Yesterday, authorities arrested Antonio Martinez in a plot to bomb a military recruiting center in Maryland. This plot was very similar to the Little Rock, Arkansas, recruiting center shooting in 2009. Like Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the main suspect in the Little Rock shooting, Martinez is a converted Muslim American living in the United States.
There are three key points to take from this foiled plot:
1. The recent focus on adding more physical airline security measures at airports won’t help stop plots like the military recruiting center shooting and yesterday’s foiled bomb plot. Staying successful against terrorism—whether the target is an airplane or a recruiting center—requires robust law enforcement cooperation and information sharing to stop would-be terrorists before they are able to attempt to harm a particular target.
2. The problem of domestic radicalization is something to be taken seriously; however, we can’t forget the international component: 23 of the foiled terrorists attended training camps overseas.
3. The Maryland plot was stopped because the FBI got involved early in the process. Success relies on authorities always being one step ahead of potential terrorists.
There have been at least 35 terror plots foiled since 9/11. In recent months, the FBI has had success at thwarting plots early in the process before the public was put in danger. Sustaining this diligence will be vital in stopping future acts of terrorism.