With nearly 40 million people, California offers an inviting target to Islamic terrorists. Ahmed Ressam, for example, aimed to blow up LAX in 1999, stopped only by a sharp-eyed customs agent. Since then, the Golden State has been free of attacks of 9/11 magnitude, mass murder in the style of "Soldier of Allah" Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood, Texas, and the kind of attacks now occurring in Europe. That could change under the strategy that emerged from the president's recent "Summit on Countering Violent Extremism."
In attendance was Obama appointee Benjamin Wagner, U.S. Attorney for California's Eastern District, the territory from Los Angeles County to Oregon. Steve Magagnini of the Sacramento Bee asked Wagner, "What's our first line of defense?"
Wagner said that his office recently held a "community resilience exercise" at Sacramento State University with 30 members of the region's Muslim community and 30 representatives from the FBI and eight local law enforcement agencies. The Muslim community, Wager said, is concerned about the recruitment problem and wants to be seen as "part of the solution." So he wants to "share to share information and build relationships so we can get ahead of some of these issues before something bad happens."