November 01, 2004

Vote For Bush? Get Attacked

Over at the Volokh Conspiracy they're discussing OBL's threat to use the 2004 electoral map as an Al Queda targeting list. I don't know that there is that much to talk about. It's just not true. In reality, every state that does not follow sharia is on the target list. What is being discussed is the timing list, who goes first. Everything else is hudna, temporary, deceptive truce until Al Queda or successor recovers enough strength.

Since our security since 9/11 seems to have improved sufficiently to prevent new spectacular attacks, we are also getting a hint as to the type of attack. Let's say that they pick Alabama for a red state first target. No offense to that state but they don't exactly have a Pentagon or a WTC there. So if they do end up on the top of the list, what are the targets in the state? We're more likely going to see non-arabic terror snipers with an Al Queda seal of approval than planes going into buiildings. In short, we're going to see operations that are incredibly cheap, effective, and entirely out of character with traditional Al Queda operations of spectacular targets and spectacular attacks.

Instead, look for a lot of "ghost" attacks that do not use up agents but instead become impressive because they are repeated across a wide area. Take two cars, steal license plates, wire up one car with dynamite. Drive both cars to a gas station and evacuate the bomb driver with the other car. blow up the bomb as you're leaving. It's low cost, almost impossible to defend against, you can do it a hundred times all over the country simultaneously, and it's effective.

Hopefully Al Queda's still slow, still stupid but we can't count on that forever. Eventually, they will adopt such tactics, count on it. The question is whether we have the stones to keep putting ourselves at the head of the target list because living our lives as we please in freedom is going to end up doing just that. This time it's vote for Bush. Next time it might be a sharia referendum. The specifics of the vote don't matter, violently threatening to act depending on the outcome does.

Update: Here's the MEMRI translation of Bin Laden's tape. It's much better than what I've been working off of and specifically speaks to the issue.

Posted by TMLutas at November 1, 2004 09:24 AM