Attacks on annual sporting events listed in al-Qaeda playbook

Boston Marathon Explosion
Photo Credit CBSNews.com

While it is still too early to determine who is responsible for Monday’s bombings in Boston, there is no doubt that it was a terrorist attack. In fact, a leading al-Qaida ideologue recommended last year that jihadists in America include sporting events in their list of prospective terror targets.

Writing in Inspire, the online magazine run by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, the terrorist known as Abu Musab al-Suri listed what he called “the most important enemy targets,” according to CNS News.

The report said “any short list of terrorist groups dedicated to carrying out attacks against U.S. targets would include AQAP, the al-Qaeda affiliate active in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.”

Al-Suri said the goal is to inflict as many human and material losses as possible, saying civilians should be targeted “to stretch out a helping hand to the mujahidun.”

“This is done by targeting human crowds in order to inflict maximum human losses,” he wrote. “This is very easy since there are numerous such targets such as crowded sports arenas, annual social events, large international exhibitions, crowded market-places, skyscrapers, crowded buildings … etc.”

There have been conflicting reports about a Saudi national being a “person of interest,” and the ABC affiliate in Boston reported that “authorities say they are searching for a darker skinned or black male with a black backpack and black sweatshirt, possibly foreign national from the accent of the individual.”

See full CNS report here.

Tom Tillison

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