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Terrorist Memo


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Memo outlines al-Qaida terror plans

Document lists preferred economic, religious and individual targets

Lisa Myers

Senior investigative correspondent

NBC News

Al-Qaida attacks around the world have increased dramatically over the past few months.  Now NBC News has obtained new evidence of what al-Qaida is thinking, in the form of what appears to be a planning memo written by an al-Qaida militant that specifies which Americans and others to target in Iraq and worldwide.

Amid the deadliest string of terror attacks worldwide since 9/11, what appears to be a new al-Qaida message obtained by NBC News lays out in chilling detail a priority list of human targets for terrorists.

Titled "Targets Inside Cities," the lengthy document extols what it calls "military diplomacy ... written with blood and decorated with body parts" and lists preferred targets in the following order of importance:







"This document is a playlist, if you will, of the future attacks we can expect to see from al-Qaida," said terrorism expert Ben Venzke.

The message is signed by Abdulaziz Al-Mukrin, leader of al-Qaida in Saudi Arabia, and appears in an Internet magazine well known to al-Qaida operatives and militants.


The document seems to suggest going after not just economic and religious targets, but individuals - bankers, businessmen, diplomats, rabbis, missionaries, tourists, even Muslim scholars who "cooperate with the enemy."

It also tells terrorist cells worldwide "to turn the land of the infidels into hell" and provides detailed instructions on how to use "dead drops" to avoid face-to-face contact that might help police connect various cells.

According to former NSC counterterrorism official Steven Simon, "It shows how vigorous the jihad [holy war] is, and it shows that there's an appetite for this kind of guidance on the part of would-be jihadists."

What's more, the document boasts about previous violence works, noting that the Madrid bombings, which killed 191 last month, toppled the Spanish government and led to a decision to remove all Spanish troops from Iraq.   

"Al-Qaida learned that it was able to carry out an operation that would have an immediate political impact and change the position of a country," Ben Venzke said.

Again and again, the message preaches that beyond eliminating immediate targets, these attacks achieve dual goals: "spreading fear in enemy lines ... and lifting the morale of the Islamic nation."

Lisa Myers is NBC News' senior investigative correspondent

© 2004 MSNBC Interactive

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If this does not show you that these

terrorists are still active and very much

at work nothing but a massive attack

will show you... if you live through



Edited by Gazz
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This just stating the bloody obvious.

The countries being targeted are the ones that were always in the sights of these nut jobs.

Going after soft targets? Well they have always done this, from the Trade Centre, to the Bali nightclub, the Bank and British Embassy in Istanbul and the trains in Madrid.

None are military targets, all result in high civilian deaths and of course great (in their sick minds) publicity.

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Very worrying indeed, although to be expected.

Withdrawing from Iraq was the absolute worst thing the Spanish government could have done, with regards to conforming to terrorist demands.

This has done the other countries on that list no favours, as now we can expect a similar attack in an attempt to pursuade our goverment in the same way.

Al-Qaida go for maximum civilian casualties, meaning when there is an attack in the UK I believe it will be either on the underground, Canary Wharf or a large football stadium like Old Trafford, where currently fans are not checked on entry.

Also events like Glastonbury are at risk, the key factor is anywhere there are large numbers of people with low security ph34r.gif

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