Cal  Thomas

The last time there was a terrorist attack on America, we got the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration. Each entity has spent billions to keep us safe, but neither could stop two brothers, Tamerlan, a permanent resident, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a newly minted U.S. citizen, who lived in America and, reportedly, became radicalized jihadists, from killing and maiming innocent people at the Boston Marathon last week.

According to Dana Priest and William M. Arkin of The Washington Post, "Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States. ... An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances. ... In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings -- about 17 million square feet of space."

All of that failed to prevent the Boston bombings. The massive manpower, sophisticated equipment and money could not stop the Tsarnaevs from constructing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), including "pressure cooker" bombs. Despite a domestic army of federal, state and local forces, the suspects managed to evade capture for days until Tamerlan was killed in a shootout and David Henneberry, a Watertown resident, found Dzhokhar hiding in his boat in his backyard. Henneberry called 911 and the wounded suspect was taken into custody.

The media have reported on the backgrounds of the two men. The FBI interviewed the older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan, at the request of a foreign government, probably Russia, which expressed concern about his ties to Chechen extremists. The FBI, reportedly, could do nothing about Tamerlan under current U.S. law because there was no direct evidence of a terrorist plot.

How much confidence should Americans have in their government for keeping us safe when two young men can wreak havoc, shutting down a major city?

One thing the U.S. government should decide is whether or not to allow people into America from countries where radical Islam and "jihad" are taught. The hope has been that letting them live here would lead them to become more like us, more accepting of our way of life. In fact, their stay in America seems to have reinforced a radical brand of religion and its worldview that are intended to destroy countries like America whose freedoms and "libertinism" they despise.


Cal Thomas

Get Cal Thomas' new book, What Works, at Amazon.

Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
 
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Cal Thomas' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.