(U//FOUO) Maryland Fusion Center Implications of Death of Osama bin Laden

(U) Possible Implications for Maryland Regarding the Death of Usama Bin Laden

  • 1 page
  • For Official Use Only
  • May 3, 2011


(U//FOUO) The Intelligence Community (IC) assesses the death of al-Qa’ida (AQ) leader Usama Bin Laden could result in retaliatory attacks in the Homeland and against U.S. and Western interests overseas. Attacks might originate with AQ Core elements in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan, with one of their affiliates overseas, and/or with individuals in the Homeland sympathetic to the cause but lacking a formal group association. We have no indications of advanced AQ Core plotting efforts in the Homeland, but the case of now-detained AQ operative Najibullah Zazi—who, along with two associates, planned to attack New York City subway in 2009 using homemade explosives— demonstrates that unidentified operatives could advance plotting in the Homeland.

(U//FOUO) The IC lacks current insight into AQ’s selection of Homeland targets, but as seen in previous AQ core plotting, symbolic, economic, and transportation targets could be at risk. Small-arms attacks against soft targets, which could be perceived as more achievable than other types of attacks, cannot be ruled out.

(U//FOUO) Bin laden’s death may provide justification for radicalized individuals in the U.S. to rapidly mobilize for attacks here. Although soft targets will—as they have in the past—remain attractive to homegrown extremists, official targets such as government installations, military personnel and facilities, and senior government officials may gain greater prominence. Furthermore, AQ affiliates may seek to accelerate plotting efforts in the Homeland, particularly al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has attempted two Homeland attacks since December 2009. AQAP’s online Inspire magazine also provided encouragement and instructions for individuals in the U.S. to conduct attacks here without traveling overseas to receive training or support.


(U//FOUO) The MCAC, as a precautionary measure, is providing a copy of the BJA/FBI Trip Wire containing a list of potential indicators of terrorist activities to MD LEO and the private sector, especially those sectors containing soft targets. We encourage the recipients of this bulletin to share the attached Trip Wire within their sectors or jurisdiction. The MCAC is not recommending any specific changes to target hardening actions to Maryland’s CI/KR, government or private sector facilities. These facilities should continue to practice sound established security measures.

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