Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the portion of the War on Terror which has taken place in public view has been largely prosecuted far away from the United States, a fact which positively demonstrates the war’s success thus far in keeping terrorists away from the American homeland. Unfortunately, the remoteness of known combat operations, combined with the lack of terrorist success in the United States, has had a disappointingly negative effect on Americans’ view of the war, and of the terrorist threat that still faces us – despite the fact that terrorist activity has been taking place, and even more attacks have been publicly thwarted, in countries as geographically (and strategically) close to us as Canada, Spain, and Great Britain.
There have been several high-profile plots. On March 11, 2004, Islamist terrorists conducted a coordinated bombing attack on the commuter rail system in Madrid, Spain, killing 191 people and wounding a further 1,824. On July 7, 2005, four suicide bombers – known as the “Fantastic Four” to Islamists the world over who cheered their actions – struck three London underground trains and a double-decker bus, killing 52 people and injuring 770. In June of last year, seventeen militant Muslims were arrested north of our border after Canadian law enforcement officials learned that they were not only preparing to conduct a string of terror bombings across the country, but were also plotting “to storm Parliament, take hostages and behead the prime minister...if Muslim prisoners were not freed, and if Canada did not pull its 2,300 troops out of Afghanistan.”
In August of 2006, British authorities arrested twenty-five people who were plotting to smuggle liquid explosives aboard airliners bound for the US, with what was thought to be the intention of blowing them up over the Atlantic Ocean. In late October, though, it was revealed that the would-be terrorists’ actual plan was to wait until the passenger-laden aircraft were physically over American cities before detonating them, so as to “maximize the potential loss of life and economic effect.” Terrorism expert and Georgetown University professor Bruce Hoffman said the case “indicated that Islamic extremists remain focused on attacking U.S. cities.”
Unfortunately, there are partisan, professional “Terrorism Deniers” who don’t see it that way – not even close, in fact. To many of the most vocal members of the American Left, the real enemy is not those who would kill us, but the elected President of their country, and the real priority is not fighting terrorists who target them and their families, but rather ridiculing (when not outright attempting to thwart) any actions the Bush administration takes to protect America from future attack.
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