Just how did we get here? How did we get to the point that two young men, who were by all accounts immigrants that adopted the lifestyle of their new society, could drop a bomb at the feet of an 8 year old boy? How could two young men become so radicalized on American soil and fall prey to Al-Qaeda propaganda and seemingly long-armed indoctrination? How does this happen right under our noses?
After 9/11, I thought we had departments set up on our taxpayer dime such as the Department of Homeland Security which is designed to watch for chatter and threats on homeland soil. I suppose that was a false sense of security we were offered because we clearly missed some very public signs. Shockingly, these two terrorists didn't even attempt to hide their jihadist views. Rather they blatantly posted disturbing propaganda through their heavy social media interactions and nobody heard that chatter. Astounding.
Perhaps I am a little more curious than the average person, but I can assure you that I have checked out every person on my Facebook friends list and were I ever to find terrorist propaganda, I can also assure you I would be reporting them. I cannot fathom being alone in this sentiment, so how is it that these two young men could be posting Al-Qaeda propagandist materials, videos, and songs in plain sight and nobody noticed?
I don't know about you, but I don't really want to be my brother's keeper, yet haven't we learned anything after 9/11? Haven't we learned that we can trust no one? Haven't we learned that we need to make it our business to know who is around us and report anything and everything suspicious? Evidently the great Sleeping Giant still lies in a highly sedated twilight daze. To say we are awake and lucid would be a great overestimation.
The question begs to be asked then, is it really up to the citizens of the United States to keep an eye on their fellow citizens? I believe it is. I believe that we all have a 6th sense and we need to learn to trust in that, because it can be a strong indicator that something is out of character with what behavior or outcome should be expected or anticipated. It is a strong trigger and I believe it still resides in our genes.
We all have this gift but we simply need help with understanding it. Homegrown terrorism is exactly one reason why the Israelis are experts at cultivating this 6th sense. It's called profiling and after 9/11 the Israeli government contacted the Bush administration offering their vast knowledge and expertise on terrorist profiling. Who better to learn from than the experts in the field. Yet in all our government's wisdom, we have continued to refuse their assistance.
Had we rose above our own stifling prejudices about using this tactic, rather than confusing it with an unrealistic ideal about a right to privacy, I am convinced officials would have easily cherry-picked these two individuals out of the massive crowds at the Boston Marathon.
Terrorist profiling would have highlighted their behavior and unobtrusive interactions on the sidewalks of Boston which in hindsight, were dead giveaways.
All the signs were there and if we had highly trained profilers we could have detained these individuals before they unleashed the horror that will forever mire the Boston Marathon.
In all our infinite wisdom, and twisted expectation of exactly what freedoms were bestowed upon us by our US Constitution, we are being held hostage by our own need to be politically correct. We no longer have the right to not be assessed using terrorist profiling techniques. Clearly it is time for us to learn to profile. Clearly it is time for us to get out of our own way.