DHS/FBI (U//FOUO) Potential Terrorist Attack Methods

(U//FOUO) Under the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center (HITRAC) has the responsibility to produce assessments that support the strategic planning needed to enhance the protection and preparedness of the Nation’s critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKRs). HITRAC analyzed information about terrorist attack capabilities, goals, and objectives to assess the potential terrorist attack methods that might be used against CIKRs.

(U//FOUO) This paper is complementary to the 2007 Strategic Homeland Infrastructure Risk Assessment (SHIRA). The SHIRA analysis is based on a defined set of 15 attack methods that were identified based on known terrorist capabilities, analysis of terrorist tactics, techniques, and procedures, and intelligence reporting on assessed, implied, or stated intent to conduct an attack. This assessment discusses the attack methods in alphabetical order and implies nothing about the probability of one attack method being chosen over another.

(U//FOUO) This attack method compendium provides a broad overview of methods terrorists might use in attacks against Homeland critical infrastructure. Innovation is a hallmark of terrorism, and an actual attack may not mirror past attacks. The compendium offers a basic description of each of the 15 attack methods, including definition, background, key components, and possible methods of employment. The compendium is not intended to provide an all-encompassing or in-depth look at terrorist intent and capability to conduct attacks against specific CIKRs, but rather to provide general overviews to further inform DHS critical infrastructure protection partners of the potential threats they could face.

(U//FOUO) DHS understands that each infrastructure asset is unique and has different vulnerabilities to various types of terrorist threats. It is likely that only a subset of the 15 attack methods presented will be pertinent to any particular site. Alternatively, additional attack methods or threats not addressed in this paper may be of higher concern to an individual infrastructure asset.

(U) Identified Terrorist Attack Methods
(U) Aircraft as a Weapon
(U) Biological Attack: Contagious Human Disease
(U) Biological Attack: Noncontagious Human Disease
(U) Biological Attack: Livestock and Crop Disease
(U) Chemical Attack
(U) Cyber Attack
(U) Food or Water Contamination
(U) Hostage-Taking
(U) Improvised Explosive Device
(U) Maritime Vessel as a Weapon
(U) Nuclear Attack
(U) Radiological Dispersal Device
(U) Standoff Weapons: Guided
(U) Standoff Weapons: Unguided
(U) Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device