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NCJ Number: 78281 Find in a Library
Title: Technological Terrorism
Author(s): R C Clark
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 234
Sponsoring Agency: Devin-Adair Publishers
Old Greenwich, CT 06870
Sale Source: Devin-Adair Publishers
143 Sound Beach Avenue
Old Greenwich, CT 06870
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book contends that the potential threat of terrorism directed against the technology on which American society is based is immense and that there exists an almost total lack of response to the problem by all branches of the Federal Government.
Abstract: The documentation accompanying ths argument is detailed and includes Government publications. It reveals that American society is virtually defenseless in the event of any number of terrorist possibilities. The extreme vulnerability of the modern industrialized mechanism in such areas as nuclear plants, computers, water systems, liquefied natural gas, and other energy systems is analyzed. The scenario of terrorists using nuclear, chemical, or biological agents to trigger mass disasters is underscored by reference to the motivation and tactics revealed by past cases of terrorist action that have already occurred in the United States and elsewhere with serious loss of life and property. Arguments about the technological expertise required to produce and use weapons of mass destruction have been negated by controlled experiments in which relatively untrained college students have exhibited the required skills. The materials necessary to fabricate such weapons are readily accessible by theft from inefficiently guarded nuclear plants and armories. Moreover, chemical and biological substances are available from mail order houses. The increased reliance on computerized, centralized information systems, which are easily sabotaged, represents another area through which terrorists can wreak effective political destabilization. Nevertheless, safeguards by the industries involved remain inadequate and Government agencies refuse to recognize the problem and implement the regulatory steps that would circumvent potential technological terrorism. Precedents and legal possibilities exist within a democratic society for some form of crisis government that entrusts emergency powers to a central authority without jeopardizing the fundamental rights of free citizens. Such provisions must be planned for if our society is to survive as it tries to deal with mass, doomsday terrorism. A selected bibliography is provided.
Index Term(s): Crisis management; Facility security; Political impact of terrorism; Sabotage; Terrorist tactics; Threat assessment; United States of America
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