Not in America? Terrorist attack in Israel a reminder that the same thing can happen here...only worse

The following includes editorial content that is the opinion of the author, a current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

USA- The distance between New York City and Tel Aviv, the capital of Israel, is 5,670 miles. The current war, started by the terrorist group Hamas, which launched an unprovoked attack on the state of Israel last weekend, seems like half a world away. If only that were true.

Since January 21, 2021, an estimated 6 million or more illegal immigrants have crossed into the United States, a majority across the southern border with the tacit approval of the Biden administration.

Most left-leaning media would have one believe that most are “families” seeking a better life in the U.S. or refugees escaping oppressive regimes in their home countries. Again, if only that were true.

Video of those crossing the border from Mexico into the United States primarily comprises young, military-aged males entering the country. And many of them—we would argue a majority—are not from Mexico or even Central America.

Large contingents come from South American countries such as Venezuela. Others come from China, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 Americans were killed by nineteen terrorists, Islamic fundamentalists driven by hate of the United States.

Intelligence failures on multiple levels were responsible for that attack on American soil. Those failures were from agencies tasked with protecting our country from such an attack, including the FBI, CIA, and military intelligence.

In some ways, there are similarities between what happened to our country on 9/11 and what happened in Israel last weekend.

Many wonder how Israeli intelligence, often considered the best in the world, missed this attack that, as of this writing, has taken over 1,000 lives, including a number of Americans. There are also likely hundreds of people, including American citizens, whom the Hamas barbarians have seemingly taken hostage.

For many, October 9, 2023, feels a lot like September 10, 2001. Is the United States asleep at the wheel…again? For John Miller, former deputy commissioner for intelligence with the NYPD, it seems like it.

While some may not be paying attention to the threats the United States faces, he reminds us that police agencies such as the NYPD are. He wrote that the NYPD Intelligence Bureau is planning…and has been preparing…for attacks he said may never come.

Look at the number of soft targets available in our country ripe for the picking for a terrorist organization like Hamas, Hezbollah, or God knows who else. Out of the millions of individuals who have crossed our border unimpeded, is it possible that a few hundred…or a few thousand…are radical extremists?

What if those individuals are embedded in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, or Miami? What if they’re embedded in one of the tens of thousands of small cities and towns scattered throughout the United States?

On any given day, tens of thousands of men, women, and children go to Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Every Sunday, tens of thousands of fans go to football stadiums in Dallas, New Jersey, Las Vegas, and small-town Foxboro, Massachusetts, to watch NFL games. Ripe targets?

Police intelligence agencies throughout the U.S. are likely on high alert after what happened in Israel last weekend, Miller writes.

“They are thinking about subways and rail stations, Times Square, and television shows that have live broadcasts in front of crowds in the street. They are thinking about tourist spots and ramming attacks. They are thinking about every kind of attack we have seen and imagining the ones we have not.”

The attack by Hamas in Israel should serve as a wake-up call to the United States, both law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The attack in Israel appeared well-planned, yet somehow flew under the radar of the Mossad.

The intelligence failures in Israel are reminiscent of the pre-911 atmosphere in the United States, as written above. As Miller notes, the 9/11 Commission referred to the United States’ intelligence failures as a “failure of imagination.”

It is clear from the first few days after Israel was attacked that it will go scorched earth on Hamas. Sadly, with Hamas holding hostages, many of them will likely be killed as the Hamas savages realize the world is closing in on them.

Despite the Biden administration setting the market for ransom demands among terrorists at $1 billion, Hamas will see nothing from Israel.

Miller notes that we can expect images to be sent forth by Hamas, propaganda pieces designed for two purposes, one of which Miller didn’t speak to.

He says Hamas will use these images for propaganda, to paint Israel as perpetrating an attack on the Palestinian people, which will fire up those who live “in the lands of the non-believers” to “strike the kafir where they live.” Both Iran and Hezbollah, Miller writes, have already praised the attack by Hamas.

The other purpose, which Miller didn’t address, is Hamas using propaganda to fuel the anti-Israel media and political class in the United States, politicians such as “The Squad” members who are openly hostile to Israel and despise Israel.

Emboldened by the propaganda and likely related anti-Israel bloviating from politicians and the media, one can expect followers of Hamas to act out in countries that support Israel, with the biggest one being the United States. He writes, "…out there, in the darker corners of cyberspace, someone will listen.”

Miller writes that NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau, along with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, have successfully taken down some 60 cases involving plots to attack assets inside New York City, in addition to plots originating in the Big Apple designed to attack targets in other places.

One target organization like Hamas likes to focus on is so-called “lone wolf” attackers, individuals who were loners before getting involved with terror groups. Miller writes that many failed in school, at jobs, or among family.

“They are taken in by the terrorist narrative, which makes them feel all the things they are lacking; that they belong to a group, that their attack will make them heroes, and their actions will have an impact,” Miller writes.

Such attackers, attracted by the notion they will be “heroes” to someone, are a disposable commodity. However, their actions can be deadly, Miller writes.

Miller also warns that the current conflict between Israel and Hamas cannot be seen as existing only between those two entities. He writes that Iran has supplied Hamas with $100 million a year in aid, in addition to technical assistance in developing missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

Iran has already started poking Israel by launching missiles at three Israeli military positions adjacent to Lebanon, where Iran’s special forces (Revolutionary Guard) and their surrogates in Hezbollah “operate with impunity.”

One of the cases uncovered and taken down by the NYPD and FBI involved highly-trained Hezbollah operatives “who literally spent years developing sophisticated target folders, including tourist locations in New York City, government buildings, military facilities, and critical infrastructure from Niagra Falls to the Panama Canal.”

In 2020, the Trump administration authorized the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s special forces commander. This move was heavily criticized by Democrats, including Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and other “squad” members.

Miller said such plans as noted above are typical of one that Soleimani would have carried out had he decided to use Hezbollah to carry it out. He also writes that it would be naïve to think others did not replace those caught up in the NYPD/FBI operation.

Miller writes that ISIS will attempt to exploit Israel’s counterattacks to spur attacks on Jewish targets, including those in the U.S., U.S. government targets, and American civilians. Both ISIS and al-Qaeda have previously claimed civilians in the U.S. are legitimate targets because they vote for politicians who support Israel.

That goes back to how the Mossad—Israeli intelligence—missed the plan by Hamas, which by all accounts was “large, complex, and multi-faceted.” Miller writes it is likely the plan would have had to involve “a thousand people in the know in Gaza.”

Our government is currently preoccupied with proper pronouns, “climate change,” and targeting school moms who attend board of education meetings. Is the United States, therefore, preoccupied with internal politics and taking its eye off the ball? It seems that way.

Fortunately, police departments such as the NYPD, Los Angeles, Chicago, and joint-terrorism task forces of the FBI from New York to San Diego, meetings are being held to discuss and identify potential attack targets after what happened in Israel.

We have been caught off-guard twice in the past 82 years…God help us if we miss the next one.

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The opinions reflected in this article are not necessarily the opinions of LET
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