Iran seeks to do us grave harm, potentially with ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. The threat warnings are clear and we have strong evidence — Iran has attacked us repeatedly over the past 30 years.
Instead of heeding the nuclear missile “dots” that are emerging all around us, we are busy promoting trade with Iran, downplaying its violations of the nuclear deal, simply ignoring its ballistic missile developments and dismissing the growing evidence of its terrorist past.
After the attacks on September 11, 2001, Congress, the Bush administration, and terrorist experts complained that the country had simply not “connected the dots” provided by prior terrorist threats.
The 9/11 Commission also concluded that the attacks “should not have come as a surprise,” as “Islamist extremists had given plenty of warning that they meant to kill Americans indiscriminately and in large numbers.”
The Commission then listed 10 Islamic terror plots against the US prior to 9/11:
“In February 1993, a group led by Ramzi Yousef tried to bring down the World Trade Center with a truck bomb.
“Plans by Omar Abdel Rahman and others to blow up the Holland and Lincoln tunnels and other New York City landmarks …
“In October 1993, Somali tribesmen shot down US helicopters, killing 18 and wounding 73…
“In early 1995, police in Manila uncovered a plot by Ramzi Yousef to blow up a dozen U.S. airliners while they were flying over the Pacific.
“In November 1995, a car bomb exploded outside the office of the US program manager for the Saudi National Guard in Riyadh, killing five Americans and two others.
“In June 1996, a truck bomb demolished the Khobar Towers apartment complex in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 US servicemen and wounding hundreds.
“In August 1998, al Qaeda, carried out near-simultaneous truck bomb attacks on the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The attacks killed 224 people, including 12 Americans, and wounded thousands more.
“In December 1999, Jordanian police foiled a plot to bomb hotels and other sites frequented by American tourists…
“…US Customs agent arrested Ahmed Ressam at the US-Canadian border as he was smuggling in explosives intended for an attack on Los Angeles International Airport.
“In October 2000, an al Qaeda team in Aden, Yemen, used a motorboat filled with explosives to blow a hole in the side of a destroyer, the USS Cole, almost sinking the vessel and killing 17 American sailors.”
Despite the overwhelming indications that an attack like 9/11 was around the corner, as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the country in her April 2004 testimony to the 9/11 Commission, “The terrorists were at war with us, but we were not yet at war with them. For more than 20 years, the terrorist threat gathered, and America’s response across several administrations of both parties was insufficient.”
Are we now better equipped to “connect the terrorist-threats by dots” than we were prior to 9/11? Certainly we are not still echoing the testimony of Richard Clarke when he told the Emerging Threats Subcommittee in the summer of 2000 that the administration “had not yet” determined how to spend homeland security funds even some eight years after the first World Trade Center bombing of February 1993.
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