Ten questions that will not be answered 11

Judith Miller asks ten pertinent questions about the Times Square act of terrorism.

Read them all here.

We are most interested in the answers to these, the last five, though we don’t expect to get them:

  • On Sunday just after the failed Times Square attack, why did DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano describe the failed terrorist attack as a “one-off”? And what on earth did she mean by that? [Actually, we know what she meant: “don’t even suggest that this attack is part of the jihad” – JB.]
  • Why did members of President Obama’s national security team – Napolitano, Holder, and Robert Gibbs (who as press secretary seems to be an insider even on national security issues and operating way beyond his pay grade) go out of their way to avoid using the term “terrorism” to describe the failed attack until the obvious could no longer be denied? And why, to this day, has the term “Islamic” never been linked with Shahzad or his plot?
  • If Shahzad really got some terrorist training up in Waziristan, what on earth did they teach him? How to pick a fertilizer for a bomb that could not explode? How to leave your own car and house keys in the ignition of the vehicle you intend to blow up in Times Square? And how can Washington ensure that all aspiring terrorists enroll in such classes?
  • But seriously and most important – when, where, why, and how was Faisal Shahzad radicalized? How did a happy-go-lucky Facebook guy, married with two kids and apparently doing OK in America, go from watching “Everyone Loves Raymond” – listed as one of his favorite TV shows – to Peshawar for terrorist training and back to Times Square to kill his fellow Americans? Was he radicalized during his stay in Pakistan by the steady stream of deadly American drone attacks on Muslim extremists as some newspapers are now suggesting? Or, more likely and as some of his neighbors have alleged, was he already withdrawing from society and being radicalized in Shelton, or Bridgeport, Connecticut?
  • Finally, as former deputy police commissioner Michael Sheehan has asked, if “home-grown” radicalization is the challenge we believe it to be, why have local police forces in areas with large clusters of young Muslim residents – yes, in Connecticut and New Jersey and Rhode Island — not mimicked the NYPD by investing at least SOME resources in trying to spot radicalized, potentially dangerous people and prevent terrorist organizations from establishing a presence in their communities? This is not rocket science. As Sheehan argues, we know how to do this.

Until we know the answers to these and other vexing questions surrounding our latest terrorist near-miss, self-congratulation is, to say the least, premature. Let’s remember that [the] Faisal Shahzad alleged deadly plot failed not because America’s law enforcement and homeland defense systems are effective, but because he was incompetent.