A funny thing happened to the al-Qaida terrorist network over the last decade or so. While the so-called "War on Terror" waged by America and her allies has been extremely costly in dollars as well as lives, it has largely resulted in the cleaning of al-Qaida's clock. Today they're generally considered a shadow of their former selves, and that's why they're lowering their expectations a bit.
Case in point: instead of telling their followers to hijack airplanes, al-Qaida's English-language magazine is now telling people to light cars on fire in parking lots with gas cans and matches, and pour oil on the roads before blind curves to cause traffic accidents.
Wired's fantastic Danger Room blog has the report here, which says torching cars and causing wrecks is "America's worst nightmare," but also warns would-be terrorists to “don’t get petrol on yourself.”
Danger Room notes that previous lame al-Qaida schemes include this gem too:
Its last foray into vehicular assaults involved tricking out the grille of an F-150 with knives to create an “ultimate mowing machine.” (Even Osama bin Laden rolled his eyes at that one.) The apparent calculation behind the half-assed car torchings and unsafe driving conditions is that they need to lower the barriers to entry for jihad, since pretty much no American Muslims bother with it.
So basically, al-Qaida has gone from orchestrating major terrorist attacks that put entire nations on edge to just general dickery and Looney Tunes-style antics. I can't say I feel bad for them.
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