SECURITY IN AN OPEN SOCIETY

DEBATE ABOUT EFFECTIVE SECURITY against terrorism becomes especially intense right after an attack or attempted attack occurs. But the need for effective security is constant. A question I keep asking myself is "What is my responsibility as an individual citizen in combating terrorism?"

An article in The Christian Science Monitor about airport security, after passengers thwarted an attempted terrorist attack aboard an airplane last December, caught my attention. It stated, "Many analysts say the adaptive and creative nature of modern terrorism makes passenger vigilance—while being the last line of defense—one of the most effective ways of stopping another attack" ("Last line of defense against in-flight terrorism: passengers," December 29, 2009). I kept thinking there must also be a kind of vigilance every citizen (at every level of responsibility) can engage in every day that can prevent attacks from ever getting that close to completion in the first place.

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