Friday, September 12, 2008

September 12th a Day of ThanksGiving

It's not an accident that we haven't been attacked since 9/11, it's an ACCOMPLISHMENT!

With only months to go before President Bush leaves office his legacy is already being written. One stunning achievement leaps out: we have not been attacked on our soil since September 11th and the number of terrorist attacks worldwide has dropped dramatically right along with our success in Iraq.

Yesterday we looked back at the seventh anniversary of that awful day our world changed. For many it was painful to recall that day of horror. The days and months that followed were filled with apprehension that similar attacks or worse could be on the way. How many times following those attacks did you turn the television on in the morning filled with dread that we might be attacked again?

One man had the vision and the plan to keep us safe:


President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney and Mrs. Lynne Cheney stand at attention during the observance Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008, on the South Lawn of the White House of the seventh anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. White House photo by Eric Draper

It's not like the terrorists haven't been trying. Recall the carnage from the London bombings in 2005 and the foiled 2006 plot that would have brought down airliners bound for the U.S. over the Atlantic and killed thousands.

In this country we've been fortunate. Here's a partial list of the attack plots that have been foiled because President Bush's Administration "connected the dots" before the attack occurred:
List Of Foiled Terrorist Plots Since 9/11
Jun 3, 2007

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) ― Some of the cases of plots that U.S. authorities say they have foiled since Sept. 11, 2001 include:

December 2001: Richard Reid, a British citizen and self-described follower of Osama bin Laden, foiled an attempt to blow up a Paris-to-Miami flight with explosives hidden in his shoes. He pleaded guilty in 2002.

May 2002: Jose Padilla is arrested in Chicago on a return trip from Pakistan. Initially held as an enemy combatant and accused of planning to build a "dirty bomb," he was formally charged with aiding foreign jihadists in a Miami court in 2005. His trial began May 14.

September 2002: The "Lackawanna Six," American citizens of Yemeni descent living near Buffalo, N.Y., are arrested for allegedly having attended an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan in the months before the Sept. 11 attacks. The six pleaded guilty in 2003 to providing material support to a terrorist organization.

May 2003: Iyman Faris of Columbus, Ohio, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Kashmir, pleads guilty to supporting al-Qaida. He was accused of planning to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge. He is sentenced to 20 years.

June 2003: In Virginia, the FBI charges a group of men with being part of a conspiracy to support holy war overseas. In all, 11 men eventually were convicted in what the government described as a "Virginia jihad network" that used paintball games as a form of training.

August 2004: U.S. authorities issue alert, announce evidence of a years-long plot to attack the New York Stock Exchange and other financial institutions in New York, Washington and Newark, N.J. They later accuse plotters of also planning attacks in England. Eventually, five men pleaded guilty in London, where alleged ringleader Dhiren Barot was convicted. At least one other man is awaiting trial.

August 2004: Two men are arrested on the eve of the Republican Convention in New York for allegedly plotting to blow up a busy subway station. James Elshafay, a U.S. citizen, eventually pleaded guilty and testified against the other man, Shahawar Matin Siraj, a Pakistani. Siraj was sentenced to 30 years in prison; Elshavy to five.

August 2004: Authorities arrest two leaders of a mosque in Albany, N.Y., and charge them with aiding in a purported plot to buy a shoulder-fired grenade launcher to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat. The former imam of the Masjid As-Salam mosque, Kurdish refugee Yassin Aref, and Mohammed Hossain, a mosque founder, were later found guilty to counts relating to money laundering and conspiracy.

June 2005: A Pakistani immigrant and his American-born son in Lodi, Calif., are arrested for allegedly lying to the FBI about the younger man's training at a jihadist camp in Pakistan. Hamid Hayat, the son, was found guilty of supporting terrorism and lying to the FBI. He is seeking a new trial. The case against Umer Hayat, the father, ended in a mistrial; he later pleaded guilty to lying to a customs agent about trying to carry $28,000 into Pakistan.

August 2005: Four California men, one the founder of a radical Islamic prison group, are indicted for allegedly conspiring to attack Los Angeles-area military bases, synagogues and other targets. The men have pleaded not guilty and await trial.

February 2006: Three men are arrested in Toledo, Ohio, for allegedly providing material support to terrorists. One of the men is accused of downloading videos on the use of suicide-bomb vests.

April 2006: Two Georgia men are charged with material support of terrorism after allegedly videotaping buildings in the Washington area, including the Capitol and the World Bank, and sending the video to a London extremist active on jihadist Web sites.

June 2006: The FBI announces the arrests of seven men in Miami and Atlanta in what officials called the early stages of a plot to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago, and destroy FBI offices and other buildings. All pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.

July 2006: U.S. authorities announce the arrest of Assem Hammoud, a Lebanese man they claim was plotting to bomb New York City train tunnels to flood the financial district.

March 2007: A Pentagon transcript is released indicating that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, confessed to that attack and a string of other terror plots, including that of Reid, during a military hearing at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

May 2007: Six men were arrested in an alleged plot to unleash a bloody rampage on Fort Dix in New Jersey. Five are charged with conspiring to kill military personnel and could face life in prison if convicted. The sixth faces up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted of weapons charges.

June 2007: Four Muslim men planned to destroy John F. Kennedy International Airport, kill thousands of people and trigger an economic catastrophe by blowing up a jet fuel artery that runs through residential neighborhoods. Three men were arrested and one was being sought in Trinidad.
Look ahead to the future. Would you rather follow a proven strategy to keep the American people safe or take a chance on "change?"

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