In the aftermath of Osama's killing, al Qaeda may be down, but it is certainly not out. NBC New York is reporting that a possible al Qaeda-linked list of Americans designated for assassination has appeared on the web, and law enforcement is taking the threat seriously:
Although the alleged hit list gives many specifics, news outlets do not want to bring further attention to the individuals allegedly designated for death. Still, the outlet does name the targets' occupations:
The list includes Wall Street firms, political leaders, leaders with think tanks and contractors who do business with the military.
The websites contain 40 specific names, 26 of them with photos attached, and they call for posting home addresses. One jihadist called for sending package bombs to any listed address as just one possibility.
The primary threat in this case would seem to come from a lone wolf terrorist -- an individual radicalized due to sympathy but not direct connection to al Qaeda.
This threat, alongside the announcement today that Ayman al-Zawahiri is taking the reins as al Qaeda's number 1, is a reminder that we face a grave threat from a determined enemy.
Whether al Qaeda intends the alleged hit list to be an operational document, or primarily an attempt to create widespread fear, remains to be seen.