Strangely, seeing as how liberals have been telling us for months that the real terrorists are white, right-wing extremists, U.S. officials are bracing themselves for a possible ISIS-inspired attack over the July 4th weekend. Not a Waco-inspired attack. Not a Tea Party-inspired attack. An ISIS-inspired attack. Curious that federal officials would put all of this effort into combating domestic Islamic terrorism when everybody knows that sovereign citizens are the real danger, but hey, who said there was any competence in the government anyhow, right?
The arrest of Alaa Saadeh in New Jersey on Monday has Tri-State law enforcement officials on high alert. The 23-year-old is suspected of being part of a plot to set off a pressure cooker bomb in New York City. Pressure cooker bombs, for the uninitiated, were the kind used by the Tsarnaev brothers at the Boston Marathon. Saadeh is being charged with conspiracy to provide material support for the Islamic State, and he is accused of convincing a witness to lie to the FBI.
What concerns officials, though, is that Saadeh is the fifth person to be arrested in recent months in connection with terror charges. Other arrests include a man charged with conspiring to join ISIS, Saadeh’s brother, and another associate named Munther Omar Saleh.
“To have this number of people with this level of sophistication acting in such a close geographic area in such a compressed period of time – we have to, I think, assume the worst,” said U.S. Representative Peter King.
King is not exactly out on a limb. The New York City Police Department – along with thousands of other law enforcement agencies – has been warned by Homeland Security to be “vigilant and prepared” over the weekend of the fourth. Of specific concern is the Macy’s fireworks show in the evening. Coordinated attacks aren’t the only danger. Officials are just as concerned about low-tech, lone wolf attacks that could nonetheless put Americans in grave harm. ISIS has commanded its supporters to kill infidels during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Heightening these fears are the series of terrorist attacks last week that rocked Kuwait, France, and Tunisia. “I would say that this is the most serious level of threat that I’ve seen since September 11th,” King said.
ISIS has disappeared from the headlines in recent weeks. Maybe it’s viewer fatigue. Maybe there was too much domestic drama to address. Whatever the case, President Obama owes it to the American people to confront this threat with every ounce of his attention. The signs are everywhere: this is not a problem that is going to remain within the borders of the Levant. ISIS preaches a powerful, seductive message, and they have proven to be as capable on the propaganda front as they have been on the battlefield. Far from a JV squad, this army of terrorists may ultimately prove to be the greatest danger Americans have faced in a long time.
No, you don’t send the country into a panic by telling them that the devil is amongst us. But nor do you treat the war on terror as a thing of the past, as if the death of Osama Bin Laden put an end to Islamic radicalism. It didn’t. We face forces today every bit as powerful, sadistic, and anti-American as those who took down the towers. Do we wait until the nation is gripped with vengeance and fear following thousands of American deaths? Or do we get out in front of this problem before that happens?
For now, Obama’s plan seems to consist of crossing his fingers and hoping for the best. Apparently we have no choice but to grit our teeth and do the same.