This week on For The Record, the team investigated stories of unconventional attacks on America through economic terrorism.
In the 1990s, America was the world’s only true superpower. With the United States’ unmatched military might rendering traditional attacks unlikely to succeed, other nations started exploring unconventional areas in which they might be able to attack America.
China’s military was searching for a new way to attack America without actually having to fire a shot. Two officers in China’s People’s Liberation Army produced a report in 1999 which pointed to one man as a possible model for future attacks on the United States: Osama Bin Laden. Two years later, the economic fallout from the September 11th attacks may have turned that report’s findings into a reality.
In the late 1990s, when forces hostile to America searched for new ways to attack the U.S., they identified the country’s economy as a particularly vulnerable area. Less than a decade later there were signs that the 2008 economic crisis that brought down two major financial institutions, may have been caused intentionally.
Following the 2008 economic crisis, the Pentagon commissioned Kevin Freeman to investigate whether that meltdown may have actually been the result of financial terrorism. He found several areas in which the traditional explanations for the crisis didn’t tell the whole story. Countries hostile to the U.S. may have artificially driven up the price of oil and intentionally crashed the stocks of some financial institutions to throw the American economy into chaos. But the government didn’t like the findings and instead of dealing with the problem, they chose to ignore it.