In just one week in July we have been lucidly reminded that the war on terror is alive and well. The question is: Will we turn a blind eye to the evidence or seek to prevent a repeat of summer 2001, when we were given signs of a clear and present danger before Sept. 11?
“Reminiscent of…the summer of 2001”
The London Telegraph noted that “Britain is a centre of intense plotting and faces a terrorist threat of ‘unprecedented scale, ambition and ruthlessness’.” The former director general of the United Kingdom’s security system, MI5, Dame Eliza, gave a forthright warning, “It remains a very real possibility that they may, sometime, somewhere attempt a chemical biological, radiological or even nuclear attack.”
Additionally, up to eight British police officers and civilian staff are feared to have links to extremist groups including al-Qaida – some even attending terror training camps in Pakistan or Afghanistan.
Back in North America, the Canadian Press reported, “At least 76 radioactive devices, several of which could be used in a terrorist attack, have gone missing in Canada over the last five years, newly compiled figures show.”
And in the U.S., a 300-pound canister containing compressed chlorine gas was stolen from the Montgomery County (Texas) Regional Water Corporation. According to Lt. Dan Norris from the County Sheriff’s Office, “It’s very dangerous. If it’s inhaled, it can cause immediate death.”
And ABC News detailed that “a secret U.S. law enforcement report, prepared for the Department of Homeland Security, warns that al-Qaida is planning a terror ‘spectacular’ this summer, according to a senior official with access to the document.” The counter-terrorism official concluded by saying, “This is reminiscent of the warnings and intelligence we were getting in the summer of 2001.”
At the same time, America’s Homeland Security Department is confessing that it’s facing 138 vacancies in high-level jobs – an employment crisis that it’s calling “a critical homeland security issue that demands immediate attention.”
How YOU might prevent the next terrorist attack
I’m not an alarmist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do believe we need to wake up to the fact that the war on terror is far from over. That is why, on this anniversary day of the successful testing of the atomic bomb, I’m calling out to Americans and our world community to better aid our governments to prevent future acts of terror. When time and technology reduces the size of weapons of mass destruction from being transported by planes to luggage, it’s time we together consider the ramifications of the “suitcase-nuke episodes” of “24” reflecting reality.
Odds are, the next domestic attack will not be prompted by the mistake of airport security but civilian neglect or oversight to report suspicious or mischievous behavior. For this reason, I’d like to focus upon what we, as average citizens, can do to possibly foil future terrorist plots.
- Don’t stick your head in the sands of denial – be informed about terrorist activity and domestic safety. Locate your state’s homeland security website and stay abreast to the latest news, including potential terrorist threats.
Report tips of suspected terrorism or criminal activity to the FBI. My own home state of Texas gives ample examples of such suspicious actions on its homeland security website.
Be active in advocating anti-terrorist activity and domestic safety. Demand that your representatives address related issues in your community and county. Pester media moguls and giants until they stop airing terrorist messages from groups like al-Qaida. There is absolutely no justification for passing along such extremist propaganda, especially in an age of terror. Claiming First Amendment rights of free speech for such dissemination is ludicrous and reckless constitutional rationalization for aiding and abetting terrorists. It is also time the myriad of media pundits shift from only pontificating about government’s inadequacies to discussing ways to assist it in securing our safety.
Increase your community’s awareness through the National Preparedness Month in September by calling 1-800-BE-READY for a free brochure. Citizen Corps also provides residents with opportunities to prepare, train and support local emergency responders.
If you are employed in a business, in which items or processes can be used for terrorist plots, ask your employer about security (re)enforcement and offer assistance to enhance the progress.
Prepare a basic emergency supply kit for yourself and others. And get training in first aid and emergency response.
Enlist in the military. There is no greater defense than a national offense.
Encourage others right now to fight terrorism by passing on these ideas to your e-mail lists or post it to a blog. Tell them I told you to pass this along!
It’s time all 300 million Americans took a stand against terrorism by contributing in some way to our national security! How do you know if you or someone you know might not be the instrument to avert the next act of terror?
Turning back the Doomsday Clock
Like most of you, I have children and grandchildren that I want to enjoy a safe and secure world. I believe that global position can be preserved but only if we are resolved to overcome our denial, continue to confront and draft counter measures to terrorist threats here and abroad, better restrict illegal immigration and better defend our borders, ports and commerce traffic.
If we citizens make concerted efforts, work alongside our government to assure homeland security and, together, are as diligent to ban extremist assaults as terrorists are right now in planning them, I’m convinced that we can foil and avert the destructive attempts of these fanatical thugs.
Lastly, we must continue to model for and teach the next generations that freedom is not free and that we must never cave into fear and intimidation. As the good book says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”
The Doomsday Clock might have been moved forward two minutes closer to midnight, but I believe we can stop it from striking 12. If we all profess that belief and work toward that goal, I’m convinced we can stop and reverse the cataclysmic hands of time.
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