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Once upon a time, news that the “Rat Pack” was coming to town was welcomed in Las Vegas. Not so much anymore.

In the golden days of the Strip, the Rat Pack were the “cool cats.” All Vegas flocked to the legendary Sands to see Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford put on their unpredictable show.

Today, however, the rats threatening to descend on America’s Sin City are transnational terrorists. And when they talk about “killing” the audience, they mean it literally.

Does this mean the players should drop their chips and head for the door? Should Penn and Teller do a magic act and disappear? Hard to say.

Threats against Las Vegas are not new. Bin Laden, for example, had the city in the sands on his hit list.

Additionally, for years, al-Qaeda has been encouraging “outsourced” terrorist strikes on the U.S. homeland. It set up a base in Yemen specifically for that purpose. It even set up a “Foreign Operations Unit.” As part of that initiative, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan (both now deceased, courtesy of a missile strike) published an English-language Internet magazine offering guidance and motivation to strike at the “Great Satan.”