Clark Kent Ervin

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The Christmas Day attempt to destroy an airplane landing in Detroit underscores the sad reality that terrorism is a constant danger to the United States. Let us hope that policymakers will take this opportunity to make some overdue changes in their strategies for preventing attacks.

They can start by “rationalizing” various government databases. It is disturbing that someone who is thought to have connections to terrorism serious enough to warrant being placed on a government watch list is still not put on the smaller “no-fly” list of people who are banned from airplanes.

How did this come to pass? The no-fly list is reserved for those who are thought to pose a threat to airplanes.…  Seguir leyendo »

Homeland security, intelligence and legal experts share their reactions.

The president has ordered two reviews since the attack attempted against Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day. While such reviews are necessary to understand why a multibillion-dollar aviation security system failed to prevent Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from boarding a U.S.-bound flight with explosives, the American people rightly expect more.

This plot appears to trace back to Yemen, a country that is not a new counterterrorism problem. Since the October 2000 attack against the USS Cole, in which 17 U.S. sailors were killed, two administrations have pushed Yemen to confront al-Qaeda without sufficient success.…  Seguir leyendo »

If recent history is any guide — the first World Trade Center bombing a month after Bill Clinton became president; 9/11 itself, in the first year of the Bush administration; the Madrid bombing in 2004 on the eve of a national election in Spain; and the foiled London-Glasgow bomb plot last summer at the start of a new government — President Barack Obama or President John McCain may well be tested by terrorists soon after taking office.

And it is not just historical patterns that suggest that another major attack is likely to be attempted sooner rather than later. Our intelligence agencies tell us that Al Qaeda is stronger now than at any time since 2001.…  Seguir leyendo »

More than five years have passed since terrorism struck our country. Some say this is no surprise. After all, since then we have reorganized the government and created an agency dedicated to protecting us from another attack — the Department of Homeland Security. We have spent billions of dollars to better secure potential targets. We have dislodged Al Qaeda from its sanctuary in Afghanistan, and killed or captured scores of its followers around the globe.

Perhaps another strike on the country is unlikely, but I very much doubt it. From everything we know, Al Qaeda is as determined as ever to attack us at home, and it remains as capable as ever of doing so.…  Seguir leyendo »