Menu

Blog

Archive for the ‘terrorism’ category

Dec 26, 2020

Suicide bomb detection method using Doppler radar to de“ data-react-helmet=”true

Posted by in categories: security, terrorism

Over the past 25 years, suicide attacks have emerged as a method used on a large scale by terrorist organizations to inflict lethal damage and create fear and chaos. Data collected by the University of Chicago’s Project on Security & Threats shows that worldwide there were 5, 021 suicide attacks utilizing bombs, which resulted in 47, 253 deaths and 113, 413 wounded from 2000 to 2016.

And recent news reports have highlighted the attempted use of suicide bombs in U.S. subways and city streets as well as on major airlines. An individual willing to sacrifice their own life in an attack is a significant force-multiplier, who too often escapes conventional threat detection methods. However, new technologies may yet close the security gap.

To detect suicide bombers preparing to attack public places and other high-value targets, a research team led by a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School invented a method to detect persons wearing wires or a significant amount of metal that might be part of an explosive device.

Continue reading “Suicide bomb detection method using Doppler radar to de‘ data-react-helmet=’true” »

Dec 21, 2020

Passive Antibody Administration (Immediate Immunity) as a Specific Defense Against Biological Weapons

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, military, terrorism

Circa 2002


The potential threat of biological warfare with a specific agent is proportional to the susceptibility of the population to that agent. Preventing disease after exposure to a biological agent is partially a function of the immunity of the exposed individual. The only available countermeasure that can provide immediate immunity against a biological agent is passive antibody. Unlike vaccines, which require time to induce protective immunity and depend on the host’s ability to mount an immune response, passive antibody can theoretically confer protection regardless of the immune status of the host. Passive antibody therapy has substantial advantages over antimicrobial agents and other measures for postexposure prophylaxis, including low toxicity and high specific activity. Specific antibodies are active against the major agents of bioterrorism, including anthrax, smallpox, botulinum toxin, tularemia, and plague. This article proposes a biological defense initiative based on developing, producing, and stockpiling specific antibody reagents that can be used to protect the population against biological warfare threats.

Defense strategies against biological weapons include such measures as enhanced epidemiologic surveillance, vaccination, and use of antimicrobial agents, with the important caveat that the final line of defense is the immune system of the exposed individual. The potential threat of biological warfare and bioterrorism is inversely proportional to the number of immune persons in the targeted population. Thus, biological agents are potential weapons only against populations with a substantial proportion of susceptible persons. For example, smallpox virus would not be considered a useful biological weapon against a population universally immunized with vaccinia.

Continue reading “Passive Antibody Administration (Immediate Immunity) as a Specific Defense Against Biological Weapons” »

Dec 9, 2020

Fighting The Opioid Epidemic with AI — Brian Drake, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) — Sable Spear

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, military, privacy, robotics/AI, terrorism

Today we are going to discuss the topic drug enforcement from a very interesting technological angle.

Brian Drake, is the Director of Artificial Intelligence for the Defense Intelligence Agency’s (DIA) Directorate of Science and Technology. Mr. Drake works with the DIA’s Future Capabilities and Innovation Office, and he also leads an initiative to test the effectiveness of different applications of artificial intelligence at solving various mission problems, including using AI to combat the opioid crisis with a DIA program known as SABLE SPEAR.

Continue reading “Fighting The Opioid Epidemic with AI — Brian Drake, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) — Sable Spear” »

Dec 7, 2020

Iran: Satellite-controlled machine gun used to kill top nuclear scientist

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI, terrorism

“” Martyr Fakhrizadeh was driving when a weapon, using an advanced camera, zoomed in on him,” Fadavi said, according to Reuters.

“Some 13 shots were fired at martyr Fakhrizadeh with a machine gun controlled by satellite… During the operation artificial intelligence and face recognition were used,” he said. “His wife, sitting 25 centimeters away from him in the same car, was not injured.”

“The machine gun was placed on a pick-up truck and was controlled by a satellite,” he added.”

Continue reading “Iran: Satellite-controlled machine gun used to kill top nuclear scientist” »

Dec 7, 2020

How banks use AI to catch criminals and detect bias

Posted by in categories: finance, information science, robotics/AI, terrorism

Imagine an algorithm that reviews thousands of financial transactions every second and flags the fraudulent ones. This is something that has become possible thanks to advances in artificial intelligence in recent years, and it is a very attractive value proposition for banks that are flooded with huge amounts of daily transactions and a growing challenge of fighting financial crime, money laundering, financing of terrorism, and corruption.

The benefits of artificial intelligence, however, are not completely free. Companies that use AI to detect and prevent crime also deal with new challenges, such as algorithmic bias, a problem that happens when an AI algorithm causes systemic disadvantage for a group of a specific gender, ethnicity, or religion. In past years, algorithmic bias that hasn’t been well-controlled has damaged the reputation of the companies using it. It’s incredibly important to always be alert to the existence of such bias.

For instance, in 2019, the algorithm running Apple’s credit card was found to be biased against women, which caused a PR backlash against the company. In 2018, Amazon had to shut down an AI-powered hiring tool that also showed bias against women.

Continue reading “How banks use AI to catch criminals and detect bias” »

Dec 4, 2020

U.S. banks handled trillions of dollars in “suspicious” transactions, report says

Posted by in categories: finance, government, terrorism

A congressional investigation into the 2016 U.S. presidential election has unearthed evidence that major banks processed $2 trillion in transactions despite suspecting they were connected to illegal activity.

So-called suspicious activity reports, filed by banks with government regulators, indicate the banks were concerned the transactions would help suspected terrorists, drug dealers, corrupt foreign officials and other bad actors move trillions of dollars around the world, as well as perpetuate investment frauds. The private reports, which covered 1999 through 2017, were obtained by BuzzFeed News and shared with the nonprofit International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The two organizations published their investigations into the documents over the weekend, but did not publish the complete reports. Both also declined to make public most of the information contained in the reports, including the customers who the banks suspected of illegal activity.

Continue reading “U.S. banks handled trillions of dollars in ‘suspicious’ transactions, report says” »

Nov 7, 2020

Researchers develop a high-power, portable terahertz laser

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, quantum physics, terrorism

Researchers at MIT and the University of Waterloo have developed a high-power, portable version of a device called a quantum cascade laser, which can generate terahertz radiation outside of a laboratory setting. The laser could potentially be used in applications such as pinpointing skin cancer and detecting hidden explosives.

Until now, generation of powerful enough to perform real-time imaging and fast spectral measurements required temperatures far below 200 Kelvin (−100 degrees Fahrenheit) or lower. These temperatures could only be achieved with bulky equipment that limited the technology’s use to a laboratory setting. In a paper published in Nature Photonics, MIT Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Qing Hu and his colleagues report that their terahertz can function at temperatures of up to 250 K (−10 degrees Fahrenheit), meaning that only a compact portable cooler is required.

Terahertz quantum cascade lasers, tiny chip-embedded semiconductor laser devices, were first invented in 2002, but adapting them to operate far above 200 K proved to be so difficult that many people in the field speculated that there was a fundamental physical reason preventing it, Hu says.

Oct 30, 2020

U.S. Sells Seized Iranian Oil

Posted by in categories: energy, government, terrorism

The United States has sold crude oil seized from four Iranian tankers earlier this year for some $40 million the AFP reports, citing a U.S. government official.

“We estimate that in excess of $40 million will be recouped by the United States related to the sale of petroleum from those four vessels,” Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia said. Sherwin added that “a great portion” of the money will be donated to a fund for the victims of “state-sponsored terrorism”.

In the middle of August, the U.S. Administration said it had seized the fuel cargo of several vessels, alleging that the fuel came from Iran and was going to Venezuela. The confiscation followed a lawsuit filed by U.S. prosecutors to seize the cargo carried by the four vessels for violating U.S. sanctions against Venezuela.

Oct 4, 2020

DARPA’s SIGMA Program Transitions to Protect Major U.S. Metropolitan Region

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, chemistry, terrorism, transportation

On a blustery winter day last December, a car carrying radioactive material approached one of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s major transportation hubs. As the car got closer, an alarm flashed and sounded on a large monitor in the police operations center, identifying on a digital map the exact location of the vehicle and the specific radioactive isotope radiating from the car – Cesium-137. Within minutes, officers in the Port Authority Police Department – equipped with vehicle-mounted and pocket-sized radiation sensors displaying the same real-time digital map – tracked the vehicle and apprehended the suspects in a parking lot. Thankfully, the potential terrorists and radiation-emitting isotope were not a threat, as the scenario was only a drill.

The December exercise marked the capstone for DARPA’s SIGMA program, culminating a five-year effort to develop and deploy an automated, high-performance, networked radiation detection capability for counterterrorism and continuous city-to-region scale radiological and nuclear threat monitoring. The transition of the radiation-detection system took place prior to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. In the eight months since the SIGMA transition, DARPA has been developing and testing additional sensors under its SIGMA+ effort to detect chemical, biological and explosive threats as well.

“We want to thank the Port Authority for their outstanding support throughout the SIGMA program and their continued support as we test SIGMA+ sensors,” said Mark Wrobel, DARPA program manager in the Defense Sciences Office. “Being able to test and refine the system in the country’s largest metropolitan region was invaluable in taking SIGMA from a research project to an operationally deployed system in just five years.”

Sep 21, 2020

World War III will be fought over water

Posted by in categories: existential risks, finance, food, law, terrorism

RS: The third world war is at our gate, and it will be about water, if we don’t do something about this crisis. These walks are to raise awareness—this year we covered 17 countries, and in nine of them there were displaced people. So many people in the Middle East and African countries are moving to places like Europe, in part because of water scarcity—after forced migration comes, tension, conflict, and terrorism. Where terrorism is active, there is usually a scarcity of water. Look at Syria—a long time ago, it had very good agriculture, but then Turkey built a dam that changed things. It’s a similar story with Libya. If we want a safe future, we need to start conserving water.

What role can regulation play in conservation? Do you think privatizing water is a good way to promote its efficient use?

RS: If we really think about legal changes, we have to first think about river rights, or the rights of nature, and only then about water rights for humans. This type of thinking doesn’t exist today but we need this kind of legal framework that assures that the land of the river is only for the river, that the flow of the river is kept clean, and that the river has greenery on both banks to prevent erosion and silting. Only with all these factors can we ensure that rivers are healthy and only then that we are healthy.

Page 1 of 1012345678Last