Terrorist attacks have also evolved, such as the 2008 Mumbai incident where ten coordinated attacks resulting in the death of over 170 people and 300 wounded. This decade has hosted numerous terror plots against Europe alone. The Madrid train bombing is perhaps one of the most destructive and publicized European terror attacks in recent memory. This attack killed over 190 people and injured over 1,800. It is yet another example of coordinated terrorist attacks. Examples of this type of terrorist attack can be extensively referenced. However, our goal as American intelligence and law enforcement communities is to learn from these incidents and prevent them or at the very least curtail the effects of such an attack.
In my opinion, one of the most important contributions in preventing terrorists' attacks is educating the general public. The majority of law enforcement is trained, or at the very least exposed, to terrorist indicators and the practical effects of WMD, not the exaggerated Hollywood version on the affects of WMDs. The current White House administration National Security Strategy advises, in context to a terrorist threat, Our best defenses against this threat are well informed and equipped families, local communities, and institutions. Subscribing to the belief that education is critical in preventing a terrorist attack or reducing the terror that subside such an attack, the questions raised are why are we as law enforcement not partnering with the public to instruct them on terrorist indicators and the real effects that a WMD will have on a community and the nation?
Educational crime seminars with topics of narcotics, gangs and identity theft are commonly taught by law enforcement to educate communities. Community members, to include business organizations, understand their affects and provide law enforcement with immeasurable tips and insight on dismantling these types of organizations. However, where perhaps the most immediate and dangerous threats to this nation exist, we have done little to educate the public. Knowledge on the acquisition and affects of a WMD will minimize the nation's potential of an executable terrorist plot. It will also allow the public to rationally react to such an attack in the event one is ever executed. This reaction will reduce the amount of terror in our community, ironically counteracting the terrorist goal of creating terror.
The word terrorist is becoming a common household topic in America. Experts agree the reality is that America will see another terrorist incident on her soil. Unfortunately, it may include the use of WMDs. Terrorists continually look for innovative ways to employ maximum terror. These fanatical organizations are cunning, driven and financially supported. There is little reason to believe that a WMD of some sort will not be attained and deployed on American soil. It is often not the situation that dictates chaos but the response. Therefore, community, media and law enforcement partnerships are essential in preventing and minimizing the affects of a terror strike.