Tension continues to grow as we learn more about possible international terrorism ties to the Boston Marathon bombers. My tension grew dramatically as soon as I heard they had Chechen connections.
Most Americans likely know less about Chechnya than I do. And I don’t know much at all.
But I do know that Chechen terrorists were responsible for the 2004 terrorist school seige in Beslan, Russia, that resulted in more than 1,100 hostages being taken over a period of several days. More than 300 of the hostages were children. And more than 180 of those children ultimately died as a part of a massacre of more than 380 people total.
We don’t yet know how deep, if any, the ties of the Boston bombing terrorists are with Chechen terrorist organizations. Reports have confirmed that the FBI interrogated one of the suspects several years ago after receiving a query from Russian intelligence officials. We do know that the older of the two bombers reportedly spent six months in Russia a couple of years ago.
We also know that both the Chechen terrorists from the Beslan school siege, and the two from the bombings and gunfire in Boston, were ruthless and extremely violent.
Since before the 9-11 terrorist attacks on America, I have talked about our American schools being soft-targets for terrorist attacks. Naysayers have come up with a dozen reasons why they believe it would not happen.
The Beslan incident should have been enough to get Americans to seriously think about, and act upon, the idea of American schools as potential targets for terrorism. If it wasn’t enough (and it wasn’t for most people including our federal “leaders” who have eliminated school security and emergency planning programs), the two Boston bomber terrorists with Chechen origins should be a wake-up call.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, aka: Boston’s Suspect #2, is 19 years old. He could easily blend in and walk through the doors of most American high schools at arrival time any school day. In fact, he did: He attended a prestigious Boston high school and a college, including returning to the college campus for several days after the Boston Marathon bombing.
The terrorists are here in our country. Some are domestic. Some are of international background. And their targets are getting softer.
To think that our schools are immune from terrorism is called “being in denial.” First they hit government offices (Oklahoma City), then they seized airplanes and flew them into American buildings, and now they bombed a public sporting event.
Will we be complacent and in denial? Will their next soft target be our schools?