By Martin C. Libicki
Governments spend billions to guard opposed to terrorism. may possibly it support to appreciate what al Qaeda could in achieving with each one particular assault? This booklet examines a number of hypotheses of terrorist focusing on: is it (1) to coerce, (2) to break economies, (3) to rally the devoted, or (4) a choice left to associates? This e-book analyzes previous assaults, publish hoc justifications, and professional opinion to weigh each one speculation.
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Extra resources for Exploring Terrorist Targeting Preferences
24 An interview with bin Laden presented by Al-Jazeera quoted him saying this about September 11: “This is the ﬁrst time the balance of terror has been close between the two parties, between Muslims and Americans, in the modern age” (“Transcript of Bin Laden’s October Interview,” 2002). A year later, Ayman al-Zawahiri added, “Why should fear, killing, destruction, displacement, orphaning and widowing continue to be our lot, while security, stability and happiness be your lot? This is unfair. It is time that we get even” (“Full Text: ‘Bin Laden’s Message,’” 2002).
In a video aired by Al-Jazeera on September 9, 2002, Osama bin Laden was heard claiming responsibility for the September 11 attacks. S. 9 Characteristics of the USS Cole Attacks Characteristic Value Afﬁliates Yes Potential casualties Low Potential economic damage Low Explosive potential Modality Venue Hardness Medium Unconventional weapona Military Hard a The weapon was unconventional in the sense that such an attack was not expected, not in the sense that the weapon itself was particularly innovative.
Statements made by an individual or group that seem to identify conclusively a speciﬁc motivation are rare and, even where they exist, must be vetted to ensure the intention asserted is consistent with the act’s expected—or realized—outcome. Equally, the temporal relationship between event and explanation must be scrutinized. Public assertions made prior to or immediately following an attack are more likely to reﬂect a perpetrator’s intent accurately than are those made days or weeks later. Delayed statements are particularly vulnerable to ex post facto rationalizations.