Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Frontline: Al Qaeda in the West

Click here for AmazonLast night, Frontline highlighted the threat of Jihadists in the West (hat tip: Brooke). The entire show will apparently be available online on Friday. The web site appears to be a valuable set of resources and includes this article on the technologies used to facilitate terror.

It was all laid out in a polished, 25-minute training video: how to make an explosive belt to blow yourself up and kill as many people as possible.

This particular video, first posted on a jihadist message board in December 2004, presented the necessary explosives, shrapnel and vest for a suicide bomber. It demonstrated how to assemble the materials and wear the belt. And then the video showed a test of the explosive belt, with a simulated detonation aboard a crowded bus.

As translated on a Web site that tracks Islamic terrorist organizations, the producers analyzed the bomb's impact on the mock victims:

We notice that the following 2 seats were not directly hit. This is due to the fact that, when the person who will be wearing this explosive vest goes on the bus, and wants to blow himself up, he must be facing the front with his back towards the back. There is a possibility that the 2 seats on his right and his left might not be hit with the shrapnel, however, the explosion will surely kill the passengers in those seats.

Such Web sites and training videos, which are often posted then quickly removed to avoid detection, have multiplied after Sept. 11. In doing so, they opened perhaps the widest front in the war on terror: cyberspace...

Technology and Terror

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