New York Times Blogger Solicits Ideas for Terror Attacks

If you were a terrorist, how would you attack?

That's the question a New York Times blogger posed Wednesday on the newspaper's Web site.

Steven D. Levitt, in a controversial posting on the paper's Freakonomics blog, has invited fellow bloggers to submit their worst-case scenarios for a terrorist attack.

The blogosphere is buzzing about whether the posting will prompt officials to stay ever-alert, as Levitt intends, or whether it could lead to a catalog of ideas that could encourage new attacks.

SPEAKOUT! If You Were a Terrorist ...

Levitt, in his blog, writes that posting ideas for terrorist attacks "could be a form of public service: I presume that a lot more folks who oppose and fight terror read this blog than actual terrorists. So by getting these ideas out in the open, it gives terror fighters a chance to consider and plan for these scenarios before they occur."

He also offers one idea that his father gave to him:

"... to arm 20 terrorists with rifles and cars, and arrange to have them begin shooting randomly at pre-set times all across the country. Big cities, little cities, suburbs, etc. Have them move around a lot. No one will know when and where the next attack will be. The chaos would be unbelievable. ..."

Click here to read the blog posting.

But some of the hundreds of comments Levitt has received think the blog is anything but a "public service." They question the rationale behind it and suggest that Levitt's invitation could become a warehouse full of ideas for terrorists.

"Please, please remove this how-to guide for terrorists from the Web," J. Foster writes. "Of course, there’s all sorts of information already out there, but suggesting more ideas to terrorists is extremely irresponsible. Stupid, in fact. Why on earth would you think this is a good thing to do? What purpose does it serve?"

"You have got to be kidding me," submits Bob Carson. "Ideas for terrorists? Think you are being cute? Clever? You are an idiot."