Twitter Terrorism?


Could Twitter become terrorists' newest killer app? A draft Army intelligence report, making its way through spy circles, thinks the miniature messaging software could be used as an effective tool for coordinating militant attacks.

For years, American analysts have been concerned that militants would take advantage of commercial hardware and software to help plan and carry out their strikes. Everything from online games to remote-controlled toys to social network sites to garage door openers has been fingered as possible tools for mayhem.

I've written about Twitter As A Threat before, but this is completely different. The US is still looking for tools the terrorists are using (you know, like the ONE time that someone tried to slip explosives by the security checkpoints in a pair of shoes?) and not finding anything but the dumbest, sloppiest and most ham-fisted terrorists. Check this out, and try to refrain from falling out of your chair in laughter:

Scenario 1: Terrorist operative “A” uses Twitter with… a cell phone camera/video function to send back messages, and to receive messages, from the rest of his [group]... Other members of his [group] receive near real time updates (similar to the movement updates that were sent by activists at the RNC) on how, where, and the number of troops that are moving in order to conduct an ambush.

Scenario 2: Terrorist operative “A” has a mobile phone for Tweet messaging and for taking images. Operative “A” also has a separate mobile phone that is actually an explosive device and/or a suicide vest for remote detonation. Terrorist operative “B” has the detonator and a mobile to view “A’s” Tweets and images. This may allow ”B” to select the precise moment of remote detonation based on near real time movement and imagery that is being sent by “A.”

Scenario 3: Cyber Terrorist operative “A” finds U.S. [soldier] Smith’s Twitter account. Operative “A” joins Smith’s Tweets and begins to elicit information from Smith. This information is then used for… identity theft, hacking, and/or physical [attacks]. This scenario… has already been discussed for other social networking sites, such as My Space and/or Face Book.

Wait! Terrorists are on MySpace and Facebook now, too?!

Look, guys. We get it: Terrorists communicate. Terrorists can communicate the same way other people communicate. What's next? "Terrorists might drive cars?" Looks like we'd better beware of anyone found driving a Toyota. Seriously, how much money do we have to waste on reports like this, which state the obvious while putting a sensational movie-plot spin on things?

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