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Über dieses Buch

This book assesses potential developments of terrorism and ways to prevent it—the growing threats as new technologies become available — and how the same new technologies may help trap those with potential mal-intent. The drumbeat of terror resonates from everywhere; how can we stop it? What are the tripping points along the road and how can we avoid them?

Increasingly more people have access to increasingly more information and increasingly more destructive technologies. In the meantime, increasingly advanced technologies help us create an increasingly safer and more harmonious world. Advantages and disadvantages are accelerating each other. While hybrid threats are intensifying, so are the opportunities to address them. But what are the compromises and how can we mitigate them?

This book also looks at the unexpected and often random success and failure of policies to counter the evolving terror threat. The various aspects of the terrorism phenomena are presented in a unique way using scenario vignettes, which give the reader a realistic perception of the threat. The combination of positive and negative implications of emerging technologies is describing what might well be one of the most important dimensions of our common future.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Introduction

Abstract
This book is written during the height of the global pandemic of 2020 in which the COVID-19 disease has swept the world. It was a surprise. While the origins of the pandemic are still obscure, we take its obvious impacts to represent what might result from a terrorist attack using a genetically modified virus as the weapon. We are looking for such future surprises in this book. The array of possibilities is staggering. We have chosen to discuss technologies that seem to have a reasonable chance to be on the scene in the next 20 years or so. Throughout the book, scenario vignettes have been used to set the scene and enrich the discussions.
Yair Sharan, Ted J. Gordon, Elizabeth Florescu

2. Instead of Executive Summary. Tripping Points; An Overview

Abstract
One of the main impediments for developing coherent, trans-border policies and strategies for detecting and avoiding terrorist activities is simply that there is no global consensus of what actions or contemplated actions would make a person or a group be considered terrorists. To come to grip with this tripping point, we conducted a Real-Time Delphi (RTD) study to identify elements to be considered in a reasonably shared definition at present and—recognizing the potential for change—in 2040. New technologies expand the capabilities of terrorism and counter-terrorism alike. Misuse or misunderstanding of their power by terrorists or forces opposing terrorism could have great consequences for society. The race is getting increasingly complex. 
Yair Sharan, Ted J. Gordon, Elizabeth Florescu

3. Defining Terrorism; Future Perspectives

Abstract
With the advent of new technologies, the scope and spectrum of both—terrorism and the means for addressing it—are expanding, challenging counter-terrorism strategies and existing regulations. To help improve understanding the area and its potential future developments, a Real-Time Delphi (RTD) study was conducted with relevant experts. The questionnaire asked for the assessment of the likelihood that the situations depicted in a dozen or so scenarios would be considered terrorism today or by the year 2040. The outcomes helped identify some elements for a definition and impediments to agreement, as well as potential trajectories in the future perceptions of terrorism.
Yair Sharan, Ted J. Gordon, Elizabeth Florescu

4. Pandemics

Abstract
The intersection between the pandemic caused by COVID-19 and terrorism is discussed. China and the USA have failed to cooperate, each accusing the other of failing to take sufficient action, and of falsifying data. It should be clear to anyone who cares to look: unless the pandemic is secured globally, health security cannot be guaranteed anywhere. Incredible how this virus could bring down the world!
Yair Sharan, Ted J. Gordon, Elizabeth Florescu

5. CRISPR and the New Biology

Abstract
When the coronavirus pandemic blasted into the world in late 2019, some conspiracy theorists speculated that the virus that causes the pneumonia-like disease COVID-19 was no more or less than a snippet of genetic material that had escaped from a Chinese bio-weapons lab in Wuhan China, or a terrorist weapon introduced by insane sects to kill millions. Regardless, the pandemic illustrated what a bio-weapon could do. Historians of the future, looking back at our time may consider CRISPR technology to be one of the most important inventions of our time and certainly pivotal to the evolution of bio-terrorism.
Yair Sharan, Ted J. Gordon, Elizabeth Florescu

6. Identification: Forensics and DNA Databases

Abstract
The expansion of genealogy and other sites that tabulate personal characteristics greatly increases the possibility of positively identifying someone from fragmentary data. Databases containing information about the genetic characteristics of individuals—even those developed in the private sector—can help trace suspects and criminals even though only relatives are listed. Use of such databases might be seen as a new kind of stereotyping and imply guilt without sufficient proof; a very slippery slope.
Yair Sharan, Ted J. Gordon, Elizabeth Florescu

7. Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Weapons

Abstract
Artificial Intelligence is both a promise and a curse to terrorism and its pre-detection. A promise because it may help pick up otherwise undetectable clues and “connect the dots” among seemingly independent occurrences that point to a planned attack. And it is a curse because AI can be used as a means to automate attack decisions made by the weapons themselves. Further, in some future dystopia artificially intelligent machines could be viewed as terrorists.
Yair Sharan, Ted J. Gordon, Elizabeth Florescu

8. Challenges in Space

Abstract
The US has already established separate military service to treat space as a new battleground. Terror will follow into this new arena. The more space becomes accessible to citizens, the more it becomes a source of potential new threats. GPS satellites became potential targets for terror attacks—lose confidence in geo-location and earth-bound systems grind to a halt. Mischief can occur on space stations, aircraft, on ostensibly peaceful missions. Orbital missions, particularly those launched by rouge countries under the thrall of terrorism need to be watched, inspected, and verified for safety. As space opens new opportunities for terrorists, it is crucial to identify the weaknesses and the various tripping points challenging space systems and operations.
Yair Sharan, Ted J. Gordon, Elizabeth Florescu

9. The Little Things Sometimes Count

Abstract
Small events, little things, can have significant consequences. Terrorists might seek scenarios which yield huge results with small investments and better yet, function below the threshold of detection. Frauds, small thefts, incessant hacking and harmful memes, and destructive social media are only a few examples. The butterfly effect in a chaotic system can trigger vastly different outputs within a relatively short time. Almost unperceivable changes can cause devastating effects—similar to the frog that is not afraid of the tepid water that's gradually brought to a boiling temperature, but finally gets cooked. Here’s how our freedom went; we can barely remember the steps. 
Yair Sharan, Ted J. Gordon, Elizabeth Florescu

10. The Fuzzy Line; Are We at War?

Abstract
The borders between terror and war, between low profile confrontations and full-scale wars are getting fuzzier. Sometimes one leads to the other, sometimes they interfere with each other. In addition, we should envision situations in which we won’t be able to distinguish between natural and man-made events. Uncertain and hidden aggressions became the norm. New technologies put at about everyone’s reach tools that make attacks easier, while identifying them more difficult. Sometimes only the attacker knows a war is going on (consider an epidemic: are people becoming sick from natural or manufactured organisms?) The defender is "blind" and unable to assess the situation. The feeling of malaise of being manipulated or attacked with invisible physical and social technology is everywhere. A paranoiac society..
Yair Sharan, Ted J. Gordon, Elizabeth Florescu

11. Technology Early Warnings; A Plethora of Threats and Opportunities

Abstract
Future technologies open many new opportunities for terrorists to accomplish their objectives. This chapter reviews some possibilities that may be attractive to them, including nuclear technologies, radioactivity, brain research, metadata manipulation, toxicology, and entanglement to name a few. In the new field of neuro-criminology, scientists are attempting to correlate MRI scans of brains to anti-social and criminal behavior. Technology assessments should be initiated and possible terrorist applications included in the analysis to minimize future risks.
Yair Sharan, Ted J. Gordon, Elizabeth Florescu

12. Deep Fakes

Abstract
When Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to President Trump, was interviewed on the TV news show Meet the Press in 2017, she invented the term “alternative facts” in the defense of an incorrect estimate made by the President of the number of people attending the 2016 presidential inauguration. Deep fakes—the growing inability to tell true facts from false—becomes an increasingly significant tripping point. The capability to counterfeit almost any fact, of any source of data—physical and biological—including voice, facial images, biological prints, DNA identity and many others is increasing. Data, images, ideas, news, history, science, all can be real or fake and fakes are becoming indistinguishable from the real thing. The inability to distinguish what is false and what is real could bring down security systems, financial systems, health systems, elections, institutions, corporations, and governments, creating an unforeseeable number of tripping points as deep fake-generating technologies continue to evolve.
Yair Sharan, Ted J. Gordon, Elizabeth Florescu

13. Unintended Consequences

Abstract
All acts have consequences; many may be unintended. Some can aggravate the very situation they were supposed to solve. Of great concern is the development of aggregate measures of an individual’s behavior and relating these indexes to propensity to commit terrorist acts. It will be easy to collect data for such indexes, but difficult to repair the loss of freedoms that may accompany their inappropriate implementation. It is the responsibility of the inventors to think through the possible consequences of their innovations- policies as well as technologies, and make damaging unintended uses less likely.
Yair Sharan, Ted J. Gordon, Elizabeth Florescu

14. Conclusions

Abstract
Terrorism and pandemics have many similarities. Neither respects borders; both are simultaneously present in most countries; and both are lethal. Both hold surprises and there is as yet, no certain immunization for either. And both in one form or another, will remain with us for a long time. This book began with the search for an all-encompassing definition for terrorism and an assessment of potential evolutions of terrorism and of the strategies to address it. Elements for a potential definition were identified, along with likely developments impacting terrorism and counter-terrorism; and many examples of potential tripping points are detailed throughout the book. While surprises will continue to happen and perhaps become the most important elements in this landscape, some developments such as deep fakes enhanced propaganda, attacks on systems on which society relies, synthetic biology, and mind control are among the most worrisome. Laws are necessary but not enough to stop this plague. At the end, failure of leadership might be the most serious tripping point of all.
Yair Sharan, Ted J. Gordon, Elizabeth Florescu

Backmatter

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