Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2018 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Why terrorists aren't using tech

30 October 2017

It has now been almost 15 years since I wrote about the concept of building a low-cost "DIY" cruise missile using parts sourced from local suppliers and from the internet.

At the time, some scoffed at my outlandish suggestion -- whilst others, particularly from within the US defense forces, treated those claims with acclaim, pointing out that they had been trying to raise awareness of just such a threat themselves.

So what has happened over the last 15 years in respect to this threat and why, if it was as easy as I suggested, haven't we actually seen waves of these home-built missiles impacting "soft" western targets?

Well I guess the answer is simple.

The bodies of extremist terrorists are cheaper than stainless steel, electronics and brain power.

By using "real people" rather than technology to deliver lethal payloads, terrorists are able to emphasize the lengths their organisations will go to in order to extract a human toll on those who they see as their enemies.

It's one thing to fire off a few missiles in the general direction of your enemies but it's another thing altogether to sacrifice your life in the process.

We've already seen that terror groups have the ability to get technologically innovative when they want to but they generally prefer to create martyrs because those martyrs become a role model for other foolish people who also want to be idolised in the eyes of their peers -- even if it's only posthumously.

The fact that there hasn't actually been a low-cost cruise missile used in anger is a very good thing but it doesn't mean it won't happen. Indeed, the media are busy scaring up fear within the general population by suggesting that extremists will use "store bought" drones to carry explosive or toxic payloads and then drop them on innocent people below.

However, I really don't see this happening -- for the same reason we don't see cheap, home-built cruise missiles roaring across our skies. There's no martyrdom in simply flying a drone over a crowd of innocents and killing one or two.

Terrorism is (in my opinion) driven by irrational emotion and a desire to exert power over others. This means that the terrorist leaders are getting their buzz by gaining the respect (albeit misplaced) and control over others who they have indoctrinated into their cult of violence. The victims of these terrorists are simply collateral damage -- I really don't think they're the primary objective.

By using religion, the terrorist leader are able to promise the young extremists who follow them, rewards beyond their wildest dreams -- but only if they give their lives in the name of the cause.

Yep, once you've been blown to smithereens, you'll get your choice of a wide range of assorted virgins and other delights. And hey, it must be true... nobody's come back to complain have they?

So why waste time, money and effort on technology when you have a ready army of "mules" who are prepared to give their lives willingly to receive such an abundance of riches in the after-life.

That's so much simpler than learning about technology -- isn't it?

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

Recent Columns

Time, the ultimate creator
No, I haven't been smoking the wacky-baccy or indulging in mind-altering substances (beyond a glass of wine with my dinner) but you might think so after reading today's column...

Peak smartphone?
There was a time when many of us upgraded our PCs every couple of years because the technology was moving at such a fast pace that you'd see a significant improvement in power and performance with each new machine...

BBC resorts to clickbait
Sigh... clickbait and fake news are the stock and trade of the mainstream media these days and it appears that even the (once) almighty BBC are engaged...

A *billion* dollar idea
As I mentioned in my last column, Google has now equipped its Chrome browser with the ability to defeat the worst in aggressive advertising formats on the Web...

Chrome anti-competitive?
Google's Chrome browser now has a feature that will reportedly stop 97 percent of all those really annoying ads from interrupting your browsing experience...

What ever happened to fuel cells?
Electric vehicles are set to become the next big thing...

Can you sense the frustration?
When the current CEO of the South Waikato District Council took up his position several years ago, I invited him to my studio-workshop to discuss how I could help promote the district he now managed...

Is now a good time to wait?
I ran a CPU benchmark on my video rendering machine last night and was gobsmacked at how much slower it is than "state of the art" silicon...

Beyond a joke
Yes, today's column is another of those boring gripes about CAA and drones...

Plastic, a bigger threat than climate change?
A regular reader sent me an email the other day containing a link to a worrying report that everyone should read...

Babies versus boosters, no contest
Yesterday was a fantastic day for any geek, space enthusiast or anyone who has the heart and imagination of a little boy...