[T]he best terrorist plan I have heard is one that my father thought up after the D.C. snipers created havoc in 2002. The basic idea is to arm 20 terrorists with rifles and cars, and arrange to have them begin shooting randomly at pre-set times all across the country. Big cities, little cities, suburbs, etc. Have them move around a lot....Or not!
I’m sure many readers have far better ideas. I would love to hear them. Consider that posting them could be a form of public service....
IN THE COMMENTS: From Palladian:
Here's a good one: Let's arrange to drop a giant anvil from the top of the New York Times building onto Steven J. Leavitt's head! No pop economist is safe!
MORE: There's a discussion of the Leavitt post at Metafilter. A funny comment:
[I]f I were a terrorist, I'd hack into electronic voting machines and rig it so that Ron Paul wins the election. That'd be sh*t-your-pants terrifying.A serious one:
I think Levitt fails to understand the motivation behind the al Qaeda attacks. They are not designed to scare us, but to glorify al Qaeda in the Islamic world, to show that Islam is not impotent in its battles. They are show and the audience is Islamic. The attacks give legitimacy to the organization and over reaction in retaliation helps their recruiting. The bigger the attack the bigger the effect. A bunch of pot shots in the heartland may scare the people here but won't play big in the Islamic world.We forget that the people we call terrorists actually have their own system of beliefs. Their willingness -- eagerness -- to do one evil thing does not mean they are willing to do anything. Levitt goes part of the way toward thinking like a terrorist, but he blinds himself to the fact that they conceive of themselves as virtuous.