Jeffrey Goldberg warns:
It appears as if Shahzad was quite amateurish in his alleged plotting. His lack of professionalism will undoubtedly cause many people to say something along the lines of, "See, the terrorist threat is hyped, these guys are all clowns." It is true that most would-be terrorists are clowns, but it is also true that the 9/11 plotters were not clowns. If you had argued on 9/10 that Muslim terrorists were capable of hijacking four airplanes simultaneously and destroying the Twin Towers with two of those planes, most people would have laughed in your face. I worry when people come to the conclusion that our adversary is not capable of doing great damage to America.
Also, see Mark Steyn:
Whenever something goofy happens — bomb in Times Square, mass shootings at a US military base, etc. — there seem to be two kinds of reactions:
a) Some people go, "Hmm. I wonder if this involves some guy with a name like Mohammed who has e-mails from Yemen."
b) Other people go, "Don't worry, there's no connection to terrorism, and anyway, even if there is, it's all very amateurish, and besides he's most likely an isolated extremist or lone wolf."
Unfortunately, everyone in category (b) seems to work for the government.
To the traditional who-ya-gonna-believe-me-or-your-lyin'-eyes cliches, Mayor Bloomberg has now added the inspired line that the amateurish loner with no connection to terrorism "didn't like the health care bill". I do hope they ask Faisal Shahzad his views on the individual mandate.