March 29, 2016

TSG IntelBrief: The Soft Targets of Terror

• In the past week, three suicide bombings killed more than 140 civilians; 72 in Lahore, Pakistan, 41 near Baghdad, Iraq, and 35 in Brussels, Belgium

• The targets of the attacks—mass transit, a children’s soccer match, and a public park—are designed for open access and enjoyment, and cannot be hardened without fundamentally changing their purpose and utility

• Attacks on soft targets stoke public fear of communal gathering spaces that are meant to enhance social cohesion

• With neither a shortage of people willing to blow themselves up nor a shortage of explosives with which to do so, the trend of mass-casualty attacks against soft targets will continue.