Amid the arrest of 21 alleged British terrorists, heightened security alerts, and stricter security regulations at airports, I am organizing my flat in the hometown of the terrorists: London.
Do the arrests of these men, suspected of involvement in the plot to plant bombs on transatlantic flights bound for the U.S., faze me? Yes.
Does it scare me? Of course.
Do they foil my plans to travel to the country where they departed from and where terrorists bombed three London Underground trains and a bus, injuring 700 and killing
52 civilians? Absolutely not.
I am currently participating in the Temple London study abroad program and I am excited and anxious.
Everyone who knows I am participating in this program asks about any apprehensions I have or if these recent developments resulted in the program coming to a screeching halt. It had no effect on the program, but it did have a personal effect on me.
I am concerned for my safety, especially because I will be in a strange country with people I do not know. I actually don’t know anyone in the program. This did not stop my plans, but it did put a damper on them.
Terrorism is an issue that I, like the rest of America, am concerned about.
But no matter what the color of the security alert, it does not prevent me from doing what I want to do, just as I think it does not prevent the majority of American citizens from doing what they want to do.
Although there are incidents of terrorism in Great Britain they do not surpass the number of incidents that have occurred on American soil.
I do not feel that my safety is any more endangered by my experience abroad in London than it is threatened here in the U.S.
Does that mean I or anyone else should frolic about a foreign country all willy-nilly like a local? No. Terrorism is a worldwide threat. Americans traveling abroad have to take caution while in unfamiliar surroundings.
Reservations about transatlantic flights have not been quelled by the recent arrests. I am sure the victims of 9/11 had no idea that it would be their last flight.
Attacks can happen again, and I would have no idea that a terrorist is boarding my flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to London’s Heathrow Airport.
There are also those “What ifs?”
What if the suspected terrorists were not apprehended?
What if they boarded the plane and carried out their devious plot?
What if terrorists somehow find a way to sneak explosives on every plane?
The worries can get out of hand if we dwell on them. The most that anyone can do is live their life as normally as possible, take heed to warnings and be cautious at all times.
The alleged plot of the suspected terrorists, according to London Police, was to “bring down a number of aircrafts through mid-flight explosions, causing a considerable loss of life.”
These words scare me. It scares me even more that little can be done once these people are on board. They have no second thoughts about taking lives.
I do have a few concerns about riding the tube, considering I may be unassumingly traveling on it if an attack occurs again.
But will this prevent me from riding it?
Will it prevent men, women and children from going to work, school and internships?
No, it will not. These terrorism issues concern, but do not consume the lives of people in Britain and America. Instead, once I make it to London, my initial worry will be how not to appear like a “bloody American.”
Dashira Harris can be reached at