Published 8:51 am Sunday, August 13, 2006
Terrorism is still possible
After all the work to combat terrorism, were we really almost brought down by a couple of iPods and some Gatorade?
The truth of the scheme may be more complex than that, but U.S. and British officials thwarted a plot that proves that terrorists will stop at nothing to kill innocent people.
News of last week's terror plot certainly made most of us catch our breath, especially after the details of the plan to blow up as many as 10 airliners bound for the U.S. came so close to the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Certainly there is much we can learn from the plot: how better to protect ourselves; how our government should be changing airline security procedures; how homegrown terrorists can hook up with al Quaida members.
If this plot had been carried out, it would certainly have been devastating - and it was a stark reminder of that day nearly five years ago when the world stood still to watch as the towers came down.
But there is one simple difference: This plot never happened.
The pundits will debate whether we are truly more secure five years after Sept. 11, and surely our government should take this latest threat to heart and act quickly to improve security procedures.
But we need to remember that this time, the intelligence was strong and the action to stop the plot was swift.
So we'll handle the inconvenience of limits to carry-on baggage. If all it takes to make us safe is a break from our cell phones, I think most of us would welcome it.
And this time we won't be haunted by what might have been if warnings were heeded; instead, we can take comfort that it never happened.