The German Plot

Some points in the wake of Germany's apparent foiling of an apparently serious terrorist attack:

  • We're seeing here once again that the big risk factor is the presence of a large, deeply alienated Muslim population in your country. That means the locus of the short-run problem is Western Europe rather than the United States. It also means that we need to put a high premium on understanding the aspects of America that make the country relatively friendly to Muslim integration and strengthen them.
  • It seems slightly perverse to worry that an al-Qaeda sanctuary might emerge in some part of Iraq when, right now, there are al-Qaeda sanctuaries in Pakistan where it seems these guys trained.
  • Stopping terrorist plots turns out to involve an awful lot of police and intelligence work. You can't take these guys down with a DD(X) or an Osprey or a Raptor.
  • It still seems to be the case that nobody is anywhere near approaching the sophistication or lethality of a 9/11-scale plot. Back in the fall of 2001, I, at least, was very afraid that there might be much worse things in the works.

Other than that, who knows? Oftentimes, these stories have ended up looking different a week after the arrests than they did on the day of, but it seems legit to me.