[FoRK] Death by terrorism
Fri Aug 12 14:22:30 PDT 2005
Thats right. Its just ludicrous.
I mean, the effort of acquring a scud and a ship is just massive
compared to using a shipping company to ship your bomb to a known address.
Say the guards at the loading dock at building X "we werent expecting a
shipping container full of plasticine".
On the other hand, this peice of disinformation is aimed at Iran, not at
> Heh. I guess if I were a terrorist I would have to ask myself why I'd
> need to use a SCUD vs. just stuffing a ship full of explosives and
> sailing up the Hudson River... what's the incremental benefit? In fact,
> you can't pack much explosive power into a SCUD at all, but you may be
> able to chuck some crude NBC weapons in there. You also can't really be
> too deterministic about where it goes. It's just as likely to hit a
> pasture in New Jersey as it is to hit anywhere in Manhattan from a
> reasonable distance.
> And just because I did a standoff attack doesn't mean I'm going to get
> away with it. Obviously someone will figure out where it came from
> before I can steam away, and there will be launch rails, fueling tools,
> and all kinds of other evidence.
> And besides, the types of terrorists we deal with today generally don't
> even intend to "get away with it". They die with their bombs -- in
> fact, they are quite unprepared for what to do when the explosion fails,
> as the London bombings illustrate.
> The knowing acceptance, by the perpetrators, of a 100% chance of dying
> in the successful achievement of their goals is the only real innovation
> we've seen in North American and European terrorism in the past 50 or so
> years. All previous anti-terrorism strategies have relied upon the
> belief that a terrorist ultimately wants to both A) achieve his/her
> goals and B) survive to tell the tale. Prior to 9/11 the entire civil
> aviation defense posture was designed to stop a DB Cooper, not a Ziad
> Jarrah <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ziad_Jarrah>. This farcical
> proposal is an example of pre-911 thinking on a billion-dollar scale and
> does nothing to stop the guy who's willing to accept certain death for
> his cause (which is generally cheaper, more accurate, and more
> politically effective).
> And Patriots might be good at knocking down missiles, but not so good at
> destroying them. The rain of SCUD debris on Tel Aviv after a successful
> Patriot intercept was exactly as dangerous as the successful impact and
> detonation of a SCUD itself. And the Patriot had a pretty awful success
> rate in the Gulf War (I) to boot.
> This will hopefully die on the vine, just as the whole National Missile
> Defense pipe dream appears to be withering slowly.
> On 12-Aug-05, at 12:52 PM, Damien Morton wrote:
>> August 10, 2005: Defense contractor Lockheed Martin, taking advantage
>> of the widespread fear of terrorist attack in the United States, has
>> proposed a billion dollar anti-missile defense system for the
>> northeast coast of the United States. Lockheed Martin believes it is
>> likely that terrorists would use cargo ships as launching platforms
>> for SCUD missiles. Existing Patriot anti-aircraft missile technology
>> would be used to shoot down the SCUDs before they could hit any of the
>> urban areas from Boston to Washington. The latest version of Patriot
>> has a proven track record in knocking down SCUD type missiles. What?s
>> interesting about this proposal is that no terrorists have been known
>> to have obtained SCUD missiles, or seagoing cargo ships. Lockheed
>> Martin said it spent a year analyzing this problem.
>> It?s long been feared that terrorists, especially well financed ones,
>> could easily by older merchant ships (the ?tramp steamer? often
>> featured in fiction for over a century), and use them to set off a
>> cargo of explosives in a major American port. So far, no one has been
>> able to find terrorist owned cargo ships. Terrorist owned SCUD
>> missiles are a relatively new threat, and none of those has been
>> uncovered either. But you can?t be too careful, especially if there?s
>> a chance you can get another billion bucks out of Congress.
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