Students ponder possible NIU attack

By Beth Oltmanns and Peter Steele

The threat of future terrorist activity hasn’t escaped the mind of Carlos Salcedo.

“I wouldn’t put anything past these terrorists anymore, and yes, it scares me to think of what harm they can cause to all of us,” the sophomore biology major said.

The visible strikes on Afghanistan targeting terrorists leave many wondering whether America is safe from another attack within its borders.

Sophomore OMIS major Matthew Kubic believes the country should be on alert for another attack because of the bombings in Afghanistan.

“There is no way of knowing exactly where [another attack] will be and by what means,” said Christopher Jones, an assistant professor in the political science department.

In an interview with NBC’s “Today Show” on Oct. 2, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld addressed the need for greater domestic defense.

“We just put out our defense review,” Rumsfeld said. “We will have to make some adjustments in our command structure because, historically, we’ve been in such a neighborhood, with friends to the north and friends to the south and oceans on either side, that we have not had to worry so much about homeland defense. But it’s clear that those days are gone.”

Jones doesn’t think terrorists would strike the same way they did Sept. 11.

“I doubt they will use airplanes to commit another terrorist attack, but rather use another tool and exploit a different American weakness,” Jones said.

“NIU is not a likely target because it’s not a well-known financial or political institution,” said Daniel Kempton, chair of the political science department.

It is more likely that terrorists will attack easier targets overseas where there are concentrations of Americans, he said.

Students agree that America needs to be ready because the threat of another attack is still present.

Even though the fear of another attack on the nation exists, some students are not worried about an attack on NIU.

“I am not scared here on campus because the terrorists have no reason to come here, but I am scared for the nation as a whole,” Salcedo said.

Freshman finance major Anastasia Hetman also agrees that terrorists wouldn’t come as far as DeKalb.

“I believe that America will handle anything before it gets this far,” she said.