Expect terrorist attacks on global financial system

Wednesday, 8 October 2003, 8:17 AM EST

A successful terrorist attack on America's financial infrastructure could bring the US and global economies to a standstill, and the real surprise is that it hasn't been attempted yet.

"We've gone after al-Qaeda's finances, and it would strike me that in a sense, we can expect retaliation in kind," Dr Phil Williams said during his keynote address at the annual conference of the Centre for Conflict Studies at the University of New Brunswick in Atlantic Canada.

Williams says the attack, when and if it comes, would likely focus on what he calls key nodes in the US financial infrastructure: Fedwire and Fednet. Fedwire is the financial funds transfer system that money exchange among US banks, while Fednet is the electronic network that handles the transactions. The system has one primary installation and three backups.

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