Sunday, September 17, 2006

Terror on the Cheap

According to sources in the UK, the British Airplane bomb plot would have cost something in the neighborhood of $13,000 (£7000) to carry out, instead of the expensive plot that earlier news stories talked about. The explosive mixture evidently is inexpensive to buy, the "martyrdom videos" would have cost about $28 (£15) to produce, the computers and related supplies would have been worth less than $1000 (£500), two members of the group who needed passports could have gotten them for around $375 (£200). Beyond that they needed a small supply of equipment: scales, batteries, buckets, drink bottles, etc.

The most expensive part of the plot would have been the cost of airline tickets (I am guestimating in the range of $1000 (£500) each).

People hear of plots and think of the need for major Al Qaeda backing. But funds like this could be raised in an area that had enough sympathizers without a lot of trouble...This is why homegrown terrorism is something that is not out of the question. It really isn't that expensive, or that hard to do if people have a mind for it.

This is why security is's really not that hard to do. There have been a couple of experiments with buying large amounts of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil in the news lately, and it is easy to do. Loners, as was the case of the Unibomber, and the bomb set off during the Atlanta Olympics can do it even easier than small groups.

But in an open society, we are also open to the possibility that if people want to, they can hurt us, and it really isn't that hard, or that expensive, doesn't need international connections, just the determination to harm.

(source for figures)


Anonymous 4 said...

"This is why security is important..."

What do you secure though? The weapon is Terror itself.

3:21 AM  

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