Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

April 23, 2013

Terror returns to the American homeland

(Continued)

When I was growing up five miles northeast of the Grissom AFB runway, the frequent roars of B-58 Hustler bombers and KC-135 stratotankers over our house were a constant reminder that little Peru, Ind., could be a Cold War collateral site near a bullseye.

But we've watched the threat evolve away from Soviet ICBMs and Nikita Khrushchev pounding his shoe on the podium (a vivid childhood image) to rogues like Osama bin Laden dwelling in caves and now, faceless computer programmers who constantly probe our security, financial, and utility infrastructure from Ukraine, Iran, or North Korea.

It's worth repeating a thought spoken by Sen. Dan Coats: In a cyber 9/11 scenario, Americans could wake up some morning and find the TV networks off the air, the banking system debilitated and utilities not functioning.

"You've got people constructing just that," said Coats, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

And the rogues do exist among us. Just last week, the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Bloomington withstood a terror assault after police reported the arrest of an Ellettsville man on preliminary burglary and criminal mischief charges - allegedly destroying equipment and splashing red paint throughout the facility. The Bloomington Herald-Times reported that the man allegedly attributed his actions to his religious beliefs, saying Planned Parenthood employees murder babies.

In our post 9/11 world, Americans have resolved to live their lives, aware of the terror potential, but not living in fear of it. We fill our stadiums, run in and watch our races, and ride the Metro and the South Shore.

Statistically, the chances of experiencing a terror strike are infinitesimal, yet there were 283 Hoosiers running the Boston Marathon, and dozens in the Pentagon and World Trade Center 12 years ago, not to mention the U.S. Capitol that was probably saved by the citizen patriots of Flight 93.

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