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Extinguishing the Torch of Terror: The Threat of Terrorism and the 2010 Olympics

Keywords: Al-Qaida , Counterterrorism , History , Security management , Security policy , Threat assessment

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With the change in seasons comes the expected change of insurgency operations in Afghanistan as Taliban and al-Qaida fighters mount their spring and summer offensives against both NATO forces and Afghanis sympathetic to foreign troops. As insurgents curtail their seasonal operations with the arrival of fall and winter, is it likely that a threat may arise from Afghanistan to affect the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia? As will be illustrated herein, the threat to the games will not be borne directly from the insurgency in Afghanistan but rather by the universal jihadist ideology of al-Qaida rather than the nationalist beliefs of their fellow fighters, the Taliban. This article aims to call attention to the plausible threat to the 2010 Olympics posed by al-Qaida's far-reaching terrorist network while also offering a focused threat analysis based on the network's preferred tactics. Essentially, the power of al-Qaida lies in their network: the threat to the Olympic Games stems from proxy extremist and terrorist groups linked directly and indirectly to al-Qaida.


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