Rich Thomaselli | September 19, 2016 11:00 PM ET
Can We Really Stop Domestic Terrorism From Disrupting Travel?
After Sept. 11, 2001, this was my biggest fear about commuting into New York City – the stretch when the Metro North Railroad left the 125th Station in Harlem, made its way along Park Ave. and entered the dark, underground tunnel for the final arrival at Grand Central Terminal.
That portion of darkness took maybe 10 minutes, tops. Yet, it was terrifying pondering what could have been.
I suppose if terrorists were going to hit the train it could have happened anywhere along the 90-mile ride between New York’s Hudson Valley, where I live, and the city. A strategically placed device along a portion of the track, perhaps a madman detonating something inside the train itself
But, it was the darkness, the sense of foreboding, of not knowing, that was unnerving, to say the least.
That was what I thought about when the latest act of terrorism took place in New York – and New Jersey and Minnesota, for that matter – over the weekend.
Can we really stop domestic terrorism from disrupting travel?
I mean, really stop it?
I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, the one with a negative outlook, or even simply pessimistic. I am sure there are many instances when the “See Something, Say Something” mantra has worked, but I can’t help but think that even in this day and age of video technology, with surveillance cameras on every street, on traffic lights, and just about everywhere, that we can’t stop it without some extra layer of due diligence.
On our part, not law enforcement.
Terrorists don’t care anyway about video cameras. By the time they do the evil they want to do, all we will have is video of what happened and the aftermath, not the prevention.
I can’t help but think that the people down in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City on Saturday night certainly didn’t expect a homemade bomb in a garbage can to explode as they walked the area or were coming out of a restaurant for dinner.
I can’t help but think what’s to stop a domestic terrorist from finding new and inventive ways to hurt people, or even borrowed a tried and true method like the London subway bombings of a couple of years ago. Some may call thoughts like that over-indulgence or paranaoia, but only our own curiosity has prevented any new scenarios from occurring, or occurring on a more consistent basis.
Unfortunately I don’t have an answer, and neither do a lot of people far more educated and informed than I.
Unfortunately I only have questions.
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