Saturday, January 30, 2016

Terror's next target?

"This is the venue many American's like for a relaxing vacation. I know my wife and I sure do."

On the news this morning, was a very unsettling story. It concerned our continuing problem with terror. And not just in this country, but worldwide. For starters, this terror expert said to date (in 2016), there have been 40 terror attacks in the world. 40 terror attacks which have left over 500 people dead.

But the story gets worse. He believes a cruise ship could be the next target. Why? Big and slow, and loaded with tourists. Many of the 40 attacks so far this month have targeted tourists. And tourists are the poster children of "soft targets". Hitting "soft targets" is an easy score for just about any terrorist.

If a cruise ship is hit, it will not be the first time. There has already been a terror attack on a cruise ship. In 1985, the Achille Lauro set sail from Alexandria to Port Said, Egypt. Four Islamic Terrorists took control of the ship shortly after departure. On board was a 69 year old disabled World War II vet named Leon Klinghoffer. Mr. Klinghoffer made an easy target for the terrorists. He was old, he was disabled, and he was a Jewish-American. When the terrorists did not get what they demanded, they shot Leon Klinghoffer in the head and ordered two of the ship's crew to throw him and his wheelchair overboard. 

Even though that happened over 30 years ago, I have never forgotten it. I remember the entire incident just like it was yesterday. It takes a special kind of animal to shoot an older, disabled gentlemen and then throw his body in the ocean. And that is the common thread of most terrorists. They don't care. The more heinous the crime, the better. The higher the body count, the better. And if they have to kill women, children or the disabled, they don't care.

One of my biggest fears with an attack on a cruise ship, or in a port where a cruise ship docks, is this - it will cripple this very important industry. Even if the attack fails and nobody is hurt, the cancellations will come in by the thousands. I know this, the cruise lines know this, and don't think for a minute the terrorists don't know it.

My hope is our government is way on top of cruise ship safety. Just like with our airliner safety. We need to keep in mind how terrorists operate. They will hit any target where the opportunity for maximum killing is the best. If it is a restaurant, a church, sporting event, shopping mall, or cruise ship, they will hit where they can. And this will continue until the good people of our world shout "Enough!" When that happens, the War on Terror will be won. It will be won because people will not tolerate it anymore. And we will end by any means necessary.    

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