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Tackling issue of bomb threats

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

There are a lot of stupid people in the world and one of them stepped directly into the limelight last week.

For those that missed it, a 20-year-old grocery store clerk who warned of terrorist attacks against NFL stadiums was arrested for writing that radioactive "dirty bombs" would be detonated last weekend at seven football stadiums.

This genius posted the warning some 40 times on various Web sites between September and last Wednesday as part of a "writing duel" with a man from Texas to see who could post the scariest threat. Apparently writing back and forth to each other about the Superdude comic book just doesn't cut it for these two anymore so they decided to up the ante.

But the store clerk is not the only buffoon in this story. First there is the man's lawyer. I understand that it is a lawyer's job to defend the client, but this attorney said that there was nothing to indicate the man meant any real harm. "I think once it got out there, obviously you lose all control of the manner and the context in which the posting occurred," the lawyer said.

No kidding? I would be curious to know exactly what other context could be put to delivering radiological bombs to seven National Football League stadiums and then blaming it on Osama bin Laden. Maybe "dirty bombs" was a typo and he actually meant that "dirty bums" were going to be released at stadiums to be helped by those in attendance. Yeah, that was it.

But the idiocy doesn't stop there. You see when I heard of the threats I perked up and started paying close attention, because nobody messes with my Sunday afternoon NFL games. And the closer attention I paid, the more I realized how ridiculous the threat was.

First, there were the cities cited in the e-mails. Stadiums in Miami, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Cleveland, Oakland, Calif., and New York were targeted. Yes, New York. Now anyone who is a fan of the NFL knows that Giants Stadium (home of the New York Giants and Jets) is actually in East Rutherford, N.J. Semantics maybe, but don't you think if you are making these threats and are smart enough to set off a "dirty bomb" you are going to know that there are no stadiums in New York?

But then the threats had the bombs going off simultaneously. Well this immediately raised a flag for me because games in Miami, Atlanta, Houston and Cleveland started at noon while games in Oakland, Seattle and "New York" started at 3 p.m. That makes it tough to set off bombs simultaneously I would think.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any NFL fans in the Department of Homeland Security. If so, they could have saved time and much needed resources by keeping it quiet and arresting this moron without fanfare instead of scaring the public and giving attention to a man with the sense of a blade of grass. Which I guess now qualifies him to work for the Department of Homeland Security.



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