jrtom: (Default)
http://www.slate.com/id/2208971/

An article that will reference a series of related articles with explorations of possible answers. (The first one: they got lucky last time.)

(A possible answer which I'd like to see explored relates to the question "is this fact statistically surprising?" but this looks like it may be an interesting series even if they don't touch on that one.)
jrtom: (Default)
in the first 4 minutes of the film "The Kingdom": http://www.boingboing.net/2007/12/18/summarizing-saudi-hi.html#comments

For my money, one of the most fascinating factoids that this brings up is that bin Laden apparently offered to bring in his followers from Afghanistan to help throw out the Iraqis in 1991. One wonders what would have happened if this offer had been accepted, either instead of the American offer (which was accepted, of course), or in combination with it. (Certainly one can expect that (a) bin Laden might have been too busy to plan terrorist attacks on the US and possibly (b) both bin Laden and the US might have had a bit more trouble demonizing each other after fighting on the same side in aid of another. Yes, I know that we funded the Afghani mudjahedeen...but this would have been a more recent event, and one of explicit (and possibly even public) cooperation.)
jrtom: (Default)
http://www.wired.com/politics/security/magazine/15-11/ff_rossmiller?currentPage=all

Assuming that this isn't an overly rosy picture...it sounds like precisely the sort of police work (note: not military work!) that is required to track down and defuse/prevent most terrorist plans and actions.

I'm not wild about the possibility of this being perverted into entrapment, and I'm not even sure that it hasn't happened here. But I greatly prefer the notion, in general, that the way to catch criminals of any stripe is to pay close attention to their activities (rather than, say, institute martial law in the neighborhood where you've heard they used to live).

(edit: added the link to the article. :P )
jrtom: (Default)
http://www.iht.com/bin/printfriendly.php?id=7889536

An interesting exploration of one piece of the infrastructure underlying certain terrorist organizations.

Any bets on whether the, um, activist first mentioned in the article has already been tracked down and (at least) interviewed by humorless men in suits?
jrtom: (Default)
http://www.wired.com/politics/security/commentary/securitymatters/2007/07/securitymatters_0712

This is one of the more interesting articles I've read recently. Essentially the argument is that people often attribute certain motives to actions that they observe that are conservative (my term) in nature, e.g., "he's attacking me because he wants to kill me". So insofar as terrorists' objectives are in fact political rather than military, they tend not to be met because (a) political objectives require at least some cooperation, and (b) the people who are affected by terrorist attacks respond to the attacks _as_ attacks, and not as a means to get them to embrace the desired political changes.

I've not expressed this especially well since I'm in a hurry and underslept. Go read the article.
jrtom: (Default)
it's all right here: )

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