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Can We Forecast Nine Elevens? “Terror 2000” And Beyond. Marvin Cetron Forecasting International Presented to the International Conference on Terrorism Lisbon, Centro Cultural de Belem Portugal May 29, 2008. Trends in Terrorism. Terrorist movement growing stronger

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Can we forecast nine elevens terror 2000 and beyond l.jpg

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


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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.

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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Practical Recommendations from Terror 2000

  • Harden American facilities

  • Improve HUMINT abroad

  • Rebuild the “area studies” think tanks

www.sabado.pt


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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”

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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Hard Numbers

www.sabado.pt


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Hard Numbers

www.sabado.pt


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Top Ten

American Terror Risks

www.sabado.pt


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Bomb Oil Refineries

Probability: High

Impact: High

Losses: 17 dead

34 injured

15% of American refining capacity destroyed

Oil goes to $200 per barrel

www.sabado.pt


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Bomb American Olympic Teams in Beijing

Probability: High

Impact: Low

Losses: 27 dead

2 will never walk again

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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Suicide Shootings at Major Tourist Attractions

Probability: High

Impact: Low

Losses: 84 dead

103 critically wounded

$1 billion in delayed economic impact

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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E. coli at Restaurants on Wall Street and Capitol Hill

Probability: High

Impact: Low

Losses: 142 deaths

13,500 sickened

$250 billion economic losses

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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Nerve Gas Public Buildings in NYC

Probability: Low

Impact: High

Losses: 3,071 deaths

10,600 sickened

NYC hospitality industry collapses

www.sabado.pt


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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

www.sabado.pt


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At the end of our 55 Trends document,

there is an annotated bibliography

of major documents in terrorism studies.

www.sabado.pt