Charlotte a Target, Part II

Way back on October 12, 2004, I wrote a piece in response to an assertion by a lefty on a political forum that Charlotte, NC, was not a good terrorist target. I made the claim that it was. This stems back to the Pakistani man, Kamran Akhtar, that pled guilty to several charges after being caught vieo taping buildings in Charlotte. In this post, I made the argument about how great a target Charlotte is. You read and decide whether I made my point.

However, let me add some information to this. An old friend of mine from my ECU days who lives in Charlotte was in Raleigh yesterday, and we went out and had a few drinks, and talk turned to what kind of target Charlotte makes to terrorists. Now, I am already pretty convinced, but, he illuminated me a bit more.

He is in the mortgage business, and, a while back, he went to a conference with a representative of the Department of Homeland Security. Among the tid bits that he learned were 1) the FBI has 280 agents dedicated to protecting Charlotte (in many capacities, of course), and 2) the DHS considers Charlotte the #2 most important terrorist target in the United States.

I am not sure that people realize how much of the US financial interests go through Charlotte. Two of the nations top banks, Wachovia and bank of America, are headquartered in Charlotte. The down town area which has these headquarters, along with a vast array of national and international companies, is an area approximately the same size as the World Trade Center area in NYC. The banks have complete backups in other states, yet, consider the damage to the US banking system were just one of the banks buildings taken out, through conventional or nuclear weapons. And, it wouldn’t have to be much of a nuke to do the damage. Again, a small area. 930am on a Monday, and you can take out not only much of the infrastructure, but the brain trust. How long would it take to get the system back on line?

Consider Bank of America:

  • Over 33 million clients
  • 11 million online users
  • #1 Small Business lender in the USA
  • Serves clients in 29 States and DC, as well as offices in 35 countries serving clients in 150 countries
  • They handle transaction for 1 in 4 US housholds, through personal and corporate accounts.
  • the # 1 issuer of debit cards in the US

And lots more. Consider the loss of the Charlotte home office. Millions unable to get their money. How long to fix the issue? What if both Wachovia and BOA were destroyed?

There are many more reasons. Suffice it to say that many may consider us down South as hicks, goobers, and religious fanatics. We also have the #2 target for terrorists.


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3 Responses to “Charlotte a Target, Part II”

  1. Jeremy says:

    All this and you haven’t even mentioned Charlotte/Douglas INTERNATIONAL airport. Are there any airlines that DON’T feed through there?

  2. I started to, but decided that it didn’t fit with the downtown motif. My friend mentioned CDA when I mentioned the trucking and rail. It is also one of the largest cargo transhipment points for the US, according to my friend.

  3. Ogre says:

    I’ll certainly back you up on this one. I do some work with the FBI in Charlotte, especially in the computer forensics and computer counterterrorism areas — and Charlotte is indeed a virtual beehive of FBI activity. It is also, currently, the hardest post to get if you’re in the FBI.

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