Terrorism Threat Analysis

Current SITREP

From the Washington Regional Threat Analysis Center Daily All Hazard Intelligence Report:

(U) America’s Next 12 Terror Threats

Homeland security officials identified in recent bulletins several tactics, threats, and players, that al-Qa’eda and associated movements might use in coming attacks.

Source: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/09/12/9-11-anniversary-america-s-next-12-terror-threats.html

1) Biochemical Attacks: An intelligence report this summer warned that AQAP was seeking castor beans, the ingredient needed to make a lethal dose of the poison ricin.

2) Radiological Bombs: Officials recognize it would be fairly easy for a terror group to collect radiological waste from hospital machines overseas and package it with an explosive.

3) Backpack Bombs in Shopping Malls: This type of attack could create the sort of panic that would shake consumer confidence in an already weak economy.

4) Vehicle Bombs: In the last few months alone, U.S. intelligence has picked up significant signs that al Qaeda and its allies have been plotting attacks with explosive-laden cars, trucks, and boats.

5) Cyberterrorism: With the help of a state sponsor well versed in cyberwarfare, a terror group could shut down parts of the U.S. electric grid, cause havoc with financial trades, or disable or hack into sensitive government computer systems at great cost to American security.

6) Small Aircraft Loaded with Explosives: U.S. officials have long worried about terrorists loading a small airplane with explosives and flying it into a major event with crowds, such as sporting events, concerts, amusement parks, or political debates.

7) Train Bombs: The 7/7 attacks in Britain in 2005 showed how devastating and easy train bombs can be as a tool of terror and death. And unlike the U.S. airlines, trains have fewer security precautions and far more access points for terrorists.

8) Energy Assets: For years, al-Qa’ida has plotted to blow up oil and energy assets ranging from nuclear-power plants and hydroelectric dams to oil-drilling rigs and tankers.

9) Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula: The group is responsible for the attempt to blow up a commercial airliner to Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, and packages with powerful explosives in cargo bound for Chicago in late 2010.

10) Homegrown Terrorists: In the last year the Obama administration has placed a greater emphasis on preventing attacks from Americans inspired by al Qaeda’s English-language propaganda on the Internet.

11) Symbolic Dates: Terrorist groups have historically expressed interest in attacking on symbolic dates.

12) Unfinished Business: Al Qaeda has a patience and determination to strike the same targets, a point made clear when the terror group targeted the World Trade Center in New York in 2001 after a less spectacular attack in 1993.

Some of this I agree with, and some I have other thoughts on.  Tune in tomorrow for my personal analysis.

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