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ZetaTalk: Terror Tactics
Note: written on Oct 15, 2001
Following the attack on America on September 11, 2001 there was immediate consideration of what might be next - poison gas, poisoned water, hazardous
materials, nuclear bombs, car bombs, or the mass sickness that could be caused by bioterrorism. All these means, of course, had been used throughout history and
in many countries and by many groups with varying agendas. Any consideration of what might be next should include, first and foremost, consideration of what a
group might have to gain or lose.
- Poison gas is quickly diluted and is therefore most notably used by those committing suicide, such as the carbon monoxide deaths easily arranged via a tube
from the exhaust from a car. Poison gas has likewise been used during warfare, such as the mustard gas used during World War I and II. And included in
this category must be the Agent Orange spraying of foliage used by the US in Vietnam, so deadly to the Vietnamese as well as causing lingering sickness in
US soldiers. Poisoning by gas, thus, is more likely to be done by one country to another during warfare, requiring elaborate paraphernalia and technical
support, and highly unlikely to be done by terrorists who must slip in unnoticed and effect damage quickly.
- Poisoned water has long been a means of wiping out a village, or protecting turf, over the ages. Unsafe water is a factor mankind has had to deal with in any
case, as water found standing in ponds or even flowing in streams can carry organisms causing disease or heavy metals such as lead, so most cases of
poisoning by water occur naturally, not by the hand of man. Man has poisoned himself, in fact, by using utensils that leach lead, or allowing sewage water to
leach into his drinking water, or allowing corporate interests to prevail so that PCBs or other chemical poisons degrade the quality of life of millions to allow
the wealthy few to step higher on their perch. As deliberate poisoning of water requires massive amounts of chemicals to be added to avoid the poison being
diluted and thus ineffectual, this is also unlikely to be used by terrorists who could not travel encumbered in this way.
- Using some of the poisons corporations regularly manufacture, such as Chlorine or Sulfuric Acid, has been viewed as a means terrorists might use to create a
disaster. It has been found that the groups causing the World Trade Center disaster also arranged for hazardous material licenses in the US for some of their
members. Clearly, tipping a truck over in a populated area would cause some consternation, but the disaster would be in the dozens, or at most hundreds, of
lives, and has faint chance of success to completion. Trucks designed to carry these materials have multiple safety guards to prevent such spills, even in the
face of a crash or roll-over on the highway. Thus, once again, this is a case where corporations, not terrorists, create disasters for mankind. These poisons
are released into the soil and air and waterways today, by corporations, once again allowing the elite few to degrade the quality of life of millions.
- The threat of nuclear bombs being manufactured and carried in suitcases into urban areas has long been present, and is not an unlikely event. The actual
portion of an atomic bomb that is lethal is small, but requires supporting mechanisms in order to do anything but fizzle, so most often these devices do not
explode but simply create radiation poisoning among their handlers. Nevertheless, this threat is real, and could result in a small nuclear incident near a target,
along with some lingering radiation. However, contrary to popular fears, there is little out there in already manufactured material of a grade that would
support such terror tactics. Lower grade nuclear material abounds, but explosions, to be really effective or even to occur at all, need high grade material,
and this is in the hands of super power countries at present. Low grade nuclear poisoning, of course, occurs at the hands of these super powers all the time,
in using, for instance, depleted uranium in weaponry such that the US soldier gets poisoned during warfare by the weaponry they are instructed to use.
- Utilizing the common car or van as a bomb carrier is highly likely to be a source of terrorist steps, as they are used world wide for common conveyance and
to prevent vehicular travel as a safety precaution causes such disruption in commerce that it becomes unthinkable to the corporate interests that in fact dictate
government actions. Traffic must flow, workers need to come to work, goods and materials must be conveyed, and checking all those vehicles as they move
about is simply unworkable. Thus, bombs in cars or vans could be brought into the workplace, into parking garages or under buildings or alongside
installations and boom. However, these bombs are limited in their scope, damaging the immediate area with great heat and force, but delimited by the
amount of explosive that can be carried by the vehicle. As desirable targets are closely watched and traffic restricted, such bombs are unlikely to be used as
any but an expression by terrorists to unnerve the populace of a hated country.
- Bioterrorism, using infectious organisms, has of course been used in the distant and recent past, most recently with great effect by the CIA who encouraged
and assisted the dissemination of the AIDS and Ebola viruses. Unleashed, these agents have gone amuck and gone beyond what the CIA intended, which is
of course the problem with these agents. Infection has natural bounds, requiring transmission means such as blood or breath or spoiling food, and as all these
means have existed as long as mankind, man has evolved means of dealing with them. The immune system kills most deadly agents, the few becoming sick
rather than the many, and in the case of truly deadly agents such as Ebola killing the entire village so spread is delimited. Truly deadly agents almost invariably
kill their handlers before they can be unleashed, so prove impractical. They are likewise delimiting in that those affected are obviously sick and thus avoided,
so spread does not occur. Thus, this is unlikely to be an agent used by terrorists except to make a minor statement and hopefully create consternation in the
government of a hated country.
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