Friday, November 05, 2004

Predicting a Terrorist Attack on US soil

Today's security level is, yellow, or eleveated. My bet is that we see another massive terrorist attack on our soil some time in the next four years. What are the odds on that, I wonder?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the odds are for a terrorist incident, but it's probably possible to wager on an occurance, or not, at Longbets. ''The purpose of the Long Bets Foundation is to improve long-term thinking. Long Bets is a public arena for enjoyably competitive predictions, of interest to society, with philanthropic money at stake. The foundation furnishes the continuity to see even the longest bets through to public resolution. This website provides a forum for discussion about what may be learned from the bets and their eventual outcomes.'' $1000 will get you into the game.

You may want to bet on both: 1) a local terrorist, or 2) an Al Qaeda terrorist, doing the deed.

The theory favoring a massive attack by an Al Qaeda terrorist may be flawed. An attack by a local like Tim McVeagh, that can't be ruled out.

Why not Al Qaeda? We're actively looking for precursors. Osama would have to think, Use 'em or lose 'em. In other words, if Al Qaeda was going to attack, they would have done so already, before their network was rolled up.

A further consideration is that terror attacks seldom accomplish their ends. Tit for tat could go on for a long time. But attacks deliver few measurable benefits. The Al Qaeda style of delivery, via suicide bombers, uses up valuable human resources in one shot.