FBI, Homeland Security bulletin details al-Qaida surveillance
By CURT ANDERSON
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - A new government intelligence bulletin
describes in the greatest detail yet al-Qaida's techniques for
assessing potential targets, extolling the lethal power of flying,
shattered building glass and advising that kerosene and tires are
effective for a deadly arson attack.
"The focus is on maximizing the destructive and killing power
of an attack," the bulletin says.
The bulletin provides a fresh glimpse of terrorist reports found
in computers and disks seized in Pakistan in July. The reports
described the casing by terrorists of several buildings in the
United States and prompted U.S. authorities to raise the terror
threat level earlier this year for high-profile financial
facilities in New York, Washington and Newark, N.J.
The heightened alert was eased shortly after the Nov. 2
election, and there is no evidence a potential attack ever moved
beyond initial planning.
"Current intelligence provides no indications that al-Qaida has
operatives to conduct an attack based upon the information in these
reports," the eight-page bulletin said.
Produced by the FBI and Homeland Security Department, the
bulletin was circulated Tuesday to law enforcement, government and
industry officials nationwide and obtained Wednesday by The
The excerpts, according to the bulletin, show that al-Qaida
operatives go well beyond basic description of a potential target
to sophisticated analysis of vulnerabilities in building
construction, an examination of potential police and emergency
response and recommendations for possible methods of attack.
In one report, an unidentified al-Qaida operative notes that a
building "is almost completely made to resemble a glass house -
which could be devastating in an emergency scenario ... that is to
say, that when shattered, each piece of glass becomes a potential
flying piece of cutthroat shrapnel!"
Another excerpt calculates that a particular building has
precisely 67,000-square-feet of glass, adding for emphasis that it
amounts to "an acre and a half of glass."
The author provides five possible methods of attack in one
scenario, leading with parking a vehicle packed with explosives
next to an exposed building column. The terrorist also suggests
that operatives rent space in the building or use any of several
substances in an arson attack.
"Combinations with leaking gas cylinders (esp. oxygen), bleach,
ammonia and tires (they burn well) could be lethal," the al-Qaida
report says. "Added to this, also be advised that kerosene burns
more powerfully than an ordinarily fueled fire (although it may not
be hot enough to melt steel unless used in very large
The reports note such things as when people take lunch and
smoking breaks, where surveillance cameras are positioned, what
public events were scheduled near buildings and how many cars and
pedestrians typically pass by per minute. Detailed descriptions of
security guards included their uniforms, whether they were armed
and a notation that one male guard's weapon "appears to be a Colt
In two reports, the al-Qaida author assumed that undercover
security officers are likely to be stationed near possible targets.
That shows that security officials must "regularly review, refresh
and reinforce" their undercover teams to prevent them from being
identified, the bulletin said.
One al-Qaida operative also advises where additional
reconnaissance could be performed before an attack, such as
"inside the coffee shop, restaurants or bars etc. Or even on the
upstairs floor of the bookshop (there is one end where people
regularly sit and browse through books)."
The bulletin said the casing reports demonstrate a high level of
sophistication among al-Qaida surveillance operatives and suggest
that the terror group wants to use people who have experience
living in the United States to help choose targets.
Many of the reconnaissance techniques are described in a
captured al-Qaida manual titled "Military Studies in the Jihad
Against the Tyrants." That manual says that public information can
provide 80 percent of the information needed about a possible
target, demonstrating that security officials in government and the
private sector must carefully review what is available on the
Internet and elsewhere, the bulletin said.
"Surveillance of a potential target can occur as little as one
week to as much as three years prior to an attack," the bulletin
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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Thread: Government Intelligence Bulletin
12-30-2004, 03:57 AM #1
Government Intelligence BulletinProudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones
*Gathering Crust Since 1968*
On the web at www.section2wildfire.com
12-30-2004, 08:36 AM #2
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
That manual says that public information can provide 80 percent of the information needed about a possible target
This is scary.
12-30-2004, 10:35 AM #3
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
- Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
There are Courses/Seminars out there that can provide a lot of information on trimming that 80%. In my area, with the Government presence being what it is, I have a lot of opportunities for training in this (Anti-terrorism) Discipline, and I have more than a couple of hours invested in it. I would strongly urge everyone to take advantage of anything that you can, that will provide information to help you protect your Community, and, most importantly, yourself. A particular area to look into is called "Opsec" Govt. shorthand for "Operational Security". This Course was an eye opener, from the standpoint of how Terrorists exploit those little things we take for granted, even promote, like Station tours, Preplan Maps, etc. If you get the chance to take such a course, go for it.Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
In memory of
Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006
IACOJ Budget Analyst
I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.
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