Three terror cases, one said to be the most well-developed plot
uncovered since 9/11, have thrust concerns about terrorism back to the fore. Though several recent terror arrests fell apart due to a lack of hard evidence, Najibullah Zazi's hand-written bomb diagrams and purchases of volatile chemicals have captured national attention. This has prompted a deeper appreciation of law-enforcement vigilance, debate over the legal powers to make preventive arrests, and concerns about how domestic terror plots will bear on U.S. efforts overseas.
- Zazi Plot Means We Need to Keep Up Fight in Afghanistan, argues the Wall Street Journal editorial board. "The arrest of
Najibullah Zazi... does, however, argue
for recognizing that Pakistan and Afghanistan persist as centers for
sending forth violent plots against America. Zazi traveled to Pakistan
for training at an al Qaeda camp."
- Preventive Arrests and Fair Trials Crucial for Safety, writes the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune. "It's reasonable to arrest terror suspects the moment they
allegedly break any of our laws -- lying to investigators included.
Charges such as those against the current suspects don't deprive them
of chances to prove themselves fully innocent in court. Those charges
do, though, conceivably hold the power to intercept plots before they
take large numbers of lives. And that protection has to be our most urgent priority."
- Praise the Police for Staying Calm, says John Cole at Balloon Juice. "These seem to me to be success stories, and real threats (unlike that
one group of clowns in Queens a couple months ago). I also like how
they are sort of taking it in stride and not having big, showy press
conferences with Eric Holder trying to scare the shit out of us."
- No Extraordinary Legal Powers Needed, applauds Dave Anderson at Newshoggers. "It is almost like the legal/criminal justice system is fairly robust in
providing security against both lone wolf and home grown conspiracies.
Who would have thunk that..."
- International Implications, says Juan Zarate at CBS News. "What you have here that makes it so dangerous is the fact that Zazi
appears to have been trained by al Qaeda in Pakistan. Appears to not
only have contacts with al Qaeda but seemed to have been deployed here
at the direction of al Qaeda senior leadership"
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