I’m sure you’ve all heard by now about the terror plot thwarted by British officials, but here’s a review:

Apparently, terrorists were planning to blow up planes traveling from the UK to the US (to cities such as New York, DC, Los Angeles, etc.) using liquid explosives. British officials discovered the plan late last night and immediately raised their terror alert level to “critical,” which means that a terror strike is imminent. The US responded in kind, raising our terror alert level to “red” in relation to flights coming from the UK, and “orange” in relation to all other US flights. This has caused hundreds of delays and cancelled flights in both countries and has led to changes in security measures in airports.

Passengers are no longer allowed to bring liquids onto the plane in their carry-on luggage. This means no lotions, toothpaste, beverages, liquid make-up, and the like. There’s where I get upset. Thanks a lot, Mr. Terrorist…even though we’ve foiled your evil scheme to kill thousands of people, I still can’t bring my toiletries on the plane with me. So now, if the airline loses my luggage, I end up spending hundreds of dollars replacing face wash, make-up, toothpaste, contact solution, and hairspray.

An interesting tidbit I heard on the radio today: you can bring baby formula and/or breast milk on the plane so long as you are actually traveling with the baby and are willing to taste the formula or milk. Say what??? I’m really hoping they mean that the baby has to taste the formula or milk because there is not a flight in this world so important that I would taste my own breast milk. Yick!

On a more serious note, there is speculation that the terrorists’ goals have changed slightly. On 9/11 the terrorists’ goal was to use planes as guided missiles in order to destroy specific targets. Now, it appears, they want to merely maximize casualties. Rather than taking over the plane and using it as a missile, they simply blow it out of the sky, killing all those on board – no matter who they are.

This calls into question security at stadiums, arenas, racetracks, amusement parks, shopping malls and other places where large numbers of people gather. Would these not be easy targets for someone merely wanting to kill a lot of innocent people? Although security has been increased at Neyland Stadium since 9/11, how safe am I going to feel going to football games this fall? The Bristol race is coming up in a couple of weeks – are they going to greatly increase security measures given this possibility?

This is the horrifying thing about terrorists – they could be anywhere, look like anyone, and be willing to do anything. There could be one living down the road from me and I would never know. How do we fight an enemy that lives in the shadows and is willing to kill anyone and everyone in the hopes of some eternal reward? I am able to protect myself against home invaders, rapists, or muggers (a 9mm in my purse is a nice little safety precaution…). But how do I protect myself against someone who will sneak up beside me in an airplane and blow us all up?