Monday, June 18, 2007

Here Come the Suicide Bombers

It was only a matter of time. In the 70's and 80's, they killed us overseas. In the 90's they expanded their operations to larger targets. At the turn of the millennium, they focused on large, dramatic attacks which culminated with 9/11. But was that all radical Islam had in store for the West? Of course not.

Now, hiding in training camps in the badlands of Pakistan, a new breed of radical Muslim terrorist is emerging. This new crop of recruits won't be headed to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem... these guys are headed to shopping malls, transit systems and public places near you - here in America.

8 comments:

Daniel said...

I seriously hope its hype..... though in my heart I know that something like this will be heading our way eventually anyway.. Its too cost effective, almost impossible to defend against and utterly demoralizing to the other side. That added level of parnoia where anytime a large group of people gather there is that "edge" that keeps everyone tense. *shudder*

Dan said...

I just posted the following comments on another blog, and I feel they are pertinent here as well, so I'm gonna quote myself:

I, like many others, have been surprised by the lack of activity directed against the United States - especially in the form of homicide bombings. I have two theories for this:

1. The U.S. is doing a great job in preventing such attacks (as we've seen with several high profile busts). The problem with this theory is that it is only a numbers game. We can't claim victory because we haven't been attacked yet. It's far too easy for someone to pull off a homicide bombing, so I lean towards the next theory.

2. Al Qaeda (or another terror network) is waiting for the right moment to launch a large, spectacular attack against the US. Traditional homicide bombings (bus bombings, etc.), while horrible, are small potatoes in the grand scheme of terror. The country would certainly reel from a series of random bombings, but the impact would probably be absorbed over time. We'd get used to them, like the Israeli's have. My gut feeling is that Bin Laden is planning something bigger than 9/11. That's the only way he can maintain credibility. If he downgrades to small scale suicide attacks, the psychological impact of 9/11 is lessened. The next attack, for the sake of his continued cause, needs to be large. Unfortunately.

Daniel said...

Not sure that I quite agree with you... I think that in particular for Americans (we of the, "nobody attacks us at home") the impact of this stuff would be significant... particularily since 9/11 hit DC and NYC, cities that are in many ways far removed from the american life (high up there in the cultural meter but as a relevenace to dat-to-day life, very low). The Israeli's have pretty much lived under this threat or similiar ones the whole existance of their state.... Americans are used to this sort of stuff happening in other countries, not in Podunk, USA.

To personalize it (and thats as far as I choose specify.. I refuse to narrow my scope/examples on the Internet... the bad guys don't need ideas) would hit Americans very hard.... the economic damage alone would be significant.

That and the elections are 17 months or so away.... Every IC and CT analyst in this country better be on edge for any activity during this period...

Dan said...

Those are good points. But let me ask you this. Considering the scope of 9/11, would you ever believe that Americans would be as complacent about security, forgetful about that day, and unsupportive of the War in Iraq as they are only 5 years later?

I know the country would freak out if we had a single suicide bombing take place... but after 5 years, it would have less of an impact than 9/11, even if we were subjected to random bombings now and then.

Just like school shootings now... people would start to understand their chances of being hit are infinitely small, and they would go on. That's why Osama needs to plan something big. Something that would instill fear in the heart of every American. Something like... an American Hiroshima.

Daniel said...

its not one or 2 events that scare me, its a continious barrage. America hasn't been under continious seige since our beginning.

The only nice thing about Al-Qaeda thinking big is that big projects are easier to find, since there are so many hands (and ears) involved in the task. Its the low scale things like suicide bombers that frustrate since the number people involved (and the required resources) are fairly limited...

And yes, I think I could belive your statement. There was a quiet desperatation to "return to normal." And people took it to heart (particularily given that there have 0 attacks in the USA in the interim... that allows people to write off 9/11 as an aberation).

As you said, I, like you, am downright shocked by the lack of activity against the US. Its VERY suspicious and makes you wonder what is hiding behind door number 2....

Dan said...

Amen to that.

And I'll admit, I wonder if "today is the day" a terrorist will bomb the Metro as I ride it to and from work - every day.

Carrie Broadshoulders said...

I think a "continuous barrage" of suicide attacks in the United States is fairly unlikely. While I think our lack of control at our own borders is shamful, I don't think it is as easy for trained terrorists to enter the country to the degree that they can carry out a "continuous barrage" of suicide bombings on our land. I agree with other commenters that we should be more afraid of a suicide bombing that has a more large scale component - nuke in downtown city type of component than someone strapping TNT and killing 10 people at the Gap at the King of Prussia mall. Though maybe if this "continuous barrage" began, the United States government would begin to focus on more effective ways of controlling terrorism which would include border control, something that could have prevented 9/11 in the first place and is still shamefully lacking in our country today.

Dan said...

You're right, CB. The only way anything gets done in this country anymore is when something bad kicks us in the pants. The bad thing about that is one day, the kick in the pants may be beyond our capacity to react because we never prepared... Chicken and the egg.