Fading memories of 9/11, different tactics present new terror threat
by J.J Green
September 11, 2017
WASHINGTON — Sixteen years after the worst terror attack in U.S. history, a former senior operations officer with the CIA believes, “the situation is even worse.”
Mike Maness was overseas when the 9/11 attacks took place.
Coordinated attacks, plotted and launched by terror group al-Qaida, struck New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon, just outside D.C., using hijacked planes. A third plane, believed to be intended to strike the U.S. Capitol, was deliberately brought down by heroic passengers in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
In all of the attacks 2,996 people were killed and more than 6,000 were injured.
Americans responded with anger, defiance and solidarity.
“I was stationed overseas as a Deputy Chief of Station for the CIA. I didn’t get to witness the upswell of patriotism and unity that apparently occurred in the immediate aftermath of the attacks,” said Maness.
By the time he returned to the U.S. in the summer of 2002, the outward displays were fading.
“The American flags that decorated people’s front yards and the ribbons tied to automobile antennas had mostly disappeared. I encountered many people who appeared eager to put 9/11 in the rearview mirror.”
For him, that was a troubling development.
“Given that I had just spent six months working nonstop to help capture the perpetrators and planners of the attack, this attitude surprised me,” Maness said.
Now director of TrapWire, a global threat detection firm, Maness thinks the U.S. has become numb to the insidious nature of terrorism.
“As a country, we tend to have a very short memory. The average citizen seems to have forgotten, or is choosing to ignore, the fact that terrorism is still a very real threat,” he said.
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