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A new soft underbelly of the USA

Vladimir Golubev
Date: August 25, 2003

Blackout Neither Usama ben Laden, nor Saddam Hussein, nor many other well-known terrorists are still rendered harmless by special services of anti-terrorism coalition. They proceed with assassinating. They dare to assume a responsibility for sinking the USA and Canada into darkness. However, they might have nothing to do with it. People are scared.

According to the Arabic English newspaper “Dar al-Hayat” in London, the terrorist group “Abu Hafsa Brigades” took on a responsibility for cutting off power in the USA and Canada. This group is under the international terrorist organization “Al-Kaeda”. A day or two ago it spread a communique with such a report on the Internet-site of the international Islamic media-center. As it was reported, the act of terrorism was committed by personal order of Usama ben Laden to damage the US economy and take revenge for American attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Kashmir. However, the US official authorities flatly reject the fact that terrorists were involved into this incident and think that the power failure resulted in cutting off the light.

Whom should we believe: terrorists or US official authorities? According to American experts, the “Al-Kaeda” terrorists account a responsibility for such a crime to make their image. American special services really laughed at the idea that the “Al-Kaeda” could have something to do with this event. To their mind, there are no direct or even indirect evidences and the “Al-Kaeda” has necessary technical skills to cause such a failure in the US power supply system. However, other people in the USA and in the world could possess the confidence of US special service experts if there were not just one snag. It is true that there are not any specialists in damaging computer networks among terrorists themselves but they can afford to hire such an expert that would penetrate into computer networks without being traced by US special services. The fact is that cracking service customers assumed a responsibility for the crime to secure a valuable for them person.

On the other hand, Usama ben Laden, leader of the “Al-Kaeda”, who was attributed the blame for assassinating on September 11, 2001, needs a real flourish of trumpets. The inactivity of this well-known international terrorist organization undermines the authority of its leader and the terrorist community, as well as creates an impression that Americans really managed to smash its core. It makes impossible for terrorists to keep the world countries in a constant fear. Like it or not, ben Laden ought to maintain an image of the number one world terrorist and prove his ability to perpetrate “bold” offences. He should assassinate to attract investments rather than to achieve fame. The number one terrorist should be very cautious not to be suspected of bluff and false tricks. Otherwise, he takes the risk of losing his financial support in favor of those plotting insidious and skillful revenge operations and capable of fouling the trail. Special services of anti-terrorist coalition should not underestimate terrorists considering them to be only slow-witted and uneducated people. Only direct executors can pull the trigger or set a fuse but plotters should be looked upon as clever and subtle persons. On September 11, 2001, they proved it in New York and Washington when twisted American special services round their finger.

The increase in acts of terrorism committed by the “Al-Kaeda” points out that ben Laden constantly works on maintaining his authority. US file and rank soldiers in Iraq say that they notice it every day. Afghanistan also suffers from increased terrorist activities: Americans are controlling only its central part and capital but not in a quite effective way because of bombs exploded in the house of the President’s brother. The main terrorist does not lose any opportunity to leave his bloody “visiting cards” even if it is a matter of killing a few persons. It should be remembered that his priority goal is not a number of victims but an act of terrorism itself and impunity because they cause and intensify social fears. Since ben Laden is alive, a new assassination should be committed soon. It can be an ordinary bomb explosion in a bus or something unexpected in impertinence and scales. Therefore, it is no small wonder that the “Al-Kaeda” was traced to assassinate in the capital of Saudi Arabia on May 12. The “Al-Kaeda” will not confirm its participation in a crime if there are some evidences of it. However, terrorists will assume a responsibility for an assassination when there are no traces. Up to now, American experts think that the incident in the USA and Canada was caused by a power failure rather than the intervention of ben Laden’s cutthroats. However, their assurances cannot be considered irrefutable and true. Even if ben Laden has nothing to do with it, his name will always frighten people. They will believe his words but not reports of special services. It is a human mentality.

American authoritative structures and experts in fighting terrorism repeated an attempt to cut off the power in New York by using electronic computers and made a distressing conclusion that terrorists can employ such a scenario to deal another blow on the USA. If the electricity is switched off in such a city as New York, a large number of people will gather in its streets and become a good target for terrorists. According to Steve Emerson, well known analytic and expert in anti-terror, terrorists could watch the situation after cutting off the power in the northeast part of the USA. It was the best practice for the “Al-Kaeda”. “They made sure that it could be done”, says Emerson. David Heimann, American analytic and senior expert of the Washington Strategic and International Research Center, agrees with him and thinks that terrorists scanned a new soft underbelly of the USA in that way. “The terrorist attack has left 50 million people without light for twenty-four hours. It is very impressive”, said Heimann. Since terrorists could study and add to their arsenal a critical situation resulted from the incident to commit a more grave crime in the future, they may have to do something with it now.

US authorities can be understood. They should prevent the society from being frightened. However, people are terrified both in the USA and throughout the world. There is a certain relation between fears and threats. The World Market Research Center (WMRC) has recently computed an index of the terrorist threat for different countries worldwide. It was based on the availability and motivation of terrorist groups, a real size of their threat and the effectiveness of anti-terrorist forces. The most vulnerable countries are Columbia, Israel, Pakistan, the USA, Philippines, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq, India and Great Britain. According to the WMRC, the USA is subject to the largest number of acts of terrorism when compared with other countries. Great Britain takes the second place because of its close relations with the USA, the participation in the anti-Iraq coalition, many Islamic extremists and symbolic targets available on its territory (especially in London). “If the attack on the World Trade Center stood for that on the West capitalism, how monstrous will be an aggression against the ancestor of parliaments worldwide?” asks himself Guy Dann, director of the WMRC. In other words, it is to early for American and British people to forget their fears of the terrorism despite of the fact that ben Laden is not capable of plunging the world into a complete darkness.

Computer Crime Research Center

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