The Threat Of Terrorist Bombings In The West

Brian Mast Congressional Candidate, Florida 18th District
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The Brussels bombing must remind us here in the U.S. that the commitment of jihadists serving Islam on U.S. soil is alive and well: 9/11, Major Nidal Hasan in Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon, the Chattanooga recruiting station, and most recently the attack in San Bernardino, but the likelihood is, the worst attacks are yet to come.

Islamic terrorists have undergone a 15 year training camp in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have seen which improvised explosive devices (IED) have worked oversees against coalition forces and which have not. Countless videos can be found on websites such as www.liveleak.com, which document the use of devices against our forces.

The Tsarnaev brothers who terrorized the Boston Marathon in 2013 used an explosive device design that was seen frequently throughout the Middle East, the pressure cooker bomb. The pressure cooker is a staple for preparing food in that area of operation and it was used as a bomb because of its ability to hold a hefty quantity of explosives inside of the heavy metal exterior which produces extensive amounts of shrapnel.

More recently, the bombs manufactured by the terrorists in San Bernardino followed a design outlined in the Al Qaeda publication Inspire. Terrorist are constantly searching for the combination of the device they can build and that which will cause the most destruction. It will be a matter of time before we see the emergence of large vehicle bombs and roadside IED’s, here in the United States, that have been used so effectively oversees.

The threat is real for every small town in America. This is the reality because unlike in Iraq and Afghanistan, here in the West, terrorists have access to all the bomb making materials they could want. The needed chemical precursors like hydrogen peroxide, strong acids, and electronic components are placed neatly on a shelf in big box stores, chemical supply stores, and home improvement stores. To make it more convenient, the recipes to produce homemade explosives can be found streaming conveniently on YouTube.

In our theaters of war, bomb making materials must be smuggled or salvaged. The IED that took my legs was likely constructed out of explosives derived from household chemicals, fertilizers, and components reclaimed from old cars and bicycles. Here in the Western retail supply chain, every item needed to make the highly unstable triacetone triperoxide(TATP) filled suicide vests worn by the recent Paris attackers is available in quantity. This explosive, nicknamed the Mother of Satan, is the same used in the Brussels bombing,  

Terrorism is an attack on civilians, and our community venues meant for smile and laughter will be made the new battlefield by extremists. The threat here is so vivid, not just because of access to materials, but because America has so many soft targets. It must be seen that every school K-12, university, VA facility, sporting event, theatre, parade, campaign event, business, any public venue of any kind is a prime target for a terrorist attack. A 2014 issue of Inspire magazine, describes the best approach, time, placement, and procedure, for putting a car bomb in any of the above locations. Where we see a well-attended event, terrorists will see a herd of victims.

The worst is yet to come until Washington decides to put in place reliable measures that will identify terrorists entering our country. Until that time, we must acknowledge that a pause in all immigration is prudent in the face of the ongoing threats. We should immediately put in place a very simple nondiscriminatory tests to any person entering America not holding a U.S. passport, which people like myself who have held high security clearances are subjected to: the polygraph test or behavioral detection. Those entering America should be asked upon entry “would you ever consider committing and act of terror?” and if the test is failed then the individual certainly has no access to the United States of America.