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If you were the mastermind of a terrorist organization and wanted to strike your...

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lite49 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

Posted August 16, 2013 at 11:56 PM via web

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If you were the mastermind of a terrorist organization and wanted to strike your country/region, where and how would you strike?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 17, 2013 at 12:08 AM (Answer #1)

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If I were a terrorist leader and I wanted to strike the United States, I would not focus on huge attacks the way Al Qaeda seems to be.  I would try to carry out a large number of small attacks that would throw the country into chaos.

It is true that spectacular attacks like the 9/11 attacks get a lot of attention.  It is true that they hurt the US.  However, I would argue that continual small attacks would be much more damaging to the country.

If I were a terrorist leader, I would have my people fan out across the country, committing small attacks in a variety of places.  I would have them leave bombs in fast food restaurants near to freeways.  I would have them leave bombs at gas stations.  I would have them leave bombs on city busses.  I would not go for “high value” targets.  Instead, I would just have them go for a large quantity of attacks.

By doing this, I would hope to paralyze America with fear and I would hope to do so in a way that is much easier to arrange than a 9/11-style attack. As it is, people in most of America can feel that Al Qaeda is never going to hit them because they do not live near a major target.  If, by contrast, they were made to feel that a bomb could strike anywhere at any moment, it would create a great deal more fear and would hurt the economy more than large strikes can.

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