Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just When You Thought It Was Safe - - - -

People often say "it's the not knowing that's causing me sleepless nights." Normally I agree with that. But frankly, I could have slept better merely guessing than actually getting the definitive information from a high-level official in the FBI. According to Dr, Vahid Majidi, Assistant Director of the FBI's Weapons of Mass Destruction Unit, there is now a 100% likelihood of a WMD attack on American soil. Let's see you stack up Z's after hearing that.

It is cold comfort to be assured that the attack probably won't be the full explosion of a nuclear weapon, though a "dirty bomb" is a distinct possibility. Dr. Majidi says the attack will come from "foreign terrorists, lone wolves who are terrorists," and so nobody can cry religious profiling, "criminal elements." Somehow, I'm not too worried about the Crips or the Bloods setting off a WMD in New York or San Francisco, but that's another Eric Holder story entirely. Still, there are nutcases out there like anarchist Roger Bergendorff who was planning an attack using ricin (the same chemical used in the Tokyo subway attack). That's one individual. But there's only one organization I know of that has a billion adherents with bloodlust oozing out of every pore.

The attack will come in the form of a chemical, biological or radiological weapon, rather than a true nuclear device, according to Dr. Majidi. He points out that only the amateurishness of the prospective mass murderers has prevented the success of approximately a dozen annual conspiracies to loose mass destruction on American cities. I don't know how long Dr. Majidi will keep his job after making this information public, but I applaud his boldness. It's bold not only because of its intelligent assessment of pending terrorism in America, but in its frank admission that law enforcement stopped the crimes only after the terrorists were already in place, conspiracy in full bloom, weapons in motion, but technical/mechanical skills lacking. Let's hope they don't improve their skills before the FBI, CIA, NSC and Homeland Security start taking this seriously and improve their own skills.

Here are Majidi's exact words: "The notion of probability of a WMD attack being low or high is a moot point because we know the probability is 100%. We've seen this in the past, and we'll see it in the future. There is going to be an attack using chemical, biological or radiological material. A singular lone wolf individual can do things in the dark of night with access to a laboratory with low quantities of material and could hurt a few people but create a devastating effect on the American psyche."

Former FBI Counter-Intelligence and Counter-terrorism Director Arthur M. Cummings added to the discussion. Speaking about investigating coordinated information about potential terrorists putting together WMDs, Cummings said: "It's not OK to say, it looks like pool supplies, we're done. You don't finish there. Who at the pool company bought the chemicals, and who did he buy them from? What specifically was the transaction, and what happened from there? Is it a friend; is it an associate; is it somebody who wants to do us harm? We can no longer assume it's a simple commercial transaction, don't worry about it."

Dr. Majidi also warned that as remote as a full nuclear weapon might be, given all the hurdles of building it, fueling it, and delivering it, it is not an impossibility. Even a 10 kiloton bomb would be disastrous, and the possibility cannot be dismissed. A well-funded operation like Al Qaeda might even be capable of stealing an operational nuclear device from a nation which already has them (Pakistan, maybe?).

Dr. Majidi was fair in his praise of the efforts of intelligence agencies, but still thinks they have not reached a point of efficiency (and perhaps never can) which would reduce the probability of such an attack to "acceptable" levels. The increased activity of sophisticated terrorist enemies of America at our ports is of particular concern. He declares that he has seen the fact that others have unfairly or dishonestly hyped threat levels in order to protect their jobs and their fiefdoms. I suspect that his words of warning run counter to the feeble attempts of the political heads of the agencies to assure us that with enough faith and money, we can eliminate the threat.

I hope this doesn't put Dr. Majidi on the unemployment line. I also hope that I haven't caused you to lie in bed tonight with your eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling, and counting terrorists instead of sheep.


Tennessee Jed said...

The really scary part, and probably the reason we don't actually lie awake at night, is that we've known this to be true for a long time. Guys like Tom Clancy have been all too successful at reminding us. The puzzling part is how well we have done this far. I think, as you point out, the amateurishness of the perps is the main reason.

T_Rav said...

Yeah, right. Dr. Majidi's probably just one of those scaremongers trying to whip us all up into a frenzy so that we hand over our civil liberties and surrender all power to the evil corporations...nothing to worry about...

DCAlleyKat said...

Sadly I concluded awhile ago that it will probably take something of this scale to wake many up. This country is under attack, that is a fact. And our elected officials continue with business as usual. And our alphabet media sits silent for the most part. After the fact another gathering on the steps of the Capitol holding hands and singing God Bless America isn't going to cut it. Heads are going to roll, and I mean that in all it's numerous ways....

Meanwhile, I continue to pray before I go to sleep.

StanH said...

Being a proud member of the “duck and cover,” generation I’ve developed a kind of nuclear apathy if you will. However this does not mean that I’m anxious a nuclear attack from anyone. The chilling part of this, our threat doesn’t come from a nation state, but a religion, and the use of religion in this case is totally tongue and cheek. We must be relentless in pursuing the Islamic threat, and all of their wicked amalgamations, and too think that the use of poisons, or the granddaddy of WMDs nuclear is off the table, is na├»ve and dangerous. Good read Lawhawk.

AndrewPrice said...

I am absolutely not surprised. First, the truth is that in the information age and with the ease with which people can find scientific material, it's probably impossible to stop people from learning how to make some very bad things. In fact, I would think the only real limitation for a determined group is obtaining the necessary material, much of which can probably be bought in Russia or found in Pakistan or North Korea.... or bought from Germany.

Secondly, it's impossible to protect a country as vast, as open, and as free as America.

Third, I honestly don't think our intelligence agencies know what they're doing. I say that because of (1) their 0% track record of success at predicting major events in the past (like the fall of the Soviet Union), (2) their lack of human intelligence, and (3) their bureaucratic structure which drives out all but the laziest and most worthless.

Seriously, the student loan people would be better at finding al Qaeda and other terrorist groups and credit bureaus would be better at figuring out what they possess.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: You nailed it. I knew that the probability was high, though I kidded myself that it wasn't as high as 100%. But as I said, at least I could accuse myself of being paranoid and delusional. Now I have confirmation that I'm sane after all (at least on that issue).

Unknown said...

T_Rav: I think you just wrote the scenario for the left and the terrorist-coddlers. LOL

Unknown said...

DCAlleyKat: As Dr. Majidi pointed out, there's little or nothing we can do about the lone wolf or nutcase who doesn't set off early alarms. But we can certainly better our odds by knowing exactly who (or what) is the biggest threat. I think we all know where that reasonable suspicion lies. As several smart people have said, "you can't fight a war if you can't or won't identify the enemy."

Unknown said...

Stan: I'm with you. Even as a kid I thought "ducking and covering" seemed like too little too late. I remember that the running joke was "in case of nuclear attack, drop, put your head between your legs, and kiss your ass good-bye."

As I said to DCAlleyKat, we can only do just so much about the evil loner, but we better our chances substantially by at least admitting where the most likely threat comes from and act accordingly. To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy, "If you attend a mosque which glorifies suicide bombing, hatred of Israel, destruction or submission of all infidels, death to the Great Satan, and the rigid enforcement of sharia, you might be a terrorist."

Unknown said...

Andrew: "Seriously, the student loan people would be better at finding al Qaeda and other terrorist groups and credit bureaus would be better at figuring out what they possess." Truer words were never spoken. But let's not forget one federal agency that is unrelenting, fierce, and never gives up until it has ruined the person or entity it is tracking--the IRS. Let us not forget that they already have an elaborate scenario for collecting taxes in the event of a nuclear attack. My suggestion is that we impose a terror tax, and sic the IRS on them. We'll have 'em all rounded up within 24 hours.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Now that is a good ideas! "Here's a twenty percent terrorist surcharge.... sick 'em!"

That would be the end of terrorism.

Tehachapi Tom said...

The good Dr. is understating the threat.

Right now for all we know some individual or group has walked into our country from our southern neighbor with any number of possible things to inflict large scale injury on us.The southern border is not a border in any other respect than a line on a map.

These people will not set off shoe bombs or smoking underwear they will have real materials that can cause real large scale damage.

Mc Vey acquired all of his materials in country and inflicted a significant amount of damage.

Enough biological material could be carried by one or a small group of people to inflict harm to one or more cities all at once. Where Mc Vey's act devastated a building imagine a whole city fatally infected with some disease.

The bad guys could already be here as our borders offer very little in the way of an obstacle to entering our country. With the freedom of travel allowed and available spreading a small group across the country is a no brainer even carrying luggage capable of holding enough bad stuff to make a really large impact on us.

Sleep tight.

Unknown said...

Andrew: It's only because I have faith in God and faith in the IRS that I made that suggestion. Both are omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. LOL

Unknown said...

Tehachapi Tom: You are absolutely correct about our southern border being nothing more than a line on a map. This has been emphasized by the willingness of the Obama administration to catch-and-release border jumpers while supporting the prosecution of Border Patrol agents and private citizens exercising their right of self-defense. Does any normal person seriously think that Al Qaeda and its progeny haven't noticed that?

And you're right about the probability of domestic terrorism being wreaked by persons and entities already happily ensconced within our borders--complete with driver's licenses and Social Security cards.

Thanks a lot. I'll be sitting bolt upright in bed tonight.

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