According to the September 10th Wall Street Journal opinion piece by Judith Miller (no relation) titled “How the NYPD Foiled the Post-9/11 Terror Plots”:
A specter has haunted the New York Police Department during this week’s torrent of 10th anniversary commemorations of 9/11 — the 13 terrorist plots against the city in the past decade that have failed or been thwarted thanks partly to NYPD counterterrorism efforts.
The article describes the talk by NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly to the Manhattan Institute, including:
The police have to factor terrorism into “everything we do,” Mr. Kelly said. If that means following leads that take NYPD undercover detectives into mosques, Islamic bookstores, Muslim student associations, cafes and nightclubs, so be it.
This part of the article particularly caught my attention because, in the novel LT. COMMANDER MOLIE SANDERS, a joint Navy-Coast Guard intelligence-gathering operation to stop a terrorist attack on the post of Los Angeles requires an undercover visit to a bookstore next door to a mosque.
The Journal article goes on to reference several foiled terrorist attacks, many from what is called “homegrown” terrorists (people already living in the U.S. who plan terrorist attacks against the U.S.). Here are two such foiled plots:
It was an undercover officer in an Islamic bookstore who helped stop Shahawar Matin Siraj, a homegrown Muslim extremist and self-professed al Qaeda admirer, from bombing the Herald Square subway station during the 2004 Republican convention, Mr. Kelly said. Another undercover officer prevented homegrown terrorists Ahmed Ferhani, 26, and Mohamed Mamdouh, 20, from bombing a Manhattan synagogue and trying to “take out the entire building.”
A main reason that Mitch and I wrote the port of Los Angeles story is to highlight the vital need for the Coast Guard to be given more funding to expand its resources for protecting our nation’s coastlines.
While attention is often focused on attacks of major cities, the ports offer penetration opportunities that must be protected against. And the Coast Guard needs more resources for this protecting.
The events in the novel are fictional, but they do represent some of the real threats to our nation’s security.
May the U.S. intelligence community continue to improve their coordinated efforts to safeguard our country.
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