Last week, five individuals were arrested in a plot to blow up a bridge near Cleveland. Like other similar stings by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement, sharing threat information and using key tools provided by the Patriot Act kept the public from harm. In a paper from the Heritage Foundation, Jessica Zuckerman states that “an all-threats approach to security and effective counterterrorism, intelligence, and information-sharing programs continue to offer the best defense against the sustained threat of terrorism.”
Though a great deal of attention is rightly paid to Islamist-inspired terrorism, they comprise a minority of attacks in the past decade. Given the systemic and global nature of Islamist extremism, the U.S. is right to focus on it. At that same time, that does not mean the U.S. can overlook other, dangerous threats.
The best approach is therefore an all-threats approach that works to “stop [terrorist attacks] before they occur by developing and maintaining effective counterterrorism, intelligence, and information-sharing programs.” We should maintain tools like the Patriot Act and continue to improve information sharing and cooperation amongst intelligence and law enforcement agencies.