"I'm not a terrorist: I'm eight years old, and that's my science project"
August 20, 2013
We're looking for truthers, terrorists and conspiracies everywhere. Our paranoia says more about us than reality
October 7, 2001: less than a month after 9/11. Police in Maryland decide that two trucks on Interstate 270 might be carrying explosives. The alert cops block traffic for an hour, searching the vehicles for tools of terror. The cargo turns out to be stage equipment headed to a memorial service for the firefighters killed in the attack. A forgivable mistake, given the circumstances? Perhaps. In Tyler, Texas, a few days earlier, federal agents, city police, and bomb experts from far-flung cities had descended on a family's mailbox to grapple with a gadget jerryrigged from wires, batteries, and green duct tape. The streets were blocked; the neighbors were evacuated. The device turned out to be an eight-year-old's homemade flashlight, built as a school project and left in the mailbox for safekeeping.