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Sunday, September 11, 2016

9/11 After Fifteen Years: We are Safer

Don't forget:  a tribute:  Lest we forget

It is worth remembering that, as bad as the 9/11 attack was, it was an anomalous event no terrorist group today could hope to duplicate.  Al Qaeda still exists but as a shadow of what it was.  ISIS, which has picked up its fallen baton, only inspires to deadly but inconsequential attacks against soft targets.

The authors of the 9/11 report are simply wrong when they say terrorism has gotten worse.  See their column in USA Today:  911-commission-kean-hamilton-column/89978558/  Most terrorist events worldwide take place in a handful of war-torn countries.  Terrorism as a threat has not significantly increased in Western countries.  But the serious threat remains:  the French just captured three women who are pledged to ISIS and connected with the Paris attackers.

The "terrorist mastermind" is largely a mythological being.  As John Mueller details in "Chasing Ghosts," terrorists that have hit targets in the US are mainly disturbed and incompetent individuals.  Cold comfort, perhaps, but at least it suggests the damage they do will be limited.  Only in the broadest sense can recent attacks be attributed to international Islamic jihad.  And the FBI has never uncovered a "sleeper cell" in the US.

Even if in some sense we are beating the terrorists, we still must keep working the problem so we can never have a true terrorist conspiracy commit evil against Americans.
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