From a security standpoint, it’s been a tough couple of years for Texans. On Sept. 24, 2009, Hosam Maher Husein Smadi was arrested in Dallas after attempting to detonate what he believed to be a car bomb outside the 60-story Fountain Place—only his detonator turned out to be a decoy supplied by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents. In November 2009, Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood that killed 13 of his fellow soldiers. On Feb. 18, 2010, Joseph Stack III, a disgruntled software engineer, flew a plane into an Austin building occupied by the Internal Revenue Service. In April of last year, federal authorities charged a man with a rash of pipe bomb attacks against US Postal Service mailboxes in east Texas.
Indeed, it has been so bad that the Texas Homeland Security Strategic Plan for the years 2010-2015 recognizes domestic terrorism as a top concern for the state.
Despite all this, most people traveling to Arlington, Texas, in February for Super Bowl XLV at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium won’t be thinking about these incidents of violence. Other people, however—like Milt Ahlerich, the NFL’s senior vice president of security—will, indeed, be keeping watch.