Steve Killelea’s Vision for Humanity has released its 2014 report on Global Terrorism. Their PR campaign around this release is certainly in full force as there are tens if not hundreds of articles, blog entries and multiples more tweets and shares pushing some of their main points:
- Number of terrorist attacks is through the roof
- Terrorism is now global and killed almost 18,000 people last year
- Top terrorist groups are all fundamentalist Islamic – Taliban, Boko Haram, ISIL/ISIS, and Al Qa’ida
- Most victims of terrorism were from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria (so they are likely also Muslim)
Similar to a post we had last week, not much media attention to how rare terrorism related deaths still are. There are 40 times more more deaths by homicide than terrorism and 75 countries in the world had no incidents of terrorism.
Vision of Humanity released its 2014 Global Terrorism Index report
The Global Terrorism Index, produced by Institute for Economics & Peace, ranks countries according the impact of terrorist activities as well as analysing the economic and social dimensions associated with terrorism.
The index scores 162 countries, covering 99.6% of the world’s population, and examines trends from 2000 to 2013. The indicators used include the number of terrorist incidents, fatalities, injuries and property damage.
Cyber terrorism, cyber crime, malware, hacking – this arena has come of age with the threat to critical infrastructure like power plants, traffic systems, electrical grid, water, pipelines, hospitals, air traffic control systems, financial institutions, etc. now being a reality. We have written briefly about this very complicated, and emerging medium for both terrorism and crime. One may consider giving a bit more weight to the propagandist theory because what we are seeing is that while there is much media coverage that blames Russia or China; there doesn’t seem to be a lot of disclosure of the fact that the real hub of shady cyber criminals and money laundering has been Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, etc). The other aspect that is being ignored is the extremely poor state of security of these critical systems. There is no need to connect every system to the “Internet”. This recent crop of designation heavy IT professionals seem to only be capable of checking off the basic vendor recommended security settings and are no match to the craftier hackers who are often an amalgamation of technologists, criminals, soldiers and intelligence operatives.
The blurred line between cyber terrorism and cyber crime
Tribune-Review reporter Andrew Conte joins us to discuss how the lines between online thefts and all-out warfare continue to blur as hackers become more effective at attacks that threaten to cause serious economic damage. (90.5 WESA)
Let’s wage a war on <fill in the blank>. What could possibly go wrong? The War on Terror has been waged, at least in the United States and several other Western nations, since the start of the 21st century. Researchers and reporters continue to unearth sad stories of innocent people that keep getting caught in the many dragnets with ruinous effects on their lives. Suspicious Activity Reports, No Fly Lists, cancelled passports/travel restrictions, National Security Letters, warrants, detentions, surveillance, etc. can and are happening to innocent people.
War on Terrorism has had many negative consequences for innocent citizens
“The SAR database is part of an ever-expanding domestic surveillance system established after 9/11 to gather intelligence on potential terrorism threats. At an abstract level, such a system may seem sensible: far better to prevent terrorism before it happens than to investigate and prosecute after a tragedy. Based on that reasoning, the government exhorts Americans to “see something, say something” — the SAR program’s slogan.”
“As of August 2013, there were approximately 47,000 people, including 800 U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents like Mashal, on that secretive no-fly list, all branded as “known or suspected terrorists.” All were barred from flying to, from, or over the United States without ever being given a reason why. On 9/11, just 16 names had been on the predecessor “no transport” list. The resulting increase of 293,650% — perhaps more since 2013 — isn’t an accurate gauge of danger, especially given that names are added to the list based on vague, broad, and error-prone standards. The harm of being stigmatized as a suspected terrorist and barred from flying is further compounded when innocent people try to get their names removed from the list.” (TomDispatch.com)