Shattered Sense of Security

Release Date: September 12, 2001 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- As a result of Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Americans have been hit with a "double shock," according to Paul Senese, assistant professor of political science at the University at Buffalo and an expert in international security and conflict process and American foreign policy.

"The attacks are shocking not only because of the enormous loss of life they've produced, but because of how it was done and where it was done," Senese notes.

"There have been terrorist attacks in other areas of the world that have involved huge loss of life -- in Japan's subways, in Germany, the Middle East, Africa and Spain, for instance.

"Americans historically have felt insulated from disasters like this, however, first, because we've never experienced such an attack, and second, because we've always thought, despite warnings to the contrary, that our security apparatus wouldn't let anything like this happen.

"So we've experienced a double shock. Not only has a monumental disaster been perpetrated by a foreign political group on American soil, but it occurred completely without warning, proving that our sense of security has been based on false assumptions."

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