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Next Terror Attack?
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Post Next Terror Attack? 
It has been about 5 and a half years since 9/11. No one talks about Bin Laden or terroists except those in Iraq these days. If the terrorists want to pull off a surprise attack, this may seem like a good time. Right before 9/11, the top news was about the CA congressman Gary Condit and his involvement in the death a young intern.

Do you think we will be hit again sometime soon? If so, will it be a big one?

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It's impossible to predict, really.

I know bid-Laden and company have tried and been foiled several times since 9-11, although the media doesn't highlight the times we're successful in stopping terrorist attacks very well. Most Americans believe Jack Bauer has stopped more terrorist attacks than our real-life homeland security workers.

I think, at this point, we may be relatively stable for the next two years... not necessarily because of Bush specifically, but because his team is experienced and in place.

I think the real risk comes when the next administration takes office, no matter whether they are GOP or Democrat... simply because it'll be a new team leading the way, with less experience doing the anti-terrorism job. Whenever there's a changeover like that, terrorists feel a bit more motivated to "test" the new administration to see what they can get away with.

Now, what will be different depending on who wins the White House in '08 is the presumptions they'll be bringing into their administration. I know I'm gonna get flamed for this, but most Dem nominees would expose us to a greater risk than most GOP nominees... but only for TESTING, not necessarily for real risk.

Here's why. While most GOP nominees are likely to assemble some new faces in their administration, they're probably gonna carry over some key members of the Bush Administration, and some of the Homeland Security folks are the most likely to survive, purely for their expertise on such a key issue. Sure, Tom Ridge might be out, but one of his key deputies would be the most likely to succeed him. That represents a lower "transition testing" risk ... not that al-Qaeda won't attempt something, just that they're less likely to be successful. Not because of the GOP/Dem element, just purely based on experience. Of course, if a wild card like McCain wins, it could be a bit different (riskier) than if Giuliani or some other GOP candidate wins.

The Dem candidates present a greater risk of a successful terrorist attack - not because they're incompetent or don't understand the threat, but because if they win, they're more likely to clean house completely and start over with a fresh, but far less experienced, team.

Another factor that introduces risk is that all the candidates running currently for the Dem nod are riding a wave of antiwar sentiment, and frankly, like it or not, pulling out of "fighting them over there" does indeed raise the risk that we'll be "fighting them over here."

That said... and this is key... all this represents is the risk of a successful TEST attack by bin-Laden and company. No matter who wins, I think the first test or two by bin-Laden and company and how the new team in charge of the White House in '09 responds will determine a lot. If they follow a Clintonian path of treating terrorism as something to be pursued by criminal court trial, then we'll have a higher risk of ongoing terrorist attacks.

If someone takes a more proactive prevention approach - not necessarily the Bush Doctrine, but not the Clinton Doctrine either - then I think the terrorism risk goes down or stays the same as it has been since 9-12-01. The key for any new administration, Dem or GOP, will be to show that despite a changing of the guard, America's vigilance against terrorist attack remains constant.

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I hate to say it, but I fear that the show 24 may not be all that far off base.

Suitcase nuclear devices have been around for years and they would be ideal for people like Bin Laden. With several countries willing to sell nuclear supplies or weapons of some sort to the highest bidder it could be very easy (figuratively speaking) for terrorists to get their hands on such a device.

I don't know when, but I hope I'm wrong about the "how".

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Post Sleeper 
I fear sometimes we over-think this issue. Note that the daily terror attacks in Iraq, Palestinian zones, and Israel are not being conducted with nukes, but with Radio Shack technology and military or commercial explosives. It would be extremely easy to kill thousands of people in a mall or a sporting event with WWII vintage weapons in a matter of minutes.

One hugely unfortunate effect of "loss of focus" is the immigration issue. Some idiots have become so obsessed with the idea that a Mexican roofer might get free health care that they have forgotten why we focused on illegal immigration in the first place. Mexicans aren't blowing up buildings or poisoning our water supplies.

We still have a large number of high-risk Middle Eastern visitors, legal and illegal, who are unaccounted for in the US, and I doubt that situation has changed much. Call it profiling if you like, but the vast majority of discovered international terrorism incidents have involved Jihadic Muslim suspects. The true identities, purpose and whereabouts of Middle Easterners visiting the US need to be examined and tracked carefully, and if one disappears from the radar, it should be handled as urgent and dangerous business.

As terrorism and assassination experts have known for years, it is extremely difficult to stop a man who is willing to die for his cause.

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Post Simple Terror Attacks 
thrice wrote:
I fear sometimes we over-think this issue. Note that the daily terror attacks in Iraq, Palestinian zones, and Israel are not being conducted with nukes, but with Radio Shack technology and military or commercial explosives.


I agree. All terrorists need to learn is what the Minneapolis street gangs are doing. They don't have to wipe out 1000 people at a time. All they need to do is to shoot up a neighborhood and create this paralyzing fear in people's mind. If people are scared of going outside their homes or going to the store, the nation's economy can be crippled in 6 months. Just think about how much damage that will cause. A big econmic depression can kill far more than 3000.

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Post Bin Laden as Crips leader 
But do terrorist organizations want to stay "small town" and adopt the tactics of street gangs when they can make such a big, splashy and fear inspiring display as they did on 9/11?

As the self proclaimed soldiers of their God, I doubt they will stick with small time heroics. They want to inflict the maximum amount of damage in as public and political an arena as possible.

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