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Terrorists Coordinating On Twitter?

Baxter
9 Comments

Posted October 27, 2008 - By Joseph Baxter

Has Twitter become a breeding ground for terrorists to coordinate? According to a new report from the US Army 314 Military Intelligence Battallion, it's possible.

The micro-blogging capabilities of Twitter supposedly allow terrorists to communicate in real time without direct risk. The report lays down three primary scenarios as to how this may occur:

Scenario 1: Terrorist operative "A" uses Twitter with (or without) a cell phone camera/video function to send back messages, and to receive messages, from the rest of his cell. Operative "A" also has a Google Maps Twitter Mash Up of where he is under a code word for other members of his cell (if they need more in-depth directions) posted on the WWW that can be viewed from their mobiles. Other members of his cell receive near real time updates (similar to the movement updates that were sent by activists at the RNC) on how, where, and the number of troops that are moving in order to conduct an ambush.

Scenario 2: Terrorist operative "A" has a mobile phone for Tweet messaging and for taking images. Operative "A" also has a separate mobile phone that is actually an explosive device and/or a suicide vest for remote detonation. Terrorist operative "B" has the detonator and a mobile to view "A's" Tweets and images. This may allow "B" to select the precise moment of remote detonation based on near real time movement and imagery that is being sent by "A."

Scenario 3: Cyber Terrorist operative "A" finds U.S. [soldier] Smith's Twitter account. Operative "A" joins Smith's Tweets and begins to elicit information from Smith. This information is then used for a targeting package (targeting in this sense could be identity theft, hacking, and/or physical.) This scenario is not new and has already been discussed for other social networking sites, such as My Space and/or Face Book.

All legitimate scenarios. However, one can't help but ponder on a primary question here: What is so unique about Twitter that this cannot be done on some other blog or social networking software? Some of these scenarios would even seem feasible with a Photobucket account.

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Terrorists Coordinating On Twitter?
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