The U.S. State Department warns U.S. citizens of potential terrorist attacks in Europe from al-Qaida and its affiliates and now there are warnings of threats at home. What’s next?
Fox News reported on Friday,
“Senior U.S. officials are concerned over recent intelligence indicating that the Pakistani Taliban, which orchestrated the failed Times Square bombing, may have successfully placed another operative inside the United States to launch a second attack. Authorities, however, know very little about the potential operative or any possible plot.”
According to the report, a senior intelligence official stated,
“We don't know who it is and don't know where it is, we know the guy's here, but don't know anything about him.”
In case you have already forgotten, the Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, had attempted to blow up a Nissan Pathfinder on May, 1 of this year in the heart of Times Square.
Although Mayor Bloomberg called the bomb “Amateurish” at a news conference and many other so-called experts said it would never have worked, the FBI later built the same bomb using the exact same materials and placed it inside a Pathfinder along with other vehicles and mannequins surrounding it. The only difference, they made sure it detonated.
A Federal prosecutor stated at Shahzad’s trial that if someone successfully set off such a bomb, the effects would be "devastating”. The video of the FBI test is below.
It is not uncommon for terror organizations to try and try again when they have what they consider to be a failure.
My Counter-terror sources tell me that chatter is at an all-time high since January. Chatter is one way of tracking or predicting an attack from a terror organization, unlike the homegrown version where the individual tends to operate alone and little or no chatter is ever heard before an attack.
All the components of the Shahzad bomb are readily and easily available to obtain in the U.S.
• Two travel alarm clocks with batteries
• Two full 5-gallon cans of gasoline
• 48 consumer-grade M-88 firecrackers inside a metal container
• Three full 20-gallon propane tanks
• A metal gun safe containing a metal pressure cooker pot wired to the clocks, 250 pounds of urea-based fertilizer and 120 M-88s
• None of what I have explained here is confidential; the FBI released this information along with an actual schematic of the bomb at a news conference. The reason I listed the items is to show how anyone could obtain all these items rather easily here in the U.S.
Just 3 weeks ago the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, Michael Leiter, explained in the report “Statement for Record Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, Nine Years after 9/11: Confronting the Terrorist Threat to the Homeland”
“Al-Qa‘ida’s affiliates’ and allies’ increasing ability to provide training, guidance, and support for attacks against the United States makes it more difficult to anticipate the precise nature of the next Homeland attack and determine from where it might come. Regional affiliates and allies can compensate for the potentially decreased willingness of al-Qa‘ida in Pakistan—the deadliest supplier of such training and guidance—to accept and train new recruits. Additional attempts, even if unsuccessful, by al-Qa‘ida’s affiliates and allies to attack the US—particularly attempts in the Homeland—could attract the attention of more Western recruits, thereby increasing those groups’ threat to the Homeland. Even failed attacks, such as AQAP’s (al-Qa‘ida in the Arabian Peninsula’s) and TTP’s (Tehrik-e- Taliban Pakistan) attempts, further al-Qa‘ida’s goal of fomenting global jihad against the West and demonstrate that some affiliates and allies are embracing this vision. The impact of the attempted attacks during the past year suggests al-Qa‘ida, and its affiliates and allies, will attempt to conduct smaller-scale attacks targeting the Homeland but with greater frequency.”
First, I have to laugh at the fact that somehow Michael Leiter managed to stick to the current administrations new “National Security Strategy” word rules and never once used the term “Jihad”, “Terrorist” or “Radical Islamist”. It was however in the first paragraph of the report titled “Nature of the Terrorist Threat” and the word “Terrorist” is part of the title. Sorry, I digress.
Also in this report Leiter stated,
“Following the attempted attack on Times Square, TTP warned that operatives were located in the US and threatened continued attacks against US facilities in Pakistan.”
So beyond just the warning by the TTP that operatives were located in the U.S., we now have Senior U.S. Intelligence Officials warning us as well.
Shahzad was a naturalized U.S. citizen and chances are this person or persons that our officials are saying is already here, also probably is as well. How can our Homeland Security find this person?
The statement “We don't know who it is and don't know where it is, we know the guy's here, but don't know anything about him” has got to be more frustrating to those in law enforcement sworn to protect us then to you reading this.
According to the Fox report the senior intelligence official said “there are five major threat streams -- three aimed at Europe and two aimed at the United States -- that U.S. authorities are following right now.”
So why is it that just last week when asked about "the current threat environment here in the United States" during a press conference in Washington, Attorney General Eric Holder insisted the "threat screening that precipitated the travel alert is all directed at Europe."
I know and understand the difficulty in trying to track any individual with terror ties in our country, let alone any one individual at all for that matter. What I don’t understand is why our administration seems to be continually lying to the American public about it.
Back in February I wrote an article about this very situation. In the article I pointed out,
“The problem here isn’t just a failure to communicate; it is that our government does not want to communicate. In last week’s article, I said that people tend to have this attitude that if we pretend it doesn’t exist, it can’t hurt us. A big part of that attitude has been instilled by our government. They are keeping the truth from us and they honestly believe it is for our own good.”
I also wrote that we, the people, should demand the truth.
“We, the American public, need to demand that our government, consistent with national security concerns, should trust its people with the information required to keep us safe. It is essential that we demand the government realize that in order to be proactive, rather than reactive; it must rely on its people for information, as we are the first line of defensive. Lastly, we must tell our government that we not only can “handle” the truth, but we demand it! Our current rainbow color chart is a joke and I, for one, don’t want to wait until America loses another person due to terrorism let alone, as Mr. Gingrich said, “a city” before our government wakes up and realizes it cannot do it all alone.”
The last two attempted attacks on our country by an organization, the ‘underwear bomber’, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and the ‘Times Square Bomber’, Faisal Shahzad had one very important factor in common; Both were alleviated by their own stupidity and by citizens that were paying attention and aware of their surroundings.
As the Times Square street vendor, Duane M. Jackson so pointedly stated after he was hailed a hero for spotting Shahzad’s smoking SUV, “We dodged a bullet big-time!”
We in America cannot chance that we will continue “dodging the bullet”. Keep your eyes and ears open and report anything that you feel is out of place or just doesn’t look right. What you decide not to report may be the next terrorist attack.
Remember; it’s better to call 9-11 rather than suffering another one.
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