AMU Homeland Security Intelligence Opinion Terrorism

The Boy Who Cried Terror

Commentary and Analysis by John Cote MSSI, CPP
The recent NFL terror plot posted on Oct. 12 made many headlines across the nation and that’s exactly what the creators wanted.

The problem is that our Department of Homeland Security would even allow it to be considered a possible threat. The great new catch phrase “out of an abundance of caution” was used in this case. What exactly does this phrase mean? Basically it’s an elastic phrase which can mean almost anything after the fact.
In the news reports the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is quoted as saying DHS authorities alerted the stadium owners in the cities mentioned in the threat and that the threat was being viewed by the DHS authorities with “strong skepticism”. What I don’t understand is why alert the media about the threat if you don’t feel it’s authentic? In the same press releases, it goes on to mention that Russ Knocke a spokesperson for Homeland Security said there was no intelligence that indicated such an attack was imminent.
If that is the case, then don’t pass the threat along. All the threat did was to create fear, and that is exactly what the REAL terrorists want to accomplish. As an example in the second to last paragraph of the news article I read it states “ The death toll will approach 100,000 from the initial blasts and countless other fatalities will later occur as a result from radioactive fallout” according to the Web site threat.
How many people will read that sentence and not bother with the rest of the story?
In looking at this threat it was clear that the wannabe terrorist has no idea how Al-Qaeda really makes their threats. A specific date and location was clearly stated in the threat. The authors even went so far as to state that trucks will deliver the devices to the stadiums.
Clearly there was too much detail in this threat for anyone to consider this to be a credible threat.
What is interesting to note is that the guy who made up the threat stated when he was arrested that he had made the same threat about 40 previous times and no one noticed.
I wonder how much extra money was spent to beef up security at all these venues out of an abundance of caution.

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