Feeds

Israeli futurologist predicts terror horror

Run for the hills

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Western nations have less than 20 years to prepare for the next generation of terror threats, according to Dr Yair Sharan, director of Tel Aviv University's Interdisciplinary Centre for Technology Analysis and Forecasting.

These could consist of suicide bombers remote-controlled by brain-chip implants and carrying nano-technology cluster bombs, or biological compounds for which there is no antidote.

It is hard to imagine how we are supposed to prepare for such a future, but Sharan, who presented his dire predictions to an audience of spook industry bigwigs last week, has some idea about what the US and its allies should do about it.

"Europe is naive with its love of privacy," he told The Register. "It's the weak point in the chain."

The spook industry is already doing its best to prepare for the worst, and gaining a sense of history about what it is doing.

Sharan's take on geopolitics can only put wind in their sails: "Why should we be more worried about death today?" he said at the Royal United Services Institute conference on Homeland Security last week.

We get a better-educated class of terrorists these days, he told the conference, while sci/tech advances can quickly find their way into irresponsible hands, or "proliferate" through the forces of globalisation. Not only that, technology is always smaller and cheaper, making it inevitable that bad people are going to get their hands on some bad-ass weaponry.

Most bizarre of all his predictions is "the recruitment of huge numbers of suicidal candidates - human bombs - by mind control techniques".

Brain chip implants could create a more obedient servant than conventional techniques like hypnosis: "Imagine that this suicide bomber is remote controlled and cannot give up, even if he wants," warned Sharan.

This might be some way off, though - Sharan estimated it would be more than 10 years. Within five years, however, we might be faced with terrorists armed with powerful new explosives delivered by robot. Even remote controlled toys might be used to deliver dangerous payloads into crowded places like supermarkets, he said.

Some of these payloads, also conceivably within five years, would be constructed using radical nanotechnology that could produce something called the MOAB, or Mother of All Bombs. Nanotechnology, which is made using components one billionth of a metre across, might also give terrorists the means to release malicious nanobots into people's bloodstreams.

Terrorists might also get their hands on new biotechnology that could give them powerful new weapons. "Imagine anthrax that would stand against antibiotics," he said. "It's possible to do that - to build a new kind of anthrax that would be resistant. It was done by Russia - the knowledge is there and might fall into the hands of terrorists."

Sharan said we should also worry about terrorists getting their hands on cluster bombs. Now where might they have got that idea? ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.