Big Red Car here, y’all. Another beautiful day in the ATX and it’s sunny and safe.
But the big question is — are we really safe?
Let’s explore it together, shall we? How much terrorism has touched our homeland since 9-11?
Since 9-11, there have been six successful acts of terrorism conducted in the United States. [Big Red Car does not mention names of shitheads when discussing terrorism. They do not deserve the public note.]
1. On 4 July 2002 at the Los Angeles International Airport in the vicinity of an El Al ticket counter, a lone gunman killed two Israelis and wounded four others before a security guard for the Israeli airline killed him.
He was 41-years old and had espoused anti-Israeli views and opposition to then American policy in the Middle East. He was a loser with a failing limousine business, a suffering marriage, and his wife and children had just abandoned him to return to Egypt. It was his birthday and he was all alone. Indications were that he wanted to become a martyr.
2. On 1 June 2009, a homegrown American black gunman ambushed and killed an Army private and wounded another in Little Rock, Arkansas at a military recruiting station. The terrorist fled the scene and was captured shortly thereafter.
He was a teenage convert to Islam and indicated his attack was provoked by anger in retribution toward American treatment of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.
3. On 5 August 2009, Fort Hood was the scene of a brutal ambush in which an Army officer, a major, killed thirteen and wounded thirty-two while screaming “Allahu akbar!”
He explained his actions by suggesting that he had been on the wrong side of the war against Islam and was now switching sides. He protested the “illegal and immoral aggression against Muslims” in Iraq and Afghanistan. His radicalization was the result of direct contact, via the Internet and email, with radical elements in the Middle East.
The military had paid for this terrorist’s medical schooling. He was a psychiatrist. He has indicated a desire to be executed for his terrorist act.
4. On 15 April 2013, two brothers, immigrants both, set off homemade bombs at the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring 264 others, many seriously including some requiring the amputation of limbs. They also subsequently killed a police officer. One of the terrorists was killed while being pursued and the other was wounded and captured.
They had learned how to make their bombs by logging onto the English language Internet Al Qaeda in Yemen web presence. They had traveled to Kazakhstan where it is thought they were radicalized.
5. On 16 July 2015, a terrorist opened fire on a military recruiting facility and, subsequently, on another military facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A total of five American military were killed with several others wounded. The terrorist downloaded recordings of an American-Yemini cleric who was an active Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula recruiter. The cleric was himself killed by a 2011 American airstrike.
6. The recent San Bernardino, California terrorist attack was perpetrated by a man and wife of Pakistani extraction who killed 14 and wounded 21 before themselves being killed. They also had employed pipe bombs which failed to detonate though a remote detonator was found on the terrorists’ bodies.
In addition to these successful terrorist attacks, there have been noteworthy attempts which were stymied before they were able to kill Americans.
1. The “shoe bomber” attempted to detonate explosives contained in his shoe on the domestic end of an international flight which was transporting 197 passengers. The terrorist is now incarcerated at a supermax prison in Colorado and does not regret his actions.
2. The Times Square Bomber, who unsuccessfully attempted to detonate a bomb consisting of propane tanks and a triggering device in a car parked in Times Square, is serving life imprisonment. He continues to be defiant and suggests that his attempt at wholesale murder was a rightful attempt to defend his faith. He was captured while trying to flee to Dubai.
3. The Dallas attack by two body armored gunmen who attempted to contest the Muslim Prophet Mohammed cartoon event in Garland, Texas resulting in their death and the wounding of an unarmed guard.
So, Big Red Car, what does this mean?
The intention is to simply make two things apparent.
First, the extension of Middle Eastern violence — terrorism — onto the homeland is real and has begun. It has been going on for a decade or more. This may constitute the “existential threat” which has made the news recently. Look no further. It is here.
Second, while there has been a number of such events, they are different and they are varied but they all have a single objective — the killing of innocent Americans.
We need to know what we need to know in order to ensure we understand the problem and we can fashion a good solution.