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Attackers not so well funded?

2001-09-25 18:27:18+00 by Dan Lyke 7 comments

Apparently the World Trade Center/Pentagon attackers weren't so well funded. The attackers sought a US Agriculture Department loan to buy a crop duster. And everyone's concentrating on the biological weapons aspects of this, if I were feeling like mass destruction I'd load that puppy up with gasoline and fly it down main street. Might have to do a few calculations to get optimal oxygenation, but why is everyone so hung up on thinking high tech?

[ related topics: Current Events WTC/Pentagon attacks ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:32:48+00 by: alwin

Or for that matter, a mixture of fertilizer, gasoline, and an oxidant (say, hydrogen peroxide or the like?)

But the reason they are thinking high tech biowar is that in a high-density urban enviroment with a highly virulent strain of microbe (like smallpox or anthrax) you can kill a lot more people, particularly if you get enough of them to board airplanes afterwards and use them as a vector.

Towns like Boston or Newark, with a high density of commuter airplane traffic, is ideal for this kind of biowar attack. Bioweapons are the gifts that keep on giving... *shudder*

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:32:48+00 by: ebradway

How 'bout pool chemicals: liquid chlorine and ammonia.

I think the government and the press are looking in the wrong places. And why, if they had $14K for plane tickets, did they need a loan to buy a cropduster?

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:32:49+00 by: Dan Lyke

'cause a cropduster probably runs a little over $100k.

On the biowar thing: The logistical problem with biowar is that smallpox is hard to come up with, and everything requires a fairly stable environment up until delivery. It'd be pretty damned hard to do the "make it in a lab in Africa and smuggle it in to the US", at least in sufficient quantity to do anything.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:32:49+00 by: John Anderson

I keep thinking about the line from the beginning of Gibson's Johnny Mnemonic[Wiki]:

If they think you're crude, go technical; if they think you're technical, go crude.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:32:49+00 by: dhartung

Always keep in mind that a terror war does not have a body count as its goal, it has fear. Bioweapons may not, indeed, be very effective at the former, but they're incredibly effective at the latter.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:32:49+00 by: topspin

After being stranded for a few days in Vegas, I rode an airport shuttle in Nashville with a nuclear engineer from Oak Ridge. He mentioned that a 767 used as a missle brings up the "Chernobyl terrorist."

He suggested a full speed, fully fueled 767 crashed into the correct place in a reactor complex would likely trigger a radiation release. He felt the plane needn't actually compromise the nuclear core itself, but only trigger events to render the reactor dangerously unstable before it could be shut down.

Imagine the widespread terror if 5 or 6 Cessna's loaded with explosives dive bombed various nuclear facilities located close to major population centers around the country. With or without radiation releases, there'd be lots of panic, evacuations, etc.

Cheap, low tech, easy to orchestrate, hard to prevent, and effective. Given that, it's doubtful we've seen the last "airplane bomb" in America.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:32:50+00 by: ebradway

Speaking of bombing, I've been wondering if we should 'carpet bomb' Afganistan. By that, I mean we should load our B52s with all of our old, flea infested carpets and cover the entire country. Think what that would do for the Dalton, GA economy? While we are at it, why not 'car bomb' them too? Get all those rust-buckets off the road and out of trailer parks and put to good use. How much does the DOD pay for a tactical bomb anyhow? I bet the average bomb runs a couple thou. If the DOD offered $2000 for any piece of junk you could deliver to them it would stimulate the economy much better than buying a bunch of conventional bombs!