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Have we forgotten Sept. 11, 2001?
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Al Qaeda declared war against America in 1998 and these terrorists are still at war against America. Sadly, the Obama administration has directed the removal of any use of the term “War of Terror”.  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also avoids any mention of “terrorism” and “vulnerability” in any discussion. A terrorist act will now be called a “man-made disaster” and the “Global War on Terror” will now be called an “Oversees Contingency Operation” by the Obama administration.

We are dangerously returning to the same mentality and policy that allowed America to be attacked on September 11, 2001. President Obama’s policies have made America once again vulnerable against those who have allegiance of jihad against America. For all who criticized President Bush, he kept America safe from a terrorist attack 2,866 days since September 11, 2001.  During that time, the terrorists have made several attempts to attack America or American interests.  

Attempts to attack Americans
December 2001: Richard Reid, a self-professed follower of Osama bin Laden, attempts to blow up a plane with explosives hidden inside his shoe.

May 2002: Jose Padilla, charged with being an “enemy combatant” and attempting to plan a “dirty bomb” in an attack in America

September 2002: F.B.I arrest the “Lackawanna Six”, also known as the “Buffalo Six”, an al - Qaeda cell that attended a “jihad” camp in Pakistan to conspire with terrorist groups.

May 2003: Iyman Faris: American citizen charged with plotting to use blowtorches to collapse the Brooklyn Bridge.

June 2003: Virginia Jihad Network: Eleven men from Alexandria, Va., trained for jihad against American soldiers, convicted of violating the Neutrality Act, conspiracy.

August 2004: Dhiren Barot: Indian-born leader of terror cell plotted bombings on financial centers.

August 2004: James Elshafay and Shahawar Matin Siraj: Sought to plant bomb at New York’s Penn Station during the Republican National Convention.

August 2004: Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain: Plotted to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat on American soil.

May 2005  A thwarted attack - called the “Second Wave”- planned to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into a building in Los Angeles.

June 2005: Father and son Umer Hayat and Hamid Hayat: Son convicted of attending terrorist training camp in Pakistan; father convicted of customs violation.

August 2005: Kevin James, Levar Haley Washington, Gregory Vernon Patterson and Hammad Riaz Samana: Los Angeles homegrown terrorists who plotted to attack National Guard, LAX, two synagogues and Israeli consulate.

December 2005: Michael Reynolds: Plotted to blow up natural gas refinery in Wyoming, the Transcontinental Pipeline, and a refinery in New Jersey. Reynolds was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

February 2006: Mohammad Zaki Amawi, Marwan Othman El-Hindi and Zand Wassim Mazloum: Accused of providing material support to terrorists, making bombs for use in Iraq.

April 2006: Syed Haris Ahmed and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee: Cased and videotaped the Capitol and World Bank for a terrorist organization.

June 2006: Narseal Batiste, Patrick Abraham, Stanley Grant Phanor, Naudimar Herrera, Burson Augustin, Lyglenson Lemorin, and Rotschild Augstine: Accused of plotting to blow up the Sears Tower.

July 2006: Assem Hammoud: Accused of plotting to bomb New York City train tunnels.

August 2006: Liquid Explosives Plot: Thwarted plot to explode ten airliners over the United States.

March 2007: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: Mastermind of Sept. 11 and author of numerous plots confessed in court in March 2007 to planning to destroy skyscrapers in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Mohammed also plotted to assassinate Pope John Paul II and former President Bill Clinton.

May 2007: Fort Dix Plot: Six men accused of plotting to attack Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey. The plan included attacking and killing soldiers using assault rifles and grenades.

June 2007: JFK Plot: Four men are accused of plotting to blow up fuel arteries that run through residential neighborhoods at JFK Airport in New York.

September 2007: German authorities disrupt a terrorist cell that was planning attacks on military installations and facilities used by Americans in Germany. The Germans arrested three suspected members of the Islamic Jihad Union, a group that has links to Al Qaeda and supports Al Qaeda’s global jihadist agenda.
Attacks outside of America
Terrorist have also made several attacks outside America including:

April 2002: Explosion at historic synagogue in Tunisia left 21 dead, including 11 German tourists.

May 2002: Car exploded outside hotel in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 14, including 11 French citizens.

June 2002: Bomb explodes outside American consulate in Karachi Pakistan, killing 12.

October 2002: Boat crashed into oil tanker off Yemen coast, killing one.

October 2002: Nightclub bombings in Bali, Indonesia, killed 202, mostly Australian citizens.

November 2002: Suicide attack on a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, killed 16.

May 2003: Suicide bomber kills 34, including 8 Americans, at housing compound for Westerners in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

May 2003: 4 bombs killed 33 people targeting Jewish, Spanish, and Belgian sites in Casablanca, Morocco.

August 2003: Suicide car-bomb killed 12, injured 150 at Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia.

November 2003: Explosions rocked a Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, housing compound, killing 17.

November 2003: Suicide car-bombers simultaneously attacked 2 synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 25 and injuring hundreds.

November 2003: Truck bombs detonated at London bank and British consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 26.
March 2004: 10 bombs on 4 trains exploded almost simultaneously during the morning rush hour in Madrid, Spain, killing 191 and injuring more than 1,500.  

May 2004: Terrorists attack the offices of a Saudi oil company in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, take foreign oil workers hostage in a nearby residential compound, leaving 22 people dead including one American.

June 2004: Terrorists kidnap and execute Paul Johnson Jr., an American, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 2 other Americans and BBC cameraman killed by gun attacks.

September 2004: Car bomb outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, killed 9.

December 2004: Terrorists storm the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:, killing 5 consulate employees.  

July 2005: Bombs exploded on 3 trains and a bus in London, England, killing 52.

October 2005: 22 killed by 3 suicide bombs in Bali, Indonesia.

November 2005: 57 killed at 3 American hotels in Amman, Jordan.

January 2006: Two suicide bombers carrying police badges blow themselves up near a celebration at the Police Academy in Baghdad, killing nearly 20 police officers. Al-Qaeda in Iraq takes responsibility.

August 2006: Police arrest 24 British-born Muslims, most of whom have ties to Pakistan, who had allegedly plotted to blow up as many as 10 planes using liquid explosives.

September 2006:  An attack by four gunman on the American embassy in Damascus, Syria is foiled.

January 2007: Athens, Greece: the U.S. embassy is fired on by an anti-tank missile causing damage but no injuries.

April 2007: Suicide bombers attack a government building in Algeria’s capital, Algiers, killing 35 and wounding hundreds more. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility.

April 2007: Eight people, including two Iraqi legislators, die when a suicide bomber strikes inside the Parliament building in Baghdad. An organization that includes al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia claims responsibility. In another attack, the Sarafiya Bridge that spans the Tigris River is destroyed.

June 2007: British police find car bombs in two vehicles in London. The attackers reportedly tried to detonate the bombs using cell phones but failed. Government officials say al-Qaeda is linked to the attempted attack. The following day, an SUV carrying bombs bursts into flames after it slams into an entrance to Glasgow Airport. Officials say the attacks are connected.

December 2007: More than 60 people are killed, including 11 United Nations staff members, when Al Qaeda terrorists detonate two car bombs near Algeria’s Constitutional Council and the United Nations offices.

January 2008: In the worst attack in Iraq in months, a suicide bomber kills 30 people at a home where mourners were paying their respects to the family of a man killed in a car bomb.  

February 2008: Nearly 100 people die when two women suicide bombers, who are believed to be mentally impaired, attack crowded pet markets in eastern Baghdad. The U.S. military says al-Qaeda in Iraq has been recruiting female patients at psychiatric hospitals to become suicide bombers.

April 2008: A suicide bomber attacks the funeral for two nephews of a prominent Sunni tribal leader, Sheik Kareem Kamil al-Azawi, killing 30 people in Iraq’s Diyala Province.

April 2008: A suicide car bomber kills 40 people in Baquba, the capital of Diyala Province in Iraq.

April 2008: Thirty-five people die and 62 are injured when a woman detonates explosives that she was carrying under her dress in a busy shopping district in Iraq’s Diyala Province.

May 2008: At least 12 worshipers are killed and 44 more injured when a bomb explodes in the Bin Salman mosque near Sana, Yemen.

May 2008: Iraq: a suicide bomber on a motorcycle kills six U.S. soldiers and wounds 18 others in Tarmiya.

June 2008: A female suicide bomber kills 15 and wounds 40 others, including seven Iraqi policemen, near a courthouse in Baquba, Iraq.

June 2008: A suicide bomber kills at least 20 people, including three U.S. Marines, at a meeting between Sheiks and Americans in Karmah, a town west of Baghdad.

June 2008: Four American servicemen are killed when a roadside bomb explodes near a U.S. military vehicle in Farah Province.

July 2008: Nine U.S.soldiers and at least 15 NATO troops die when Taliban militants boldly attack an American base in Kunar Province, which borders Pakistan.

August 2008: About two dozens worshippers are killed in three separate attacks as they make their way toward Karbala to celebrate the birthday of 9th-century imam Muhammad al-Mahdi.  

August 2008: A bomb left on the street explodes and tears through a bus carrying Lebanese troops, killing 15 people, nine of them soldiers.

August 2008: At least 43 people are killed when a suicide bomber drives an explosives-laden car into a police academy in Issers, a town in northern Algeria.

August 2008: Two car bombs explode at a military command and a hotel in Bouira, killing a dozen people.

August 2008:  As many as 15 suicide bombers backed by about 30 militants attack a U.S. military base, Camp Salerno, in Bamiyan.

September 2008: A car bomb and a rocket strike the U.S. embassy in Yemen as staff arrived to work, killing 16 people, including 4 civilians. At least 25 suspected al-Qaeda militants are arrested for the attack.

November 2008: At least 28 people die and over 60 more are injured when three bombs explode minutes apart in Baghdad, Iraq. Officials suspect the explosions are linked to al-Qaeda.

November 2008: In a series of attacks on several of Mumbai’s landmarks and commercial hubs in India that are popular with Americans and other foreign tourists, including at least two five-star hotels, a hospital, a train station, and a cinema. About 300 people are wounded and nearly 190 people die, including at least 5 Americans.
Imagine what we don’t know
Imagine what we don’t know and how many American lives have been saved. The terrorists only have to be successful once to claim success and achieve their goal.

Now, the Obama Administration and the Democrats want to take us back to a Pre 9-11 mentality.  President Obama’s first official presidential act was to close Guantanamo Bay, a prison island used to house 245 hardened terrorist. He reduced our government’s methods of interrogating these terrorist, including waterboarding, which saved thousands of lives in the May 2005 plot to hijack airliners into buildings in Los Angeles.  He granted the terrorists further legal rights and even Constitutional rights even though their vow is to destroy America.    Other terrorists have been released to return to the battlefield to wage war on our military once again or plan their next attack against American interests.    

President Obama and the Democrats have made America less safe as they have reduced our intelligence and interrogation ability to prevent a future terrorist attack.  They have crippled our intelligence of surveillance by weakening the Patriot Act and let the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act expire which prevented our government from listening in on suspected terrorists.

On a February 15, 2008, Michael McConnell, the director of National Intelligence, warned that because of the expiration of the Protect America Act, “some critical operations ... would probably become impossible.” He added, “Under the Protect America Act, we obtained valuable insight and understanding, leading to the disruption of planned terrorist attacks.”

While the Democrats have turned their head away from the real enemy, they have no problem labeling Conservatives who oppose abortion, favor strict immigration enforcement, support the Second Amendment, protest big government or veterans that believe in any of the above as potential “domestic terrorists” that our government should watch.

If the Obama Administration cannot recognize who the real terrorists are or that we are in a Global War on Terror, how can we expect them to protect America?
Frank Aquila is a Manteca resident and president of the South San Joaquin Republicans.  He can be emailed at