From AP, with thanks to Melmere:
WASHINGTON — A new government intelligence bulletin describes in the greatest detail yet Al Qaeda’s techniques for assessing potential targets, extolling the lethal power of flying, shattered building glass and advising that kerosene and tires are effective for a deadly arson attack.
“The focus is on maximizing the destructive and killing power of an attack,” the bulletin says.
The bulletin provides a fresh glimpse of terrorist reports found in computers and disks seized in Pakistan in July. The reports described the casing by terrorists of several buildings in the United States and prompted U.S. authorities to raise the terror threat level earlier this year for high-profile financial facilities in New York, Washington and Newark, N.J.
The heightened alert was eased shortly after the Nov. 2 election, and there is no evidence a potential attack ever moved beyond initial planning.
“Current intelligence provides no indications that Al Qaeda has operatives to conduct an attack based upon the information in these reports,” the eight-page bulletin said.
Produced by the FBI and Homeland Security Department, the bulletin was circulated Tuesday to law enforcement, government and industry officials nationwide and obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.
The excerpts, according to the bulletin, show that Al Qaeda operatives go well beyond basic description of a potential target to sophisticated analysis of vulnerabilities in building construction, an examination of potential police and emergency response and recommendations for possible methods of attack.
In one report, an unidentified Al Qaeda operative notes that a building “is almost completely made to resemble a glass house — which could be devastating in an emergency scenario … that is to say, that when shattered, each piece of glass becomes a potential flying piece of cutthroat shrapnel!”
Hard to believe that someone could write that and think he was acting in the service of the Creator of Heaven and Earth, but there it is.