We must remain vigilant in the war on terror

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So we ignored the warnings. Long Island Congressman Pete King, former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, questioned why they didn’t set off alarm bells. King said he plans to ask Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller “for a full, detailed explanation.”

This was clearly an act of terror, and not just a spontaneous strike.

As King pointed out in another Post story, “You had multiple explosions. You had someone who was able to penetrate security. Amateurs don’t do that, so this was well-planned and coordinated. It was a terrorist attack.”

Let’s not forget that after 9/11, the country adopted new surveillance policies that subsequently caused angst and concern among several civil liberties groups. The New York Police Department went even further, developing surveillance policies that include cameras on street corners. The cameras have proven to be an effective tool in gathering intelligence and fighting both crime and terrorism. The NYPD has also admitted to actively investigating certain groups that it believes have a propensity to commit acts of terror.

Do these practices intrude on people’s rights? The surveillance tools and practices used by the NYPD are effective ways to collect intelligence and protect our nation. After the Boston bombings, it should be even more apparent that law enforcement must gain every possible advantage against anyone looking to inflict harm on innocent people.

King has joined a growing group of U.S. senators who are calling for Tsarnaev to be held as an “enemy combatant.” This would prevent him from being given Miranda rights and allow at least 30 days of unlimited interrogation. Unfortunately, our reality is that we are in a day and age in which certain rights must be forfeited in order to guarantee safety.

The people of Boston have proved that the American people will not cower in the face of terrorism. God bless them, and God bless America.

Al D’Amato, a former U.S. senator from New York, is the founder of Park Strategies LLC, a public policy and business development firm. Comments about this column? ADAmato@liherald.com.

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