You know, nine years ago most of us were convinced that al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations were evil masterminds with a vast network of resources, etc. Many people, especially conservatives, thought we needed vast armies to catch the bad guys (and they even mocked reasonable Democrats who urged better law enforcement practices).
But lately, and especially in light of the Times Square would-be bomber, it seems to me that the evil sheen that we put on fundie terrorists has dulled somewhat. The shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, and now this Tim McVeigh wannabe:
He used a disposable cell phone to purchase the SUV, which allowed authorities to identify him.
He bought non-explosive fertilizer.
He couldn't rig the bomb correctly.
Not to take away from the law enforcement people — they figured out the culprit and nabbed him moments before the Dubai-bound plane he was on was scheduled for departure. But all in all, this string of failures suggests that maybe 9/11 was an aberration. Maybe they're not as sophisticated as we thought. And with the beefed up law enforcement, perhaps — just perhaps — we won't see another 9/11 for a long time to come.
Alert citizens + capable law enforcement. That's the winning combination.
UPDATE: This video contains the audio of the flight controller at JFK calling back the Emirates airplane back to the gate. The guy was pretty close to making a getaway.
Actually not. Even if the plane had taken off, it could have easily been diverted en route, or be told to turn around.