It’s time to Break It Down!
A week ago Monday, a terrorist attack killed 3 people near the end of the Boston Marathon race course. In addition to the deaths, over 170 people suffered various injuries; some so severe, that amputations were required.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, are alleged to have been the perpetrators of the brutal explosive attack. In related news reports, the Russian Government provided warnings in 2011 that Tamerlan may have been involved with a radical element in the Dagestan region of Russia. The FBI interviewed the elder brother, but found no corroborating evidence. Apparently after the interview, Tamerlan returned to Russia, and spent 6 months in Dagestan. The is an ongoing discussion about whether Homeland Security officials simply dropped the ball in tracking Tamerlan.
In an unrelated matter, a week ago today, an explosion at a fertilizer plant and ammonia storage facility in the tiny town of West, Texas, resulted in at least 14 deaths, and more than 200 other casualties. It was a rough week in these United States. The American security apparatus, already on high alert, due to the Boston bombing, leapt into action to determine whether there were any elements connecting the incident in West to those in Boston. There was none. Though the exact cause has yet to be determined, there is significant speculation that the blast may have been the inadvertent result of an unfortunate mixing of the potentially volatile contents of the building. A fire is thought to be the direct catalyst for the explosion. Still, the question remains; how did the fire start?
Fast forward to Monday of this week, and there is another chapter to consider. In an event planned beyond America’s borders, but still within a range of proximity that rightfully generates concern, Canadian authorities foiled what they have labeled, designs to initiate an “al-Qaeda inspired” attack on a Canadian VIA passenger train. The plot, according to Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), was aided by Iranian-based elements of the infamous terror group.
Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, and Raed Jaser, 35, were arrested in Montreal and Toronto, respectively, on Monday. Though the plot has no discernible link to the events in Boston, the train, originating in the Toronto area would likely have been heading to the United States. FBI authorities collaborated with Canadian officials in exposing the plot, which led to their arrests. In contrast to the case of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, it appears a coordinated national and global security apparatus worked as it should have to prevent Esseghaier and Raed from carrying out heinous acts of terror.
The RCMP was tight-lipped about specific details of the plot, though they noted the two arrestees were not Canadian citizens. They stated, further, that if the plot had been executed, innocent would have been killed. The RCMP maintains the episode was still in the planning stages; they submit no one was in imminent danger.
The three events, despite the lack of a common thread, are an indication of rising tensions and an increase in violent acts, which may have terroristic overtones. Even though the deadly explosion in West, Texas is not currently believed to have resulted from terrorist activity, the timing and related dynamics made it imperative to eliminate that possibility before determining the parameters of the investigation.
The events of September 11 (2001) forever changed air travel in the United States, and around the world. It is likely that after last week, large widely dispersed events, such as Marathons, especially heralded races, as the one in Boston, will enact their own special safety precautions. Now, after Monday, one can envision train travel will become an inordinately more onerous undertaking, as well.
The world as we know it continues to evolve. The American visions of liberty and freedom will, undoubtedly, continue to stand out as unique models. Yet, inexorably, the dimensions applied to defining such liberty, and the execution of freedom, American style, along with the attendant comforts of both, are eroding; slowly…but surely.
The FBI and the RCMP deserve kudos for their dedication, commitment, and professionalism. Cheers; their “Transnational Collaboration Derailed A Terror Plot in Canada!”
I’m done; holla back!
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