US Security Alert: Log in Thine Eyes, By Mahmud Jega
If the US government’s security agencies are so good at spotting terrorist attacks before they happen, how come they did not issue a terror alert in San Francisco last Friday when a man entered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home, shouting “Where is Nancy?” and then attacked her 82-year-old husband, Paul, with a hammer? Was the US State Department actually trying to issue a travel advisory in Frisco but it accidentally released it in Nigeria?
I am just wondering. There have been 314 mass shootings in USA this year alone. Washington Post reported that not a single week passed this year without at least four mass shootings in the United States. 45,222 people died from gun violence in USA in 2020 alone, plus thousands of injuries. How come the State Department did not issue an advisory to all its staffers to relocate from USA to Canada or somewhere safer? All the terrible school shootings that took place at Sandy Hook, Columbine, Highland Park, Uvalde and other places in the past two decades, where was America’s vaunted early warning system? They couldn’t pick out a school shooter before he unleashed mayhem in Florida, when they could see an ISWAP terrorist crouching in the Abuja bushes?
Some people said it was because terrorists were able to attack Kuje Prison last July and spring free 400 inmates. Are we the only ones with sloppy prison security? What about the Attica prison riot of September 1971, when prisoners seized control of the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility in New York State to protest overcrowding and took 39 prison guards hostage? When policemen stormed the prison four days later, ten hostages and 29 inmates were killed while 89 others were seriously injured. Where was the US’ do-good early warning system in November 1978 when the Reverend Jim Jones assembled over 1000 people at his People’s Temple in Guyana? His men shot dead visiting US Congressman Leo Ryan and, fearing reprisals, Jones ordered everyone at the temple to lick cyanide. 909 people died in the greatest mass suicide in US history, without CIA and FBI issuing a timely travel advisory.
What about the Beirut US Marine compound bombing of 1983? President Ronald Reagan inserted 1,800 Marines into a war zone following the Sabra and Shatila massacre of hundreds of Palestinian refugees by Israeli-backed Phalangist militiamen in 1982. But the Marines were caught napping one Sunday morning when a suicide bomber, allegedly sent by Hezbollah, rammed a truck into their compound. 220 Marines and 21 other US service personnel were killed, the deadliest US Marines casualty since the battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. At the same time, another suicide bomber attacked the French Army compound in Beirut and killed 54 soldiers. Was there a travel advisory in April 1993 when FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms [ATF] agents stormed the Branch Davidians compound at Waco, Texas, a fire erupted and 82 sect members, including children, as well as four ATF agents were killed? Did they evacuate the whole town because of the danger posed by Branch Davidians sect leader David Koresh?
What about the Alfred Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City in April 1995? US ex-serviceman Timothy McVeigh stole a truck, bought fertilizer materials at a store, made explosives, stationed the truck in front of the building and exploded it, killing 168 people and injuring 680 others. The blast destroyed one-third of the building, damaged 324 other buildings within a 16-block radius, shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings, destroyed 86 cars and caused $652 million worth of property damage. How come there was no timely advisory from FBI?
Americans pretend to be very concerned with our safety. How come they could not protect four of their own presidents who were assassinated within a hundred years, Abraham Lincoln in 1865, James Garfield in 1881, William McKinley in 1901 and John Kennedy in 1963? Why didn’t they sound the alarm in April 1968 before James Earl Ray shot top black civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King on the balcony of Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee? Only two months later, FBI and Secret Service were caught napping when Sirhan Sirhan shot Senator Robert Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
Some Nigerians thought the US Embassy warning and hasty staff departure was credible because UK, Australia and Germany joined it in sounding the alarm about an impending terror attack. Is that a confirmation? If the Police Inspector General in Abuja sounds an alarm and the Police Commissioners in Enugu and Sokoto re-echo it, will you say it has been confirmed by two independent sources?
Are US security agencies better at detecting terror threats abroad than they are at home? Then how come that in December 1981 they failed to issue an alert before Italian Red Brigade terrorists kidnapped US Army Brigadier General James Lee Dozier, the top NATO commander in Verona, Italy and held him hostage for 42 days? What if Organisation of African Unity [OAU] had issued an alert at the time and advised all African embassies to evacuate their staff from Rome?
How come no alert was sent to prevent a boat ramming into the USS Cole in a Yemeni port in 2000AD? You mean you had no early warning in Vietnam in 1975 when Viet Cong guerillas arrived in Saigon and Americans escaped from the roof of their Embassy building? If Boko Haram, ISWAP or Ansaru had come near their Abuja embassy, would they have had time to pack, go to the airport and escape in scheduled flights? One news medium reported that the advisory was issued because there was a “security breach” at the US Embassy in Abuja. What is their problem with that? Every US Embassy around the world has a contingent of Marines that guard it. All they had to do was to shoot the intruder, since the Embassy is US territory under international law.
CIA and US military are known to shoot first and ask questions later, as they did several times in Libya, Lebanon, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Sudan and Pakistan. If they have information about a Boko Haram camp somewhere in the Abuja forests that is planning to bomb their assets, why didn’t they fire a cruise missile at it from a warship in the Atlantic Ocean, as they did to a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan in 1998 in response to an attack on their embassies in Kenya and Tanzania?
Is it only on African soil that you must issue advisories? Why didn’t the US Embassy in Tokyo issue an alert last July before former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot? Or issue an advisory before Shoko Asahara’s Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cultists released sarin gas on the Tokyo subway one morning in March 1995? US should have more intelligence capabilities in Japan than it has here. It has 50,000 troops, hundreds of planes and dozens of warships stationed there, ostensibly to protect Japan from Russia and China but actually to prevent Japanese militarists from staging another Pearl Harbor. Did US Embassy in Oslo issue an alert in July 2011 before far right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 Norwegian youngsters by explosions and gunfire?
Brits that joined the Yanks in echoing this alarm, why didn’t they sound similar alarms when the Provisional Irish Republican Army [IRA] was exploding bombs in many parts of the UK up until 1992? UK’s vaunted intelligence services almost never detected these. It was IRA itself that phoned the police and said people should be evacuated because a bomb was about to go off in so and so place. Unfortunately for us, Boko Haram did not have the same attitude of trying to minimise casualties. Instead, it tried to maximise casualties by exploding bombs at Maiduguri’s Monday Market or at a jam-packed Madallah church on Christmas Day.
Some Nigerians concluded that our security is porous because Ansaru terrorists stormed an Abuja to Kaduna train, killed many passengers and kidnapped 60 others. Western Embassies failed to warn us about the impending attack. But then, they also failed to warn Britain when Ronald Biggs and his mates mounted the Great Train Robbery in 1963, stole a train, took it to one corner and stole Royal Mail containing a lot of money.
There are situations where, announcing an impending terrorist attack will do more harm than good. In the 1980 American faction novel The Fifth Horseman that I read many years ago, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi planted a nuclear bomb in New York City. He threatened to detonate it unless the US forced Israel to evacuate Jewish settlers from the West Bank. When top US security officials met to decide what to do, one official suggested that they announce the bomb’s presence and tell New Yorkers to run for it. A police officer however said if the bomb went off, a million people could die but that if an announcement was made that there a nuke hidden somewhere in New York, up to five million people could die in the ensuing stampede.
They know that, yet they unleashed a dubious “advisory” on us, not minding if we mount a stampede to get out of Abuja, with the danger that more people could die than if a terrorist attack is ever staged here
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Report By: PRNigeria.com