Sunday, October 02, 2005

Ramadan Terror Attacks

Terror attacks by radical Islamists are an everpresent danger for Americans today. American citizens are particularly vulnerable overseas; whereas at home here, increased security measures have seemingly deterred substantial follow-up attacks to the 9-11 hijackings.

Still, as time passes, we must fight the urge to grow complacent and overconfident in the United States. After all, our borders remain relatively unguarded and it is quite clear that any foreign national with the commitment to do so can enter the U.S. and find haven from suspicion almost anywhere there are related ethnic groups. It is a certainty that there are cells of terror operatives here and they are biding their time toward whatever their ultimate purpose.

Ramadan Attack Fears

The annual muslim Ramadan observance is now imminent. This holy month for adherents throughout the world will run for about a month starting on or about October 4.

The Jewish celebration Rosh Hashannah begins at approximately the same time.

Thus, this is a period of the year when observers are aware that the risk for teror is increased. Indeed, Al Qaeda has already been linked to last night's Bali bomb blasts that killed dozens, including many westerners. There's a real possibility it was simply the opening salvo to a series of attacks this season.

To mitigate your own risks here or abroad, avoid large crowds as often as possible. Be aware of your surroundings and watch for suspicious activity or behavior by those around you. Be particularly cognizant of unnatural bulges around the midsection that might indicate the presence of a bomb belt.

Beyond such common-sense approaches, there is not a lot one can do, short of giving in to unreasonable, paralyzing fear. Find the prudent middle ground between compacency and fear, and you'll be where you should be.

Nuclear Attack Rumors

There are some rumors circulating on the internet about an Al Qaeda offensive called an "American Hiroshima," said to be planned for seven American cities in the month of October. The main source for these stories is Journalist Paul Williams who, in the last couple of years, has written a couple of books on the Al Qaeda threat and has been on the book-signing trails ever since.

No doubt, Al Qaeda has been actively seeking nuclear weapons for years. The unknown is whether they have to any extent succeeded in acquiring any functional warheads or the technology to build their own. If they have, they would clearly attempt to bring the bombs into this country. However, there are a number of reasons to remain skeptical and unconvinced of the imminent danger.

After all, if you were to take this nuclear-terror development as a matter of faith, what would that mean to you and how you would go forward? There's only so much you can do, and once you've done it, you do need to carry on with your life ... until the danger becomes manifest.

J.R. Nyquist is a scholar and analyst worthy of immense respect. He has posted a fair and even-handed treatment of this nuclear terror issue that is well-worth reading:

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