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Archive for the ‘terrorism’ category

Nov 7, 2020

Researchers develop a high-power, portable terahertz laser

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, quantum physics, terrorism

Researchers at MIT and the University of Waterloo have developed a high-power, portable version of a device called a quantum cascade laser, which can generate terahertz radiation outside of a laboratory setting. The laser could potentially be used in applications such as pinpointing skin cancer and detecting hidden explosives.

Until now, generation of powerful enough to perform real-time imaging and fast spectral measurements required temperatures far below 200 Kelvin (−100 degrees Fahrenheit) or lower. These temperatures could only be achieved with bulky equipment that limited the technology’s use to a laboratory setting. In a paper published in Nature Photonics, MIT Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Qing Hu and his colleagues report that their terahertz can function at temperatures of up to 250 K (−10 degrees Fahrenheit), meaning that only a compact portable cooler is required.

Terahertz quantum cascade lasers, tiny chip-embedded semiconductor laser devices, were first invented in 2002, but adapting them to operate far above 200 K proved to be so difficult that many people in the field speculated that there was a fundamental physical reason preventing it, Hu says.

Oct 30, 2020

U.S. Sells Seized Iranian Oil

Posted by in categories: energy, government, terrorism

The United States has sold crude oil seized from four Iranian tankers earlier this year for some $40 million the AFP reports, citing a U.S. government official.

“We estimate that in excess of $40 million will be recouped by the United States related to the sale of petroleum from those four vessels,” Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia said. Sherwin added that “a great portion” of the money will be donated to a fund for the victims of “state-sponsored terrorism”.

In the middle of August, the U.S. Administration said it had seized the fuel cargo of several vessels, alleging that the fuel came from Iran and was going to Venezuela. The confiscation followed a lawsuit filed by U.S. prosecutors to seize the cargo carried by the four vessels for violating U.S. sanctions against Venezuela.

Oct 4, 2020

DARPA’s SIGMA Program Transitions to Protect Major U.S. Metropolitan Region

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, chemistry, terrorism, transportation

On a blustery winter day last December, a car carrying radioactive material approached one of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s major transportation hubs. As the car got closer, an alarm flashed and sounded on a large monitor in the police operations center, identifying on a digital map the exact location of the vehicle and the specific radioactive isotope radiating from the car – Cesium-137. Within minutes, officers in the Port Authority Police Department – equipped with vehicle-mounted and pocket-sized radiation sensors displaying the same real-time digital map – tracked the vehicle and apprehended the suspects in a parking lot. Thankfully, the potential terrorists and radiation-emitting isotope were not a threat, as the scenario was only a drill.

The December exercise marked the capstone for DARPA’s SIGMA program, culminating a five-year effort to develop and deploy an automated, high-performance, networked radiation detection capability for counterterrorism and continuous city-to-region scale radiological and nuclear threat monitoring. The transition of the radiation-detection system took place prior to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. In the eight months since the SIGMA transition, DARPA has been developing and testing additional sensors under its SIGMA+ effort to detect chemical, biological and explosive threats as well.

“We want to thank the Port Authority for their outstanding support throughout the SIGMA program and their continued support as we test SIGMA+ sensors,” said Mark Wrobel, DARPA program manager in the Defense Sciences Office. “Being able to test and refine the system in the country’s largest metropolitan region was invaluable in taking SIGMA from a research project to an operationally deployed system in just five years.”

Sep 21, 2020

World War III will be fought over water

Posted by in categories: existential risks, finance, food, law, terrorism

RS: The third world war is at our gate, and it will be about water, if we don’t do something about this crisis. These walks are to raise awareness—this year we covered 17 countries, and in nine of them there were displaced people. So many people in the Middle East and African countries are moving to places like Europe, in part because of water scarcity—after forced migration comes, tension, conflict, and terrorism. Where terrorism is active, there is usually a scarcity of water. Look at Syria—a long time ago, it had very good agriculture, but then Turkey built a dam that changed things. It’s a similar story with Libya. If we want a safe future, we need to start conserving water.

What role can regulation play in conservation? Do you think privatizing water is a good way to promote its efficient use?

RS: If we really think about legal changes, we have to first think about river rights, or the rights of nature, and only then about water rights for humans. This type of thinking doesn’t exist today but we need this kind of legal framework that assures that the land of the river is only for the river, that the flow of the river is kept clean, and that the river has greenery on both banks to prevent erosion and silting. Only with all these factors can we ensure that rivers are healthy and only then that we are healthy.

Aug 5, 2020

Deepfakes are the most worrying AI crime, researchers warn

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI, terrorism

Deepfakes are the most concerning use of AI for crime and terrorism, according to a new report from University College London.

The research team first identified 20 different ways AI could be used by criminals over the next 15 years. They then asked 31 AI experts to rank them by risk, based on their potential for harm, the money they could make, their ease of use, and how hard they are to stop.

Deepfakes — AI-generated videos of real people doing and saying fictional things — earned the top spot for two major reasons. Firstly, they’re hard to identify and prevent. Automated detection methods remain unreliable and deepfakes also getting better at fooling human eyes. A recent Facebook competition to detect them with algorithms led researchers to admit it’s “very much an unsolved problem.”

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Aug 1, 2020

Army Guard begins to reorganize force into eight divisions to prepare for possible fights with Russia and China

Posted by in categories: employment, terrorism

WASHINGTON — The Army National Guard will move most of its brigades under the command of its eight division headquarters as it reorganizes its fighting formations to give the force more combat power and some soldiers new career opportunities, officials said.

The Guard move will mark a substantial increase in the number of fully manned divisions that the Army can deploy, as only the service’s 10 active-duty divisions are now filled out with subordinate units, said Lt. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, the director of the Army National Guard. The increase to 18 complete Army divisions comes at a time when service officials believe a major conflict with a near-peer rival — namely Russia or China — would require the employment of full divisions, he said.

For the last two decades, the Army has focused on its smaller brigade combat teams as its primary fighting elements for counterterrorism operations and deployments focused on assisting the forces of other nations.

Continue reading “Army Guard begins to reorganize force into eight divisions to prepare for possible fights with Russia and China” »

Jun 27, 2020

Outbreaks After the Coronavirus: Bioterrorism and Encroaching on Nature

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, terrorism

In recent days, the coronavirus pandemic is wrecking havoc on our society. However, the next pandemic is likely to come from one of either two sources: 1) man-made bioterrorism agents or 2) man’s encroachment on nature.

PS: The stock footage from this photo comes from Videvo!

Continue reading “Outbreaks After the Coronavirus: Bioterrorism and Encroaching on Nature” »

May 30, 2020

Detection of Explosives

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, health, security, terrorism

Circa 2007


This chapter describes detection of explosives by terahertz Imaging ™. There has been an amplified interest in terahertz (THz) detection for imaging of covered weapons, explosives, chemical and biological agents. THz radiation is readily transmitted through most nonmetallic and nonpolar mediums. This process enables the THz systems to see through concealing barriers, which includes packaging, corrugated cardboard, clothing, shoes, book bags, and such others to find potentially dangerous materials concealed within. Apart from many materials of interest for security applications, which include explosives, chemical agents, and other such biological agents that have characteristic THz spectra which can be used for fingerprint testing and identify concealed materials. The Terahertz radiation poses either no or minimal health risk to either a suspect being scanned by a THz system or the system’s operator. As plastic explosives, fertilizer bombs, and chemical and biological agents increasingly become weapons of war and terrorism, and the trafficking of illegal drugs increasingly develops as a systemic threat, effective means for rapid detection, and an identification of these threats are required. One proposed solution for locating, detecting, and characterizing concealed threats is to use THz electromagnetic waves to spectroscopically detect and identify concealed materials through their characteristic transmission or reflectivity spectra in the range of 0.5–10 THz.

Apr 29, 2020

India extends Kashmir high-speed internet ban

Posted by in categories: internet, terrorism

Indian authorities have said a recent uptick in “terrorist violence” is behind the move. But rights groups have warned that civil liberties are at risk.

Apr 25, 2020

Transnational White Terror: Exposing Atomwaffen And The Iron March Networks

Posted by in categories: internet, military, terrorism

In collaboration with the Autonomous Disinformation Research Network @DisinfoResearch

On Wednesday, November 6, 2019, leaked data from the defunct neo-Nazi forum, Iron March, emerged online, exposing the personal information of more than 1,200 members, including the locations of their IP addresses and, in some cases, their real names. Already, activists sifting through the database have uncovered several fascists around the country, including some in uniform. A thoroughly transnational network, Iron March stemmed from a site called International Third Position Forum, was launched by a Russian, produced a terror group in the U.S., and facilitated coordination among terror groupings in the U.K. and elsewhere, all through the power of the internet.

Perhaps most intriguingly, Iron March involved members whose goals of recruiting through the U.S. military underlied their fantasies of ultimately destroying liberal democracy through a fascist paramilitary insurgency. It went on to develop a small but lethal “accelerationist” terrorist group called Atomwaffen Division (Nuclear Weapons Division), responsible for murders, an assassination attempt, and failed bomb plots. It also recently became famous for adding journalists from a Quillette article to a hit-list called “Sunset the Media.” Though what they mostly seem to do is put up stickers in what they laughably call “the stickening.”

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