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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Homegrown Terrorist


A short, thin young man, in a dirty khaki colored raincoat and badly scuffed faded brown shoes pushed his way through the crowd propelling a baby carriage in front of him like a weapon. He was sweating profusely.

“Get out of my way,” he shouted. “I have to get through. Get away, move out of my way, damn people. It’s your fault,” he cursed in a hoarse voice. The smell of liqueur reeked from his breath as he continued up an entrance ramp spewing saliva and curses.

The two security guards, lounging against the railing on the far wall of the entryway, started to move toward him to see what the commotion was about. Then the bomb went off.

The bomb blast killed thirty-two children and their parents on the way to an in store miniature Merry Go Round. Another one hundred and twenty four, many of whom were children, were injured as the blast slammed its way full of shrapnel and nails to the fourth floor. Eventually, the sheer force of the bomb, blew a five foot wide hole in the roof as acrid black smoke forced its way out into a cold rainy night at the Times Square branch of the Bangles and Bows Toy Store in New York City.

It was the first suicide bomb detonated in New York City by homegrown terrorists, and things would never be the same.

You could see it in the rapid blinking eyes of the people. Fear griped the inhabitants of the City of New York and the Nation as a wave of copycat bombings took place in retail department stores, malls, sports arenas, railroad and bus terminals, and anywhere else these terrorists could strike terror into the hearts of the people.

The first attacks were designed to scare the population, and convince them that no one was safe and nobody was sacred -- not even the children. Sometimes the bombers blew themselves up with the bomb, and sometimes a remote triggering devise was used, but in all the cases where a suicide bomber caused the explosion, the police and the FBI had determined that the terrorists were homegrown natives and citizens of the USA. It was almost too much to fathom.

Who were these horrible ingrates that hated this Country so that they would sacrifice their own lives to kill innocent strangers and children? What had we done to create such hatred for our Country by people who grew up and lived here? How could we fight terrorists who didn’t even value their own lives? Who would be next on the terrorists list? Where and when would they strike again? Did they all belong to one terrorist network or were they working in individual cells or alone? How did they communicate with each other? Who or what organization was teaching them how to make bombs? Who was in charge?

Hi, this is Arthur Levine. To read more about the new novel, Homegrown Terrorist please visit

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