As we approach the ten-year anniversary of the 9/11/2001 terror attacks, perhaps it is not surprising that we have watched the War on Terror given the back burner treatment.
Time is a factor, as the initial sting has subsided. A lack of any major follow-up on American soil has contributed to a dangerously false sense of security mixed with declining interest. Homeland Security and the other agencies are doing their job, so we don't have to worry.
Watching a president refusing to even acknowledge the existence of the war, while simultaneously apologize to some of the very people we are at war with didn't help, either.
Some analysts have said recently that the likelihood of an imminent terrorist attack on North American soil had decreased due to the revolutions sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. They believe radical Islamic groups are too busy with their involvement in that situation to undertake another meaningful strike across the ocean.
This doesn't take into account the very real and growing threat of home-grown attacks by cells already located here. On any given day one can look at the back pages of their newspaper for the undersized, three line blurb about another traffic stop that yielded a surprise cache of chemicals or other various bomb-related items.
If there were to be a strike, wouldn't it make sense that it happen when the targets least expect?
That would seem logical. Also logical would be to assume that al Qaeda has continued to evolve and use 'outside the box' thinking. They know that while all of the changes in security policies and procedures implemented since 9/11 haven't been perfect (TSA), it has become increasingly difficult to execute a large-scale attack.
With the price of oil certain to rise and the global economic situation as volatile as ever, one could expect our energy infrastructure to be a prime target. That kind of blow to the economy could be devastating.
So, how could terrorists launch an attack that would inflict damage on the American economy without having to worry about heightened U.S. security? Hello, Canada.
It has been much discussed by Canadian security experts and political pundits that there are two main areas we have to pay attention to: Alberta and Quebec.
An attack in Alberta, with its oil sands, refineries, pipelines, etc., would immediately impact that U.S. economy. Their most reliable source of foreign oil would be hampered.
In Quebec, a hit to their massive hydro system would also create major problems for both countries, affecting millions.
Ultimately, terrorists could attack and cripple the American economy without even having to set foot on U.S. soil.
So the question becomes, how secure are facilities in these provinces? We can assume our national security agency CSIS is taking care of things. But when you have been witness to this, you don't maintain complete confidence.
Hopefully it won't take something as horrible as another attack for people to realise nothing has changed. We are still vulnerable, the threat remains as it has for a decade.
As one security expert said recently: "Canadians are blissfully naive about the likelihood of a terror attack on their soil, and the cataclysmic repercussions which would result."
"It truly is a question of when, not if."