Blogger Steven D. Levitt asked his readers to imagine themselves as terrorists today and come up with their own ways of "maximizing terror" at the new home of the Freakonomics blog, The New York Times website. Levitt speaks:
Hearing about these [airline restriction] rules got me thinking about what I would do to maximize terror if I were a terrorist with limited resources. I’d start by thinking about what really inspires fear...Also, I’d want to create the feeling that an army of terrorists exists, which I’d accomplish by pulling off multiple attacks at once, and then following them up with more shortly thereafter.
Oh, and this:
Third, unless terrorists always insist on suicide missions (which I can’t imagine they would), it would be optimal to hatch a plan in which your terrorists aren’t killed or caught in the act, if possible.
Terrorists don't always insist on suicide missions but they are fond of them. Levitt did offer this caveat, "I presume that a lot more folks who oppose and fight terror read this blog than actual terrorists."
Actually, now that the Freakonomics blog is on The New York Times website, a lot of terrorists who read U.S. newspapers might at least take notice if they are using cyberspace anyway.
Although, really, who is reading The New York Times these days anyway?
Freakonomics began as a book and has sold 3 million copies worldwide. Levitt is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago.