Tale of courage

Recently, I read something rather startling on the TIL section of Reddit. A notorious terrorist organization, perhaps the most well known one in the US (for all the wrong reasons) had published their agenda for years 2010-2020. It has the following terse bullet points –

  1. Provoke the United States and the West into invading a Muslim country by staging a massive attack or string of attacks on U.S. soil that results in massive civilian casualties.
  2. Incite local resistance to occupying forces.
  3. Expand the conflict to neighboring countries, and engage the U.S. and its allies in a long war of attrition.
  4. Convert [the said organization] into an ideology and set of operating principles that can be loosely franchised in other countries without requiring direct command and control, and via these franchises incite attacks against the U.S. and countries allied with the U.S. until they withdraw from the conflict, as happened with the 2004 Madrid train bombings, but which did not have the same effect with the July 7, 2005 London bombings.
  5. The U.S. economy will finally collapse by the year 2020 under the strain of multiple engagements in numerous places, making the worldwide economic system which is dependent on the U.S. also collapse leading to global political instability, which in turn leads to a global jihad led by [said organization] will then be installed across the world following the collapse of the U.S. and the rest of the Western world countries.

I was positively startled at the matter-of-fact tone the article was written in. Now I work a mile from the WTC site, and pass it everyday on my way to work. I can’t help but think, what are they going to do next? Hit another building? Maybe the empire state bldg? Or send gunmen in subways that transport millions everyday?

I brought this topic up with a colleague, who lost a sister in the attacks. I asked, “Aren’t you scared?” He just shrugged and replied “When my sister was trapped in the building, she had called us to say a goodbye. She sounded surprisingly calm even in the face of inevitable death. That’s when it struck me, we don’t scare easy.”

That’s when I realized, that’s true. Mumbai has also been prone to so many terrorist attacks. I have seen a bomb blow up in a highly populated vegetable marketplace in my childhood. Sure, my first instinct was my own safety, but I was back shopping there after barely a couple of days, as were a thousand others.

So yes, they may have an agenda but we have courage.

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