Heightened terror alerts have become the norm these days, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and local law enforcement responded to suspicious behavior in the air and on the ground.
Investigations routinely claim to expose credible threats but with unconfirmed information about possible terrorist plots, how much truth can be accredited to them?
Reports of vehicles filled with explosives, targeted attacks on subways (the transport hub not the sandwich shop) tunnels and bridges, commuter trains all seem just minutes away from attack!
We are living in dangerous times, or are we?
One such incident took place in which two F-16 fighter jets escorted an American Airlines flight into New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. This happened after three passengers locked themselves in the bathroom and refused to come out.
The incident started some 100 miles west of New York, the jets from the North American Aerospace Defense Command intercepted the flight and shadowed it until landing as a precautionary measure. The FBI and the TSA are conducted a full investigation, the passenger’s behavior was not found to be terrorist-related. American Airlines spokesperson Tim Smith described the event at as “a big nothing.”
F-16 jets also shadowed a Frontier Airlines Flight from the notorious Denver airport, it landed safely in the Detroit Metro Airport. Two passengers were seen spending and inordinately long time in the bathroom. It was discovered that the suspicious behavior was just two passengers making out. No arrests were made.
These are just two incidents of thousands that pushed by the media and the government, keep everyone on their toes and suspicious of everything and everyone.
There is a permanent air of paranoia, is this justified?
What are the chances of being killed by terrorist?
How many Americans have been killed in terrorist attacks inside the United States since the September 11, 2001, atrocities? Arguably 16.
Egyptian Hesham Mohamed Hadayet killed two Israelis at the El Al ticket counter at the Los Angeles airport on July 4, 2002. On June 1, 2009, Abdulhakim Muhammed killed one soldier at a recruiting center in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan killed 13 soldiers during a shooting rampage in at Fort Hood, Texas in November 2009.
Checking the Global Terrorism Database, one finds that an additional 14 Americans were killed in broadly defined domestic terrorism incidents since September 2001. Five died from anthrax attacks (2001); two died in an attack on a Knoxville church (2008); two are suspected to have been killed by members of the Minutemen American Defense group in Arizona (2009); an abortion provider was killed in Wichita, Kansas (2009); a guard was stabbed to death at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., (2009); two died in Austin when a man crashed his light plane into a government building over a dispute with the IRS (2009); and a neo-Malthusian terrorist was shot by police during a hostage incident at the Discovery Channel in Silver Spring, Maryland (2009). That adds up to a grand total of 30 Americans killed in terrorist incidents inside the United States in the last 10 years.
Politicians will claim that the lack of deaths from terrorism is the evidence that their protective measures are working. 39 terror plots are said to have been foiled since September 2001.
Working through this list, about 23 of the plots might plausibly have resulted in terror attacks of one sort or another. Several were aimed at subways, military bases, and shopping malls.
If one were to make the massive assumption that all of these 23 plausible plots would have succeeded in killing an average of 100 Americans each, that means that 2,300 would have died in the last 10 years, or about 230 per year.
Even at this higher rate, your chances of dying in a terrorist attack would be about 1 in 1.7 million.
1.Bathtubs and toilets – more than 300 people drown in their bathtubs and toilets every year in the US alone, presumably after bouts of alcohol. In the US at least, more people have died from drowning in the bath since 9/11 than in terrorist attacks.
2.Vending machines – although the total number of people killed by vending machines (presumably when they are shaking it to get their money back and it falls on them) is not greater than the average number of people killed by terrorism year on year, there are many years and many places in the world where they kill more people than terrorism. In the 1980s, for example, more people died from vending machines than died from terrorism in the US and Canada.
3.Animals such as deer, kangaroos, reindeer, crocodiles, hippos, snakes and other wild animals – admittedly, most of these deaths are not caused directly by the animal, but due to the road accidents they cause. In Australia, a kangaroo killed a man in 1936, which is one more person than terrorists have killed on Australian soil. The same applies to reindeer accidents in Scandinavia. In the UK, people are killed by cows on a fairly regular basis. Of course, we are not including the deaths caused by domestic pets, especially dangerous dog breeds.
4.Insects such as bees, spiders, scorpions and especially mosquitoes – while dozens of people die from allergic reactions to bees or from poisonous spiders and scorpions every year, it is mosquitoes that kill around three million people per year through the transmission of malaria. Next time you’re swatting a mosquito, you can be assured that you are engaged in a war against an enemy that is far more deadly than terrorists!
5.DIY – thousands are killed every year, and tens of thousands injured, in DIY accidents. If you’re ever tempted to fix up your own house, try to remember that you’ve just become a greater danger to yourself and those around you than terrorists.
6.Alcohol – more than 15,000 people per year die from alcohol poisoning and disease in the UK alone, which is far more than those killed in terrorist attacks across the whole world. Think about that next time you raise a glass.
7.Lightning – around 24,000 people per year are killed in lightning strikes, and many more injured. This number is a great deal higher than terrorism.
8.Hospitals – around 100,000 people a year die from preventable medical errors in the US (that is more in a single month than died on 9/11), while another 100,000 die from hospital infections. In other words, if you have to go to the hospital for any reason, you are far more likely to be killed by a doctor or a nurse than by a terrorist!
9.Car – around two million people per year die in automobile accidents, and dying in an accident while out driving is one of the most likely causes of death today at odds of 1 in 5,000.
10.Yourself – tens of thousands of people commit suicide every year in the US alone, which means that you are more at risk of getting depressed and killing yourself than you are of getting caught up in a deadly terrorist incident. Of course, this does not include those people that kill themselves while undertaking a terrorist attack.
Terrorism is, as the word implies, frightening. The average Joe citizen might be willing to sacrifice some freedoms or pay a little more tax in order to prevent his/her death from this overwhelming danger.
A trillion dollars has been pumped into measures that crush liberties, the beefing up the national security state. The NDAA and other policy changes. Everyone now gets to enjoy airport security theater from The TSA grope squad. You must carry correct “papers” in order to gain admission to federal buildings (very Nazi Germany) federal agencies are free to wiretap without warrants reminding me of the KGB or Stasi.