I wrote at some length about the dangers that terrorism pose to life in America yesterday- if Al Qaeda and their associates decide not to try and take high-profile targets, there is a vast amount they can do simply to spread fear in the United States. I think to that a few bombings in small towns in, for example, Oregon or Utah would do more to spread the kind of fear that residents of Washington felt when the Beltway snipers were at large. Imagine the effect random attacks like this could have on the population at large- no longer would it be a matter of New York or Washington DC being threatened, it would be anywhere in the country.
Bearing this in mind, this story of small groups pretending to be doctors and inspectors to check out hospitals in New Jersey, Boston, Detroit and Indiana becomes much more ominous. What their intent was is difficult to say, although given the terrorist's predilection for the use of the bomb- be it remote detonated or in an explosive vest- I'd rate that fairly high on the threat-meter. Could be that this sort of reconnaissance, the likes of which has apparently being going on for some time on America's airlines, has been happening for months. The advantage to the terrorist is always that they can strike anywhere- for them a shop in Colorado has the same value as a target as a military base. A man on a terror watch list was arrested recently and it turns out he'd been working on the George Washington Bridge.
Stay alert people, keep your eyes open for suspicious behaviour and packages. The British Consulate bomb didn't do much harm but the same thing detonated next to a school bus-stop could. Don't think the terrorists would do that? Palestinian terrorists fired an anti-tank rocket at a school bus packed with children. Stay safe.