Faisal Shahzad the latest to take the plunge!
After the Sept 11, 2001 bombings, the way the world, and indeed American authorities reacted and perceived terrorism totally changed. From the horrific scenes at the world trace center, to the sophistication and meticulous planning of the terrorist operating under the direct command of Osama bin laden and Al Queda. The CIA,FBI, and all other law enforcement officials were baffled. They had been penetrated by a few men, who had a well thought out plan, hatched in the primitive Afghanistan caves
Things could not be done the old fashioned way anymore, things had to change! America was attacked on its own soil, and national security became number one on the list of priorities of the president. The bush doctrine of pre- emptive action was put into effect. We had to attack and thwart any attempt that was perceived to jeopardize national security before it was carried out. The face of international law totally changed, and the bush administration subsequently attacked Iraq because it was perceived as an axis of evil and falling under the ambit of pre- emptive action of the bush doctrine.
Alot has changed since the Iraq war, and the Afghanistan invasion. Al Qaeda has become decentralized , most of its prominent leaders have gone into hiding and they seem an unorganized bunch. But they have become innovative, they have taken to digital terrorism, inspiring young men and women over the internet to hate the US and the west and carry out attacks on their soil.
The threat of the lone wolf is on the rise. The lone wolf is a dissatisfied individual, who harbors hate and dissatisfaction against the US for any number of reasons. But he lacks the heart and courage to go beyond the boundaries of his hate. So alqeda’s innovation comes to play. Through the internet, they motivate these feeble minds into carrying acts of terrorism against the West. The lone Wolf is so dangerous to monitor by the CIA because there is no chatter on the internet. They are clean skins, with no prior records. They can strike at anytime because they have the element of surprise on their side. This is the new face of terrorism America has to deal with. Like the adjustments made after the september 11 attacks, the US has to adapt to the growing threat of Home grown motivated terrorism.
After September 11, other attacks have happened around the world, the UK train bombings, and several attempts have been made on US soil, most recently Naji bulazazi who tried to blow up subway stations in the US on the anniversary of September 11. All these people were motivated by Al Qaeda over the internet.
So the question is who takes the next plunge. Who will be inspired by Al Qaeda to do acts of violence on US soil? It looks as if whenever there is a terrorist attempt, even if it does not come to fruition. It motivates and empowers these enemies of hate, and it makes them feel they are not alone in their frustrations, and they can continue or complete the works of their brethren.
Faisal Shahzad is the latest of this new breed of terrorists. He is naturalized US citizen. This is prime property for Al Qaeda because potential recruits who carry US passports have access in and out of most major countries. This makes carrying out their plans much easier. These people are the new face of global terrorism.
Faisal was caught, and the bomb on Time square luckily did not go off, but there are many more of these guys out there. Because they are mostly lone wolfs and clean skins, they pose a serious threat with their greatest asset being that they have no prior records and cannot be tracked by law enforcement.
This new fight cannot be handled by law enforcement officers alone. Private citizens have to be vigilant and be aware of their surroundings. We must engage in community policing. Like the hot dog vendors who alerted the police about Faisal Shahzad’s car bomb. The private citizen might be an instrumental element in combating this new and ever changing face of terror.