Bomb from 10,000 Feet
From 10,000 feet above the earth it can be tough to tell friend from foe, but President Obama has made the unmanned MQ-1 Predator the United States’ weapon of choice for fighting terrorism in northwest Pakistan and the surrounding regions. Predator drone attacks have drawn intense criticism and protests for causing civilian deaths, but they are also very effective at their primary goal: killing terrorists. The New America Foundation estimates that as many as 1,800 militants—including 33 leaders—have been killed by drones since 2004, with roughly 95 percent of those deaths coming since 2008.
Dress Like a Woman
Gender confusion can work wonders in the counterterrorism world. Just ask former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak. If Steven Spielberg’s Munich is to be believed—and that’s a big if—Barak wore a wig and high heels as he led his commandos during the 1973 Operation Spring of Youth, a retaliatory effort against the Palestine Liberation Organization for the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.
Blow up his Car
There’s no more effective way to kill a targeted terrorist than to put an explosive device beneath the gasoline-filled two-ton death machine he’s driving. That’s what happened to Abdullah Azzam, who taught a young Osama bin Laden at King Abdulaziz University and later mentored him in Afghanistan. Azzam and his two sons were killed in Peshawar, Pakistan, in 1989 when a remote detonating device blew up the car they were in. To this day no country or group has claimed responsibility for the killing.
Poison with Sweets
Sure, it’s strange to think of a terrorist as a chocoholic, but it was indeed death by chocolate for Wadie Haddad, a medical doctor and onetime leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. A double agent slipped him a batch of poisoned chocolate in 1977, and Haddad went on to suffer a slow, months-long death. Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, was pointed to as the source of the poisoning in Aaron J. Klein’s book Striking Back.
Call the Seals
When you can’t afford any doubts that a terrorist is really dead, call 79 guys trained by the Navy SEALs and the CIA, four helicopters, and a dog. Details are still emerging about the U.S. attack on Osama bin Laden’s compound, but without losing a single American life they ended 10 years of frustration and missed opportunities with their raid on the Qaeda leader’s Abbottabad mansion on May 1.