Copyright 1995 The Atlanta Constitution
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
April 30, 1995, Sunday, ALL EDITIONS
SECTION: PERSPECTIVE, Pg. 5G
LENGTH: 260 words
HEADLINE: OPINION; The enemy that lurks within
BYLINE: Miami Herald
BODY: The following editorial appeared Thursday in the Miami Herald.
When a gang of Middle Eastern radicals bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, many Americans thought they had seen the ultimate enemy: ignorant foreign hatemongers. After the bombing in Oklahoma City, many people lurched toward the same theory, only to find that the suspected bombers were even scarier: ignorant American hate-mongers.
Now the nameless "Unabom" terrorist has sent The New York Times an informative, terrifying rebuke. "Dear America," it says in effect, "you still don't get it."
The contagious evil that the letter described - the deranged compulsion to write history in random fire and innocent blood - obviously knows no nationality, class or creed. Its disciples aren't necessarily ignorant. And its message isn't even necessarily about hate. It's a generalized ruthlessness built on a common mentality of siege and paranoia.
With luck and patience, federal agents seem likely to crack the Oklahoma City case. With even more luck, they may someday catch the Unabomber. But the nature of these beasts suggests that the story still will not have ended.
The nameless dread - made up of the homespun ingredients of massive explosives, the aimless paranoia of a twisted age, a global network of extremist cliques, and the igniting force of America's recent taste for viciousness - won't be locked away so neatly or so soon. Somewhere, in your village or neighborhood, the next dark apostle waits with hideous patience for an unseen voice to call his name.