Magazine article National Defense

FBI Anticipates Terrorist Attacks on Soft Targets in the United States

Magazine article National Defense

FBI Anticipates Terrorist Attacks on Soft Targets in the United States

Article excerpt

* Soft targets are now a priority for terrorists determined to inflict damage in the United States, said one of the FBI's top counter-terrorism officials.

Brenda Heck, deputy assistant director of the agency's counterter-rorism division, said an attack similar to the 2008 assault on hotels and other buildings in Mumbai, India, is possible here.

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"It would be naive of us to think it could not happen here in the United States," she said at the GovSec conference in Washington, D.C.

AQAP, the Yemen-based terrorist group, is expected to go after soft targets in the United States while al Qaida remains fixated in higher profile operations similar to the 9/11 attacks.

"This is a world where soft targets are the name of the game," she said.

Self-radicalization through the Internet is another alarming trend. Potential terrorists do not have to go overseas to receive training anymore, she said. After the 2006 London subway bombings, terrorists at the time said they were going after the hearts and minds of nine- and 10-year-old children. …

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