Hell on Wheels

In the movies, car bombs have been a reliable method for Sicilian Mafia bosses to deal with troublesome prosecutors. According to some sources, the first car bombing in history may have taken place way back in 1905, when anarchists tried to assassinate the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

Some people have forgotten that 9/11 was not the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

In February 1993, radical followers of the blind cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman nearly succeeded in bringing down the towers with a truck bomb. After loading a rental van with 1,500 pounds of explosives, the bombers parked on Level B-2 of the underground garage beneath the North Tower. Then they lit the fuse and ran.

The explosion was supposed to weaken the foundation of the North Tower, causing the entire structure to topple into the South Tower. The attackers prayed the two buildings would fall over like dominoes.

The blast did rip open a gaping hole that was seven stories tall, but the buildings remained standing. Six people died in the attack.

For years after the first WTC attack, counter-terrorism experts assumed that the most likely threat from Islamic terrorists would come from VBIEDs ("Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices"). Car bombs, in other words. This belief was reinforced in August 1998, when almost 300 people were killed in simultaneous truck bomb explosions at the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

In fact, following the September 2001 attacks on the WTC and Pentagon, one of the most visible security measures in Washington D.C. was the permanent blockade of street traffic around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The White House did not decide to inconvenience commuters just to create a scenic promenade for tourists. While the 2001 attacks came by air, security experts predicted the most devastating threats would come on wheels.

For more than one hundred years, car bombs have been a favorite tactic of terrorist organizations across the globe from the Jemaah Islamiyah in Bali to the Irish Republican Army in Belfast. Car bombs have been especially popular in the Middle East for decades, where hardcore militants like Hezbollah spread fear by detonating literally thousands of vehicles.

Unlike a suicide attack, a car bomb does not require some sick freak who desperately wants to become a martyr.

A Dodge Durango can carry a lot more punch than one guy wearing an explosive fanny pack. Certainly, there are tragic examples of suicide attacks like the Beirut truck bombing that killed 241 U.S. military personnel in October 1983. However, you do not really need a brainwashed zealot who is willing to self-destruct behind the wheel of a human-guided missile. You just need any useful idiot who can turn an ignition key and feed quarters into a meter. All it takes is opposable thumbs and a bad attitude. Parallel parking skills are a plus.

To make matters worse, a car bomb does not even require close proximity to the scene of the crime. After driving the bomb to the target, the actual explosion can be triggered hours later by a cell phone.

Islamic terrorists are not the only enemy we need to watch though. Today, there are frightening signs that car bombs are becoming all the rage with drug cartels south of the border. The notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar routinely used car bombs to protect his turf during the 1980s. This tactic is now being adopted by narco-terrorist gangs in their escalating war against the Mexican government.

In July, a car bomb killed three people in Ciudad Juarez, right across the border from El Paso, Texas. The bombers did not simply blow up a Ford Focus either. First they dressed a wounded man in a police uniform and left him bleeding on the street. After calling the real police, the attackers waited for the first responders to arrive. A massive fireball erupted as rescuers approached the scene. The dead included a doctor who was trying to save the wounded man. The blast zone was within walking distance from the center of El Paso.

In August, the drug gangs exploded another car in front of a police station in Ciudad Victoria. A third bomb was discovered one week later on a bridge that connects Ciudad Juarez to El Paso. Thankfully, that one was defused before it could explode.

If the wild drug-fueled violence continues to intensify along the border, American casualties will be inevitable. Every single day, more than 55,000 vehicles cross the border at the busiest point of entry in San Ysidro. For the drug lords to be successful, only one of those cars needs to be hiding a bomb.

Whether the primary threat is Islamic extremists or Mexican para-military thugs, it is only matter of time before we are attacked again. Car bombs are nearly impossible to prevent. There are more than 251,000,000 registered passenger vehicles in the United States, driving on more than 4,000,000 miles of roads and streets. The police cannot pull over everybody who looks like they may be a terrorist or a drug-dealer.

Not even in Arizona.

Of course, the worst vehicle bombing on American soil was perpetrated by a U.S. citizen. In April 1995, the pasty-faced psychopath Timothy McVeigh parked a box truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The truck was loaded with a 4,800-pound bomb made of fertilizer and diesel fuel. 168 innocent people died in the explosion, including 19 children in the building's day care center.

We narrowly escaped a similar tragedy a few months ago, when another U.S. citizen – Pakistani-born Faisal Shahzad – tried to blow up Times Square in New York City. Shahzad rigged together a crude device out of propane tanks and firecrackers. He hid the home-made bomb in the back of a 1993 Nissan Pathfinder that he bought off Craigslist.

A few steps away from Broadway on a busy Saturday evening, Shahzad left his engine running with the hazard lights blinking. The vehicle caught fire, but never exploded.

If Shahzad truly knew what he was doing, experts have confirmed the death toll would have been worse than Oklahoma City.

Relying on the incompetence of your enemies is not a long-term strategy for survival. We have been lucky so far. One day, our best line of defense may come down to guessing whether to snip the green wire or the blue wire. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Flipping a coin is not an effective countermeasure.

Shahzad was apparently a freelance jihadist on a solo mission. A grave threat would be posed by a well-trained team of "professional" terrorists. With a minimal amount of planning, a small terrorist cell easily could have coordinated a series of bombs with horrific consequences. If they had parked multiple car bombs on nearby access roads and staggered the detonations a few minutes after the initial explosion, the casualties may have included countless police, firefighters, and other first responders.

Instead of a rusty SUV parked on West 45th Street, consider a fleet of yellow taxis hidden in plain sight during rush hour. In the near future, we may learn how many taxis can spontaneously combust into thin air before an entire metropolitan area becomes paralyzed with fear. There are roughly 13,000 licensed cabs in New York City alone. We have no clue how many are currently being driven by radical extremists.

More than a few, perhaps.

Then again, a taxi can hold only so much bang for your buck. Counter-terrorism experts are much more concerned about the prospect of what they refer to as an LVB ("Large Vehicle Bomb"). One possible example would be a stolen fire truck or ambulance packed with up to 4,000 pounds of explosives. Anybody within a 300-foot radius of the blast would be killed instantly.

Imagine one of those parked next to an elementary school. Outside a shopping mall. On the Golden Gate Bridge. Inside the Lincoln Tunnel.


<< Return to the October 2010 Index

We've heard a lot about critical race theory lately, and for good reason: It's a racist ideology designed to corrupt our children and undermine our American values. But most of what we see are the results of a process that has been underway for decades. And that's not something the mainstream media, the Democrat Party, and even teachers unions want you to know. They're doing everything in their power to try and convince you that it's no big deal. They want to sweep everything under the rug and keep you in the dark. To fight it, we need to understand what fuels it.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn Beck exposes the deep-seated Marxist origins of CRT and debunks the claims that it's just a harmless term for a school of legal scholarship. Newsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer joins to argue why we must ban critical race theory from our schools if we want to save a very divided nation.

Watch the full "Glenn TV" episode below:

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On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck blasted the Democrats — and anyone else on the left — who have been so eager to open our southern U.S. border for the past several months, but also willing to turn a blind eye to the Cuban people in need of help today.

"While we are welcoming people from any country, all over the world, without any kind of information, and setting them into our country, putting them on American planes paid for by American taxpayers," Glenn began. "And our Coast Guard Cutters are turning these [Cuban] people away. Shame on you! Shame on you!"

Glenn said that he's "sick and tired" of hearing about "brave" leftist activists like Colin Kaepernick, who protest the America flag while wearing Che Guevara and Fidel Castro t-shirts. Meanwhile, the Cuban people are risking their lives by taking to the sea to escape their oppressive regime and come to America.

"Anybody who glorifies Che doesn't know their ass from their elbow. You can't call them a human rights activist. You're protesting the American flag, because you so deeply believe in the right to be free? And yet, you wear a Che T-shirt?" Glenn said.

Glenn went on to argue that, even though the left has "bastardized" the meaning of our country, he still believes America is the best nation on Earth. In fact, he'd give up his citizenship "in a heartbeat" if another country could prove to be better, more noble, and more free. But no other nation exists like ours, he said, which is why it's so imperative we fight for freedom here, in Cuba, and around the world.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn explain:

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There's a new "reality" spreading, and the mere act of questioning it has become incredibly dangerous, Wall Street Journal investigative journalist Abigail Shrier told Glenn on the most recent episode of "The Glenn Beck Podcast."

Shrier's book, "Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters," exposes the radical gender activism that — like critical race theory — has overtaken our children's schools and culture. But even worse, she warned, it could end your parental rights for good.

Shrier made it clear she is by no means "anti-trans," but simply speaking up against the extremes of this new "reality" has made her enemy No. 1 to many activists. Her book has been bashed so hard by the Left that Target has stopped selling it twice, Amazon once banned ads for it, and the American Booksellers Association even called sending it to others "a serious, violent incident."

In the clip below, Shrier explained why she believes "there may be no hope for the public school system."

"You have teachers behaving like activists across the country who have no interest in actually teaching. They believe their job is to remake your child," she asserted. "We're seeing so much evidence of that, I think it's fair to say that it may be too deeply rooted in the ideology being taught in public school. I'm not sure that the public school system is redeemable at this point."

Watch the video clip below for more or find the full podcast with Abigail Shrier here:

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What is actually in Texas' new GOP-led voting bill? Nearly every Texas House Democrat fled the state to block its passage, calling it racist and oppressive, and President Joe Biden backed them as well.

But Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Friday to set the record straight and call out the lies: All of these claims are "completely false." He also explained his promise to "arrest" the Texas House Democrats when they return to the Lone Star State.

"What is in the bill is completely different than what they're saying, what Kamala Harris is saying, what President Biden is saying. What's in the bill actually increases the number of hours that people have to vote in the state of Texas. In the state of Texas, we have at least 12 days of early voting, and we are adding hours to those days. And on top of that, we are giving people time off from work to be able to vote. Bottom line, we're making it easier to vote in the state of Texas," Gov Abbott explained.

"In comparison, Delaware — the state that President Biden votes in — has exactly zero hours of early voting," he added. "That said, there is one thing that we're doing in the state of Texas, and that is we're making sure we tighten the reins on mail-in ballots that can lead to voter fraud. And it's not me saying that. It's a federal judge, appointed by Barack Obama, in Corpus Christi, Texas, who wrote in a legal opinion that voter fraud occurs, quote, in abundance as it concerns mail-in ballots. We know. Texans know. There is fraud in mail-in ballots in the state of Texas. It must be fixed. That's one thing we're trying to do. That being said, all these claims that we're denying people the right to vote and yada, yada, yada, are completely false."

Abbott went on to discuss the much-debated voter ID laws in Texas and to explain why Democrats insist on calling basic voter ID requirements "racist."

"When Democrats do not have truth on their side, they resort to one single word and that is 'racism' ... Texas implemented voter ID almost a decade ago, and when we went through that fight, what word did they use? Racism," he said. "Guess what? After Texas imposed voter ID requirements in the state of Texas, there have been more people voting and more people of color who went to vote. Voting didn't get harder. It got easier and more abundant in the state of Texas. And so, once again, Democrats have absolutely no legal standing, other than to say, 'racism.'"

Glenn asked Gov. Abbott to explain his pledge to "arrest" the Democratic lawmakers that fled once they return to Texas.

"Let me explain how this works. So, whenever there is a break of quorum, which is what is happening now — meaning there is not a sufficient number of people who are showing up to the Texas House of Representatives for the Texas House to engage in business. Whenever there's a quorum break like that, the House issues what's called a 'call on the House.' And when that happens, the sergeant-at-arms is authorized to work with the Texas Department of Public Safety, to — you can call it arrest, apprehend, whatever you want to call it — any of the members who are not in the Texas House of Representatives and bring them to the Texas House where they will be 'cabined' with no ability to leave the Texas House chamber, without a permission slip from the speaker."

Watch the video clip below for more details:

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