JFK Plot: Broader Implications
With scant time to reflect very deeply about the most recent domestic terror plot some initial thoughts come to mind that will require further development as events and time allows:
- We are, and will continue to have to fight them everywhere. There was never any “here” or “there” to begin with, and we had no choice but to take the fight to the enemy. Iraq was less a trigger for terrorism than 9/11 was.
- Their words resonate. That most home-grown plots are not top-flight AQ-actual endeavors is less a statement on their capability and reach and more proof of their compelling message.
- Throw out most if not all of your preconceptions. The argument about Sunni-Shia cooperation has received considerable if dismissive press, but as my colleague has pointed out, when it comes to hating us there is no better ally than your “enemy.”
- Technology is a double-edged sword (swallow it). That the alleged plotters used Google Earth will no doubt revive old arguments about the “security problem” that the Internet poses. We cannot stop the rush of technology; we should embrace it and leverage as they do.
- Big, serious terrorism is hard. The tougher the job the fewer people you can trust, which is good for us but also a signal to future homegrown plotters of the value of aiming small in order to miss small.