Counter-Terrorism: Hard Time For Toys

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May 24, 2007: The war in Iraq has led to a lot of publicity for terrorist weapons. The roadside bomb, trigged by a remote control device, got a lot of publicity. These weapons are showing up in many other countries now. Turns out that the least expensive wireless device for setting off these bombs is found in remote controlled toys. Some countries have taken a straightforward approach to dealing with this problem. Myanmar (Burma), suffering from multiple rebellions (because of the military dictatorship in power since the 1960s), has banned importation or possession of remote control toys. Anyone caught with one of these devices is arrested for possessing a terrorist weapon. The problem is that these devices had been outlawed before, and the smugglers didn't pay much attention. Remote control toys, which are quite popular with kids of all ages in Myanmar, continued to be smuggled in from China (where they are manufactured for a worldwide market). So the new law imposes a sentence of life-in-prison if you get caught with a remote control toy.

 


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