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When Criminals and Terrorists Communicate In Real Time

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the getting-CNN-holograms-to-jabber-about-you-isn't-enough-anymore dept.

Social Networks 245

theodp writes "CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen notes that the assault on the upscale Westgate Mall in Nairobi by armed gunmen 'was the first major terrorist attack in history in which the group that mounted the operation used Twitter to announce to the world it was responsible. The group then quickly tweeted what its rationale was for the attack and also gave operational details of the assault — all in real time.' During the massacre, a Twitter account purportedly used by the Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab tweeted, 'Like it or loathe it! our mujahideen confirmed all executions were point blank range!' The group also wrote, '#Westgate: a 14-hour standoff relayed in 1400 rounds of bullets and 140 characters of vengeance and still ongoing. Good morning Kenya!' So, what's in store for our brave new world of Social Media? 'The next logical step,' fears Bergen, 'will be for terrorists to cover their deadly operations using their own real-time live video feeds linked to sites such as Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. If that happens, terrorist attacks will become a form of theater in which terrorists not only get to write the play but also act as the primary producers of the coverage of the event.'"

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choosing sides (1, Funny)

Moblaster (521614) | about a year ago | (#44970963)

You're with us, or you're with the twitterists!

Re:choosing sides (4, Funny)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#44971277)

Basically they're saying instead of watching OJ's bronco from the air, we'll get live feed from INSIDE it. Reality TV for criminals. I see slashdotting's on the horizon.

Re:choosing sides (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971445)

@Ethanol-Fueled Hey guys I'm about to post a nigger troll on #Slashdot! #Trolling

@Ethanol-fueled Haha! I just posted it! Hahahaha! #Trolling

@Ethanol-fueled Somebody just responded to it! Hahah! #Trolling

@Ethanol-fueled Aww, I just got banned :( #Trolling #Banned

Re:choosing sides (-1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44971533)

Sounds about like the stupid criminals videos I watch before bedtime.

But does it change anything? (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44970973)

I think the Westgate attack has simply strengthened Kenya's resolve to sort out Somalia, and has turned even more people against the militants.

If they start doing live feeds and start "controlling" reporting of the events they'll just make even more people hate them and make people even more determined to defeat them.

Terrorism is about as effective as torture.

Re:But does it change anything? (2)

Dan East (318230) | about a year ago | (#44971061)

It will glorify and make "celebrities" of those terrorists that are martyring themselves for their religion. That will have a very strong influence on the youth already brainwashed by Islam, and prompt them to follow in their footsteps. The purpose is not to try and convert people to Islam, but to encourage and mobilize the existing followers of the religion. I think it would succeed in that (specifically talking about live video, etc).

Re:But does it change anything? (4, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44971123)

yeah so how does this differ from red terror of '60s?
not one bit.

publicity hunting terrorists hunt for publicity, newsflashs at 19.00.

Re:But does it change anything? (4, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44971427)

Actually it does differ. The 'Red Terror' (Socialist / Communist / ????) from the 1960's had a message they were trying to impart to the proletariat. Arise and shake off your chains. The Mujahedin / Muslim Radicals want to convert other non aligned Muslims to the cause (and then wipe out everyone else). There are different targets to the message and qualitatively and quantitatively different styles to the broadcast of the message.

I think most Westerners don't see that because blatant hate speech / incitement to violence is essentially heavily censored and things aren't so bad in (most) of the West as to have a huge pool of angry (usually) young men with nothing to lose.

TL;DR - YOU are not the target of these ads.

Re:But does it change anything? (1, Troll)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44971495)

Yes the 1960-70's gave the world the a few agents provocateurs and false flag terrorist attacks to up the publicity for more protective governments.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy_of_tension [wikipedia.org]

Re:But does it change anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971665)

What at 7pm?

Re:But does it change anything? (2, Insightful)

hjf (703092) | about a year ago | (#44971145)

But but but... Islam is a religion of peace!

Re:But does it change anything? (2, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44971465)

So is every other religion :-/

Re:But does it change anything? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971601)

Yes, we see the same behavior daily from Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus daily...

You'll note I didn't bother mentioning Jews, since that just stirs up more pro-Muslim sympathy on the Internet these days.

As a discordianist... (1)

gwolf (26339) | about a year ago | (#44971649)

I am deeply hurt by your baseless argument and demand a full-out war to be fought to solve this dispute.

Between Armenia and Zimbabwe.

Re:But does it change anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971545)

Dead people are "at peace".

Re:But does it change anything? (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44971299)

I can't see live video making the blindest bit of difference.

If someone's radicalised then they're radicalised. They may be egged on by a video of someone doing something horrible but they'll be egged on by that live or not.

FWIW I don't see what it has to do with Islam either. Last I checked live reporting of terror events isn't something that only muslims would ever possibly be able to do.

I'm sure the likes of the IRA if they weren't now just a bunch of angry chavs without much competence would equally like to do this.

It already happened earlier this year pretty much with the killing of Lee Rigby in London but I don't think standing there ranting like a lunatic covered in another guy's blood to some middle aged woman really did much to glorify or help their cause.

Re:But does it change anything? (5, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#44971467)

Depends on the country, I suppose. It appears that some of the vids coming out of Syria are doing a good job of convincing young muslims not to go and fight/die in a crappy jihad. And they're doing an even better job convincing the parents to convince their kids not to go.

In this case, confronting would-be supporters with the raw reality instead of a romantic picture of people fighting for their beliefs or freedom, may well work against the terrorists, losing them those supporters. With some luck the terrorists will be marginalized like ETA or the RAF (both the German and Colombian one).

Re:But does it change anything? (4, Interesting)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#44971225)

I think you're partially right and partially wrong. Terrorism can be effective, but only when it creates fear in a populace (that's a tautology, actually). What creates fear is not hurting and killing people, it's hurting and killing people with impunity. If someone punches you in the face, and then you fight back and beat them to a bloody pulp, you're not going to be afraid of them. If someone punches you in the face and easily defends against your attempts to retaliate, then the fear starts.

The Westgate attackers were, afaik, all captured or killed. Had they struck, killed a bunch of people, and then faded away into the shadows, then I think there would be a lot more fear shown by the Kenyan people. Or if Kenyan forces are defeated in Somalia, and Somalian terrorists continue to attack Kenya, then I think there will be more fear. But the current situation, where the Kenyans have been thus far quite successful in driving al Shabaab from its bases and then in bottling up their retaliatory strike, brings to mind more an animal in its death throes than something to be feared.

Re:But does it change anything? (3, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44971511)

But does that ever happen? Here in the UK when the 21/7 bombers got away they were on the lose a while before getting caught but I don't think there was any real hysteria, in fact, I caught a plane from Heathrow when they were all still on the run and whilst there were a few more police walking around I don't think anyone was particularly more scared.

I think even if they escape, or even the al-Shabab managed to defeat Kenyan forces and push into Somalia it wouldn't do anything to further their cause, it'd just leave Kenya with more allies working to protect them and defeat al-Shabab.

This is basically what happened in Mali, where the Islamist did threaten the capital, and all that did was piss off a sleeping dragon - France, to come and blow the living shit out of them.

About the only example I can think of of terrorism possibly working was the Madrid train bombings resulting in a different government getting into Spain and pulling out of Iraq, but there's still a question as to whether the Spanish people would've wanted that anyway.

There's a certain irony to it all though, terrorism tends to happen when people feel disempowered to affect real political change in the way they feel is at least an acceptable compromise, but all it does is give the victims of terrorism that exact same feeling turning them against the terrorists with even more zeal. If someone blows up your family, you don't say "Okay I give in, I'll give you everything you want", you instead pursue policies or actual physical revenge that makes the terrorists even more powerless than they were before they turned to terrorism, it ultimately creates a cycle where the terrorists are always the disadvantaged and become ever more so as the cycle progresses to the point they're either crushed or forced to pursue their agenda peaceful through politics.

The IRA, the Tamil Tigers, and now FARC and the PKK. It's always the same. It'll happen to the likes of al Shabab eventually one way or the other too.

But. (0)

leuk_he (194174) | about a year ago | (#44971429)

One side is callem them terrorists, some other side is calling them freedom fighters.

With freedom of the media you might be able to see both sides from your armchair.

By the way, youtube is a bad example for politcal video's. Youtube takes down objectionable material, and adds advertisements to others. I think liveleak might be a better example.

Re:But. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44971551)

Re terrorists, some other side is calling them freedom fighters.
Look how useful they are as freedom fighters in Syria :)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10311007/Syria-nearly-half-rebel-fighters-are-jihadists-or-hardline-Islamists-says-IHS-Janes-report.html [telegraph.co.uk]
Great for use against Iran and bringing freedoms to Libya as freedom fighters too. Kept the media rating up in Afghanistan and Iraq as terrorists.

Re:But does it change anything? (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | about a year ago | (#44971549)

I think the Westgate attack has simply strengthened Kenya's resolve to sort out Somalia, and has turned even more people against the militants.

This is very probable, and so maybe anticipated. "by their fruit you will recognize them"

Re:But does it change anything? (1)

disposable60 (735022) | about a year ago | (#44971563)

Terrorism is about as effective as torture because it is the tactic of impotence (to paraphrase somebody smrt). It gets you attention - mostly negative - but if your cause is just, some non-trrist face will be appointed your leader (Mandela, Gandhi) and you eventually win. That your local government is secular rather than something-ist is not a just cause. That your local government is a brutally repressive kleptocracy is.

Re:But does it change anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971595)

The problem is that terrorism -is- effective. It is a propaganda tool that works extremely well. Here in the US, we are still feeling the backlash and the running scared from 9/11 where people are afraid of their own shadow, and the slots for boogeymen under the bed are getting pretty full. I am being a devil's advocate, but one can argue that 9/11 was the most successful military strike done since World War 2 in any theater of conflict in the success of demoralization and weakening of a targeted nation.

Torture is also effective. It not just gets information, but it sends a message to the community when the mangled person is returned, that the mangled person is an example... this is what happens when someone tries to cross the party doing the torturing. It is a very effective tactic. It kept the royalty in power in Europe for a good chunk of a millennium until the plague came around and the nobles ran out of peasant backs to break to keep their way of life going.

It will be "interesting times" ahead, as in the Chinese curse. In the past, sites could be pulled that were for terroristic organizations to show off their videos. However, with control of the Internet moving from the US to the UN, this can allow a site whose sole purpose is to support and recruit revolutionaries to run 24/7 with its propaganda messages without any way of it being shut down. I wouldn't be surprised to see more "YouTube vids" of attacks in progress as recruitment tools and propaganda tools. It sure as heck worked in the US.

And? (5, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | about a year ago | (#44970987)

Aside from the question of who gets to act as producer, how is this different from using CNN to do the same thing?

Re:And? (1)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44971191)

how is this different from using CNN to do the same thing?

It is different in that CNN do not conspire to commit a terrorist attack with hundreds of murders. They profit handsomely from reporting such occurrences, but they don't initiate them. At least, not directly...

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971593)

how is this different from using CNN to do the same thing?

It is different in that CNN do not conspire to commit a terrorist attack with hundreds of murders. They profit handsomely from reporting such occurrences, but they don't initiate them. At least, not directly...

So are you saying that TWITTER is conspiring with the terrorists?

Re:And? (0)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44971709)

No, they conspire with the righteous wrapped in the flag to promote a military attack as glorious. Complete with mission accomplished banners when there are clearly years to go before anything is accomplished (good or bad).

In reality, it's mostly the same old crap.

Re:And? (5, Interesting)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#44971215)

At first I was thinking it's no different -- television and radio have been abetting terrorists forever by sensaltionalizing on their attacks and keeping the stories in front of the public for weeks -- but then I realized there is a difference: editorial control. Independent media can filter and spin the message in the way that serves the media's interests (keeping people glued to their televisions). The terrorists want that control for themselves, to serve their own agenda.

Re:And? (1)

swb (14022) | about a year ago | (#44971611)

The novelty of a real-time criminal enterprise would quickly wear off for the viewing audience, turning it into something worse than the lowest budget fakeumentary indie horror movie.

It could just get boring and worst it would turn the audience against them, perhaps enough so that the authorities might be politically enabled to use the kinds of force against them now considered too extreme. Right now the public might consider the collateral damage of dead hostages unacceptable, it could get to the point where capturing and killing the hostages at any cost becomes politically acceptable.

The days-long drama of Westgate isn't a drama if 3 hours after the assault begins if the self-made media of the terrorists enables the authorities to merely bomb the building into rubble and kill anything that tries to escape.

Terrorists would then become victims of their own aims and end up subverting their goals to maintain media popularity.

Re:And? (1, Redundant)

Anon, Not Coward D (2797805) | about a year ago | (#44971233)

CNN is just upset since they have another competitor for the "exclusive news"

Re:And? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44971461)

Al Jazeera has been making quiet inroads into the "Western World" for the past 5 years. That's who CNN should be afraid of since they are both playing the same game.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971573)

Surely the MIC will embrace and fund both CNN and AlJazeera, as long as the dollars "to combat terrorism" keep rolling.

Now that the Russian head of state listens to Rock/Pop music, a New Threat must be nurtured, to avoid serious downsizing.

Re:And? (1)

StormReaver (59959) | about a year ago | (#44971261)

Aside from the question of who gets to act as producer, how is this different from using CNN to do the same thing?

Governments around the world are terrified of their citizens getting information that hasn't been thoroughly spun by the former's propaganda machine.

Re:And? (0)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44971565)

You're asking how is self reporting different from someone else reporting?

Seriously?

Faster, and without an extra filter changing the propaganda. It will be pure islamic fundamentalist cultist propaganda rather than co-opted for the propaganda that CNN has an interest in promoting.

I think it's a good thing. One thing that infuriated me about the 9/11 attack coverage was that the news channels carried what had happened, and essentially said they attacked us because "they hate our freedom." FUCK YOU! That's not at all why they attacked! I don't agree with the reasons they DID have, but essentially patting ourselves on the back and saying "They're picking on us because they're jealous of how AWESOME we are!" ensures it's going to happen over and over again. And it totally skipped over the part where maybe we reconsider our foreign policy that offended them.

I'm not suggesting that such a dialogue would have been productive. It would have probably gone something like

"They attacked us in part because we support Israel, who they hate. Why are we supporting Israel anyway? Maybe we shouldn't be wasting our money supporting Israel as it doesn't do anything good for us and it's just making a lot more enemies in the region?"
Response: "FUCK YOU TERRORIST SYMPATHIZER!"

Still, I think truth is better than self-delusion, and I would have preferred that conversation to the one we did have. In my opinion, more direct communication is better than putting it through filters which allow us to continue lying to ourselves and totally misunderstanding what is really happening. This is perhaps why CNN and other groups that use the FUD to their advantage are afraid of it, not because violent idiots will have a better chance of bombing places if they can broadcast on twitter.

Re:And? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44971627)

Aside from the question of who gets to act as producer, how is this different from using CNN to do the same thing?

The message: Terrorism as a "glorious victory of jihad and martyrdom leading to paradise", or terrorism as "a mass atrocity and embarrassment to its co-religionists in particular, and humanity in general."

Terrorism without media coverage is pointless (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44970991)

cut the feeds, and fu... the press, and you get a lot less terorism

The worst kind of criminals (3, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year ago | (#44970997)

communicate in real-time faster than anybody else: it's called high-frequency trading.

False moral equivalency (3, Insightful)

PseudoCoder (1642383) | about a year ago | (#44971201)

(@$$holes gaming the system to make a few more bucks) != (@$$holes trying to subjugate the entire western world under the banner of Islam)

Jihadists' menu of alternatives for non-believers of Islam:

1) Convert to Islam

2) Pay jizyah ("infidel tax")

3) Separate your head from the rest of your body and put it on camera to remind others why you should opt for 1) or 2).

Re:False moral equivalency (5, Funny)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about a year ago | (#44971263)

Man if my wife saw a credit charge to someone under the label "jizyah", do you know what hell I'd have trying to prove that's not a pr0n charge?

Re:False moral equivalency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971287)

Why does every-other word in Arabic start with the syllable "JIZ?"

The Arabs have got to be the most angrily repressed and self-loathing population of homosexuals on the planet!

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:False moral equivalency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971513)

The Arabs have got to be the most angrily repressed and self-loathing population of homosexuals on the planet!

You mean outside the military?

Re:False moral equivalency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971633)

Funny thing being YOU AMERICANS protect his open sore: Wahabism out of your protectorate Saudi-Arabia has been financing Terror around the world since 1979. It still is. Makes for a great business for your MIC/Security industry.

They (MIC) don't want to root it out, rather they use it like the Mafia uses thugs to extract "protection money".

Hope you have great fun with your invention !

Re:The worst kind of criminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971265)

If it were really like high frequency trading, slashdotters would advocate shutting down Twitter.

All terrorism experts, please STFU (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971051)

What is the news in this story? What deep insight into the problem of terrorism did Peter Bergen just provide? This is recycled old news with superficial and obvious interpretation. Why do we keep hearing from idiots that are being sold to us as experts?

Re:All terrorism experts, please STFU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971179)

What is the news in this story? What deep insight into the problem of terrorism did Peter Bergen just provide? This is recycled old news with superficial and obvious interpretation. Why do we keep hearing from idiots that are being sold to us as experts?

Said the "expert".

Knew it all along (0)

seven of five (578993) | about a year ago | (#44971095)

Drama queens...

God damn it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971147)

First we have fake girl nerds, now we have fake terrorist nerds.
GO AWAY YOU PEOPLE CAN'T BE NERDS GO PLAY WITH YOUR SAND.

Now we see the problem (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44971155)

If that happens, terrorist attacks will become a form of theater in which terrorists not only get to write the play but also act as the primary producers of the coverage of the event.

CNN and other news outlets are simply demanding to be in charge of the coverage themselves - the terrorists showing and explaining their own actions is a challenge to their oligopoly! Also, it makes it impossible for the US State Dept to go to the major media outlets and politely ask them to adjust the coverage to something more to the current administration's (whoever the current administration happens to be, this isn't Obama-specific) liking.

Major media outlets don't really hate massive disasters and horrific violence, because both of those drive up ratings. In fact, if there's nothing major going on, they'll do their best to take a relatively minor affair and describe it as a massive disaster, for precisely that purpose.

Re:Now we see the problem (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44971469)

So in short, this is just another "power" narrative to you, and you're in favor of "power to the people" even if it is power to those who are killing the people?

Re:Now we see the problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971681)

So in short, this is just another "power" narrative to you, and you're in favor of "power to the people" even if it is power to those who are killing the people?

I think you're missing the point.

When CNN, Fox, etc. shoot video of an event and put it on air, it's subject to their own editorial spin, and in the case of some networks the government gets a hand in the spin as well.
When a terrorist/freedom fighter/rebel (call them whatever, I'm speaking in general terms) has the ability to bypass the Established media, THEY are the ones in control of the spin.

The only REAL difference between the two is whose agenda is being pushed. The actual people who are gaining "power" are the actual VIEWERS- they have the option to get the story both from the people involved, as well as the perspective of the established media.

I don't really see how this is fundamentally any different than in the "old days" of hardcopy printing- when the common person was able to purchase a cheap printer and produce their own material, they cut out the Established print industry and were able to distribute material directly to people. Adding the phrase "in real time" doesn't really change things much in my opinion.

New opportunity for Google Glass! (1)

hsmith (818216) | about a year ago | (#44971159)

I am surprised it hasn't occurred already with other cam systems.

Re:New opportunity for Google Glass! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971559)

Next step bullet CAM. Showing the terror from a bullet's prospective.

Re:New opportunity for Google Glass! (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44971571)

Well it kind of has to an extent. A couple of terrorists to date have used the likes of Go Pro to record the incidents. That guy in France who killed a few soldiers and kids for example.

I think some of the mass shooters in the US have too, the Aurora shootings perhaps?

The only problems they had is that they weren't live, so got picked up by the police and locked well away before it got out though IIRC one of them was leaked at least.

Am I the only one enraged? (1, Interesting)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44971163)

Like it or loathe it! our mujahideen confirmed all executions were point blank range!

Me thinks, a conspiracy to commit murder this massive and this blatant, for reasons this nebulous, and with attitude this obnoxious, deserves punishment, that's harsher than an ordinary death penalty...

And not even for the actual murderers, whom I would allow to die in battle, but the jerks cheering them and goading them on — like this little twit behind the tweeter account. A simple needle or firing squad is not enough...

Re:Am I the only one enraged? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#44971245)

You're not the only one.

Re:Am I the only one enraged? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971251)

spoken like a true patriot who lets his own army go wild, but is appalled at the actions of others. PROTIP: Clean house, america's burned through most of the respect it's earned, expect ever more brazen twerrorisms, as ur government becomes ever more brazen in the world of REALPOLITIK!!

Re:Am I the only one enraged? (1)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44971637)

spoken like a true patriot who lets his own army go wild, but is appalled at the actions of others.

Our army does not deliberately kill captured unarmed civilians, Anonymous. They certainly do not conspire to do that — nor do they brag about it on the Internet.

The few times some soldiers were caught doing something like that, it were a major scandal and they got prosecuted — "we" not only not "let them go wild", we try hard to prevent it, whereas Al-Shabab encourages it...

So, worry not, Anonymous, our house is quite clean and we do have a right to outraged.

Re:Am I the only one enraged? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971319)

A simple needle or firing squad is not enough...

I disagree. A fair trial with a presentation of evidence, an impartial weighing of that evidence by a jury of peers, a conviction and sentencing, and a carrying out of the sentence are enough. Rule of Law and Due Process are enough. We are the civilized ones; they are the animals.

Re:Am I the only one enraged? (1)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44971483)

A fair trial with a presentation of evidence, an impartial weighing of that evidence by a jury of peers, a conviction and sentencing, and a carrying out of the sentence are enough.

Absolute and full agreement. You would note, that I was only talking about the actual sentence — when and if the guilt is proven.

Re:Am I the only one enraged? (1)

Urkki (668283) | about a year ago | (#44971355)

While I will refrain from commenting on your post otherwise, I have to say that execution by a simple needle sounds like quite a nasty and slow way to kill someone. If that is not enough for you, I don't want to know how "medieval" you want to get.

Re:Am I the only one enraged? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44971409)

Whatever you do, it'd only further inspire their follows. You just need to make the penalty something sufficiently *boring*.

It might help if the law stops treating terrorists some some super-elite league-of-their-own master criminals, and just throws them in with all the run-of-the-mill murderers and vandals.

Re:Am I the only one enraged? (1)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#44971705)

Whatever you do, it'd only further inspire their follows.

The attitude of "we all die sometime, so let's die with glory fighting the infidels", may be broken by making the death at the hands of the "infidels" so much more nasty and gruesome, that the "glory" may not be enough to compensate...

Whether or not it would be effective, is for the military psyops to evaluate — but, if they think, it may help, we ought to follow the advice.

Re:Am I the only one enraged? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971723)

Whatever you do, it'd only further inspire their follows. You just need to make the penalty something sufficiently *boring*.

Boring them to death?

Re:Am I the only one enraged? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971699)

Surely your experts at CIA have a Medieval Solution for the problem.

First time in history? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about a year ago | (#44971165)

Wasn't there a terrorist attack elsewhere in Africa a few months ago where the people involved were tweeting about it?

May have been the same organization - I think it was an attack in Mogadishu?

Re:First time in history? (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44971229)

And the Mumbai guys were coordinating over BBM... Probably the last time RIM was on the winning side of anything.

Re:First time in history? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44971685)

Yes, but imagine the devastating impact if they get dropped: RIM - so bad that even terrorists won't use it*.

* For parody use only.

The solution is mockery (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971203)

The next time a terrorist does this, start up a twitter handle mocking them.

Umm... OK. (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44971221)

So, in the future, terrorists will sacrifice considerable amounts of operational secrecy because they are wannabe-mediagenic attention whores? Isn't this a terribly convenient development, for everyone except the wannabe-mediagenic attention whores who are currently paid by news channels to bloviate mindlessly on the minimal information available 24/7, without pause, until substantive information becomes available, which terrifies them and drives them back to celebrity gossip?

Re:Umm... OK. (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | about a year ago | (#44971345)

So, in the future, terrorists will sacrifice considerable amounts of operational secrecy because they are wannabe-mediagenic attention whores?

On the other hand, maybe they'll accidentally reveal just how much the blue force can reveal about its tactics without sacrificing operational security. It also sets up a natural contrast, so long as the "good guys" don't execute people, etc.

Re:Umm... OK. (2)

mbone (558574) | about a year ago | (#44971379)

I think they already are "wannabe-mediagenic attention whores."

(Well, except for the people working for a state intelligence service, but if they do something like this, it will be controlled and strictly for disinformation.)

Re:Umm... OK. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44971423)

Terrorists generally don't plan to win personally. Media coverage is part of the aim. There's no point killing people if the world doesn't get to hear why you did it.

Re:Umm... OK. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44971659)

Yes the "sacrifice considerable amounts of operational secrecy" only works well with state funding, the protection of perfect papers, on going weapons support.
That would be a real press story :)

Re:Umm... OK. (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year ago | (#44971721)

Do you understand the point of terrorism? It's not to "win" the fight. It's to scare the ever loving piss out of your enemies. It's one thing to have CNN say "3 hostages were killed" and another to watch armed gunmen kill 3 people in cold blood on a live video feed.

YouTube, FB, etc isn't live video (1)

Wokan (14062) | about a year ago | (#44971255)

More likely they'll use a platform like Ustream if they want to put up live video.

Re:YouTube, FB, etc isn't live video (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44971581)

Youtube has some live video capability, I don't know if ordinary users can access it though. Youtube would shut it down fast in any case.

Terrorists will have to do something like how live sports broadcasts are pirated: Have one source, ideally going over a darknet, that is streamed to many public sites creating a game of whack-a-mole that can't be won.

This has a benefit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971271)

It provides authorities information, and evidence, which can facilitate stopping them, or at least convicting them afterwards

I for one welcome our new NSA overlords (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971285)

Fortunately the ability to tweet about atrocities like these will soon be a thing of the past in the emerging surveillance state.

Sounds good at first, but... (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about a year ago | (#44971293)

This might sound like a great idea at first, but remember what happened to Howard Beale. I'm warning you, terrorists: you can go on killing people, but DO NOT fuck with primal forces of nature.

Shutting off feed in 3, 2, 1 (4, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | about a year ago | (#44971343)

This will work the first time, maybe. After that, the feeds will be shut off quickly.

I could see real-time terrorists being fed a honeytrap version of social media, tailored for them, with certain... inaccuracies for their enjoyment. THAT would be a sensible employment of the NSA's computer power.

Good (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#44971357)

I'm not seeing a downside to this. It's not like they are getting good PR out of it. Anything that gets information out of the control of the main stream media, and lets people make up their own minds is a good thing. It's OK for us to listen to their message, and condemn them when we decide that it is evil on our own. We don't need CNN to do that for us.

Re:Good (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44971529)

I'm not seeing a downside to this.

You will be encouraged to think for yourself and explore other avenues of thought (at least theoretically, "thinking" and Twitter really shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence).

Twitter Horseshit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971361)

What the fuck it the point of this fluff piece? First time in history? This ass hat seems to forget the number of times past terrorists have grabbed a bullhorn, microphone, or TV camera crew to get their message out.

Peter Bergen and CNN need to just SFTU with their opinions and interpretations and just report FACTS, NEWS! This story is not a fact and it is not news!

Nothing new here. (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44971369)

Criminals have communicated in real time for ages. Whether in person, by telephone, by telegraph, by radio, by television, by megaphone, or by right of the office they hold.

Hmmm ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971393)

How does promoting terrorism fit into Twitter's TOS?

Couldn't they just stop letting these idiots send their stuff out? From the sounds of it, they know the accounts.

Sure, they'd probably just create a new account, but I'd think they'd have to let people know what it is.

I'm sure Twitter can yank your account for far less than telling the world in detail how you're killing innocent people -- because, let's face it, the people they're attacking have NOTHING to do with what they're upset about.

By their stupid logic, anybody else who is pissed off at Muslim extremists should be able to just blow up a mosque and say it's in retaliation for this shit and call it fair game.

Both Mohammed and Allah are assholes if this is what your religion teaches.

Advertising? (1)

TooTechy (191509) | about a year ago | (#44971407)

Wow - I wonder if there will be an advertising outlet where folks can advertise anything they like. Cigarettes, alcohol, weapons?

I can see the live video feed from these folks becoming a revenue stream for their cause?

Do you want to know more?

Terrorism == theater (5, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | about a year ago | (#44971413)

True terrorism (as opposed to guerilla actions conveniently labeled as terrorism) has always been theater. How else are masses of people going to get terrorized?

Technology (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#44971417)

Can be used for good and evil. Its just the nature of humanity.

This was a False Flag Operation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971451)

Designed to justify Israeli and US control over Kenyan oil.

News Broadcasts (1)

Tim12s (209786) | about a year ago | (#44971455)

I believe that most of the 3rd world do not listen to CNN or do they listen to president speeches. Rhetoric and rebuttle is a problem as I am certain that societies that fully understood the arguments would be disgusted by their leaders ignorance. Unfortunately it is the masses, the lowest common denominator, the idiocracy, the mob, that feed the irrational organized terrorism and they have little desire to get educated when confronted with the breadline and minimum wage.

So what does this mean...?

Terrorists will use twitter and other forms of social media. Obtain universal damnation and subsequent richeous retaliation will just feed the flames. Not much will change.

Good. (5, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#44971471)

Seriously. Good. I hope they do more of this. If they keep going it will backfire on them faster than a semtex shockwave through the bodies of apostates in the sears tower (hey there NSA: stop reading, start leaking).

I know these guys, some of them, are scholarly and study terrorism. They read books by IRA members, and all that good stuff. They didn't learn some big lessons.

The single biggest lesson the US military learned in Viet Nam was this: Civilians hate real war. Nothing has so turned people against war and against supporting it like seeing the real true brutality of it all over their TV screens and front page.

The US military learned that, which is why, by the time the gulf war happened, reporters were being shuttled around to get to the scene right after the bodies were moved, and real brutality over.

Also.... one disagreement I have with the article is that this is such a huge change, or will change terrorism. It has ALWAYS been a media stunt. Terror attacks are not serious existential threats, they are media grabs. This is just taking it to its next logical step.

Re:Good. (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44971631)

Mod parent Insightful, hits all the good points.

s/Terrorist attacks/Military intervention/g (3, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#44971505)

"If that happens, terrorist attacks will become a form of theater in which terrorists not only get to write the play but also act as the primary producers of the coverage of the event."

As opposed to:

"If that happens, military intervention will become a form of theater in which governments not only get to write the play but also act as the primary producers of the coverage of the event."

The CNN coverage of the Iraq invasions could be seen as the same thing as in Nairobi - it just depends on what side you stand on.

Latest Installment Of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44971507)

.."NSA needs more power".

Fuck THAT.

If screen peeking has told me anything... (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year ago | (#44971577)

Swat teams would love it if they had a real time camera on each target. It would be best if they strap it to their head so the swat can sneak up and shoot them in the back.

My thoughts (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#44971645)

Anti-terrorist organizations can use the same live technology to show terrorirsts getting captured / killed.

Twitter should be able to better control removal of such content, idk if that encroaches on the 1st amendment though.

The Mao Tse Tung Hour. (2)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about a year ago | (#44971679)

Anyone who has watched Network knows how this will pan out. Still a disturbingly prescient film.

But will they leave comments on? (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | about a year ago | (#44971697)

There's nothing like laughing at someone's earnest attempts at political theory or correcting their grammar to belittle their attempts at being taken seriously.

Data caps (1)

mveloso (325617) | about a year ago | (#44971725)

It'll be hard to uStream that attack when you pay for your data by the minute.

"Ahmed, I thought we were on an unlimited plan?"
"We are, Rachman, but we're getting throttled!"
"And why is our username AllahsAngels?"

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