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Ranking the true terrorist attack dangers

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posted on Jan, 11 2004 @ 02:43 AM
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my own personal numerical order of #e hitting the fan, actual damage
and disruption


25 chemical weapon typical delivery
80 radiological dispersal device (yes that low)
100 big OK city/Bali style car/truck bomb
250 chemical weapon ideally placed in confined area
800 high quality anthrax dispersed
5,000 WTC disaster
1000-40,000 detonation of liquid natural gas cryogenic tanker
(number is variable based on expertise of detonation and distance)
30,000 5 kiloton fissile nuclear weapon in most cities
150,000 5 kiloton fissile nuclear weapon in Manhattan, or DC
3,000,000 multiple (more than 5) 5kt nuclear weapons in cities, and terrorist threats of buried and hidden weapons. That would induce global economic collapse as everybody would flee the cities and economic activity ceases. 15 to 20 year depression.

notice:

I believe the threat of chemical and some biological weapons (assuming no smallpox) and especially radiological dispersal weapons is highly exaggerated.

chemical and maybe biological weapons can be quite devastating---but only if you have an air force or artillery and specialized equipment. Terrorists won't have that in the USA to the extent needed. Biological weapons will propagate slowly and the easier bacterial ones have cures; damage can be limited by quarantine.

radiological dispersion weapons (dirty bombs) aren't a major weapon. they are so radioactive to start with they will be very noticable on all the sensors and they will kill the drivers before they get there. Terrorists want a good clean guaranteed kill.

Suicide truck and suicide belt bombs are quite effective at that.

underappreciated threats:

liquid natural gas tanker ships. The total energy in the large ones, if fully combusted turns out to be the energy equivalen of a 700 kilotons of TNT. A strategic nuke, but without the radiation. Of course not all of this could be detonated fully, but even a small fraction of this would be a major disaster near a port. Note that the ships come from the mideast, and if infiltrated by saboteurs and rigged carefully over the sea voyage, they could be a major weapon.

fissile nuclear weapons are really really bad---especially if the baddies threaten to have more (whether or not it's true). one we can survive. the threat of many, without any opportunity to retalitate, would be catastrophic to morale and economy.




posted on Jan, 11 2004 @ 03:00 AM
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Originally posted by mbkennel
my own personal numerical order of #e hitting the fan, actual


underappreciated threats:

liquid natural gas tanker ships. The total energy in the large ones, if fully combusted turns out to be the energy equivalen of a 700 kilotons of TNT. A strategic nuke, but without the radiation. Of course not all of this could be detonated fully, but even a small fraction of this would be a major disaster near a port. Note that the ships come from the mideast, and if infiltrated by saboteurs and rigged carefully over the sea voyage, they could be a major weapon.

I also believe that LNG tankers and trucks are VERY underated as a means of devastating attack. In the 80s when I was reading of Spetznaz operations in CONUS this was one of the items stated to disrupt C3I prior to an attack and it has worried me ever since because it would be really easy to pull off. An LNG tanker contains the equivalent energy of a 1-2 Kioloton bomb! Imagine the damage caused by a tanker truck in a heavy urban area!

Notice that all recently warned citys were PORT cities with two exceptions being Los Vegas and Washinton.

[Edited on 11-1-2004 by Phoenix]



posted on Jan, 11 2004 @ 02:17 PM
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serious threats with serious means by the REAL terrorists:

#1. anytime you see a van of ATF soldiers riding around pointing at things and driving in circles. a la Oklahoma CIty Bombing

#2. when your geiger counter starts detecting a moving vehicle with 300+ millirads of radiation, like with Bali's tactical nuke car bomb.

#3. when the US and France have a disagreement, watch out... you may lose a UN building like in Iraq last year.

#4. if you don't ship the drugs like the DEA and CIA tells you to, they will set up a nice plane crash like Lockerbie and pin the blame on you and then another one like that Pan Am fiasco

#5. If you are flying aboard a private craft and suddenly the radar goes dim and you wittingly recall your gaff with that high-level government official. just ask JFK jr. no wait, he's dead, sorry.

#6 If you start helping too much with getting hospitals back online, you may lose some Red Cross officials

#7 And last but not least... if you start getting too close to the details of the agenda on a mass population level, three planes will crash into two towers and an intelligence building bringing society a stone's throw away from martial law

know your terrorists: the Mossad, NSA, ISI, and CIA



posted on Jan, 11 2004 @ 03:56 PM
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mbkennel,

You have seemingly left out "biological" and its implications.




regards
seekerof



posted on Jan, 11 2004 @ 04:17 PM
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For the sake of it let's take a look at the figures of actual attacks.

Figures from the U.S Department of State show that there have been less terrorist attacks in the U.S than anywhere else in the world; 19 from 1996 - 2001. In Eurasia there were 149, Africa 184, Asia 319, Latin America 831.

Western Europe had 353 in that time frame though it has the largest decrease in the number of attacks, from a high of 121 in 1996 to 17 in 2001. Attacks against American interests overseas have decreased steadily between 1993 (58) to 2002 (36)

The facts show the western nations as being at less risk from terrorist attack than in the past, or than any other area in the world. In terms of attacks alone the 1970's were a far worse time for the west. And yet our paranoia and anxiety just keeps rising. Isn't this a case of us doing the terrorists job for them? Doesn't this give cause to wonder that there may something about this situation that *shock* horror* may be profitable to our Governments?


[Edited on 11-1-2004 by kegs]



posted on Jan, 11 2004 @ 08:14 PM
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It is conceivably possible that a very bad biological weapon could be created with genetic engineering.

It would have to combine extremely rapid transmissibility and great lethality. Usually these are not coincidental since sick people do not want to go anywhere and others avoid them.

In order to have few countermeasures, it would have to be viral, as most classes of bacteria will have some kind of antibiotic susceptibility.

This level fo genetic engineering is probably not available to terrorist groups on their own without a state sponsor. You would need a long-term research project.

It would be less expensive than fissile nuclear weapons in capital costs, but still a many-year project.

Then the issue is for a state, "what's in it for us?" Unlike a nuclear missile it can't be used as a deterrent, and there are major major blowback problems.

Even still, rapid quarantining and public health measures would do much to stop the spread. A biological weapon would take a couple of weeks to spread and this would be enough to mobilize measures once it was detected.



posted on Jan, 11 2004 @ 08:27 PM
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I would doubt that they contain the energy of a 1 to 2 kt bomb.

After all, they probably hold less fuel than a fully laden 767 which hit
the WTC.

I think somebody did a calculation about the force of the WTC crashes and explosions---about 0.01 to 0.02 kilotons.

but somebody needs to run the numbers. I once did so with the supergiant liquid tanker ships and came out at 700 kilotons.

A typical tanker truck contains about 10,000 gallons of liquid propane.

An online source gives 22.8 megajoules per liter for energy density of LP.

10000 gallons is 37854 liters * 22.8 megajoules =
863071 megajoules = 8.63 * 10^11 joules

a kiloton is 4.185 * 10^(12) joules??

hmm so maybe 0.2 kilotons???
200 TONS of TNT? o.m.g. please somebody check my numbers.
1 ton is a 2000 lb bomb, the biggies dropped by the USAF and they are very nasty.


wow. that's pretty big. Of course in a real explosion you would not get anywhere near that amoutn of energy out, since you wouldn't have enough oxidizer. (That's why TNT and high explosives work---the oxidizer is built in).

but if you could turn a tanker truck in to a fuel air explosive, you would get a helluva bang.



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