Thursday, October 28, 2010

Metro Stations Targeted

More news from our The Joys of Living in DC and Working in the Pentagon Department

First, a recap of previous incidents of note: 9/11 attack, anthrax attacks, sniper attacks, the gun battle at the entrance to the Pentagon in March, and someone taking potshots at the Pentagon from the parking lot earlier this month. Am I forgetting anything? There are most likely many attacks and near misses of which I am not even aware. 

Does terrorism work? Am I afraid? Well, I use Crystal City and Pentagon City stations every day: two of the four stations that Farood Ahmed is accused of planning to attack. I am worried and will increase my situational awareness. But afraid? Hmmm. Let's see:

  • I can honestly say that I am more or less resigned to stuff like this as part of the package of living in the DC area and working in the Pentagon.  
  • I guess part of me is extremely grateful that we caught this knucklehead before he was able to carry out his nefarious plot. Thank you to the FBI's Terrorism Task Force and other law enforcement agencies for their diligence and professionalism.
  • Still another part of me is concerned about the conditions that produce people like this who hate life enough to target innocent people.
  • I am a bit worried that some people will tune out the bad news altogether as a self-preservation technique. In reality, the situation calls for increased awareness and vigilance.

All that said, there are far more dangerous places in the world, and people far braver than I who face situations in those places on a daily basis. Care to trade jobs with a bus driver in Israel? So maybe the truth is that I am a little afraid, but unwilling to admit it as a matter of principle.

If Mr Ahmed is convicted, I trust he will take advantage of 50 years in confinement to do something useful with his life.