America

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Transportation system interrption and terrorists

Some interesting points raised here:
"'Five years ago, during Sept. 11, I and other analysts wondered how we were ever going to bounce back from this,' Klaskin said. 'But the fact is that aviation is having one of its best years ever. More people are flying. More commercial cargo is being shipped. If a terrorist wants to have a damaging effect on aviation, they'd be better off going after oil fields than airplanes. It's jet fuel costs that threaten the industry most.'

There have been major attacks involving non-transportation sites, such as the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma, the first World Trade Center bombing, the school siege in Russia by Chechen guerrillas, and the endless bombings of restaurants and cafes in Israel.

But these often involve indigenous networks trained to study routines, procure explosives or seize territory. By comparison, foreign-based jihadists can more easily board U.S.-bound planes and destroy them using relatively fewer resources, terrorist experts say.

For those who see the United States as the primary target of Islamic holy war, the choice is irresistible.

'These are symbols of the United States that are outside of the United States, which makes them easier to get to,' said Randolph Hall, founder of the University of Southern California's Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events. 'You look at the carriers -- United, American, Continental -- that were targeted, and you have two names that automatically communicate America.

The best way to protect against terrorism, Hall said, is how it was done in London. 'Taking these precautions against liquids or electronic devices is all well and good, but the best protection is good intelligence,' said Hall. 'You have to stop these people well before they get to the airport, because by then, you have them in a crowd of people which is part of the goal.'(emphasis added)

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