How to Counter WMD

Read “How to Counter WMD” on page 447 and “Gaps in the International Framework for Combating Terrorism”.

After reading the articles, post a one paragraph discussion on soft targets and hard targets in the Montgomery area. Soft targets are those that are not defended or have active security measures such as kids soccer games. Hard targets are those that have active security measures such as federal buildings.
Discuss how the availability of WMD-related information and technology makes it easier for terrorists to attack both soft and hard targets and what you think would be a likely target in the Montgomery area. Look at consequent management on page 495 and address how efforts could be coordinated to respond to an attack on the target you chose. Try to think “out of the box” and don’t just list the soccer fields across from Gunter as the “soft target”. Try to think of other areas that you may notice where many people congregate and there is no security. The hard targets should be much easier to identify but don’t forget a terrorist attack on the power grid could have cascading effects on other targets. If I dirty bomb a hospital then do a bio attack at a church, where do the casualties go? Try to think of the cascading effects and you can even use your camera phone to attach a picture.

Remember, it would be easy to get the radioactive source for a dirty bomb from a dentist’s office because they have an X-ray machine then terrorist could use conventional explosives to make a dirty bomb. If there was a rash of thefts involving X-ray machines, that may give you a clue also. A series of unrelated events may lead to a WMD attack and your task would be to think where. Remember, you can’t predict crazy…because I would hope no one in this class is crazy…but you to catch the terrorists, you have to be “aware”.

This will be from the textbook, Simonsen, C., & Spindlove, J. (2013). Terrorism today: The past, the players, the future, 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.