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August 11, 2007
Dirty Bomb Plot in New York City?
Details are sketchy. But the city has taken some extra precautions against a radiological device being detonated by setting up checkpoints and employing sensors:
Vehicle checkpoints and other counterterrorism precautions are continuing in New York City Saturday morning. They're a response to what authorities are calling unsubstantiated online threats about a truck packed with radioactive material. All the terrorists need is to be successful once while we have to stop them 100% of the time.
Police have been stopping cars and inspecting trucks in lower Manhattan and various other places around the city. They said they're also deploying extra radiological sensors on street, water and air patrols.
But federal, state and local officials are stressing that the threats haven't been verified. The city's terror alert status hasn't been changed. Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne says an Israeli Web site reported that online posts were made following a video released Sunday. It featured an American member of al-Qaida threatening foreign diplomats and embassies across the Islamic world.
Keeping that singular fact in mind should help us understand these extra precautions and see them for what they are; not a fearful response but one that employs good old fashioned American common sense in the face of threats that may or may not be valid.
The alternative would be unthinkable.