Counter-Terrorism: Osama's Internet Connection

Archives

January 15, 2008: While Osama bin Laden, and other al Qaeda and Taliban leaders may be hiding out in the mountains along the Afghan-Pakistan border, they are not cut off from the outside world. For a few thousand dollars, you can put together a a portable, solar powered, Internet connection. Weighing less than twenty pounds, it can be stuffed into a backpack and carried anywhere. Using solar panels, a satellite phone and a laptop, and you are connected. Satellite phone companies now provide higher data speeds. Not quite DSL, but you can move all the data a terrorist mastermind requires for communication and propaganda.

The terrorists know that Western intelligence agencies are all over the satellite phone systems. But by using code words, and encrypting the messages, much information can be exchanged without unacceptable risk. Moreover, the phones themselves can be used at a distance from the hideouts, lest the Americans are plotting the location of the phone, and have a missile armed Predator UAV nearby.

The intel people won't comment on this, especially any success they may have breaking the multiple layers of encryption, or doing an analysis of transmission locations. At the same time, such portable Internet set-ups are also useful for Western counter-terrorism forces operating in the back-country. U.S. Army Special Forces often have small teams doing stake outs in the outback, and Internet access is essential for getting and sending information.

 


Article Archive

Counter-Terrorism: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close