Al-Qaeda's Future Targets

Predicted operations aim for economic damage
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TRANSCRIPT

 Question: What does the intelligence community know about possible future operations?

Paul Cruickshank: Al Qaeda leaders from… to another Al Qaeda link figure, …have talked for a long time about attacking targets like commuter trains and transport infrastructure because they realize that these are the keynotes of the economic system in the West.  And they feel that by attacking such targets, not only are they gonna kill people and terrify them, but they’re gonna cause a lot of economic harm.  And that is . . .  A large part of that war is causing economic damage to Western states.  They really felt the 9/11 operation that they might be learning a knockout blow.  Of course the U.S. economy proved much more resilient, even though there were billions of dollars lost …attacks.  So targets which are . . . cause economic disruption but also create a lot of publicity for that link are gonna be gone after by them in the coming years.  But it . . .  But it’s gonna be much more difficult for them to launch the big, large operations that we saw at the time of 9/11 when they were able to put 20 operatives in the United States and organize these attacks.  It’s gonna be very much harder to do that.

 

Recorded on: Jan 14 2008