Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Thirty years ago today, I was working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, when the BBC began reporting that a suicidal terrorist had driven a water tanker loaded with explosives into a four story building in Beruit, Lebanon, that housed a detachment of U.S. Marines.
More than 240 of our soldiers died in that attack.
It was the first and most substantial attack by radical Muslim extremists that I had seen up until that day, and it wouldn’t be the last. Unfortunately, I would see many more, including the worst in world history.
I don’t think we learned much from that attack, or from the murder of Leon Klinghoffer, an American businessman who was thrown overboard, from the cruise ship Achille Lauro, by Palestinian terrorists less than two years after the Beruit bombing.
To me, those events were the beginning of radical Islam’s war against the west, a war that has only increased over time. And, with each attack that has followed, we have learned more and more about our new found enemy, most importantly, that it looks like they’re here to stay.
If history has taught us anything, it is that good will prevail over evil.
As we continue in that battle between good and evil, let us not forget those that sacrificed, so that we could live in freedom.
God Bless those soldiers that died on October 23, 1983, and those that have died since.
May they never ever be forgotten.
Friday, October 18, 2013
On this day, 25 years ago, Michael Buczek was 24, and Chris Hoban 26.
They died long before their time, leaving behind heartbroken families, and a devastated department. 25 years later, the memory of their passing is no less painful than it was on that fateful night.
My prayers are with the families that they left behind, and the men and women that I worked with in Manhattan North Narcotics (MNND), that have carried on their memory ever sense.
God Bless you all.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
The number of dead in the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, is now up to 68, and according to sources in CNN, three of the terrorists responsible are from the United States, linked to the terrorist group al-Shabab.
Is anyone surprised? They shouldn’t be.
Back in 2005 and 2006, I said that it was only a matter of time before we would see things like this in our own country. Not if, but when, and by whom?
The spectacular type of attack such as 9/11 is no longer needed to have a severe and negative impact on our psyche and our economy.
Imagine how black “Black Friday” would be, if on America’s biggest shopping day of the year, the day after Thanksgiving, al-Qaeda affiliated groups, entered three or four malls like Westgate, around the country at the same time, and carried out the same sort of attack?
It could have devastating consequences.
Al-Qaeda’s links and growing influence here in America has grown substantially, and it’s only a matter of time, before something like this happens.
The attack in Nairobi, is an example of their ability, and a reminder as to why we have got to remain pre-emptive and pro-active in doing everything we can to secure our critical infrastructure, and insure our intelligence community is at the top of their game.
According to reports, the group that carried out this operation is estimated to have several thousand fighters, including a few hundred foreign fighters - some from the Middle East with experience in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, and others are from Somali communities in the United States and Europe.
Let’s hope that we find them, before they find us.
Today it’s a mall in Nairobi, Kenya… but as the say in the major motion picture industry, “Coming to a theater near you.”
Let’s hope not.