Most people seem to be rather sensible, and prefer to abstain from random violence. Terrorists are the odd misfits. And we already knew they tend to be the stupid misfits.
Furthermore, like all terrorists, Muslim terrorists seem to be very parochial. They prefer to kill other Muslims over non-Muslims. And then compatriots are the favored targets.
That explains most of the points in these articles: Terrorists target compatriots.
Actually, the dangerous ones are those involved in (small) local civil wars (IRA, Hamas, Basques, Taliban). They are the ones that organize regular armies.
Depends on your definition of terrorist:
eg: 2. a person who terrorizes or frightens others.
Answer: Washington D.C.
Political scare tactics cause much greater alarm and reactions than any violent terrorist activities.
As noted in the article most of the "revolutionary" terrorists are not that bright. They want to be in power in their paradise which would just about be everybody elses hell.
For all tthe arguments about Shair law by far the majority (moderates & women) don't want it, they want "equality and prosperity for all" not "paesentry and subserivance to the self elected few under fear of death". Thus to change one set of predictable despots (backed by the west) by another set of despots who are totaly self interested and beyond anybodies control or understanding is not a good starting point. Especialy when these despicable wanabies show how it's going to go on by attacking their own.
As for the "angry young men" who cried out for militant behaviour in the UK enough have turned out to be drug running criminals and rapists of young women for the rest to hold any creadence.
As for those that do want to fight "the evil satan" they are far better of going to Iraq and Afghanistan where they feel they can fight more honourably against soldiers rather than women or children (that the Koran distinctly discorages).
It will be interesting to see if when we finish the current wars of folly if terrorism in the west rises.
If it does then they may be those who are battle hardend from Iraq and Afghanistan who know how to shoot straight and make effective IED's.
Maybe they're all dead? The 9/11 guys got lucky. OBL lucked out and found some guys who were just stupid enough to do it, and got lucky enough to slip them in. They used up all their terrorist "karma" in that move. There's a reason why there has never been a Kamikazee pilot reunion. The important thing to remember is not to find the terrorists, but prevent them from becoming one.
Primarily in the Middle East.
It doesn't matter where the terrorists are. Government leaders have lots of incentive to continue a "war on terror" and no disincentive. If a politician fails to do something and there's an attack that the action would have prevented, then that politician pays the price. If they do something and there's no attack, there's very little downside to saying "all the actions we took protected us". I don't see a solution to this problem.
There has been a revival of the low-level domestic (US) terrorism around certain right-wing causes. Consider the murder of Dr. Tiller and the revival of harassment of abortion providers. (Some of which is directed and coordinated by state governments unfortunately; I believe it was the Kansas DA who was caught giving all kinds of records away to the anti groups.)
They're just waiting. Why would they need to commit something new? They still have the US tying itself in ever-tighter knots from the momentum of the attack ten years ago.
At the rate we're pissing away irrecoverable resources (both in terms of money and liberty) on security theater, we'll have bankrupted ourselves and collapsed before the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and they'll win by forfeit.
And even if we haven't formally "perished from the earth", so much control will have been usurped by the government that it wont be the US in anything but name anyway.
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore explained it all in Bedazzled. Peter, as the Devil, complains to Dudley, whose soul he's bought, that "You just can't get good sins anymore. I suppose it's the wages".
While I'm at it, here's another of what I hope will someday in the distant future be my famous quotations.
Q: What's the difference between a dozen deranged losers in a cave and Al Qaeda?
A: The internet
Number of Americans who in 2010 died
- of dog bites: 34
- from lighting: 29
- from terrorism: 15 .
Source: http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/08/25/... .
In some distant future, scholars, undergraduates and other academics will be writing about how the massive intelligence failure that was 9/11 eventually got subverted into a new order neo-cons and terrorists before those events could only have dreamed of. Question is if by that time it will still be possible to publish their works and for other people to actually read them without being sent to some dystopian gulag.
Well, currently the terrorists with the global vision and the hate for the US are leaning back and enjoying the show. Seems BinLadens goal of bankrupting the US is closer than ever. And the fear has started to be self-sustaining a long time ago as well. So no need to fan the flames, the "victims" are taking care of that all by themselves.
Seems to me US politicians are so in love with terrorism that if it really dies down, they will have to do something about it. The wars currently fought seem to be an utter failure in that regard though. And all these homegrown "terrorists" (the ones with the FBI informer support) of the last few years have been utterly incompetent and were soon forgotten.
If you think about it this is really pathetic.
"And the fear has started to be self-sustaining ..."
Well, I thought about it and, somewhat along the line of this blog,
'Terror as societal malware?'
'9/11 was the hack?'
If even remotely so, then Yeah, totally pathetic.
One possibility is that the US response to 9/11 over the past decade has been highly effective in preventing and discouraging terrorist attacks.
Where are the terrorists, seriously?
77 U.S. troops injured by Taliban suicide attack: (Saturday 9/10/11)
2011.09.11 (Baquba, Iraq) - A journalist at a cafe bleeds to death following a Mujahid bombing.
2011.09.11 (Charkh, Afghanistan) - The bodies of six civilian contract workers are found five days after being abducted by Sunni militants.
2011.09.11 (Wardak, Afghanistan) - Children are among the casualties when Fedayeen detonate a truck bomb.
2011.09.10 (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - Religious radicals assassinate a police chief.
2011.09.09 (Mogadishu, Somalia) - An al-Shabaab bomb left on the street sends five souls to Allah.
2011.09.09 (Kunsen Gashish, Nigeria) - Three Protestant farmers are hacked to death by machete-wielding Muslims.
Schneier.com is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of BT.