Who should the Islamo-fascist terrorists should fear most in their determined efforts to attack the USA?

It’s not the FBI.

It’s not the bumbling, bloated bureaucracy of the Homeland Security Department.

It’s not the CIA.

It’s not the collective police forces of the U.S.

It’s you and me.

Those who are most likely to foil the murderous plots to kill American citizens, blow up buildings, attack infrastructure and even kill U.S. troops in training are vigilant American citizens with open eyes and a commitment to national security.

That is precisely what happened in the Fort Dix conspiracy to kill soldiers at the New Jersey military installation.

The Islamic radicals from the former Yugoslavia, long-time illegal aliens who were radicalized into their jihadist beliefs right here in America, were planning to attack the fort with automatic rifles and other arms to kill as many soldiers as they could manage.

How were they caught?

The terrorists attempted to convert a video to a DVD at a Circuit City store in Cherry Hill, N.J. The video depicted 10 young men in their 20s shooting automatic weapons at a firing range, calling for jihad and shouting in Arabic, “Allah Akbar.”

It was the suspicious storeowner who alerted authorities, triggering the FBI investigation that led to the arrests.

He should be rewarded by the government for his action. But don’t count on it.

From President Bush on down, our federal officials don’t really have much faith in you and me.

They think we’re dumb, helpless creatures who can’t find our way to the lavatory without pages of directions from bureaucrats in Washington.

But the citizen action in New Jersey is not really unusual. It was citizen action that led directly to the arrests of the Beltway Snipers a few years ago. These were dangerous terrorists who had eluded one of the largest police manhunts in the history of the country. Yet within hours of getting a description of a suspect vehicle out to the public, the public found John Muhammad and his teenage accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo.

It happens all the time. And in times like these, U.S. citizens should be empowered and encouraged to be alert.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I do not believe the government can be counted on to rescue you in a major emergency. How many towns do we need to see flattened before we figure this out? Most government officials are more interested in protecting their own backside than they are in protecting you and your family.

So be vigilant. Be prepared. Think about what is coming. There will be more attacks. They will not all be foiled by citizens. You have a responsibility to yourself, your family and your loved ones to protect yourself and others by using your head and thinking in advance.

I also encourage every responsible person reading this column to include in their civil defense game plan the acquisition of and training with firearms.

It is your sovereign birthright. It is your duty.

No one knows the nature of the next attack. So we should prepare with our imaginations. We should think like the people who want to kill us. We should get inside their minds so we can get the drop on them.

As I write this column, a man who faced down terrorists in his Sunday church service is touring the U.S. promoting his book, “Shooting Back.”

Did he expect terrorists to attack his church in 1993? No.

Did he expect to fire that handgun that Sunday morning? No.

Did he expect to stop the slaughter of innocent people by automatic gunfire? No.

But the unexpected happened. And he was prepared. Live like Charl Van Wyk.

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