Using the recommended web sites at the end of each assigned reading chapter, partially complete “one” Understanding Terrorism end of chapter web exercise. However, rather than answering each exercise question, only choose “one” of the questions to thoroughly answer. Clearly identify the chapter, web exercise and chosen exercise question.
Chapter 10, pg. 352
“Conduct a search for other website that offers advice for organizing terrorist cells and carrying out terrorist attacks. Do you think that the online terrorist manuals and weapons advice are a danger to global society?” (Martin, 2013)
If one goes onto Google and enters “terror manuals” into the search engine, one will see that pages and pages of information will show up for anyone in the world to access. Some of these sites have the full Al Qaeda training and manifesto manuals on them. Some of the sites give explicit descriptions on how to make everything from Rican agents to building complex car bombs. If Google doesn’t fit your taste for researching due to reading, try other media outlets like YouTube and The Pirate Bay file sharing website.
Each of these media outlets presents information that is easily accessible by anyone at any age. It is also fairly unregulated as the First Amendment is often used to ensure these media outlets stay up and running. The ease of access and the issues of First Amendment rights have allowed these media outlets to publish material that is a danger to global society. While posting of the actual of the information is not a danger in itself, the danger is posed when someone reads and follows the information posted in the media outlets that it becomes a danger to society.
With the advancement of the digital environment, the passing of information is rapid and difficult to stop. It has also become the new battlefield for many terrorist and extremist groups. The digital arena allows that to not only persuade people to join their cause, it also provides them with the tools to accomplish the mission. People who follow the information posted on these outlets often help the terrorist groups in ways that indirectly support the bigger mission. For example, when someone reads a manifesto and decides to act on it, they find, build, and act upon the manifesto using tools and procedures outlined via the media sites. The problem is these people are not trained. Terrorist group know these people are not trained but can be convinced to commit acts of violence that helps to draw the attention of law enforcement off of the main group because these lone wolf individuals or groups are following tactics of a group and, in turn, cause law enforcement to investigate the potential path of a terrorist connection when it may not exist.
Years ago, a big problem was such books as Anarchist's Cookbook that gave full details on how to make explosives, poisons, and other deadly devices. When publication and distribution of the manual came under fire, sales increased because people wanted to own the book before it was banned. The problem was that some people actually bought the book to use for criminal acts and several cases were linked backed to tactics written or described in the book.
Not many people know but at one time, one could actually find the full schematics to build a working nuclear device on the internet. All that was needed was the plutonium to complete the project. The movie “The Manhattan Project” addressed this issue as an action based movie in which a teenager built the device, infiltrated a military facility and retrieved weapons grade plutonium (unknown to him the quality of the sample) and planned to show it at a local science project. In the movie, everything ended on a good note after many hair-raising close calls, but it did show how easy it would be to make the device.
The digital media is a wealth of information that is available for research and knowledge; however, not everything that is published should be made available to the public. This is not only to protect the public but to potentially prevent future lone wolfs or groups of individuals from using tactics that were once difficult to acquire.
A final example of information that is good to know for some channels but should not have been published to the public was shown a few months ago by a lab that was working on a specific strain of the bird flu. In their published papers to the science world and the public, they not only stated how they made the bird flu more resistance and aggressive to antibiotics, they published the exact formula on how to duplicate their work. In this case, they supplied terrorist groups with a cheap weapon that could be easily made by following their directions and also create a scenario that no medical arena would be able to battle if used on a large number of people.
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