A lot of people have a strong interest in portraying terrorists as dedicated, evil badasses. Hollywood, is always desperate for proper bad guys. There are people who are trying to get you to vote for their terror safety laws or sell you terror safety equipment. And of course, there are the terrorists themselves.
When they convince us that they're dangerous Bond-level supervillains, we have to deal with minor airline travel annoyances. But more importantly, we are sending a message to people who sympathize with the terrorists' cause that, "Hey, this works! They're very effective guys!"
Governments and financiers will continue to see the terrorists as movie cops -- sure, they may be loose cannons and have to turn in their badges every couple months or so when they blow up some civilians, but dammit, they get the job done. And look so cool doing it!
Because they never look behind them.
We're going about this all wrong, talking about how evil and dangerous they are. What we need to start doing, like we do to any troll (and that's what they are, murderous trolls) is to start embarrassing them. And there's plenty of material! Such as:
Cracked covered a bunch of Three Stooges-style terror plots a while back.
But while those are particularly fantastic screwups, they aren't the exception, they're the rule. Just like most tropical storms fart themselves out before they become a hurricane and get near land, most terrorist-wannabes appear to step on rakes or slip on banana peels or something before they get anywhere near a target.
One group of suicide bombers got together for a group hug before they presumably gave the team cheer, signed each other's yearbooks and went off to martyr themselves. Only they hugged too hard and blew themselves up.
Another set of dumbfucks decided to go with the cyberterrorism route (can't blow yourself up that way) and attack the website for Belvoir Fortress, which used to be a Crusader outpost in Israel a really long time ago, making it one of the least effective ideas for jihad you could think of. As if deliberately trying to lower the bar even further, they actually ended up attacking the website for Belvoir Castle instead, which is a tourist attraction in England which hosts an annual teddy bears' picnic.
This is what happens when you join a cause that violently hates education.
I'm not saying they never blow anybody up -- we all remember September 11, the London subway bombings and other attacks. Some of them are definitely less mentally defective than others. But we're already doing everything we can to guard against that stuff, and making them sound more scary and badass really isn't going to help us do it better. Whether you look at a terrorist as Goldfinger or a strung-out methhead isn't going to affect how hard you try to stop him from blowing things up, it just affects how cool he gets to look while doing it.
Another reason it's really hard to maintain any respect for these guys is the retarded ideas they come up with. One enthusiastic terrorist wannabe published an online propaganda magazine where he suggested covering a "tractor" or "farm vehicle" with swords and I don't know, driving it slowly through the enemy I guess. Osama bin Laden objected to this, but because it was too barbaric, not because it sounded like a jihadi equivalent of, "Hey, what if we had a dinosaur with a railgun mounted on it ... and also Batman is riding it."
This is what you nerds like, isn't it?
Sure, one terrorist killed three people with a bulldozer rampage in 2008, but 1) that was a construction vehicle, not a tractor and 2) he would have been caught much, much earlier if he'd been carefully strapping swords onto it instead of just stealing it and heading right for the street.
Even in their own training videos they release that are supposed to be inspiring other jihadis, they look like tools. In a highlight reel assembled by blogger Jarret Brachman from actual al-Qaeda videos, they do activities more suited for a summer camp than a terrorist camp, like showing off backflips for the other terrorists:
Via Jarret Brachman
"Ahmed, are you watching? I'm gonna go! I'm gonna do it!"
Or riding around on each others' shoulders:
Via Jarret Brachman
"Neeeeeerrrrroooonnng, I'm an airplane!"
But, hey -- when security restrictions stop you from entering actual flight schools, what are you going to do. Got to get your flight hours in somewhere.
But why such a slow song, you might wonder. Why not Yakety Sax? Well, as you wish.