No amount of money can completely protect us. It will always be possible for small groups of terrorists to set off bombs on trains. As Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire points out, “the way you protect your mass-transit system is the same way you protect your other infrastructure systems -- it’s through aggressive [investigation] and raw robust intelligence.”
And, he added, the best place to get intelligence is in terrorist breeding grounds such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
We also need to win the greater war against terrorism, which won’t happen until the terrorists give up.
Before we can achieve that, we’ll have to convince radical Muslim sects around the world to renounce terrorism and reclaim their faith from the terrorists who are perverting it. “In the end, this can only be taken on and defeated by the [Muslim] community itself,” as British Prime Minister Tony Blair told Parliament. Sadly, that hasn’t happened yet.
After the London bombings, commentators warned against a possible “backlash” against Muslims. “London in the aftermath of the bombing reminds me of Cape Town during apartheid. All those years of racial hatred are coming back to me,” claimed Kashief Dunbar, a 40-year-old South African who’s lived in Britain for three years.
Meanwhile Daud Abdullah of the Muslim Council of Britain explained the violence by noting that British “[Muslims] have social exclusion, we have a sense of not-belonging, a sense of alienation. We have alien ideas, frustration and humiliation.” Abdullah added, “all of these factors feed into the mindset of our youth, and it's demonstrating itself in this outrageous behavior.”
That’s far from a full-throated condemnation.
It’s time for Muslim religious leaders to stand up and inform believers that Islam really is a religion of peace. It’s up to them to let followers know that suicide bombers will be punished, not rewarded, by Allah. Only then will the attacks stop.
Defeating terrorism will be difficult, but it is possible. And it must be accomplished without spending billions more in a futile attempt to “do something.”