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SWJED
07-05-2007, 09:52 AM
5 July Washington Post - Homemade, Cheap and Dangerous (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/04/AR2007070401814.html) by Craig Whitlock.


The 39-page memo recovered from an al-Qaeda laptop computer in Pakistan three years ago read like an Idiot's Guide to Bombmaking. Forget military explosives or fancy detonators, it lectured. Instead, the manual advised a shopping trip to a hardware store or pharmacy, where all the necessary ingredients for a terrorist attack are stocked on the shelves.

"Make use of that which is available at your disposal and . . . bend it to suit your needs, (improvise) rather than waste valuable time becoming despondent over that which is not within your reach," counseled the author of the memo, Dhiren Barot, a British citizen who said he developed his keep-it-simple philosophy by "observing senior planners" at al-Qaeda training camps...

SoiCowboy
07-05-2007, 11:24 AM
Thanks for that.

goesh
07-05-2007, 02:08 PM
Hillbillies and farmers were blowing stumps and cracking big rocks with a bag of fertilizer soaked in diesel and a stick of dynamite long before terrorists started making the news and long before McVeigh and AQ improvised. It was cheaper than hiring a dozer or backhoe. The ideology behind the bungled attempt in England didn't fail and the bunglers served to notify 'true believers' the world over that jihad is alive and well on Western ground. For a few quid they evoked a multimillion dollar reaction that will net one insulated cell. In the course of backtracking by Intel/LE, any given number of non-jihadist Muslims questioned will be put off by it, possibly even be irritated and feeling under suspicion and alientated. The bunglers may have filled their hard drives with all kinds of red herrings as well to detract more time and money from other cells.

slapout9
07-05-2007, 02:32 PM
goesh,you are 100% dead on!! It is a good example of a tactical setback, but a strategic success. I dare say they will learn from their mistakes and get better. Also true about blowing stumps, it is done all the time down here by farmer, ranchers etc. and a lot cheaper.

JGalt
07-06-2007, 02:37 AM
goesh,you are 100% dead on!! It is a good example of a tactical setback, but a strategic success. I dare say they will learn from their mistakes and get better. Also true about blowing stumps, it is done all the time down here by farmer, ranchers etc. and a lot cheaper.

Unfortunately, with few exceptions, I don't believe these incidents are due to our (Brit or US) success, but opponent failure; I'm not parcing semantics, but the difference and implications are important.

If not for a video store worker, who knows how many would be dead at Fort Dix. If the VBIEDs in England hadn't been screwed up, many would have died (etc.. with other like incidents). Its only a matter of time that these local cells not make a mistake that we capitalize on (as opposed to these unsuccessful incidents indicating growing successes on our part). No doubt there are covert ops that have truly succeeded in stoping unpublicized terrorism, but whether that number is large or small, the embedded cells cannot make dumb mistakes forever.

The guerrilla fights the war of the flea, and his military enemy suffers the dogs disadvantages: too much to defend; too small, ubiquitous, and agile an enemy to come to grips with. [Robert Taber]

I do think the flea and dog analogy is accurate, and regardless of our fate in either Iraq or Afghan, we are still going to have to figure out how to kill fleas with something less than a sledge-hammer... whether that be in New York, Midland, TX or Hong Kong. I don't think we're there yet, but I do believe necessarily the answer lies in the Intel discipline (the process of pinpointing the flea so a sledge is not necessary).

Stevely
07-06-2007, 07:36 PM
Well said goesh. A lot of people have been downplaying this by referrinng to what bumblers they are. Completely misses the point. The ideology indeed did not fail, for propaganda purposes the enemy can book a victory. Next time we will not be so lucky.

SteveMetz
07-06-2007, 07:55 PM
...I was afraid one of ya'll had been to my family reunion.

Culpeper
07-07-2007, 02:59 AM
Hillbillies and farmers were blowing stumps and cracking big rocks with a bag of fertilizer soaked in diesel and a stick of dynamite long before terrorists started making the news and long before McVeigh and AQ improvised.

Fertilizer nearly leveled Texas City, TX.


When someone in Texas City mentions "The Explosion," no explanation is necessary. Everybody in the city knows what happened on April 16, 1947. Many remember it firsthand. That cool spring morning when a ship blew up in the port on Galveston Bay. The blast took nearly 600 lives and millions of dollars in property, and it scarred the town. A half-century later, people in Texas City celebrate their recovery, but still mourn their loss.


Texas City Disaster: Look at the propeller! (http://www.local1259iaff.org/disaster.html) The anchor was found a half mile away buried in the ground.