An ominous sign of the times I’m afraid. A short blurb from a Texas TV station’s website:
Police say a passerby on the southbound side of Highway 77 noticed what looked like a grenade near the FM 1732 overpass and alerted authorities around 5 p.m. Sunday.
The improvised explosive device or I-E-D was disarmed by a bomb squad using a robot. No one was hurt. Parts of Highway 77 were closed for several hours.
Police are continuing to investigate.
IEDs are simply a terrorist’s tool (you can argue they’re a guerilla’s tool as well, identifying the guerilla as something other than a terrorist – but for the most part in the last two decades, the IED has been used by terrorists). Sure it can be used to attack conventional forces in a war, but it is also a means of spreading terror, intimidating locals and tying up police forces and the like. Pipe bombs are “IEDs” and have been used by domestic terrorists for decades.
The fact that the IEDs used on roads in Iraq and Afghanistan has migrated, at least in this instance, to US soil – especially in the area of Texas it was found (Mexican border about as far south in the US you can go) and with the ongoing drug war - shouldn’t come as a particular surprise. It could indicate that the “art” of IEDs is being passed around among terrorist groups. Why it was on this overpass is obviously open to speculation.
However, what isn’t open to speculation is the fact that this nation is seen to be a nation in decline, weaker than it once was and therefore more open to attack. Additionally the border is porous (well, unless you’re trying to bring in Kinder eggs) and moving IED components through it isn’t a particularly difficult task.
So what was this IED all about? Trail run? Test to see if it would be spotted (they apparently didn’t try to hide it). An attempt to ambush law enforcement? Some sort of terrorist statement? None of the above?
Unknown at this point. But it should be disturbing that an IED has been built and apparently successfully installed here. It could be the first of many.