- The Washington Times - Friday, October 25, 2002

A frustrated and frightened 4 million D.C. area residents began breathing a bit easier yesterday morning, when news of two arrests in the sniper case were announced. If, in these post September 11 times, we needed more evidence of the kind of struggle we're involved in and how precarious our physical safety may be, hopefully, the sniper attacks have provided an object lesson as to the true state of affairs.

The sniper attacks which began Oct. 2, claimed 10 lives, wounded three and touched the lives of countless relatives and colleagues stretched from Montgomery County south to Richmond. Yesterday, acting on a tip, Maryland State Police converged on a rest stop in Frederick County along I-70 and arrested John Allen Muhammad, a 41-year-old Gulf War veteran, along with 17-year-old John Lee Malvo, a citizen of Jamaica. Mounting evidence includes a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle that was found in the 1990 Chevy Caprice sedan the men were driving, as well as a hole cut into the car's trunk that would have allowed a person cover to fire shots. Also, Mr. Malvo is connected to a murder in Montgomery, Ala., and federal authorities are investigating Mr. Muhammad's haunts in Washington state and New Jersey. Fortunately, it seems that old-fashioned detective work overturned the rock that Mr. Muhammad and his youthful aide-de-camp were hiding under.

The apparent ease with which the grisly violence was carried out created certain unease in us. After all, September 11 forced us to reckon with overt acts of terrorism. But most of us don't work at the Pentagon, in downtown Washington or in New York. We maintained our sense of safety and security. We certainly didn't imagine that two men and one rifle could prove how vulnerable we are.

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