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Can We Forecast Nine Elevens? “Terror 2000” And Beyond PowerPoint Presentation
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Can We Forecast Nine Elevens? “Terror 2000” And Beyond

Can We Forecast Nine Elevens? “Terror 2000” And Beyond

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Can We Forecast Nine Elevens? “Terror 2000” And Beyond

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  1. Can We Forecast Nine Elevens? “Terror 2000” And Beyond Marvin Cetron Forecasting InternationalPresented to the International Conference on Terrorism Lisbon, Centro Cultural de Belem Portugal May 29, 2008

  2. Trends in Terrorism • Terrorist movement growing stronger • Homegrown terrorism trend and implications (Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Europe, etc.) • American homegrown threat (prison Islam convert populations) • Women in terrorism • Global terrorists WILL gain WMD • They will become legitimate by taking over governments • The targets with media impact • Probability and impact of various targets

  3. What went wrong? • Lots of evidence beforehand, no connection of the dots • FBI/CIA forbidden to share intelligence prior to 9/11 • Cross jurisdiction sharing projects proliferate today; some are maturing, others still in their infancy (e.g., Fusion Centers) • Many recognized as being successful; expect more

  4. Not Everyone Was Surprised • Terror 2000: The Future Face of Terror anticipated 9/11 in 1994 • Study sponsored by Department of Defense Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict division (SO/LIC) • Carried out by Forecasting International

  5. Future Terrorism Would Be Different • Not sponsored by states • Carried out by Muslim extremists motivated by hatred of the West in general, and of America in particular • Designed to produce maximum carnage, rather than to influence political policy

  6. Terror 2000 Involved Leading Experts • Ambassador L. Paul Bremer of Kissinger Associates, formerly ambassador-at-large for counterterrorism and more recently administrator of Iraq • Brian Jenkins, then with Kroll Associates, now senior vice president at the RAND Corporation • Bruce Hoffman, of the RAND Corporation • Paul Wilkinson, of the University of St. Andrews, Scotland • Yigal Carmon, counterterrorism advisor to two Israeli prime ministers • Major General Oleg Kalugin (Ret.), former head of the Soviet KGB foreign counterintelligence directorate • Peter Probst, then on staff at SO/LIC and more recently Sr. Partner, National Security Associates World Wide, in Washington, D.C.

  7. Terror 2000 Also Used Professional Forecasters • Clement Bezold, president of the Institute for Alternative Futures • Edward Cornish, then president of the World Future Society • Jean Johnson, of the National Science Foundation • Vary Coates, then project director for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment

  8. Practical Recommendations from Terror 2000 • Harden American facilities • Improve HUMINT abroad • Rebuild the “area studies” think tanks

  9. Terror 2000 Report Never Distributed • Ambassador Barbara Bodine objected • Feared that focusing on Muslims would offend oil suppliers • Pointed out that in a democracy “you can’t deal with a crisis until it becomes a crisis” • Ordered the report shelved, labeled “Unclassified/Government Use Only”

  10. Islam Is the Second-Largest Religion • Probably the fastest growing • 1.7 billion Muslims in the world • 2.1 billion Christians, 900 million Hindus • 5 million Muslims in the United States, and 1,500 mosques • By 2025, there will be 2 billion Muslims in the world • By 2025, more than half the French population will be Muslim, at the present rate of growth; immigration and high birthrates

  11. 9/11 Attacks Were Justified • One-third of Muslims believe this • Two-thirds are convinced no Muslims were involved • Two-thirds believe they were carried out by the CIA or British or Israeli intelligence, perhaps all three, to discredit Muslims • These beliefs are held, in roughly these proportions, throughout the Muslim world, at all socioeconomic and educational levels • Roughly 1 billion Muslims around the world believe the American “war on terror” is a fraud designed to return them to colonial rule

  12. Major Changes Coming • Terrorist ranks are growing • Iraq provides a cause for recruitment • Also provides training and battle experience • Terrorists then return home to set up local terrorist cells throughout the Middle East and Europe • Terrorists will gain WMD • Abdul Qadeer Khan intended Pakistan’s nuclear weapon as an “Islamic bomb” • Evidence suggests that many Pakistani military officers and officials agree with that goal

  13. Major Changes Coming • Terrorists will rise to government power • Anti-American theocracies likely to replace many weak secular regimes, including Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the “stans,”, Lebanon and perhaps some Gulf states • Most likely is Saudi Arabia, where 200 years of Wahhabi extremism has laid the groundwork • Precedents: Hamas in Palestine; Hagana, Irgun, and Stern Gang in Israel

  14. Necessary Measures • Find a way to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons • Secure Pakistan’s nuclear weapons • Secure abandoned nuclear material (Russia, FSU) • Track nuclear scientists in the Muslim world • Discourage Saudi Arabia from supporting anti-American madrassas • Find more effective, less intrusive ways to secure terrorist targets

  15. FI 2005 Report on Terrorism • Carried out with Irene Sanders, of the Washington Center for Complexity and Public Policy • More than 200 participants • Over 100 forecasters at the World Future Society annual meeting • 50 high-ranking military officers at the 15th Defense Worldwide Combating Terrorism Conference • 50 retired military officers, most of flag rank • Top executives in the hospitality industry, often the target of terrorist attack

  16. High-Probability Threats • Spread rumors of an impending terrorist attack • Attack Saudi oil production • Coordinated suicide bombings in Washington, D.C. • General Internet overload • Attribute terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia to “Zionists” • Attack commuter trains into New York City or other major metropolis • Bomb one or more oil pipelines • Take out the vehicle and train tunnels serving Manhattan

  17. High-Impact Threats • Put a suitcase nuke at any target • Attack the next U.S. presidential inauguration • Shoot down Air Force One • Set off a “dirty bomb” packed with stolen radiological medical waste in a populated area • Repeat the 9/11 scenario • Detonate a tanker full of liquefied natural gas at a terminal in Boston Harbor • Nerve gas the air intakes of a large public building, such as a sports arena or major office tower

  18. Conclusions • International terrorism will continue to grow • The number of terrorist incidents will also grow • Money won’t be available till after the Iraq war, so costs to “harden” sites will be borne locally • Police need to support the regional Fusion Centers as they mature, as well as the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces

  19. Conclusions • Major cities with Homeland Security support should reach out to train staff of smaller communities who don’t have the grants • Things will likely get worse before they get better; it takes time to adjust to the new paradigm

  20. Latest Information: State Department 2008 Country Reports on Terrorism • Al Qaeda and associates are still the greatest threat • It quickly evolves new methods in response to countermeasures • It wants WMD • Instability in Pakistan has given Al Qaeda leaders greater mobility • The Taliban also is resurgent • Through Hizballah and Iraqi Shiite groups, Iran is the greatest state sponsor of terrorism

  21. Latest Information: State Department 2008 Country Reports on Terrorism • Regional terrorist groups are joining forces • Terrorists and criminals also are allied—for example, FARC in Colombia and narcotraffickers • Radicalization of immigrants and minorities continues in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East • Countering this trend is an extremely high priority

  22. Hard Numbers

  23. Hard Numbers

  24. Top Ten American Terror Risks

  25. Bomb Oil Refineries Probability: High Impact: High Losses: 17 dead 34 injured 15% of American refining capacity destroyed Oil goes to $200 per barrel

  26. Bomb American Olympic Teams in Beijing Probability: High Impact: Low Losses: 27 dead 2 will never walk again

  27. Destroy Tennessee Valley Authority Dams Probability: Low Impact: High Losses: 43 dead 20% of TVA generating capacity $5 billion damage in Chattanooga $1 billion in later flood damage $25+ billion to replace the dams

  28. Suicide Shootings at Major Tourist Attractions Probability: High Impact: Low Losses: 84 dead 103 critically wounded $1 billion in delayed economic impact

  29. Bring Down Four High-Tension Wires Probability: High Impact: High Losses: up to 300 deaths in accidents and affected hospitals $100 billion immediate and delayed economic impact

  30. Detonate LPG Tanker and Depot Near Boston Probability: Medium Impact: Very high Losses: 197,525 deaths At least 500,000 more injuries Several billion dollars in immediate property losses Lasting economic damage to the city

  31. E. coli at Restaurants on Wall Street and Capitol Hill Probability: High Impact: Low Losses: 142 deaths 13,500 sickened $250 billion economic losses

  32. EMP Bombs in Virginia Internet Corridor Probability: Medium Impact: High Losses: 31 indirect deaths from breakdowns in medical equipment Internet severely impaired 175,000 unemployed $40 billion infrastructure repairs $2 billion per month in lost productivity Dow falls 1,000 points

  33. Nerve Gas Public Buildings in NYC Probability: Low Impact: High Losses: 3,071 deaths 10,600 sickened NYC hospitality industry collapses

  34. Release Anthrax Along the East Coast Probability: Medium Impact: High Losses: Up to 1.5 million deaths $1.4 trillion in clean-up and medical costs

  35. At the end of our 55 Trends document, there is an annotated bibliography of major documents in terrorism studies.