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article imageAl Qaeda magazine: Printer bombs designed to bleed U.S. economy

By Michael Krebs     Nov 22, 2010 in World
The thwarted Yemeni printer bombs that have caused havoc in American airports were designed to bleed the U.S. economy, according to an Al Qaeda propaganda magazine.
The printer bombs discovered in cargo holds of several airplanes departing from Yemen were built on a mere $4,200 investment and were designed specifically to disrupt and bleed out the U.S. economy. These are the detailed claims put forth by English-language Inspire magazine, a publication produced and distributed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula - or AQAP.
According to the propaganda publication, the printer bomb plot was known as "Operation Hemorrhage."
"Two Nokia mobiles, $150 each, two HP printers, $300 each, plus shipping, transportation and other miscellaneous expenses add up to a total bill of $4,200," the magazine states. "That is all that Operation Hemorrhage cost us. In terms of time, it took us three months to plan and execute the operation from beginning to end."
The yield on the $4,200 investment appears to be paying off multi-fold - as the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has implemented strict security measures at airport gates, with the implementation of more x-ray scanning stations and one-on-one intimate pat-downs. The new TSA measures have lead to widespread criticism and epic security lines at the nation's airports, just in time for the Thanksgiving travel rush.
The printer bombs were intended to take down cargo planes and to force the U.S. government to invest in security for the country's global supply chain routes. The logistics of package transportation on planes by service providers like UPS and FedEx are key to the global economy - and any meaningful disruption to these services would have devastating impact on standard transactions between business-to-business and business-to-consumer universes.
The objective, according to Inspire, was one "of attacking the enemy with smaller, but more frequent operations is what some may refer to as the strategy of a thousand cuts. The aim is to bleed the enemy to death."
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