Terrorism Today: The New Normal, Including The Egypt Air Flight 804 Disappearance

We have to wonder how many attacks have been thwarted that we haven’t heard about, but the latest episode in this never-ending battle between good and the evil that is terrorism today is the disappearance and assumed terrorist attack that resulted in the crash of Egypt Air Flight MS804, bound for Cairo from Paris early this morning.

How the Enemy Has Morphed

Terrorism is not a new thing. The concept of bullying (the foundation of terrorism) is not a new thing. The goal of terrorism is basically to terrorize, to cause fear in others, and to “win” whatever battle is on the mind of the terrorist. The way terrorism has been carried out has changed over the decades. Different instruments are used almost as “fads of the times.” We typically think of terrorist acts being carried out using guns, bombs, knives. But there have also been machetes and meat cleavers. The Daesh brought beheadings and crucifixions to the mix. And on September 11, 2001, the terrorists actually used airplanes themselves as weapons, killing and wounding thousands.

There have always been IEDs (improvised explosive devices) in the Middle East, but those have now been brought overseas to other countries, including America — think the Boston Marathon. Mixed in with the slew of “rage” incidents, such as the numerous school shootings (Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook), movie theater shootings, and unhappy employees or former employees going on killing sprees, some of whom were terrorists trying to make a statement (the San Bernardino shooters).

The anniversary is being remembered of the 1927 school massacre when an unhappy school treasurer went on an indiscriminate killing spree, killing his wife, farm animals, himself, and dozens of school children and staff with dynamite. Known as the deadliest school massacre in history, would it today, under new descriptions, be labeled a terrorist act instead of “workplace violence”?

The list of when and how bombs or explosive riggings have been used is entirely too long. Whether on land or in the air, as in those who have tried to smuggle them on airplanes in shoes, underwear, cans, laptop computers, or other items or luggage, evil creativity seems to know no bounds. Planes have also been hijacked and crashed in what have been called acts of terrorism, taking thousands of innocent lives.

The Ostrich Complex

The majority of citizens are not aware that the FBI had stopped dozens of attacks in the 10 years after 9/11 (data was available from 2001-2011). Imagine how many have been thwarted just in the last five years. Some people don’t want to imagine, because imagining means admitting there are that many bad guys attempting that many bad things.

Admitting that all of that bad exists means admitting there is something that has to be faced, no matter how scary. Those people would rather bury their heads in the sand like an ostrich, but it is a very real threat that must be dealt with. It doesn’t just happen “over there,” when there is anywhere other than here. It is happening anywhere and everywhere. It used to be you had to travel to those areas where terrorist acts were prevalent, but now terrorists deliver to your homeland, just like a pizza place.

Terrorism also comes not just from blowing up bombs or people. There was a story shared in the last few days on Alamo City Moms Blog about a couple that tried to kidnap a child in a San Antonio grocery store parking lot and once the story was shared, there were several comments from other parents about the same thing happening to them across the city. Although on a much smaller scale than “mass terror,” the theme of doing harm to others with no regard for them carries through every situation.

As far as the latest tragedy goes, debris has been found in the Mediterranean Sea that was feared to belong to the Egyptian Air Flight 804 that disappeared early this morning, however a later examination determined it did not, authorities announced. Radar showed the plane took two erratic turns before disappearing with 66 souls on board. CNN reported what appeared to be wreckage from the plane, as well as “life jackets and plastic materials” being found.

“I don’t want to go to assumptions like others, but if you analyze the situation properly, the possibility… of having a terror attack is higher than having a technical failure,” ABC News reported, the Egyptian aviation minister saying.

It was speculated this morning that if the aircraft did go down due to a bomb, it was most likely (this was early conjecture) placed in the cargo area by somebody working around the luggage, because not as much “attention” is paid to the cargo area as to the passenger area. You’d think it would be the opposite. However, this is another point of contention regarding TSA and the hours-long lines, leading to some passengers missing their flights.

Bloomberg reported that the agency in charge of airport security released its report showing that delays “surged 10-fold in March.” Shouldn’t that mean things are extra secure? But if somebody sneaks something into a plane from the tarmac that has not been checked, or after all other cargo has been screened, that would explain how an explosive got there. It also shows an area that needs to be addressed immediately in regards to passenger safety and acts of terrorism, so something like the Egypt Air flight is not allowed to happen again.

[Photo by David Degner/Getty Images]