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Planes and Missles

  1. Jul 17, 2008 #1
    Why haven't we seen commercial airlines attacked by missles yet? I can't imagine it's that hard to smuggle in an RPG. Many planes fly real close to the ground outside airport limits before landing. This seems like taking candy from a baby, yet we haven't seen it yet. I would imagine it would be even easier in some 3rd world countries.

    Also why haven't we seen any terror attacks on trains? How easy would it be to throw a stick of dynomite on the tracks of an oncoming train? Or organize several people to throw grenades in some malls. It seems so easy. Yet they spend years developing complex plans.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2008 #2
    But I remember a news report of just that from years back, an attempt to shoot down a passenger jet with an RPG.

    I don't know if this was in there, but it shows they're gunning that way:

  4. Jul 17, 2008 #3


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    Ultimately all of society is vulnerable to about anything that can be imagined.There is no way to actually stop most any determined effort. Adding stronger locks merely sends the crooks down the street to less protected targets.

    I think this kind of laser system stands less as a deterrent than as a challenge to do it anyway. If they have the will even with stronger locks, the technology is available. And you can bet if they really wanted to foil laser defenses they would just get better missles.

    Until everyone on the planet has something to lose, those with nothing to lose can't be stopped.
  5. Jul 17, 2008 #4


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    Even worse, Greg - one RPG fired at a NLG tanker could decimate a city, yet our government obsesses on much lesser perceived threats instead. Only about 1% of containers entering the country are inspected - another weak link that could allow the delivery of lethal weaponry. If Israel and/or the US attack Iran, don't expect Iran to go toe-to-toe with our military. Instead, expect asymmetrical attacks like these.
  6. Jul 17, 2008 #5
    Because there are so many easy ways to cause havoc (not just in US but all over the world) and yet we really don't see much even on a yearly basis. Does this mean maybe the whole terrorism threat is overblown? If we supposedly have thousands of terrorists already in the country and yet they don't end up doing anything maybe it is. You'd think we'd hear weekly if not daily news about terror attacks. Why aren't these cells doing anything when there are so many easy targets. Like my example before, it doesn't take years of planning and millions of dollars to through a stick of dynomite on train tracks.
  7. Jul 17, 2008 #6


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    Presumably that's where the security services come in-- their job is to stop the terrorists before they launch the attacks.
  8. Jul 17, 2008 #7
    The point of this thread is that there are millions of ways to create havoc without years of planning, millions of bucks and a long communication trail. How would the CIA stop a tight group from bombing several train tracks?
  9. Jul 17, 2008 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    Since 911, something like 2 million people have crossed the US-Mexican border illegally, including a Congressman riding an elephant, followed by a mariachi band.

    It is hard to understand not only how we can fight a "war on terror" with our border wide open [which is finally slowly improving, seven years later], and as you have pointed out, why haven't we been attacked given the ease of illegal entry?

    In the right spots, one could still probably drive a tank towing a nuclear weapon across the border without being noticed.
  10. Jul 17, 2008 #9


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    You don't need explosives to cause rail havoc. A pair of bolt-cutters and a few well-planned rail-switch manipulations could really play hell. I don't know about the Amtrak trunk, but the rails in Maine are loaded with switches to short little sidings where diverting passenger trains or freight trains loaded with with chemical tankers could cause significant loss of life. No organization, no money, no explosives, no planning to speak of. An individual with a bad attitude could cause real trouble with very little effort.
  11. Jul 17, 2008 #10
    It's harder then a person might think, not because of the logistics themselves, but also because of the rare and sometimes mutually exclusive qualities a person would have to have to do such a thing. Also there is a strong deterrent in place for those who would try to organize such a thing (namely being bombed from hundreds or thousands of miles away). A person would have to have nothing to lose, yet have thousands of dollars to spend planning their death. They would have to be impressionable to homicidal ideologies, yet have an inquisitive nature to figure out the logistics. They would have to be dedicated to killing of innocent Americans thousands of miles away, yet not be distracted by local strife.

    I was going to write a long winded post but instead I think ill just say I believe the threat is not as big as our governments would have us believe, due in part because intelligence services are doing a good job of keeping a lid on things. The idea that all the people being held at Guantanamo could still yield any useful intelligence at all is I think vary unlikely, as with other cases where extreme measure have been taken to keep the terrorist threat to a minimum.

    And the most important missing factor to terrorism in the USA today is that there don't seem to be any terrorist cells around, not for lack of the FBI investigating. All the cases I have heard of suspected terrorist cells in the USA have turn out to be a total farce. The most notable case where a half-wit ice cream truck driver was interrogated for 8 hours straight and finally confessed to attending an underground terrorist training camp and included pole vault training. He was given a 20 year prison sentence for the confession alone.
  12. Jul 17, 2008 #11
    Thankfully we have not yet come upon the age when all the crazies get truly inventive and original with the ways they try to kill people
  13. Jul 17, 2008 #12


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    Why bother to attack the US?

    With the explosion in fuel costs and the staggering trade deficits, it seems like Asia will own the US soon enough anyway.
  14. Jul 17, 2008 #13
    Lets hope there is never a biological attack. The FDA has spent two months trying to trace down the salmonella debacle.

    They have now declared tomatoes safe after ruining a multimillion dollar tomato crop. If the goal of terrorist was to hurt us financially, we already have done a good job of that on our own.

    Lockheed built a trial version of a virtual fence for the Tucson sector of the border. (cameras, motion detectors, infra red ect.) It failed miserably, yet last month they were given the go ahead to build a massive system with 200ft towers all over the place.
  15. Jul 17, 2008 #14
    Terrorists can do the following:

    Release biological/chemical agents in the NYC transportation system.
    Fire RPGs at landing commercial planes.
    Bomb refineries in oil producing countries.
    Short-sell corporations to dust.

    For all the geniuses, enlightened men, brainiacs, gifted-statesmen, and all other sorts of "great" Humans that have ever existed none has touched up on the fact that Intelligent Life does not exterminate itself.

    Any terrorist truly intent on destroying humanity better hope hostile aliens land on Earth soon.

  16. Jul 17, 2008 #15


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    And lest we forget, they never did get the person(s) who carried out the anthrax attacks that occurred in 2001. Biological weapons, as well as natural outbreaks of food poisoning, are apparently difficult to source.
  17. Jul 18, 2008 #16
    I think that the number of terrorists in the country is extremely over exagerated. On top of that many of the people they send here may not have ever been here and may 'go soft' or realize they actually like it here. Maybe they meet people they like and can't bring themselves to hurt them.
    Terrorists also prefer grand and symbolic attacks when they can get away with them. Why just derail a train if some american with a supposed deathwish will do it himself by parking his car on the rails. If a 'terrorist' did it instead would it really stand out as a terrorist attack? Maybe if he were wearing a turbin or had an 'ibn' in his name. But then people might be more suspicious of him.
  18. Jul 18, 2008 #17
    Terrorism is just the latest excuse used by the ruling members of a society to motivate and mobilize its members to accomplish whatever political goal was set. By careful observation one can see that the reason is usually a resource and not the "they threaten our way of life" line.

    There's always a "boogeyman", the "evil eyes" looking at us. Pure garbage.

    Greeks, Romans, Persians, Egyptians, etc. all had their ancient "terrorists." You had the Crusaders trying to "liberate" Jerusalem. The Catholic Church demonizing scientists and protestants. And I'm sure England didn't see the Founding Fathers as a group of great liberators but as terrorists.

    And now we come to the 21st century and we have the same garbage repackaged and delivered. "Those people hate us because we are free", "they threaten our way of life", "We need to go there to liberate and protect ourselves" you can apply this garbage to any period in the history of mankind.

    Thank God we have duct tape.

  19. Jul 18, 2008 #18
    You have been reported to DHS.
  20. Jul 18, 2008 #19
    *knock* *knock* *knock* oh shi..... :wink:
  21. Jul 18, 2008 #20
    Yeah, I'm actually pretty surprised myself. When I went to pick up my mom from the airport a few years ago, we (dad and I) parked the car at the parking garage and then went to the I guess lobby you'd call it, and waited near the gates. Absolutely NOTHING stopped us from taking a bomb into the main area. Plenty of people walking around and it would have shut down that airport almost entirely.

    That laser thing is pretty awesome, though. Make a missile coming at you fly off to a crowded area. Great idea.
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