U.S. Terror Attempt Certain: LAX Police Leader Urges Vigilance
As Obama administration intelligence officials this week told the Senate intelligence committee that they were certain Al-Qaeda would again attempt to attack the United States within six months, the leader of the LAX police association urged vigilance at the airport that has been a target of terrorists.
"All law enforcement and security agencies charged with protecting high-profile targets such as LAX must remain vigilant and avoid complacency as we redouble efforts to protect people and assets from terrorist attacks," said Marshall McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association.
"Al-Qaeda maintains its intent to attack the homeland -- preferably with a large-scale operation that would cause mass casualties, harm the U.S. economy or both," Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair told the Senate committee this week.
LAX has been in Al-Qaeda's sights since 1999, when so-called millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam was caught entering the United States from Canada with powerful explosives in his car. The material was intended for a New Year's Eve attack on LAX.
A court recently overturned Ressam's 22-year-sentence because it was too lenient. McClain today hailed the ruling, saying a longer sentence is needed to send "a clear message to people intent on harming our country that they will face the maximum penalties for their actions."
Still, it seems doubtful terrorists will forget about LAX. If 9/11 proved anything, it's that Al-Qaeda will aim for a target repeatedly. The World Trade Center was felled on the group's second try.