Not Such A Great Plan

Breaking news on CNN: Six terrorists were caught plotting an attack on Fort Dix. From the report:

“Their alleged intention was to conduct an armed assault on the army base and to kill as many soldiers as possible,” the office said.

If your goal is to kill people other than yourselves, I cannot think of a worse plan than having six people conduct an armed assault against a military base.


bmc

NEW meaning to no-brainer

mgroves

Not sure it counts as terrorism if you are attacking a military target...

rapzor

Perhaps they should get a honourable Darwin Award. An armed assault on a military base should go up there with trying to hold up a gun store.

ficke

They said they wanted to kill as many soldiers as possible. They didn't say they cared about surviving.

dpm

The audience they're playing to would be more sympathetic to an attack against soldiers than an attack against civilians -- they're heroes (to that audience) just for trying.

maxkalehoff

Yeah, but such plans have worked numerous times on military personnel in bases in Iraq. No?

egretman

"Clearly, one of the guys had an intimate knowledge of the base from having been there delivering pizzas," Christie said.

PIZZA BOY PLANS MILATARY ACTION. Film at 11.

egretman

You know with all the oftsay argetsay available. You got to believe that all the erroristays in this country must be of the upidstay variety only.

RobertSeattle

Not so fast...

The weapons and ammo on an Army base are all locked up when a unit isn't actively training. Army bases nowadays are guarded not by active doty Military Policeman, but my civilians (not sure if contractors or DOD workers).

In the states, Army Posts aren't armed forts - there are thousands of civilians who live and work there.

Not that they would get away with it, but such an attack would appear embarrasing to the United States Army.

Raquologist

Indeed, looks more like paid propaganda of anti-immigration laws to me. Attacking a probably well-defended base, even with probably not that many experienced soldiers, is not a good plan - much easier to get soldiers when they're out of the base, isn't it?

Raquologist

I wonder why terrorism is a such buzzword today. Probably because it's perceived as something worse that mere crime, it always implies death, etc. - more frightening.

Because terrorism has nothing to do with this case even if we assume their actions are ideologically driven:

Wikipedia defines it (roughly) as Attack against civilians based on ideology but not madness, with the usual purpose of creating/amplifying fear.

Chewxy

I'm extremely tempted to shout: "THIS IS SPARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!" and "TONIGHT WE DINE IN HELL!!!!!!!!"

I have no idea why

Nathaniel

I haven't been to Dix in particular, but most bases have plenty of armed, military security manning the checkpoints at the perimeter as well as standard MPs all over.

Of course you're right that the typical soldier is not armed on any base outside of training, but even an attack on the food court of most bases I've worked at would be over pretty quickly.

galen86

Lebanon, 1983. All it took was a delivery truck and some explosives to kill 220 marines... I doubt a home base would be as protected as a US base in a hostile foreign country.

RattlingTheKettle

Levitt - I couldn't disagree with you more. A well planned attack on a military base has the capability to cause several deaths before the attackers are shot. About a year ago, a small number of Hamas, Fatah and PIJ gunmen attacked an Israeli army post across the border from Gaza (which, unlike Ft. Dix, was heavily guarded) and killed 2 Israeli soldiers, wounded three and took another - Gilad Shalit - as a hostage (he is still in their custody). There have been terrorist attacks against military compounds in Saudi Arabia in recent years that were quite "successful". In 1983, Hezbollah killed over 300 people at a Marines barracks in Beirut through a combination attack of truck bombs and sniper fire.

So, yes, eventually these attackers would have been shot dead. But likely not before they took a few lives with them.

The reaction to this story (here and elsewhere) shows an alarming complacency about potential terror attacks in the US.

Read more...

711buddha

Why wiki isn't a real reference - terrorist attacks against military targets are common. Note Saudi barracks, Lebanon etc.

The purpose of terror attacks is to destroy the enemy's will to fight. Regardless of the success in attacking the base and killing soldiers, the attack can be a success if it erodes the will to fight on. That's why IEDs, carbomb etc are such effective terror weapons. The US Media reports these events and inevitably people say "enough."

They are defeated without ever being engaged. That's a remarkably powerful strategy when your resources are so limited.

substance12

well the plan works if your members include a smiling white haired guy, a black guy with a mohawk, a crazy guy, and a ladies man. And you'll need a black van with red stripes.

werbn

No discussion of bad terrorist plots is complete without mention of Tarik Shah's plan to wage jihad against America using real ultimate power.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/08/nyregion/08terror.html

watchingmachines

Well if we look at this and say, "How stupid are these guys", instead of "gee these terrorists are filling me with fear" then haven't we defeated the "terror" in terrorism?

If we say "no no we should be afraid... Lebanon... Saudi Arabia etc" then haven't they won?

I think terrorists are fighting paper tigers if they think American's and their allies have weakened morale from hedonism. I know without a doubt that they are the one's with weakened morale because of their reliance of fundamental religion instead of reason. Even if they dropped a nuke, which they may in fact do, they could not ultimately succeed as terrorists. You and I know it. It is the threat of mutual destruction all over again. We and virtually every other country would occupy, and actively police the suspect countries. We already did it in Iraq! Maybe Iraq was an unjustified show of force, and it muddled our moral position, but it did show that we can dispose of governments. A nuke would clarify who's on whose side.

Terrorists dangerously aggressive? Yes.

Dangerous to me? Hardly.

Read more...

cwanda

Recall Fort Bragg - deranged US soldier waited for the AM PT run and killed a good number of GI's.

Multiply that times 5-6 and one gets into double digits of casualties, assuming sharpshooters.

Then shooters potentially escape, since most Ft. Dix guns are locked up. Mortars or IEDs are also not out of the question, even in US.

The point is, we should not take US "super power" status as some sort of shield against all asymmetrical danger. It just ain't.