Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Shift in Terrorist Tactics Towards 'Softer' Targets?

Jonah Czerwinski writes on Homeland Security Watch:

President Bush’s outgoing Homeland Security Adviser, Ken Wainstein, told an audience this week that Mumbai-style attacks could happen “in any American city.” A well written piece in the UK Reuters explains the growing concern amid the counter-terrorism community that the brazen assault on civilians in tourist centers attractive to Westerners could be a sign of what’s to come.

Since 9/11, most analysis of the terrorist threat has been focused on al Qaeda’s apparent focus on catastrophic and high-casualty attacks on the unarmed. As a result, analysts have suggested that low-intensity assaults with automatic weapons or car bombs are less likely than attacks on the scale of 9/11, or worse.

However, attacks like those on the rail systems in Madrid, the nightclub in Bali, the mass transit system in London, and now the hotels and urban centers of Mumbai, among others, suggest a shift that has been underway from targeting military and government entities toward more vulnerable “soft targets” populated by civilians.

More here.


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