I don't understand why there is not MORE terrorism in America

Over the past ten years, we have heard non-stop talk and worry about terrorism. But, oddly enough, there has been almost no actual terrorism.

I don’t understand WHY THIS IS. It’s driving me insane. It’s such a simple question, but I know there has to be more to it. Mass chaos is so easy to cause. Anything from driving a truck into a big crowd of people, to setting off a very basic bomb in a crowded area - a bomb that could be made easily out of stuff you can buy at any hardware store.

The terrorists don’t seem to be concerned with sacrificing their own lives, which makes it so much easier for them to pull off their attacks. They don’t have to worry about escape plans.

I simply cannot believe that US “Homeland Security” is so good at their jobs that the terrorists are totally unable to coordinate even a simple attack like a small bomb at a mall or restaurant.

NOT ONLY THAT - but I’m amazed that there aren’t more terrorist attacks by totally random, deranged people who are unaffiliated with any religious terrorist organization and just want to cause carnage for its own sake. Every now and then there’s a shooting spree, but you hardly ever hear about bombing murders. Even though it’s so easy to kill massive numbers of people with bombs.

In short, I am utterly amazed that there is less terrorism in America. Is the leadership of terror organizations that incompetent?

Well, for one thing there’s less reason to bother when America has been doing such a good job of ruining itself. Attacking would risk disturbing the process of self destruction.

For another, right wing terrorism in this country almost never gets called terrorism. All the violence and shootings over medical reform never got labeled terrorism; if it had been a bunch of Muslims or leftists doing the same thing it would have. Death threats and shootings of doctors who perform abortions doesn’t get labeled terrorism, nor does KKK style racist violence. It’s only “terrorism” if it’s foreign, Muslim or left wing violence.

Surely, sir, you jest.

Cites 2 thru 7.

Apparently, there’s not more terrorism in America because there are not enough Americans who want to do it. Some, but so few that any one of their outrages can fill up the news for weeks. (I doubt it’s like that in Israeli media.)

:rolleyes: Fine. The mainstream media refuses to call it terrorism.

In a similar vein, I have always found it weird how few people get killed in mass shootings (except, of course, with the Norwegian one). Am I the only one to have stood in a crowded train station and thought “with a couple of guns I can destroy this place?” when what usually happens is they get 5-10.

I sometimes think about this too, and my explanation is that the vast majority of people simply don’t want to cause harm and chaos. Even if they are inclined to cause havoc it’s a pain in the ass, and the consequences can be very inconvenient. I think it may just be as simple as that.

This is also why I’ve always been skeptical about the threat supposedly presented by Muslims. There are between 1.3 and 4 million Muslims living in the United States, and some 1.5 billion worldwide. Even if it’s just the really radical ones who are a threat, I think that’s enough of a sample size that we should be seeing more problems. I’ve always felt that with those numbers if they really are out to get us, they’re either really patient or really incompetent. But really, I just don’t think many people are out to cause problems, Muslim or not.

Trouble is, it’s tragic and sometimes spectacular when bad things do happen, and this causes fear out of proportion to any real or ongoing threat. Sort of like when an airliner crashes.

I think it’s a matter of definition. But blowing up shit for political purposes? No, it doesn’t happen all the time and it would be easy. The other day I almost burst into tears thinking about how easy it would be for someone to blow themselves up at an elementary school.

But it happens. Here’s an incomplete/unofficial list complied by Wiki editors. A snippet:

It happens. I guess America cares about other things…?

Edit: Islamic terrorism:

If the shoe-bomber, underwear-bomber, and Times Square bomber are any indication, yes, they are.

Yes. Al Qaeda isn’t SPECTRE; it’s an extremely loose association of religious extremists. More of a brand name than an organization.

And a group that has an entrance requirement of being willing to believe and do dumb things isn’t likely to be composed of geniuses. And that’s an entrance qualification for most terrorist organizations.

In the past ten years there has been all kinds of successful terrorism against the US–economic terrorism. And it’s precisely because “Homeland Security” is so “good.”

Al Queda’s real goal was to get the U.S. to spend so much on trying to prevent terrorism that it would have severe economic repercussions.

They’ve succeeded.

They could cause so much more damage to the economy, though.

Look at how much disruption of the airlines 9/11 caused. The terrorists could do the same thing to bus transit, train transit, even ferries. Yet they don’t. They could do some highway bombings at major intersections or exits in heavy traffic. They don’t. So far all they’ve done is strike at air travel. Train travel has been unaffected. There is zero security at Amtrak stations.

According to foiled bomb plots, they’ve been working on it. Just not very well.

Well, Los Angeles Union Station, for the past week at least, has been crawling with sheriff’s deputies armed with machine guns and body armor. So arguably the biggest target in LA was heavily patrolled.

Wouldn’t stop anyone with the right skill and organizational ability from loading up half a dozen semi trucks with fuel oil and fertilizer and placing them strategically around the building to blow during rush hour.

I’m thinking you could shut down DC pretty well just by blowing up all the Potomac River bridges. Something similar must be true for most major US cities.

Fanatics with tunnel vision and their ignorant henchmen can’t put together a successful operation? Imagine that.

With their access (taken) to booze, strippers, and porn, I’m surprised the 9/11 guys made their flights. A former employer would ship in their best and brightest from Japan and, after six months, they were as useless as the rest of us. The US really can be a corrupting influence, and it protects us. :wink:

But how many such people are there? We’ve seen a number of failed bomb fizzles, and I suspect that a number of would-be bombers fail in the other direction and end up as smoking hamburger. Bombs aren’t really all that forgiving of mistakes.

Al Queda caused mortgage lenders/investors to behave like greedy idiots and the housing market bubble to collapse? I never knew. Bastards! <shakes fist>

This thread reminded me that I hadn’t heard anything about the attempted bombing of the MLK parade last winter. I went and looked it up - turns out they caught the guy, thanks in part to a camera he left in the backpack that still had his photo on it, and he plead guilty last Wednesday to attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and a federal hate crime. He’ll be sentenced in November to between 27-35 years in prison. He’s a white supremacist who says he wanted to bomb the parade for racist reasons.

Here’s a CNN article on it -

One from the Seattle Times -

USAToday -

AP via Fox -

None of the writers of those articles use the word terrorist or terrorism, although one prosecutor is quoted describing the people pf Spokane as being “terrorized”. All the articles mention Harpham’s connection to a neo-Nazi and/or white supremecist groups but no one in the articles describes these groups as terrorist organizations. No one is ever quoted saying, “Kevin Harpham is a terrorist.”

It’s interesting, but not in a good way.

I think a key factor is we don’t have a lot of domestic terrorists. That’s probably a reflection of American society. On the one hand, we’ve got a political system that allows most people in this country to participate in how the country is run - there are no large pools of people that feel like they’re unjustly shut out. On the other hand, America is a society that emphasizes the worth of the individual - it’s probably a lot tougher to convince the average American to sacrifice his life for a cause than it is for people in other cultures.

So the main terrorist threat to America is from foreigners who object to our international presence. But they’re thousands of miles away. For them to strike here in America requires some organization and resources - and that creates the kind of trail that intelligence agencies can follow.