March 16, 2006


Several bloggers... okay, a bunch of bloggers... have noticed increasing al Qaeda "chatter" as high or high than the months leading up to 9/11. Many are attaching this "chatter" to a significant date around the corner, the March 20th third anniversary of the U.S invasion of Iraq.

Some folks are spooked over the possibility that the NCAA mens's basketball tournament might be a target, and today's scare in San Diego didn't help to quite that theory.

Quite frankly, if I were an al Qaeda planner, a basketball game wouldn't be my first pick.

I'd consider the NCAA tournament arenas too hard of a target to easily penetrate, without enough civilian targets to warrant the effort needed for a major attack. The Twin Towers were "soft" targets to a certain extent and had roughly 50,000 potential victims. Why waste limited resources on a post-9/11 basketball arena with increased security, an unfavorable layout, and far fewer people? It doesn't make the most tactical sense.

And there are other issues.

In addition to pure carnage, al Qaeda is also into symbolism. The Twin Towers were a symbol of our economic reach and might, just as the Pentagon was the symbol of our military power. Flight 93 ended up in a field in Shanksville, PA, but was more than likely targeted at one of the seats of our political power, either the White House or the U.S Capitol.

If you were a terrorist planner, imagine a scenario where:

  • the potential victim pool more than twice that of the Twin Towers
  • the target is "soft," completely exploitable in some way
  • there is some cultural significance to the target
  • the attack can be tied to a culturally important date

If you were a member of al Qaeda with that tempting target in front of you, what would you say?

How about, “Gentlemen, start your engines.”

NASCAR, while scoffed at by some, is the second most popular professional sport in U.S. television ratings, and draws by far the largest crowds of any U.S sporting event. The NEXTEL Cup Series is the premiere division of NASCAR, and they happen to be racing at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, a 1.5-mile track, this Sunday, March 19.

By the time the race starts at 1:30 PM local time (9:30 PM in the evening in the Middle East), up to 125,000 fans could be in attendance, along with the dozens of drivers to which fans have developed fierce loyalties.

An unmodified single-engine plane can carry a bioweapon agent over this concentrated open-air target, disperse it into the crowd by the crudest of means, simply pouring (a powder) or spraying (an aerosol) over the grandstands and infield, and run a significant chance of infecting hundreds or thousands or more, just before intentionally crashing the plane into the stands in horrific fireball in front of a live nationwide audience.

Footage of the crash is sure to be played over and over again on the 20th throughout the Middle East, with credit claimed by al Qaeda on the third anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

It could be hours or days later after infected fans have scattered to their hometowns across the country that symptoms begin to show, with a predictable public panic ensuing in a country already primed by the media for an avian flu epidemic.


I sure hope the NSA is listening...

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 16, 2006 09:58 PM | TrackBack

The NSA isn't listening anymore. The democrats drove the terrorist to some other type of communications or to using multiple phones on each conversation (remember how many thousand throw away cell phones the bought immediately after the traitor released the information and the traitors at the NYT published it).
Evidently the 2,000+ military deaths their terrorist support has caused isn't enough so they want to get a few hundred thousand killed in the U.S. They are a blood thirsty bunch of bastards aren't they. All in hope of picking up a few seats in congress. I blame the democrats for thousands of American and millions of Asian deaths in the 60/70's and now they want more blood on their hands.

Posted by: scrapiron at March 17, 2006 12:23 AM

Your assessment of security is not valid. You are assuming that they will use smart security screening. I attended the Sugar Bowl several years ago and they use the dumb security as in the airport. By that, if you are blond, 50 or greater, and clearly not a terrorist they do everything except a strip search. If you fit the profile of a terrorist they escort you to your seat and apoligize for any inconveince.

Posted by: David Caskey at March 17, 2006 10:03 AM

I was at the Regional Tournament in San Diego.

In effect there was no security.

Riddle me this, how many times have al Qaeda (or other Islamic Terrorists) placed a bomb. Pre-screening a facility is necessary, but probably ineffective.

The audience has to be screened - and we were not...

On the larger topic, al Qaeda hit a financial and a military target. The next target will be a symbol of our 'decadent' culture or our scientific (and thus secular) community.

They will hit a college or Hollywood or centers of decadent culture.

Posted by: Boghie at March 17, 2006 08:57 PM

Are you kidding me? No terrorist has the guts to pull this crap at a Stock Car race! There are zero people there that would feel sorry about turning the entire middle east into a glass parking lot! ;)
Go Mark Martin!

Posted by: dub at March 20, 2006 04:46 PM

The Mall of America

Posted by: Dougman at April 22, 2006 03:56 AM