Counter-Terrorism: Wireless Fatal Attraction

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August 25, 2012: Islamic terror groups are having some major problems with the growing use of smart phones by their followers. Cell phones have long been a mixed blessing because the police (especially with Western help) could track the use and location of terrorist users. Smart phones are basically handheld computers that easily connect to the Internet. This exposes young, impressionable Islamic terrorists to some terrible, and punishable, temptations. While there is porn, there are many lesser sins like Indian musicals, Western action movies, and many TV shows. There are also music videos and lots of amateur vids.

While groups like al Qaeda and the Taliban tend to attract recruits who are young, uneducated, and poor, they also get people who are ambitious, in addition to enthusiastic holy warriors. But these guys don't take a vow of poverty. In some parts of the world, like Afghanistan and the Pakistani tribal territories, "loot" is understood to be a fringe benefit for Islamic terrorists. With this bit of wealth comes knowledge about the pleasures mobile phones (the ones that can connect to the Internet) can deliver. Thus it's no surprise that these young religious fanatics are eager to get a mobile phone or, if they already have one, a more powerful model. The goal is a smart phone and all the wonders said to be available therein.

The terrorist leadership forbids their followers from misbehaving with smart phones. This is difficult to police and it soon became apparent that lots of young fighters would be lost if all smart phone sinners were executed or expelled. So the terrorist leaders went after the source and forced local providers of cell phone service to shut down, often for most of the day. This enabled civilians and terrorists alike to make use of their cell phones for some of the day but not be distracted by the damn things all day long. Another target is the cell phone shops that will also load up a smart phone with music, videos, and salacious ring tones. These restrictions on cell phone use make the terror groups less popular with civilians and the many younger terrorists who are often acting in the name of hormones, not religion.

 


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