From the National Journal:
Once the drama in Boston is over, attention will inevitably turn to how to prevent another terrorist attack on an event with limited security.
These so-called soft targets–places like malls and movie theaters, as well as sporting events–have always been vulnerable to terrorist attack, especially given how much harder it is to attack aircraft since 9/11. But until Monday’s deadly bombings, it wasn’t a fear for many people.
After the Sept. 11 attacks, security was boosted for airports, government offices, and other high-profile “hard” targets as well as nuclear and chemical plants. And while local authorities were given technologies and resources to respond to an attack–more paramedics and mobile command centers–their ability to prevent attacks on soft targets remains limited–whether it’s a crowded mall during the holiday shopping season or an outdoor summer concert.