Say Attack On U.S. Before 10th Anniversary Of 9/11 Wanted

NEW YORK (CBS 2/WCBS 880) — Americans, and especially New Yorkers, have been grappling with one terror attempt after another for decades.

Will it ever stop, or is what happened Friday simply an inevitable reality?

WCBS 880 talks with a terror expert on cargo security

CBS 2’s Don Dahler takes a look at this sign of our times.

Like the steady drumbeats of a battering ram at the castle gates, terrorists have tried and tried and tried again to take American lives. As the events of Friday prove, they haven’t stopped trying.

“It’s really unfortunate, but they are not going away,” said former federal prosecutor Annemarie McAvoy.

McAvoy is an expert on terrorist funding. She said because getting financing is more difficult for them, al Qaeda has scaled down their goals from another 9/11-sized catastrophe to something smaller but no less terrifying.

“We have the anniversary of 9/11 coming up, the 10th anniversary. And the word is that they would like very much to get an attack in that’s a successful attack before that anniversary, because it would have such a huge impact,” McAvoy said.

Terrorism expert Robert Strang said al Qaeda is constantly probing our vulnerabilities.

“Clearly, this type of cargo shipment is vulnerable. Are we checking all these bags that go into cargo planes? We’re not,” Strang said.

And even, as some have suggested, this was just a trial run to see if such packages get flagged, the terrorists have succeeded in gaining publicity and putting a strain on the global economy, with yet more security inevitably raising the cost of doing business.

“In addition to even trying to see if they can get something through, they have a huge impact that they can get out of just doing this,” McAvoy said.

The consensus in the intelligence community is they will not stop. And the terrorists will not be content just trying one tactic or another. In this war, they will use every weapon they can conceive of.

And because of concerns that al Qaeda is intent on having a successful attack on the U.S. this year, the experts remind everyone that if you see something suspicious, report it.

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