The most recent attempt by terrorists to use the assets of the supply chain to achieve their ends should serve to remind us of this fundamental proposition:
Unlike the movies (think Sum of All Fears) or television (think 24), terrorists are not real sophisticated folks.
They lack the resources and capabilities to develop their own platforms from which to deliver a weapon.
Even 9/11, their most spectacular attack to date, was, at the core, a simple reconfiguration of the supply chain.
Al qaeda took the existing infrastructure- which they did not create- and merely turned it on its head. In that case, the weapon (jet fuel) was also leveraged from the supply chain, along with the delivery system (the airliners).
The case on Friday was just simply another attempt to extend their reach far beyond the home base- and the only way they could do so was by using our own system.
This should provide us a strong reassurance that the current 'enemy', while highly motivated, is not even close to being the existential threat to human civilization as the Cold War and the possibility of nuclear armageddon were.
Things are getting better!
Still, for supply chain professionals, we would be wise to recognize that terrorists will continue to view the supply chain as the means to something bigger. And as such, there will continue to be an emphasis on
supply chain security and the even greater fear of governmental overreaction.
At the risk of appearing arrogant, I would also recommend two earlier posts on this topic:
The Supply Chain and the Bleed Business
Air Cargo Screening is Finally Here