Daily Israel Report

American Jihadists Use New Weapon: Response Fatigue

Jihadists in the United States are encouraging the use of a new weapon, the FBI warns: “Response fatigue.”
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 6/9/2010, 12:16 PM / Last Update: 6/9/2010, 12:58 PM

Flash 90

Jihadists in the United States are encouraging the use of a new weapon, the FBI warns: “Response fatigue.”

An internal alert in the security agency told federal, state and local authorities to beware the latest weapon in the jihadist arsenal, which could present a formidable problem for busy police departments.

According to the May 27 "Situational Information Report" emanating from the FBI's Washington Field Office Intelligence Division, a recent posting on a popular jihadi website suggested that 'wannabe' terrorists place “invasions suspicious bags (sic)” in “the heart of Washington and New York.”

The suspicious packages, or bags, would contain innocent items such as shoes, clothes or toys. It is a strategy used by other extremists in the United States in the recent past, according to a report broadcast by the ABC News network.

The goal, said the FBI report, was to desensitize first responders by forcing them to constantly respond to false alarms on “suspicious but harmless items”, thereby causing response fatigue.

It is an issue that first responders in Israel's security forces constantly must guard against as well. A robot often accompanies Israeli sappers to sites where suspicious packages must be examined to determine their status. Israelis are used to traffic piling up and busy streets being closed to pedestrians, as sappers check yet another suspicious object about which they have received a call from an alert citizen. Children are taught not to pick up anything in the street and shown posters of bombs being hidden in candy bars, toys, paper bags and other ordinary objects. Many are false alarms, but many are not.

Terrorists intent upon attacking civilians in the Jewish State typically hide their bombs in apparently harmless bundles like backpacks and shopping bags. They often plant the packages in public places such as restaurants, park benches and bus stops.