TheThreat of a Terror attack and its Psychological Impact

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Yesterday ISIS came out with a video warning of an impending attack in New York.  A few days earlier in Washington, D.C.  No one in Paris will ever again doubt the threat of an ISIS attack until the organization is destroyed.  Part of the threat on New York is specifically aimed at Times Square.  Although one expert says the specific warning might indicate that there actually are not any sleeper cells in New York since no place that has been attacked received such a specific warning, I’d still be pleasantly surprised if a camera shot of Times Square this Friday or Saturday night would show crowds as large as what we are accustomed to seeing.  Terror cell or not, the threat is out there, and that scares people.

It should go without saying that an actual attack is far worse than a threat.  The devastation caused by last weeks loss of life and innocent people injured in Paris is as bad as it gets.  That doesn’t mean ISIS doesn’t have other ways of attacking us. Displaying an evil cleverness unlike any previous terrorist organization, it would hardly be surprising if ISIS was actually cashing in their psychological chips and using the threats purely as a way of damaging the morale and economy of people in western countries, particularly the United States.

Americans by and large are a tough people.  I think there will still be crowds of people at Times Square in the coming weeks, but I also believe that some damage will most likely be done just from the threats put out there.  If the nations of the world show a strong resolve and display an indignant attitude towards the threats, then at least we’ve won one of the battles.  Of course that’s easy for me to say, since I may or may not be at Times Square this weekend.  I’ll let you know on Monday.

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