Thursday, May 10, 2007

Vigilance Prevented Bloodbath At Fort Dix

It looks like Fort Dix dodged more than just a bullet, according to a friend of one of the six Muslim men arrested for allegedly planning an attack on the New Jersey military base.

According to Bob Watts, Agron Abdullahu, a former co-worker, showed him recipes for bombs. It is now believed that in addition to getting onto the base and killing as many U.S. soldiers as possible with assault guns, the alleged terrorists were going to use bombs as well.

It won’t be the first time that Fort Dix was a target for terrorism. In 1970, the radical left organization the Weather Underground Organization planned to bomb an officers dance at Fort Dix in retaliation for the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The nail bomb prematurely exploded in the group’s Greenwich Village safe house. Three of the group’s members died in the explosion.

This really gathered media interest and if one has paid attention in the last couple of years, this is not the only terror plot on U.S. soil thwarted. Just last year alone, arrests were made against those who allegedly planned independent attacks on the Capital, the Sears Tower and one plot involved bombing the New York City train tunnels to flood the financial district.

Thank goodness that these attacks have been foiled. However, it is only a matter of time before one of these terrorists slips under the radar and carries out an attack that will kill hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent people. This recent alleged plot was only alerted to authorities by a Circuit City clerk, who was purportedly asked by one of the suspects to turn a video into a DVD.

The video showed the suspects in military outfits, while shooting assault weapons and calling for a jihad, according to officials. Let’s all be thankful to the vigilant clerk and for the stupidity of the suspects, who probably didn’t think their video tape would be viewed.

One of the most interesting things that Watts said about Abdullahu and his supposed connection to the plot is this:

"That's what's puzzling me and making my stomach turn knots right now," he told ABC's "Good Morning America."

He didn’t have a clue that his co-worker was allegedly planning on killing American soldiers on U.S. soil. We all need to be vigilant of the people around us. And it’s no use pretending that these particular suspects’ background is not important. Most of the terror suspects arrested in the last couple of years are Middle Eastern, radical Muslim men, either in the U.S. or the rest of the world.

Does this mean we should start arresting or beating the next Muslim person we see walking down the street? No, because I would want to think that most Americans are better than that. We should be vigilant of any suspicious behavior by anyone, despite their backgrounds. We can’t let prejudice cloud our judgment.

However, it can’t be denied that suspicious behavior by a Middle Eastern man with a Muslim sounding name will raise some red flags. Sure, it may sound like profiling to a degree but if the Circuit City clerk didn’t use stereotypes of the current terrorists who have called a jihad on us, than might be a lot of dead soldiers in Fort Dix right now.

But any suspicious behavior by a Middle Eastern man or otherwise, should be immediately reported to the proper authorities. They are trained to handle these matters. And it’s important to record what you have witnessed to the best of your ability, so authorities can use it.

It will be a matter of time before there will be a terrorist, despite his or her background, who will successfully carry out an attack. But if we are watchful of suspicious actions by anyone, we as normal, law-biding citizens might prevent the next attack, just like that clerk at Circuit City.