U.S. Seeks to Build Deterrence in Fight Against Terrorists

[New York Times] Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker - U.S. officials say a combination of efforts could establish deterrence against terrorist organizations, the strategy that helped protect the U.S. from a Soviet nuclear attack during the cold war. Interviews with senior officials involved in the effort provided the outlines of previously unreported missions to mute al-Qaeda's message, turn the jihadi movement's own weaknesses against it, and illuminate al-Qaeda's errors whenever possible. To counter efforts by terrorists to plot attacks, raise money and recruit new members on the Internet, the government has mounted a secret campaign to plant bogus e-mail messages and Web site postings, with the intent to sow confusion, dissent and distrust among militant organizations, officials confirm. At the same time, American diplomats are quietly working behind the scenes with Middle Eastern partners to amplify the speeches and writings of prominent Islamic clerics who are renouncing terrorist violence.

2008-03-18 01:00:00

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