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Let’s start with the obvious: all of us are, or should be, thankful that Portland’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony was not bombed by a would-be terrorist. Other facts to put on the table: the young man harbored strong anti-American feelings, he communicated with and attempted to visit a friend that moved to Pakistan, and, most importantly, he believed his actions would lead to the detonation of a bomb at the tree-lighting ceremony.

But there’s another important point that may not be as obvious to those of us reading the news reports this week: there never was a plot to bomb Portland’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony, nor was there ever any danger of such an attack.