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Evolving anti-terrorist technology, Part II

The pros and cons of encryption and the fiery debate about reducing or stopping the flow of immigrants from the war

High tech antiterrorist strategies

It’s likely that Europe, (now Africa), North America and other parts of the world will be hit by ISIS in the months ahead. This seems to be their new strategy. In all the discussions about increasing surveillance budgets, the pros and cons of encryption, and the fiery debate about reducing or stopping the flow of immigrants from the war-torn Middle East, there has been limited coverage of anti-terrorism technology.

New and emerging technologies–

  • Cockpit sensors and autopilot systems–Commercial aircraft cockpit sensors could be installed to send an alarm to operatives on the ground. After an autopilot system kicks in, the plane would quickly lands to a secure location where Navy SEALS or other military personnel storm the plane to engage the terrorist(s). –This is assuming, of course, that the plane isn’t blown out of the sky by a suicide bomber–or, more likely, a carefully concealed/hard-to-detect bomb placed in luggage, as was the case with the Russian plane in Sinai last month –Old style hijackings are less likely now because terrorists are well aware that since 9-11 passengers fight back.

  • Anti missile tech for commercial aircraft–What can we do protect airlines from shoulder-fired missiles, aka Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS)–that have already successful in bring down planes in Asia, Africa and Central America? Anti missile infra red disrupter systems have been researched and developed, but not implemented, by the Israelis and the U.S. Why? These systems cost $1-2 M per plane. In addition, military experts have expressed doubt about its effectiveness, especially against an advanced MANPADS missile like the one that shot down the Malaysian plane over Ukraine last year. Unfortunately, they are now easier to obtain on the black market in politically unstable countries like Ukraine and Libya. Nonetheless, IF such missiles are used effectively to bring down passenger flights on a regular basis, it could shut down commercial aviation for a very long time.

  • Bio-monitors– U.S. airports are now equipped with Explosives trace detection devices, to scan passengers’ hands and personal items for traces of explosives residue. Getting more publicity, Imaging scanners allow security personnel to see under passengers’ clothing for weapons or explosives have been in place at major airports for several years.

  • On the horizon– Integrating high-resolution video surveillance at airports and onboard with software to analyze facial expressions and body movements for suspicious behavior, including subliminal indicators of high stress and lying.

  • Light guns — Nonlethal laser ‘dazzlers’ that put out a pulsating beam of blinding light could be used by air marshals to temporarily blind an attacker in order to disable him or her without harming other passengers.

  • Super thin, flexible body armor–Ultra thin body armor that is as light as an undershirt has been developed by scientists in the U.S., Europe and China. It’s not yet effective against bullets, but in future iterations may be.

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