Recently, there have been several stories in the news about a heightened state of concern among anti- terrorism officials following the foiled attacks in London and Glasgow. Two weeks ago, ABC News reported that Homeland Security officials were warning of a "summer spectacular" by Al Qaeda, noting a similarity to pre-9/11 intelligence.
Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff noted that he had a "gut feeling" the United States was at an increased risk for some kind of an attack. There were reports of high-level White House meetings to discuss intelligence that an Al Qaeda cell was either on the way to the U.S. or possibly already here. The White House denied those reports.
But media chattering aside, something does appear to have officials on edge. Over the weekend, the State Department issued warnings that U.S. interests in Israel are the presumed targets of planned homicide bombings. Even more ominous, U.S. officials are analyzing the latest release of a video featuring Osama bin Laden which just appeared on jihadist web sites.
The timing of these events could be coincidental. But this video is reportedly the first release of any bin Laden material in more than a year. And while the footage is likely old, its appearance could be a signal to sleeper cells. We shouldn't need reminders that evil men are planning to bring more death and destruction to our country, but all Americans can play a vital role in homeland security by remaining vigilant and reporting suspicious behavior.
Remember, the plot to attack our soldiers at Fort Dix was thwarted by an attentive store clerk. If you see something unusual or out of the ordinary, report it to local authorities.
(Gary Bauer; End of Day; July 16, 2007)