General Musing

blaze your trail

Archive for the ‘terrorism’ Category

Making a knife in an Airport? #schneier

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“The whole system is designed to catch stupid terrorists,” Schnei­er told me. A smart terrorist, he says, won’t try to bring a knife aboard a plane, as I had been doing; he’ll make his own, in the airplane bathroom. Schnei­er told me the recipe: “Get some steel epoxy glue at a hardware store. It comes in two tubes, one with steel dust and then a hardener. You make the mold by folding a piece of cardboard in two, and then you mix the two tubes together. You can use a metal spoon for the handle. It hardens in 15 minutes.”

By way of Bruce Schneier, The Things He Carried

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

October 17, 2008 at 7:48 am

Posted in risk, security, terrorism, travel

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Breaking News: 7 bombs Bangalore

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“The city has been put on high alert. Majority of schools, shopping malls and cinema halls have been closed down and telephone networks have been jammed following reports of the attack. “1

I’m following pluggdin on Twitter and his blog at

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

July 25, 2008 at 11:21 am

Posted in risk, terrorism

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Telecom Filibuster

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After the House approves overhaul of wiretap laws I was pointed to this article Obama Camp Says It: He’ll Support Filibuster Of Any Bill Containing Telecom Immunity. Apparently Obama (his campaign) had already said in October of 2007 that they would.

Sadly as I read in the NYT Senate Approves Bill to Broaden Wiretap Powers In fact “…on Wednesday, he [Obama] ended up voting for what he called ‘an improved but imperfect bill’ after backing a failed attempt earlier in the day to strip the immunity provision from the bill through an amendment.” Clinton voted against the bill.

And don’t forget to use tag your election posts too. (Tagging 2008)

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

July 10, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Freedom Fryghter Mandela

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I just saw this on BoingBoing: US promises to stop treating Nelson Mandela like a terrorist

A US senator said the new legislation was a step towards removing the “shame of dishonouring this great leader”.

It’s funny that former President Mandela, who is a self-confessed terrorist was being treated as a terrorist. It’s always good to see how good bureaucracy is in following the letter of the law, and redemption can change your classification from terrorist to freedom fighter.


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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

July 2, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Posted in terrorism

Air plot suspects

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I’m always a little shocked by the naming of suspects of crimes, such as in BBC News: Air plot suspects: Names released“. I’ve always been a follower of the principal of “Innocent until proven guilty”, although I realize that for the investigation it might be needed to release the names of the suspects.

Living in a country where the DOJ and the media have an agreement to not publish the names of suspects to protect them, unless they are still at large, I am quite used to seeing “Mink K.”, “Willem H.” or even “Lucia de B.” (who was found guilty).

Naturally with a little bit of searching on the Internet I can find out that “Mink K.” is actually “Robert ‘Mink’ Kok” and I don’t even have to search to find out that the guy known as “Willem H.” is “Willem Holleeder”, but these are the huge cases in the news. Smaller cases usually don’t get enough coverage for the name to be accidentally dropped to the public at large, as the information is freely available to the press. It’s the press who protect the innocent.

I’ll end with a quote: “Never miss a good chance to shut up.”

EDIT: it turns out Lucia de B was the subject of a miscarriage of justice.

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

August 12, 2006 at 5:03 pm

Posted in politics, security, terrorism

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Damned Terrorists

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I don’t no if they are right or wrong, the US or the rest of the world on the whole Guantanamo Bay. Are they terrorists? Are they “enemy combatants“? Are they “freedom fighters“? Should they be held under the Geneva Convention? Or not? Should they get their day in court? Should they be excecuted? I have my own opinions, as does everybody else on the planet.

I was just suprised by this:

“He [Feroz Abbasi] accuses the US of committing the ‘greatest terrorist acts known to history’, the ‘atom bombings of the CIVILIAN POPULATION of Nagasaki and Hiroshima’1

It’s weird when you share an opinion with a terrorist an “enemy combatant“.

  1. source: BBC Guantanamo: Anatomy of a hearing

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

June 12, 2006 at 12:12 am

Posted in terrorism

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Signature Quote

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As long as I can remember being online my .sig has looked similar to this:

“I am become Shiva, destroyer of worlds”

People have told me that this is a miss quote of J. Robert Oppenheimer. It is said that – on the 16th of July 1945 while viewing the explosion of the first Atomic Bomb over the New Mexico’s Alamogordo Test Range – Oppenheimer said “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” I’d been going though the world using the wrong quote, now I was quite attached to my version.

On /. a nice guy corrected me on the quote from the Bhagavad Gītā (भगवद् गीता ), but said that in principal it was not a real problem as this could be seen as the spirit of the word. (Lord Krishna is probably referring to Shiv when he says ‘destroyer of worlds’, because one of Shiv’s 5 jobs is ‘destroyer’.)

Then I find out that he didn’t actually say it at the time. He actually said: “If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one…” Also an apt quote from the Bhagavad Gita, but not the one I’d been using.

He doesn’t�use the quote until much later:

We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” I suppose we all thought that one way or another.1

Now we’ve established my mistake, I can explain why it’s my .sig quote.

The Atomic Bomb fascinated me from a young age, being born before the fall of the Berlin Wall when Mutual Assured Destruction was a possibility made me interested in the first atomic bombs and the people who made them. The main question for me was, also posed in the BBC article “The End of the War Against Japan”2, “Was it right for the Americans to drop nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?” And more specifically: “Is it right for any person to extinguish the flame of another?

That’s a question each person should answer for themselves, this is the question my .sig poses.

The people who scrape up the courage to ask about my .sig mostly think it’s a little violent,�they’ve asked if I think I’m the destroyer. I’ve even been asked not to append it to the messages I send some people.�(I think 300.000 dead people is a little offensive.)�After about 10 years of having this .sig instinctively my reply is to tell them to go away, usually I ask them what about it offends them.

What’s really sad it that it has to do with the word destroyer. I’m trying to get a message across of being and they are offended that post-Gulf War I, post-Gulf War II, post-9/11 or post-anything bad happening in the world I use this quote to get my message across. (Just imagine what they would say if I replaced Shiva with Death.)

My point – I did have one – is that many nations remember their wars and their war dead. Let’s take some time to remember the people who’s life was taken so we might live in peace.

An atomic bomb codenamed Little Boy is dropped by the American B-29 Enola Gay on the city of Hiroshima in Japan at 8:16 a.m., killing 80,000 outright with another 60,000 dead by the end of the year due to fallout sickness. Ultimately, about 200,000 die due to the atomic bomb.3

An atomic bomb, codenamed Fat Man, is dropped on the city of Nagasaki, Japan killing an estimated 70,000-90,000 people.4

  1. J. Robert Oppenheimer “Now I am become death…” (Atomic Archive)
  2. Nuclear Power: The End of the War Against Japan (BBC)
  3. August 6th (Wikipedia)
  4. August 9th (Wikipedia)

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

June 1, 2006 at 10:57 pm

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