AS ISLAMIC TERRORIST:
of my previous blog discussed
the tapes CNN found, which revealed how sophisticated Al
Qaeda is. One of the tapes - several years
old - was reported under the headline "Tapes show al Qaeda trained for urban jihad on West"
and included the comment: "Al Qaeda has created a series of exercises to train the recruits who came to Afghanistan, to come to the
West, and to conduct terrorist operations...in the urban environment. That is, they are able to operate in cities,"
said Rohan Gunaratna, an international expert on terrorism and author of "Inside Al Qaeda."
fact they trained for this type of activity is not proof
that the sniper is a terrorist, and much of the other
evidence is consistent with the terrorism
hypothesis but not 'proof'.
terrorism expert commented: ""What's going on is what I like to call 'marketing research,'" said Moore, who is also the author of several Special Forces classified
studies on Islamic terrorism. He said if the shootings are the work of a terrorist cell – and he believes they are – they "may want to learn just how much shooting they have to do in order to get the desired effect."
"A desired effect of the attacks, he said, is "a percentage reduction in productivity," as well as the creation of
gridlock in and around the nation's capital. Also, such an operation would seek to damage the local economy while sowing fear and confusion.
"If you want to create terror while expending a minimal amount of resources, they're certainly doing an excellent job of that," he said, adding
the Washington-area attacks "could simply be a matter of fine-tuning this particular tactic" to achieve maximum
other excepts from the series of articles:
Ex-CIA operative: Shootings likely terrorism
The 14-year special-ops veteran and former director of the Navy's Antiterrorism Warfare Development Program said other clues lending weight to his theory include the
fact that the shootings don't fit any traditional killing-spree pattern: The shooter is "not taking souvenirs, he's not
disorganized and seems like he has a sound plan" of operation, indicating forethought and preparation.
"The FBI has a lot of investigative muscle," he added. "For them to seek the assistance of the defense
establishment tells me there is something else going on."
The shootings began "around the time of the first
anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan," when
U.S.-led forces attacked the Taliban-led government harboring known al-Qaida operatives and terrorist
Added FBI Director Robert Mueller: "I have a hard time telling the country that you should be comfortable, that
we've covered all the bases, in the wake of what we saw they were able to accomplish on Sept. 11."
Smith indicated such frank warnings were uncharacteristic of the
agency's top officials, but said they should be taken very
seriously by the American people.
"Whoever this is, he's had some kind of sniper
training," Cutshaw [of Jane's Information Group] said. Another hint: The shooter is leaving no brass bullet casings
behind, he says, noting that snipers are trained to pick up their brass, as well as leave no other clues to their
identity or shooting location behind.
In the case of the sniper, the choice of the nation's capital may in and of itself be significant, said Rona Fields, a Washington psychologist who has done extensive interviewing of foreign terrorists and other forensic work. "With the path he's taken, he's almost made a rectangle or a circle around D.C., which may mean, `I'm closing in on you. You
can't go but so far, and the rest of the territory is mine,"' Fields said.
from, Terrorism Isn't Off the Table in Sniper
FBI: Maryland shootings fit no category Agency
profilers can see no motive other than terrorism
"If some sicko just wants to go out and
essentially assassinate a bunch of random
people – and he's not a terrorist – it's almost like a new category" of crime, said a veteran FBI agent.
The perpetrators aren't spree shooters, FBI profilers have concluded. Typically, spree shooters are loners who snap one day and fire away until police appear and they come to their own violent end.
They typically seek revenge on an employer, such as the post office, or fellow students at a school. They come to the scene loaded with weapons, and take a stand,
spraying victims with bullets. But in this case, two men
picked targets, trained a rifle, or rifles, on their victims and aimed to kill, like trained assassins.
Another al-Qaida sleeper cell awakens? Shootings began 4 days after warnings that U.S. economy targeted
Osama bin Laden's senior deputy, Ayman
al-Zawahri, vowed that the terrorist group "will continue targeting the lifelines of the American economy."
He recorded the statements, which U.S. intelligence has confirmed to be genuine, on Sept. 28.
On Oct 2, the Beltway sniper shootings started.
"The cumulative effect of the shootings has been an economic slowdown in the local area," noted Ivian C.
Smith, a former senior FBI agent who worked in both
counterintelligence and counterterrorism.
Indeed, retailers around the Beltway have reported a precipitous drop in sales since the shootings started.
Shoppers are staying home in droves, advised by police to walk in a
"zig-zag pattern" if they do have to go out,
to give the sniper a more difficult target.
Two-thirds of the American economy is consumption.
Some experts fear that the Beltway shootings, if
terrorism, may spread to other cities, damping retail
spending across the country.
And the FBI has reportedly sent a
counter- terrorism team to Guantanamo, Cuba, to interrogate
al-Qaida detainees about the shootings. Smith says agents would not have
made such a trip unless they had some kind of lead to pursue.
Smith says the shootings defy all crime categories,
leaving only terrorism. But he says that, if the sniper is a
terrorist, he's not sure he's connected to al-Qaida.
Beltway killer likely foreign: Ex-FBI agent troubled by lack of local 'imprint' left by shooter
"What I find
troubling is that this guy has not established an imprint in his neighborhood," said
I.C. Smith, a former senior FBI agent who worked in counterterrorism and counterintelligence. "There's a half-million dollar reward out there right now, but still no information," he
Smith, who also headed the FBI's Arkansas field office, thinks it's a sign the sniper
recently moved to the area and hasn't lived in there
long enough to form relationships with residents.
"Victims usually tell you a lot about the shooter," he said. "But not in this case."
"Initially I thought this might be a racial thing," he added. "But then more whites were
shot". Victims have been both male and female, and have included Hispanics, whites, blacks and an Indian. They've also ranged in age from 13 to 72.
Police descriptions overheard on police scanners the night of the Home Depot shooting mentioned an
"olive-skinned" suspect or suspects.
Is shooter military trained? Beltway killer's tactics similar to those taught by U.S Army
Federal and state authorities have been loath to support a contention that the shootings may be
terrorist-related. But investigators and intelligence officials nonetheless have not ruled out that – based on witness accounts – the sniper
may be operating with another person, as in a two-man team, or that there could be more than one team operating around the nation's capital.
According to the U.S. Army's Sniper Training Manual, snipers operate in two-man teams, with one acting as the shooter and another acting as a lookout.
"Snipers work and train in two-man teams. One sniper's primary duty is that of the sniper and team leader, while the other sniper serves as the observer," the manual
says. The manual also says a sniper's ancillary mission – besides the obvious main mission of inflicting casualties – is to terrorize the enemy and lower morale, two characteristics now in abundance in Washington and the surrounding suburbia.
"The primary mission of a sniper in combat is to support combat operations by delivering precise long-range fire on selected targets. By this, the sniper creates casualties among enemy troops, slows enemy movement, frightens enemy soldiers, lowers morale and adds confusion to their operations," the manual
says: "The importance of the sniper cannot be measured simply by the number of casualties he inflicts upon the
An introduction to the manual says, "A sniper's training incorporates a wide variety of subjects designed to increase his value as a force multiplier and to ensure his survival on the battlefield."
Several Muslims listed reasons that they believe the sniper is not Muslim. They said that no Muslim, and especially one with the deluded belief that he is killing for religious reasons, would declare, "I am God," as the sniper is believed to have written. The note was written on a tarot card found by police near the site where a middle school student was shot in Bowie.
"This would be an unforgivable sin in Islam," said Hooper.
In addition, one of the first victims was a taxi driver, a job held by many Muslim immigrants. If the sniper were Muslim, he would have had to consider that he was likely killing a member of his own faith, several Muslims said.
All these points, however, have counterarguments. The tarot card could have been a deliberate diversion. And the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, did not care that many Muslims worked there.
As the hunt continues, Muslims said they are praying both that the killer is quickly caught and that he is a stranger to their faith. "We hope and pray these people have no link to our community," said Nihad
Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "God help us if there is any link. . . . It will be another nightmare for our community."
Muslims Fear Talk of Sniper Link: Many Worry a Tie to Their Community Could Spark Backlash