From Northeast Intelligence Network
By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director, & the Northeast Intelligence Network Investigative Staff
28 September 2008: Since we published our article concerning terrorist communications naming October 7, 2008, as a potential intended date for a terrorist attack, we have received a record number of e-mails from people across the U.S. asking for additional and more specific information. In an effort to address the questions we have received, it was the consensus of the members of the Northeast Intelligence Network that we supplement our previous report with clarifications and possible additional indicators we have since developed.
Obviously, we are not going to publish our investigatory methods or detail our vetting process, as doing so would be counter-productive. Simply put, the terrorists and their supporters read our site too. We will, however, provide some details that we hope will add some clarity to our methods and the contextual implications of the last few postings.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the article we posted on 24 September 2008 that needs to be understood is that we are not predicting a date for the next attack inside the U.S., nor are we predicting a specific location or even the method of an attack. In fact, we don’t predict anything.We are simply doing two things. First, we are reporting to our readers what is being communicated on Arabic language message boards used by known Islamic terrorists, their supporters and sympathizers. We only report those findings that have undergone a very strict vetting process conducted by trained investigators, researchers and analysts. Factors we use for that vetting process include but are not limited to the venue in which the communication was published, the “profile” of the author, replies, responses and links to the post, if any, and other factors of a non-disclosable nature.
Secondly, we provide an analysis based on a combination of the results of the vetting process and further analysis using historical data and identified patterns relative to previous attacks (both successful and disrupted) by Islamic terrorists. Since the attacks against the U.S. seven years ago, various forums, message boards, data repositories, uploading sites, and methods of communication have evolved. Numerous sites have come and gone, some have become password protected, while others have been set-up merely as a propaganda tool and are generally devoid of any actual intelligence value. Within this period, however, certain patterns have become evident. These patterns themselves have become an evidenctiary tool, an important piece of intelligence that is quite often overlooked or misunderstood.
Many do not realize that the U.S. has experienced over three dozen attacks or attempted attacks by Islamic terrorists since 9/11, and many more on a global scale. By correlating postings on terrorist forums with the timing of disrupted attacks, and large scale attacks in London and Madrid, for example, certain pre-attack indicators can be discerned. We publish those messages that meet such qualifying criteria for your information and review.
ADDITONAL INFORMATION: Directives for Islamic terrorist attack in U.S. appear on the InternetAlthough this post references a very specific date, it is never advisable to rely solely on open data, or consider a specific date as absolute. Since we published the article containing this information, however, analysts have found additional references to an event (or events) expected to occur on or about October 7, 2008. Such additional information increases the possibility that something appears to be planned around that time, or in the near term. Therefore, it is our consensus that the threat window could be anytime from the present and extend into early November. Terrorists might time an attack or attacks to take place close to our November elections, such as we saw in Madrid.
It should also be noted that while operations appear to be focused on locations within the U.S., assets of the U.S. located throughout the world and our allies are also targeted. We just saw this with the bombing of the U.S. owned Marriott in Islamabad. Comprehensive analysis indicates that concurrent attacks abroad and in the U.S. cannot be ruled out.
It is interesting and quite relevant that certain postings have addressed the likelihood of Arabic language forums being shut down at the time of (or perhaps as a consequence of) such an event. Members of various forums have been asking where they will meet (in terms of a forum location) after Ramadan. Obviously these posters believe something is going to happen and the forums will be taken down or infiltrated by intelligence operatives searching for information.Additional postings on numerous forums are urging attacks to be executed quickly, in order to exacerbate the current economic crisis being experienced within the U.S. The current condition of our economy will act as a force multiplier. Launching attacks at retail chains and malls, for example, as we approach the biggest retail season of the year, will do further damage to our economy. The terrorists are paying attention to our current problems, and are heavily promoting attacking us while we are down.
To be blunt, we are reporting our findings not to alarm our readers, but to inform. We are reporting on the information that is currently out there, although mostly inaccessible to the average person, but present nonetheless. As men and women with families, children and grandchildren, we believe that it is better to let you know what we are seeing – at least that which we deem to be credible after it is fully vetted – than to say or do nothing. The latter is the type and amount of threat information that everyone seems to be getting for their tax dollars, anyway.
Obviously, we would like nothing better than to be utterly incorrect about our analysis, and hope that we are wrong. We are certain that we are correct about one thing: every man, woman and child of the United States are a target for Islamic terrorists, and they are planning on striking us again.
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FYI: The end of Ramadan is October 12.
http://righttruth.typepad.com/right_truth/2008/09/saad-bin-laden-leaves-iran-goes-home-to-papa-in-pakistan.html Question: Is this new move just coincidental?