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Terrorism in America - Ever Vigilant

An SUV loaded with explosive materials parked on the street in Times Square on a typical Saturday night in New York City is no joke. Whether a domestic terrorist protesting something on May Day, or an International radical, the potential mass death, injury and destruction makes this attempt a reminder that vigilance and not complacency is paramount in 2010.

Found in the car were propane, gun powder, fireworks and a timing device.

Sources described the device as crude, and said it was more likely an incendiary device than an explosive one, but it was still being investigated late tonight.

The Pathfinder had a Connecticut or unmatched license plate and the vehicle identification number was partially obscured, police said.

Though police on the scene said the motive for the suspected attempted fire-bombing was unknown, but they described the incident as "the real deal."

New York City Mayor Bloomberg said, "We are very lucky. Thanks to alert New Yorkers and professional police officers, we avoided what could have been a very deadly event."

Indeed, we were lucky. But we have been lucky for more than 8 years since the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. At this point, just 12 hours into the incident, speculation of motive or perpetrator is fruitless. What is clear however, is that anyone who assumes the position of "well, that's NY City, but not here in my hometown" or any one of many statements of complacency is seriously off base. Terrorism is here in the United States. Terrorism is unfortunately a reality that targets us all. Among the steps to address the vulnerability include surveillance cameras, psychological and behavioral profiling. Clearly, people (citizens) who respond when something "doesn't look right" play an important role as incidents like this unfold.

By the way, I was in New York City on business last week and apparently walked on that very street.

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