Terrorism: June 2, 2001


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The May 29th conviction of four men for involvement in the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa promptly put Wall Street and the American military on high alert. It was later announced that U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf were put on even higher alert, although this was for an unrelated threat. This reaction by Americans is one reason why terrorism has become less successful against Americans. Besides the public responses to any possible terrorist threat, there are over a thousand FBI agents assigned to anti-terrorism duty. Even more people from the Department of Defense, National Reconnaissance Office (satellites), State Department and the National Security Agency (electronic easedropping) are devoted to detecting and derailing terrorist operations. Most of the successes in this shadow war remain secret, lest valuable informants and techniques be exposed. There is another bit of good news that has largely gone unreported. The growth of radical Islamic activity has plateaued and beginning to decline. Terrorism is still a major threat, mainly because of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons still "on the market" in Russia and continued terrorist support from nations like Sudan, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran. But the loss of Soviet Union as a major provider of support and technical assistance has made it very difficult for international terrorist organizations to operate. Thus the spotlight on


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