On Terrorism, an 'Unavoidable Conclusion'

After 9/11, the 'warning lights are blinking red again': Foreign Affairs op-ed
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2024 9:29 AM CDT
On Terrorism, an 'Unavoidable Conclusion'
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/zabelin)

Both current FBI chief Christopher Wray and Gen. Michael "Erik" Kurilla, who heads up US Central Command, have issued recent warnings on the threat of terror attacks inside the United States and against American interests abroad, and other officials have concurred. The threat level from groups such as al-Qaeda, ISIS, and ISIS-K "has gone up enormously," Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Capitol Hill earlier this month. "Their words should be taken seriously," Michael Morrell and Graham Allison write for Foreign Affairs, making the case that "the terrorism warning lights are blinking red again," nearly a quarter century after the Sept. 11 attacks on American soil. "Given the stakes, complacency is a greater risk than alarmism," they write. Wray calls out Iran as one country in particular to keep an eye on.

He also points to the United States' southern border as part of a "specific security vulnerability," with "a particular network" with "ISIS ties that we are very concerned about." Morrell and Allison lay out a series of steps they think the Biden administration needs to put into action, including keeping policymakers and the public in the loop, as well as having US intelligence agencies reexamine previous reporting on terrorism, all to prevent a "preventable catastrophe." "Combined, the stated intentions of terrorist groups, the growing capabilities they have demonstrated in recent successful and failed attacks around the world, and the fact that several serious plots in the United States have been foiled point to an uncomfortable but unavoidable conclusion," Morrell and Allison note. "Put simply, the United States faces a serious threat of a terrorist attack in the months ahead." Read in full here. (More terrorism stories.)

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