Commentary: A reminder to remain vigilant

What's up with all these alleged Islamic terror plots?

Nothing good, would be the quick answer. Authorities have made arrests in recent days in New York, Illinois and Texas. In July, the Raleigh area witnessed the arrest of seven men in what federal authorities called a "Triangle Terrorism Takedown." The U.S. Attorney's Office here claimed that the men, all but one of whom are American citizens, intended to travel abroad to kill themselves and others in the name of Islam.

That's serious, although as in all such prosecutions, the charges will have to stand up in court. But now prosecutors have raised the stakes, alleging that Daniel Boyd, who was at the center of the July charges, and Hysen Sherifi, who is from Kosovo but lives legally in the Raleigh area, planned to attack and kill U.S. Marines at their base in Quantico, Va., just south of Washington.

At this point, anyone remotely familiar with the Quantico Marines would be tempted to say, "Let us know how that turns out!" An armed on-base confrontation isn't likely to go well for the attackers, to put it mildly. And yet surprise and deadly intent can lead to great harm, as the Marines sadly know, having lost many lives to terrorism abroad.

So the new charges are even more serious, and the weaponry supposedly found in Boyd's possession over the summer — 26 firearms and 27,000 rounds of ammunition, plus gas masks — intensifies the concern, even if some other Americans probably have equivalent arsenals.

To read the complete editorial, visit The (Raleigh) News & Observer.