As the nation is faced with yet another set of attacks on U.S. soil, Americas are getting a stark reminder of the times in the “New America.” Questions linger even more now about whether the nation is safe from terrorist attacks.
The investigation of last week’s marathon bombing continues in Boston, which left three people dead. Focus is now turning toward the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died during a shootout with police, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who remains hospitalized as he recovers from injuries sustained during his discovery by police.
Officials feared that there could have been more attacks if the brothers had not been found and were eager to know about any connections oversees. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is charged with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and with malicious destruction of property resulting in death. He faces life in prison or the death penalty.
“During this long week, we have seen an extraordinary effort by law enforcement, intelligence and public safety agencies,” said FBI Director Robert S. Mueller on Friday. “These collaborative efforts, with the help and cooperation of the public, resulted in the successful outcome we have seen tonight. The investigation will continue as part of our efforts to seek answers and justice, and there will be no pause in that effort.”
This week, news broke that a terrorist attack that could have killed thousands was foiled. Reports indicate that Canadian law enforcement detained Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto, alleging they received direction from al-Qaeda to carry out an attack on a passenger train.
Both men were plotting to derail a train from Canada to New York. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they were “conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group.”
With one attack successfully carried out and another thwarted, experts say the results could have been much worse. Facing the facts is not easy. Attacks at any location where a large crowd of people have gathered will always remain a potential target area for terrorist attacks.
Ever since 9/11, the U.S., Department of Homeland Security has been at the forefront in terms of preventing such attacks and improving on public safety, critical infrastructure protection and other physical security.
The one single challenge that the U.S. and all other countries face is how to ensure public safety 100 percent of the time. Unfortunately, due to the volatile and unpredictable nature of terrorism, it is near impossible to ensure public safety 24/7. The patterns of such attacks are erratic in nature and can happen at any place and at any time.
“One of the major implications that the Boston bombings will cause globally is the tightening of security at similar sporting events,” said Neil Dave, consulting analyst for aerospace and defense practice at Frost & Sullivan. “While investigations continue to take place on this tragic event, it can be said that the overall main issue being faced here is that any such event that attracts large masses of people is a potential target for a terrorist attack and that organizations will always have to be extra vigilant in ensuring that people are made aware of such threats.”
Dave added that spreading information awareness in highly crowded venues via banners and TV screens, which compel the general public to pay keen attention to any suspicious activities, is a crucial step in promoting safety awareness. Several other countries along with the U.S. are also becoming more involved in undertaking these initiatives to elevate a higher level of awareness of the real and imminent threat that such attacks can happen at any time and anywhere.