You have to hand it to Mayor Bloomberg. This attempted car bombing took place while he was in Washington, D.C. for the White House Correspondent's dinner. There was no time wasted between the incident and the mayor's and New York Governor Patterson's ability to respond. They held a news conference at two in the morning right in Times Square. The American people heard from their elected officials lickety split.
This was attempted terrorism. Terrorism is just that, creating terror. What more than to attempt to create terror in one of the most visited places in the world? That is the bad part. The good part is that all of the post 9/11 years' of the mantra "if you see something, say something" and the keen awareness of New York's finest have paid off. -- It was recognized immediately and someone acted.
We are a complex, free and open society and there will be other attempts to disrupt what we have. The disruption can come from wackos who have a personal agenda or from foreign terrorists who want to change the way the people in our country live. There is never going to be a shortage of these people and the only solution is to remain an open but vigilant society.
The potential car bomb may have been a crude one but whoever did this had some ability to plan as the VIN (vehicle identification numbers) numbers were removed. However, the planner(s) of this Times Square bombing underestimated the tools of law enforcement -- from being able to trace the car's license plates to a junkyard to surveillance cameras on the street and on local buildings. (Surveillance cameras on every street corner are a privacy invasion but I don't think anyone would disagree about them being in Times Square.)
This attempted bombing means that nine years after 9/11, fifteen years after the bombing in Oklahoma City we must remain vigilant. But we must also be thankful that the cops on the street have kept a watchful eye. Yes, they are New York's finest. New York should be proud of them and so should America.
Ellen Ratner is Washington bureau chief of Talk Radio News Service and a Fox News contributor.
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Ellen Ratner joined FOX News Channel as a contributor in October 1997.