The co-authors of the bestselling 9/11 Commission report are once again sounding the alarm about the nationâ€™s readiness, warning of â€œcounter terrorism fatigue and a waning sense of urgencyâ€ in combating a growing terrorist threat. While the core of al Qaeda has been significantly degraded, its affiliates are now in 16 countries, and the Commissionâ€™s reflections a decade after its original report is titled, â€œTodayâ€™s Rising Terrorist Threat and the Danger to the United States.â€
While the updated Commission report isnâ€™t as direct as President Bushâ€™s August 2001 classified briefing, â€œBin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S.,â€ the cumulative effect of its findings, and the vulnerabilities it documents, should serve as much-needed wake-up calls for Congress and the White House.
â€œThe world is an even more dangerous place these last few weeks and months,â€ said former Indiana congressman and Commission Co-Chair Lee Hamilton. He detailed how fighters traveling to Syria are re-directing battlefield skills they acquire â€œand returning to attack us,â€ with U.S. aviation the primary target of their bomb making. So-called lone wolves radicalized over the Internet and relentless cyber attacks rounded out the overview Hamilton presented Tuesday in an event sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Annenberg Public Policy Center.
â€œThere can be no more failure of imagination,â€ said former New Jersey Governor and Commission co-chair Tom Kean. â€œWeâ€™ve got to get ahead of these guys, not behind them.â€
The 9/11 Commission report blamed such a failure of imagination in grasping that terrorists would fly planes into buildings. With technology moving with the speed of a bullet, said former congressman Tim Roemer, a member of the commission, Washington canâ€™t get bogged down in a congressional maze of committees.Â
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