As we feel uncomfortable with the intrusiveness of the government's counterterrorism methods we might want to think about the fact that there hasn't been a major terror attack on US soil since 9/11.

The past few days, a terror attack carried out by a faction allied with all Qaeda has killed about 60 people and injured 150 or so in an attack on a shopping mall in Kenya. It appears some of the terrorists are Americans, probably from the midwest, who traveled all the way to Africa to carry out an attack rather than on some target like The Mall of America, the largest shopping mall in the US.

Why? Perhaps they were worried that they would be detected and their plot thwarted.

At any rate, the US is replete with soft targets. A soft target is one which has little security, and, from the terrorists' point of view, limited security possibilities. 

As a security expert said on TV today, a shopping mall is almost impossible to make secure. Not only are the shopping area entrances almost impossible to secure, the stores tend to have shipping and receiving entrances. If even one is unlocked, dozens of terrorists could get in.

The same is true for most of the buildings we might use on a daily basis. You can put a metal detector at the front door, but terrorists could just shoot their way past it. 

Think about how many miles of train tracks there are, most of them almost entirely unsecured. The explosives someone could buy to remove a tree stump would easily derail a train. Or take buses. A suitcase with a bomb in it could kill dozens.

City water is another soft target that could kill hundreds or even thousands. 

If the government's antiterrorism efforts aren't thwarting plots or preventing them from being conceived in the first place, how else do you account for the absence of terror attacks on these soft targets?

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Perhaps the easiest and most untraceable method of mass poisoning would be to poison the money. Hard currency is one of the most virulent disease vectors there are, because we sterilize pretty much everything, except our cash.

Long ago, I read a novel where the vector for distribution of a biological weapon was a single penny. |fected others.


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