary capitol. Now the stupid Koran burning incident by a NJ transit worker today will help them raise those funds. That NJ transit worker should be charged with treason for aiding and abetting Islamic terrorists.