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It remains debatable what terrorists are capable of doing with bioweapons, Smithson says. "Scaring the bejesus out of us? Oh, yes. Killing in modest numbers? Yes indeed." But mass death? She says that is still unknown. and everywhere to rethink how they respond to the threat of roving gunmen.
The next big terrorist attack could be cooked up in a lab, giving new meaning to technology at the cutting or deadly edge. It could come again from the sky, in a frighteningly similar way. Or in some completely new way. Even now officials are chasing a "specific, credible but unconfirmed" threat of a car bomb attack in New York or Washington, timed to the 9/11 anniversary period.
Intelligence officials are waiting for the next iteration of the printer bomb a first of its kind device built by a Yemeni who hid an industrial explosive in the cartridge of a printer. When X rayed, the explosive looked like the cartridge's ink powder. cities in October 2010.
Experts aren't sure why. It could be luck, or better security. Fendi Dotcom White
The use of motorboats by the Mumbai terrorists also prompted New York police to order a high speed combat vessel that can carry up to 30 officers armed with heavy weapons. Officials say the $5 million boat gives the department the ability to respond with rapid force if the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island or other sites are faced with a threat like this year's Norway massacre.
As the Sunday 10 year anniversary approaches, counterterrorism officials and law enforcement are shoring up security and publicly warning people about a potential "active plot" to launch a car bomb attack in one of the two cities struck on 9/11. They Fendi Card Holder Blue are searching for three possible plotters who might have slipped into the country.
But Mumbai introduced a frightening dynamic: tightly coordinated, heavily armed terrorists attacking multiple urban targets simultaneously, hostages being taken only so they could be executed and shooters expecting to die themselves. Of the 50 police officers on duty at a train station there when gunfire erupted, only half had guns. The lone security guard at a targeted Jewish center was unarmed and ran for his life.
Rail systems continue to be attractive targets as they generally have less stringent security than airports. A successful subway attack has the potential to drastically change the day to day lives of Americans who use public transit 34 million times each weekday. has foiled plots targeting the rail systems in New York City and Washington.
The NYPD, which has 400 Emergency Service Unit officers, has trained scores of additional officers on the use of high powered rifles loaded with armor piercing bullets. The officers have been put through drills at a facility that simulates a typical New Fendi Tote Canvas
Terrorists are known to be probing for weakness and opportunity on many broad fronts. A look at the major ones:
"It may be next week, it may be 10 years from now, we just don't know," Lee Hamilton, top Democrat on the commission that studied the 9/11 attacks, told The Associated Press. The expectation has to be that "sometime they will get through, the terrorists, and attack us again."
Everyone knows that plotters are dreaming of a new strike. The necessary presumption, even if it never happens, is that it surely will.
More broadly, the people devoted to identifying and averting the next attack are examining everything from the obvious to the fanciful. Nothing is too outlandish to be considered. The nation, after all, learned a decade ago that what seemed farfetched one day, came out of the blue the next.
"We can create the agents that we know of from the world, like smallpox, from scratch," said Dr. Thomas Ingelsby, director of the Center for Biosecurity. Scientists did just that with the polio virus in 2003, and hundreds or thousands may be able to do it with smallpox or other bioterrorism agents now, said Amy Smithson, a senior fellow at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
The march of science, though, also helps to protect the population, says Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Better vaccines have been developed. The public health system is stronger. Most important, scientists can now detect and genomically sequence bioterrorism agents within hours instead of the weeks it used to take, Fauci said.
Immediately afterward, the Los Angeles Police Department which had two SWAT teams at the time began making ordinary patrol officers carry assault weapons in the trunks of their cars for use in case of a mass attack, said William Bratton, a security firm executive who's headed both the LAPD and the New York Police Department.
Evidence found in Osama bin Laden's compound after he was killed showed that al Qaida was looking at the structures of trains and train tracks, seeking the best spot for a derailment that would yield the most fatalities. That was just one indication the threat to planes and trains is not going away soon.
The latest possible threat identified bridges or tunnels as among the potential targets. Police departments in New York and Washington deployed even more forces than had been planned for the anniversary period.
teams was to contain threats and be prepared to negotiate the release of hostages.
Before Mumbai, police officials say, much of the focus for SWAT and other emergency response Fendi Peekaboo Ebay
Of all the intelligence about terrorism plots and tactics, officials most often see threats directed at planes. Al Qaida especially seems preoccupied with using commercial aircraft as weapons, presumably since this was the method for its most successful attack ever against the West.
York City block.
Although those improved defenses have not been tested against a bio attack, they have shown their worth against natural disease such as pandemic flu and SARS, Fauci says. was dealing with the 9/11 aftermath, attacks using anthrax spores, sent through the mail in 2001, killed five people and sickened 17. Bioterrorism was the new scare. Nearly $67 billion would be spent on biosecurity over the decade, according to a study by Ingelsby's center.
In search of the next big attack
"The issue became about firepower and personnel," Bratton said. "We had to refocus and retrain to deal with a new threat."
It could be that terrorists find this sort of attack too tough to pull off.
A decade's advances in biology have put infectious and chemical agents more easily within the reach of terrorists a prospect that was already scary back then. and Russia.
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