Monday’s bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Patriots’ Day propelled America back to a 9/11 mindset. Tuesday through Thursday were pre-occupied with grief, manhunts and memorial services. Poisonous envelopes mailed to the president and two US senators, along with a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas, only added to the low hum of anxiety.
Then on Friday, the manhunt culminated with the killing of one suspect and the capture of another – two Chechen brothers whose immigrant experience was twisted by radical Islam and turned into a nightmare for the citizens of Boston. The city’s lockdown turned into a spontaneous celebration, with the waving of American flags, applause for the SWAT teams, chants of “U-S-A” interspersed with the Boston Red Sox unofficial anthem “Sweet Caroline.”
It was “a tough week,” as President Obama said in a post-arrest press conference at the White House. But we emerged stronger, if sadder, and more united as a result of all we had experienced.. Read More…
CNN Radio’s Big Three: John Avlon, Margaret Hoover and Dean Obeidallah.
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The day after the first terrorist attack against civilians on U.S. soil since 9/11, an envelope addressed to a U.S. senator is found packed with poison.
Suddenly, some of the chill from the fall of 2001 feels like it’s back—the uncertainty that comes from a one-two punch, albeit on a far smaller scale.
Remember that in the wake of 9/11, anthrax was mailed to U.S. senators as well as to several media outlets. The unclaimed attack killed five people and infected 17, adding to the anxiety of the time. In 2004, an envelope laced with the deadly poison ricin was caught before it reached the offices of then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Read More…
Terrorism is always one bad day away from being issue number one and on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, it can be easy to forget that the terrorist’s war on us hasn’t stopped.
The good news is that we have made measurable progress in this fight – not only with the elimination of bin Laden, but also with the more than 45 attempted jihadist plots foiled in the last ten years.
The Obama administration’s strategic decision to intensely focus on the destruction of al Qaeda has proven especially effective to date, providing a useful contrast to the more unilateral, boots-on-the-ground approach of the Bush administration. This should inform our domestic debates. Read More…
The World Trade Center is again the tallest building in New York one year after the killing of Osama bin Laden and more than 10 years after the attacks that brought them down.
It is still a work in progress: The hulking steel structure known as the Freedom Tower is still 500 feet shorter than it will be when complete. But it is already a tribute to American resilience, a reminder that whatever devastation we face, we can still come back bigger and better than before.
My wife and I live two blocks from ground zero. The transformation of our neighborhood over the past decade has been inspiring, if comparatively unheralded. The streets that were once covered in ash and smoke are now teeming with life. Read More…