Jan 5 2010
“We have attacked you on land and in the air… and soon we will attack in the sea,” according to a prominent contributor on a jihadist forum. “Al-Qaeda will soon return to attacking America interests at sea. Al-Qaeda’s troops have expertise in this area.”
The message, from a writer called Abu Raghd on the Al-Falluja forum, says that the terrorist organization will take up the policy of “a blow for a blow and a raid for a raid” against the U.S., according to a translation from the Washington D.C.-based Middle East Media Research Institute.
Less than two weeks after a botched Christmas Day attack on an American airliner by a Nigerian-born militant, Abu Raghd threatened future strikes “on an extravagant scale.”
Seventeen American sailors from the US Navy destroyer the USS Cole were killed in 2000 in a homicide attack in the Yemeni port of Aden. Two years later a French oil tanker was attacked near Yemen, killing one crew member and spilling nearly 100,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Aden.
ABC News also reported on its Web site today that a private Israeli intelligence company said there had been “a surge of online discussions in extremist Islamic forums about blowing up planes three weeks before Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s attempt to bring down Northwest Flight 253.”
The online discussions recommended using “improvised detonation chain” devices, just like the crotch-bomb plot used onboard the Detroit-bound flight from Amsterdam, according to ABC News.
The Israeli company, Terrogence, is run by former intelligence agents who for the last four years have monitored extremist sites. Three weeks ago, Terrogence’s founder Gadi Aviran and his colleagues noticed a surge in Internet traffic from well-known extremists talking about how to bring down planes using combinations of chemicals including PETN, according to ABC News.
“These discussions were about the exact same technique used on the Detroit flight,” he said. “There were very detailed instructions on how many grams of chemicals to use, so as to avoid detection. They also talked in great detail about what liquids should be used.” The sites in which these discussions have taken place use high-tech security and screening methods in order to prevent infiltration by the FBI and CIA.
At the same time, Aviran claims there have been terrifying online discussions about using aerosols filled with biological agents to bring down passenger jets.
Two men, both well-known members of extremist forums, according to Aviran, have been leading these discussions. which include the use of Botulinum toxin. “These are not kids talking about using biological agents to attack planes,” Aviran said. “These are two very sophisticated participants who are experts in chemical and biological agents.” NY POST
Botulism toxin is the most potent lethal substance known to man (lethal dose 1ng/kg). Botulism toxin is made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botulinum toxin was developed as an aerosol weapon by several countries. No human data exist on the effects inhaling botulinum toxin, but it may resemble the foodborne syndrome. If people have intentionally been exposed, in a bioterrorist attack, breathing in the toxin or ingesting the toxin via contaminated food or water are the most likely routes of exposure that might lead to a serious illness.
Spores of C. botulinum are found in soil worldwide. Terrorists with the technical capacity to grow cultures of the bacterium, and harvest and purify the toxin could therefore use it as a bioterrorism agent. Contaminating food with botulism toxin could cause a devastating event.
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