It's still not clear who was responsible for the failed car bomb
in Times Square
on Saturday night. Police say that surveillance video shows a
white male in his 40s leaving the area near the Nissan SUV. A Pakistani Taliban group has
claimed responsibility, but U.S. officials say it's probably not true
. Whoever it
was, what's next for the U.S. and for officials searching out the
- All but Certain They Will Discover Who's Behind It The New
Yorker's Steve Coll writes, "About the
only thing that can be said at this stage about the car bomb, or
incendiary device, placed in Times Square last night is that the police
will almost certainly figure out where it came from and who was
involved. Everything about the circumstantial evidence--particularly the
device itself--suggests amateurism." Coll explains "why terrorist groups,
particularly those associated with Al Qaeda, had not carried out any
attacks inside the United States since September 11th."
strength of American counterterrorism operations lies in its forensic
and investigative abilities after an attack takes place. In effect, when
a terrorist group, large or small, sets off a bomb, it temporarily
lights up its own network by exposing the forensic trail leading back
from the event.
- Don't Hold KSM Trial in New York Bill
Burck and former Bush White House spokesperson Dana Perino write in the
National Review, "it should remind us that the federal officials who
continue to insist that New York City is the best place to try KSM and
other 9/11 terrorists are, frankly, out of their minds. Attorney General
Eric Holder remains delusional on this front, as he has continued to
say that a civilian trial in New York remains on the table, despite the
uniform protest of all major New York public officials from the mayor to
the police chief to the governor. New York is the world's number-one
terrorist target, and has been since at least he first World Trade
Center bombing in 1993."
- 'Celebrate' U.S Counterterrorism
The New Republic's Jonathan Chait calls this
"another piece of evidence of al Qaeda's severely degraded capability of
launching attacks on American soil, where leaving a smoke-filled car in
Manhattan is an operation worth boasting about. The Christmas bombing
likewise failed on account of miserably
low quality. I'm not making an argument for complacency. It's
obvious that al Qaeda wants to kill as many Americans as possible. But
it's equally obvious that our counter-terrorism strategy is actually
working. We should not feel hesitant to celebrate success."
Need More 'Aggressive' Counterterrorism The Wall Street Journal
insists, "it is evident that we should be willing to err on the side
of being aggressive in surveilling and catching such people before
their bombs begin to smolder. It is not possible to catch all of them.
It should be possible to ensure that the odds of protecting the American
public are as strong as we are able to make them."
NYC Gets Security Upgrade The New York Times' Michael Schmidt reports, "The Police Department has been
planning a high-tech security network for Midtown Manhattan involving
surveillance cameras, license plate readers and chemical sensors. ...
The network, patterned after one under development in Lower Manhattan,
eventually use public and private security cameras and license plate
readers and would be able to record and track every vehicle moving
between 34th and 59th Streets, river to river."
- In Times
Square, Back to Business Time's Howard Chua-Eoan reports,
"Times Square is already shaking off the latest incident as well as the
earlier ones, speeding back to the unbridled commerce that makes it the
bustling, slightly seamy tourist wonderland where, as the song '42nd
Street' goes, 'the underworld can meet the elite.'"
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