Domestic Terrorism in America Essay

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"We therefore advocate a revolution against the industrial system." -Ted Kaczynski

The sun rises to a deep spring-blue sky on Sunday the Fifth of May 2017; 51,000 people are converging on downtown Spokane for the 39th running of the Bloomsday road race. Thirty miles to the south, near the town of Fairfield, a small cluster of people watch from a distance as two men in protective coveralls and respirators pour fifty gallons of a clear fluid into the payload compartment of a Bell 300C helicopter. The crop duster, which was purchased for cash in Walla Walla, is a descendent of the Korean War era helicopters depicted on the television series MASH. After the liquid is loaded, and the outside of the helicopter is sanitized, the pilot runs
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Her diagnosis: ricin poisoning.

Once confirmed by lab testing, the report is transmitted to all regional health care centers, but nothing will help the afflicted. Ricin poisoning has no antidote, and no course of treatment has ever been found to be successful. By Monday at noon 10,000 people are dead. Three days later, the toll stands at 25,000. The attack is the single largest terrorist act in history.

While the preceding scenario is definitely scary, what makes it truly terrifying is the ease with which such an act can be committed. Ricin, a derivative of the castor bean, is easily produced by anyone with a minimal background in laboratory methodology, such as might be learned in high school chemistry (Fester). And if ricin doesn't work, there are innumerable other deadly concoctions available for use by any group or individual looking to make a statement.

Once the stuff of movies or perhaps newscasts covering a conflict in some third world backwater country, large scale terrorist operations are now a deadly reality in America. Few will ever forget the images of the Afred P. Murrah Federal Building: its remaining floors held up in a precarious cantilever; bloody, dust-covered survivors struggling to escape through the smoke and flames. These images will be repeated over and over again as our nation moves into the
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