As we celebrate the holidays, it is wise to be aware of how attractive “symbolic” targets may be to terrorists. Two years ago, Inspire—the magazine of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula—advised not only targeting Christmas events but even wearing a fake Santa beard if necessary to blend in with the merriment. “The important thing is that you target people and not buildings,” the magazine said, encouraging DIY terrorists to “be creative in your jihad.” An article at notes there was symbolism in the San Bernardino attack last year: Christmas. “It’s another facet of the evolution of terror that needs to take our focus beyond symbolic landmarks: a symbolic target can be attached not to a place on the map but an ideology,” the article says. Farook decided to target his office Christmas party. ISIS and al-Qaeda have both encouraged attacks at Christmas events. Shoe bomber Richard Reid tried to take down a transatlantic flight on Dec. 22, 2001. AQAP underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to down a flight heading into Detroit on Christmas 2009.  READ MORE