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We Will Fight Them in the Schoolyards, the Strip Mall

07.29.2006 09:56 | DISPATCHES

On Friday, Cursor linked to an article on the Website of WSFA-TV, based in Montgomery, Alabama. The state capital's SWAT team is undergoing training in counterterrorism techniques by former Israel Defense Force member Aaron Cohen at the local police academy. Unless the team is to be deployed to sites more likely to suffer a terror attack, like major cities, what, you may ask, does Montgomery need with a counterterror team?

The Montgomery Advertiser attempts to explain: "How do you stop a gunman in a crowded shopping mall? Or a suicide bomber at a bus station? Or a hostage crisis at a school?"

Guess the dangers have exponentially increased since Rosa Parks terrorized the front of a Montgomery bus. Or since the ensuing bus strike when white cab drivers were victimized when they were undercut by black cabbies charging only ten cents (the price of a bus ride).

Meanwhile, the Israeli method, as explained to WSFA by a member of the SWAT team, is "dynamic. It's extremely fast and that's the only way to fight counterterrorism." [Editor's italics]

Oops, looks like the unnamed SWATman failed lesson one: Identify the enemy. Wait, on second thought, he passes with honors -- throwing road blocks in the way of counterterrorism could win him a job in a federal agency.

Recall how in 2000 the CIA not only withheld the news from the FBI that two future 9/11 hijackers were or might be in the United States but failed to place them on a watch list for suspected terrorists. Or, as Ron Suskind narrates in "The One Percent Doctrine," how the FBI and CIA's inability to resolve a territorial dispute resulted in them tipping off Mohammed Sidique Khan that he was under surveillance. Two years later, with a degree in stealth under his belt, he masterminded the London terrorist attacks that killed 56.

But maybe the Montgomery Police Department knows something we don't. What's left unsaid in both articles is that the city is home to hate-group nemesis, the Southern Poverty Law Center. Maybe Montgomery's cracker, I mean crack, SWAT team is being trained to defend -- begrudgingly or not -- the oft-threatened, already well-fortified center against some of the most hard-core terrorists of all: the domestic variety like Timothy McVeigh.


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