While most Americans are focused on legitimate economic concerns, looming threats to our national security are building on the horizon, for example, the regrouping of al-Qaida to mount coordinated attacks on the United States – including Mumbai-style swarm attacks, Beslan-style school massacres, and other low-intensity, low-casualty (but panic-inducing) acts of terror with the potential to inflict serious damage on the U.S. economy.
NORAD/Northcom commander Admiral James Winnefeld, pictured at his office at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2011 warned the Moscow airport attack could have happened in U.S.
The Associated Press and Reuters via MSNBC
January 26, 2011
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colorado — The suicide bombing at Moscow’s busiest airport is a tragedy that “could have just as easily happened here,” the commander of NORAD and the U.S. Northern Command said Tuesday.
“People think of us and the Russians as adversaries, and we’re not, and particularly in this area,” Adm. James Winnefeld said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We feel very badly for what happened to them in Moscow because that could have just as easily happened here.” …
Winnefeld heads the North American Aerospace Defense Command, a joint U.S.-Canada command that is responsible for defending both nations from air attack and for monitoring potential maritime threats.
He also leads the Northern Command, which is responsible for the military defense of U.S. soil and supporting civilian agencies in the event of a natural or human-caused disasters.
Both have headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Winnefeld declined to say what impact the Moscow bombing might have on U.S. security measures. That’s a matter for the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Safety Administration, he said.
The explosion Monday at Domodedovo Airport killed 35 people and injured 180. No one has claimed responsibility, but Islamist separatist insurgents from Chechnya have taken credit for previous attacks in Moscow. …
Related reports on this site
Al-Qaida’s Low-Intensity / High-Frequency Strategy (Oct. 30, 2010)
Report warns of small-scale attacks by al Qaida (MSNBC, Sept. 25, 2010) – A Washington Post report says that the risk of small-scale attacks by al Qaida and its allies are on the rise. MSNBC’s Alex Witt talks with international terrorism consultant Evan Kohlmann. (03:19)
Al-Qaida Plans Swarm Attacks (Oct. 2, 2010)
Officials on lookout for Mumbai-style attack? (NBC Nightly News, Oct. 2, 2010) – NBC’s Lester Holt speaks with NBC terrorism expert Roger Cressey. (02:15)
New Post-9/11 Terrorist Strategy (Sept. 22, 2010)
Al-Qaida’s Next High-Value Target (Jan. 18, 2010)
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — January 26, 2010
WMD report gives government failing grade (Jan. 26, 2010) – A new report warns that the U.S. government is far behind in preparing for a biological or nuclear attack by terrorists. NBC’s Pete Williams reports. (01:50)
One year ago today, I reported that a new report warned that al-Qaida had not abandoned its goal of attacking the United States with a chemical, biological, or even nuclear weapons and examined al-Qaida’s high-value target list for terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — January 26, 2009
Burhan Hassan was one of many young Somali men who went missing from Minneapolis in 2008. His family suspected he was recruited by radical elements in Somalia, where he was reportedly shot and killed in June 2009. (Photo credit: The Associated Press)
Two years ago today, on Jan. 26, 2009, I reported that counterterrorism officials and the FBI were investigating whether al-Shabab or other Somali Islamic groups were actively recruiting in the United States. Officials said as many as 20 Somali-Americans between the ages of 17 and 27 had left their Minneapolis homes since 2007, apparently bound for Somalia.
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