In the global war on terror, governments are looking for any and every way to take down terrorist networks and interrupt their communications. In the most recent one of these attacks/communication interruptions, an unknown group of hackers launched a cyber attack on al-Qaida’s main website, temporarily taking away their main protected mode of communication, leaving them with the option of potentially exposing their identities or not communicating at all.

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Terrorists are always on the lookout for new ways to cause chaos and create discreet weapons. Bombs have been hidden in shoes, underwear, printer cartridges, and even up their butts. Bottom line, terrorists usually show preference for explosives as their weapons of choice. This time is no different—just the destructive delivery system.

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milliTerrorists have a new weapon of choice, an undetectable bomb that even the most advanced scanners can’t pick up. It is a military grade explosive known as PETN, and it’s powerful enough to blow up a car with just a 100 grams. It is also the same type of explosive that terrorists like the Shoe-Bomber attempted to use, and the same one that the infamous Christmas flight bomber failed to use on his flight to Detroit.

What is so appealing about this explosive to terrorists is that it is very small, yet powerful for its size, it’s also undetectable by metal detectors, and it can be hidden on the body. Even with the Millimeter Wave Screening scanner (a new scanner used in some airports that takes an X-Ray like picture of the body), the bombs were not detected.

This experience shows us that the government and airports have to step up their security and find a new way to screen passengers for these types of explosives. Or at the very least, start using more of the methods of screening passengers to prevent terrorists from sneaking explosives onto the planes.

(Via the Canadian Press)

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Sept 11 AnniversaryProbably the biggest tragedy in U.S. history, everyone remembers where they were on September 11th, 2001.

I remember visiting the World Trade Center in 5th grade on a family trip from Boston. It was one of the biggest buildings I’d ever seen, and I practically had to bend backwards to see the entire building. I jumped on the elevator to the top, which took much longer than any other elevator and made everyone’s ears pop.  Once I reached the top, I remember stepping out on the deck to huge gusts of winds and the best view that Manhattan had to offer. 5 years later I would have never imagined sitting in math class and hearing that a plane had hit one of the towers. Panic, loss, and sadness. How could such powerful and grandiose buildings fall so easily?

Today, the scene is much different. In the center of Lower Manhattan’s hustling and established Financial District, lies an empty void marked by construction cranes and dirt. 8 years later, the site looks very much similar to the days after the event. The air is heavy and sad.

Today is a somber day in New York City, both in weather and tone, as the nation and world remember the tragic events that took place on that fateful day. Thousands gathered this morning at the site of the World Trade Center to hear the victims’ names read aloud and to listen to words of remembrance. Never forgotten, both New York City and the world are standing behind the victims, the FDNY, the NYPD, and the countless volunteers who contributed hours, time, and their lives on that fated day.

(Via USA Today)

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