Who’s next on the terrorism checklist? The British government says it’s received “credible intelligence” that terrorists in Saudi Arabia might fire a missile at a British passenger jet leaving from King Khaled airport in Riyad. The World Markets Research Center in London says the U.S. is 5th in line, when it comes to targeted countries, after Columbia, Israel, Pakistan and the Philippines. North Korea ranks last.

The assessments are based on the motivations of terrorists, the presence of terror groups, the scale and frequency of past attacks, the efficacy of the groups in carrying out attacks and how many attacks were thwarted by each country. Guy Dunn, of the World Terrorism Index, says, “Another Sept. 11-style terrorist attack in the United States is highly likely. Networks of militant Islamist groups are less extensive in the U.S. than they are in Western Europe, but U.S.-led military action in Afghanistan and Iraq has exacerbated anti-U.S. sentiment.” So why aren’t we number one? Dunn says it’s because we don’t have as many terrorist cells inside the U.S., “although it is probably the most open society in the world.”Despite the recent airplane warning, the U.K. is tied at 10th place with Sri Lanka, and is a target because of its close relationship with the U.S. and its role in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But Britain also “probably has the strongest counterterrorism capabilities in the world,” because of years of experience fighting the Irish Republican Army. They used to have their buses and department stores blown up regularly.

Maybe we could fight 911 terrorism more efficiently if we knew the truth behind what caused 911 in the first place.

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