Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Saturday, September 10, 2011

This Time, It's Different

As the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks nears, New York City and Washington, D.C. are under a credible and apparently very serious terrorist threat. According to one early news report, terrorists were caught in Ottawa, Canada, with a 2,000 pound bomb. To give you some perspective, the bomb Ramzi Yousef built to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993 was 1,500 pounds – and he told security officials that he failed to blow up the building because he didn’t have enough money for a bigger bomb. Whatever they had in mind to blow up, it had to be pretty big.

Ten years ago, we were woefully unprepared for an attack. We should have been. The first WTC attack should have been a five-star alarm. Instead, because Pres. Clinton didn’t want any encounters with foreign nations, the terrorists used forged passports, and the FBI and CIA weren’t allowed to share information, the attack was treated like a criminal matter. In other words, law enforcement couldn’t do anything until the bomb went off.

According to Richard Miniter’s new book, Mastermind: The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shakh Mohammed, law enforcement was suspicious of Yousef, not so much of KSM, but couldn’t do anything about him because of legal constraints.

Even when al-Qaeda itself taunted us (with copy prepared undoubtedly by KSM himself), we still did nothing. Average Americans believed it. Law enforcement either didn’t, or couldn’t, do anything about it until something happened.  That was ten years ago. We now have various agencies on guard against every sort of attack the terrorists can dream up. There’s a number citizens can call if they notice suspicious activity, which certainly didn’t exist ten years ago.

Miniter’s book is a fascinating look at KSM; it’s like reading Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. KSM’s entire family, in fact, is in “the business.” They’re like an Islamic Mafia family, with KSM’s father as the titular “Allah-Father”. They were responsible for assassination attempts on the late Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Miniter gives us an accurate portrait of the attention-craving, arrogant, mocking terrorist we’ve all come to know and hate. He grew up a second-class citizen in a suburb of Kuwait City. Although he was born in Kuwait, KSM’s family would technically be considered Iranian, coming from the mountainous Baluchistan region between Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. They considered themselves to be Baluchis. KSM was a man without a country. So he embraced the religion of Islam and its jihadism, which recognizes no real nationality, instead.

Other terrorists say that he was in the habit of stealing their murderous ideas, and that the idea to ram jets into skyscrapers was the idea of one of the pilots whom he was trying to recruit. Whatever. KSM got his training, but no real glory, in Afghanistan, where he and his nephew Ramzi, only a few years younger than himself, went to get a piece of the action.

He probably met Osama Bin Laden there, as all new, promising recruits were required to do, but their relationship wouldn’t become formalized until after he and Ramzi made their names in the first World Trade Center attack. According to Miniter, Bin Laden found the creative murderer promising, but undisciplined. A bone of contention between them was that KSM was very quick to make decisions, taking risks and dealing with the aftermath later, where OBL took his time, which irritated KSM, a hastiness that may just have saved many more lives in the 9/11 attacks.

KSM is in prison now, just like the Blind Sheikh, whose imprisonment the terrorists were trying to avenge on 9/11. Now we have one more prisoner – KSM himself – and mercifully dead Osama Bin Laden whom the terrorists will probably try to avenge.

They may succeed. We must be on our guard. They may not succeed, on the other hand, because we are on our guard. Not only is our security better prepared, but so are our citizens. We’re ready, not only to report any suspicious terrorist activity, but to thwart any suspicious political or legislative activity. Barney Frank, who co-authored the original bill in 1987, allowing foreign students to basically overstay their student visas with impunity, is in the sites of the Tea Party. So are other politically-correction, apologist politicians who might try to undue or resurrect legislation that would allow terrorists to carry on with their jihadist mission and moderate Muslims to stealthily build the foundation for Shariah Law in the United States.

We have to have it right 100 percent of the time; they only have to be right once. But we’re all going to make it darned difficult to pull off another 9/11. We’re ready (as we can be) for them – and we’re not afraid.  We're not going to play the sheep heading helplessly towards the slaughter.  We've learned our lesson from 9/11.


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