The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Taking Terrorism Seriously…Or Not

Yesterday evening, someone placed a car bomb in NYC’s Times Square and hoped it’d blow up:

The explosive device in the sport-utility vehicle, a Nissan Pathfinder, was composed of three propane tanks, commercial-grade fireworks, two filled five-gallon gasoline containers, and two clocks with batteries, electrical wire and other components, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

That’s a lot. Thankfully, the bomb fizzled instead of going off. And while the city’s bomb squad and police-aided by a couple of vendors-seem to have prevented a major incident, the initial responses from DHS have been, well, less than encouraging:

“We’re taking this very seriously,” [DHS Secretary Janet] Napolitano said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We’re treating it as if it could be a potential terrorist attack.”

Excuse me? When have we labeled any other car bombing-or car bombing attempt, to be fair-anything other than an act of terrorism?

A reading assignment for Secretary Napolitano…the FBI’s definition of terrorism and how they categorize terrorist activity:

The FBI defines terrorism as, “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

The FBI divides terrorist-related activity into three categories:

1. A terrorist incident is a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States, or of any state, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof.

2. A suspected terrorist incident is a potential act of terrorism in which responsibility for the act cannot be attributed at the time to a known or suspected terrorist group or individual.

3. A terrorism prevention is a documented instance in which a violent act by a known or suspected terrorist group or individual with the means and a proven propensity for violence is successfully interdicted through investigative activity.

There’s nothing “potential” about this. It’s clearly an act of terrorism. One that failed, but one nonetheless.

How much confidence should I draw from the fact that the person who’s job is to keep the country secure can’t decide if an act of terrorism is, in fact, an act of terrorism? Apparently, not much, as there was also this gem out of Napolitano’s mouth late last week:

… Napolitano this morning gave assurances that she’s made tremendous progress on securing the border, telling the Senate Judicary Committee that it’s “as secure now as it’s ever been.”

From a former governor of Arizona, no less.

I can only hope that President Obama’s taking this incident more seriously than the person he entrusted to lead DHS is.

But, somehow…I’m not too sure of that, either.

HB2DF, Coby


Written by Coby Dillard

May 2, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Posted in Rants

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