We saw the police cars, TV crews, and yellow tape yesterday, then watched Fox News on WTTG broadcast footage of men wearing ski masks and carrying submachine guns storm our neighborhood bank. ThisWashington Post story gives a sense of it. It looked a lot like a terror attack, including a bombed out mini-van, burning near Rock Creek Park.
Why is such a terrifying crime wave occuring unabated in our nation's capital? One factor may a change in FBI policies after 9/11.
Although terrorists are well-known to use bank robberies to support their activities--the IRA and Weather Underground are two notorious examples--according to a June, 2002 article in the Christian Science Monitor, the FBI isn't so interested anymore.
Quote: "The classic American crime of bank robbery is on the rise across the nation, especially the more-violent versions of it. Yet the vaunted Federal Bureau of Investigation – which foiled that famous bank-robbing duo in 1934 [editor's note: Bonnie and Clyde]– is distracted by a bigger battle: the war on terrorism.
"Since Sept. 11, many FBI agents have worked full time on terror-related issues, letting other areas lag. And a major reorganization of the agency, to be announced within a month, is expected to include a significant downsizing of bank-robber tracking efforts."
Here's the full storyBank bandits move in as busy FBI retreats | csmonitor.com
Note to the FBI: If bank robbers can get away with carrying submachine guns in broad daylight in Washington, so can terrorists...