The role of Intelligence in Identifying, Preventing and Responding to Transnational Terrorism: A Framework for U.S. National Security Planners

December 10, 1996

"For decades, the potential for two possible types of attacks have haunted terrorism experts within the US national security community — the likelihood of a major terrorist incident occurring within the continental United States and the possible use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists. Both have now come to pass. Moreover, recent reporting indicates the possibility that the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing seeded their bomb with potassium cyanide. If so, the threat was only neutralized because the terrorists were not aware that the heat and shock generated in the explosion would destroy the poison.

Two critical thresholds have now been crossed, forcing policy makers to plan for terrorism that may well be within our home territory, involving weapons more dangerous than ever before. This sea change in terrorism demands a vigorous and flexible response policy to counter the threat of terrorism — in both its novel and familiar forms."

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