• What will they think of next

    An al-Qaeda’s follower stuffed his bum with explosives and blew himself up next t the Saudi antiterror chief (the chief was only slightly injured); how serious is this new bum-bombers threat? Experts are divided: some say the arse-blast method poses a new threat to air travel, while others argue that the kaki-kamikaze is nothing to get anyone’s bowels in an uproar about

  • The company’s diver detection sonar system employs long-range underwater security; the system automatically classifies, tracks, and detects any alleged threat approaching a protected site

  • Theater of the absurd

    Fujitsu runs a patching site for Sun Microsystems’ Solaris Unix variant; the company asks end-users to fill out a survey before downloading the latest patch, and the first question asks whether the customer would be using the patch to build WMD; even if you admit to building a nuclear bomb, Fujitsu allows you to download the patch; either Fujitsu targets really honest terrorists, or the company wants to use the information in its advertising (as in: “5% of our customers are terrorists who use our software to build weapons of mass destruction”)

  • An American company has developed an automated counterpiracy system that could be outfitted to a vessel and set loose on patrol

  • The Israeli military offers the world’s first training courses aimed to train infantry teams specially dedicated to using small robots in combat; more and more Israeli military units now have robot specialists — the same that every platoon has specialized radio operators, machine-gunners, and missile handlers

  • What will they think of next

    A al-Qaeda-affiliated Saudi suicide bomber, carrying explosives in his anal cavity, managed to get close to the Saudi deputy interior minister and detonate himself (the minister was unharmed); analysts fear this may be a new method of carrying explosives on a plane

  • Tim Downs: “Experts have estimated that for a terrorist group to develop a nuclear weapon could cost them a billion dollars….But to develop a very good biological arsenal you would need about ten million dollars and a very small lab and a master’s degree in chemical engineering”

  • Nonlethal weapons

    The Banshee II emits a piercing 144 dB sound that is designed to be more than just annoying; “It also has a frequency-switching system that pumps your ear drums, so it sounds like there’s a drum beating there,” the inventor says

  • UAV update

    Under a program launched this month, Pakistan’s domestic version of the drone or unmanned aerial vehicle to be called Falco will be made in collaboration with Selex Galileo of Italy at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in Kamra in Punjab province

  • During the summer 2006 war with Hezbollah, the Israeli military had difficulties locating rocket launchers — and Hezbollah fighters — hiding in bunkers and tunnels in heavily forested areas and under civilian buildings; two new Israeli training centers, made entirely of rubber, will provide a mock Lebanese village connecting to a forest

  • After the mysterious disappearing of a Maltese-flagged cargo ship with a Russian crew in Swedish waters, Sweden decides to deploy a maritime surveillance system which will become operational in October

  • Q Branch

    Compressed air is used on the shoulder-held device to propel a line from a pursuing boat which drags with it a high-tech, high tensile net to disable the target craft’s propulsion system

  • Standish Maximum Correctional Facility in Michigan and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas are the two finalists to host the remaining Gitmo prisoners

  • Scheduled to take place 6-9 December in Dubai, the International Quality and Productivity Center says the conference will host a forum and feature case studies to address complex issues surrounding piracy

  • Analysis

    When Pakistan was developing its nuclear weapons infrastructure in the 1970s and 1980s, its main concern was that India would overrun these nuclear weapons facilities in an armored offensive; Pakistan thus chose to locate much of its nuclear weapons infrastructure to the north and west of the country — but this decision means that most of Pakistan’s nuclear sites are close to or even within areas dominated by Pakistani Taliban militants and home to al-Qaeda

  • During the summer 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, twenty-two Israeli Merkava tanks were damaged by Russian Kornet anti-tank guided missiles fired by Hezbollah fighters; the Israeli military determined that most of the missile hits could have been averted if the tanks had been equipped with available anti-missile systems

  • Titanium deforms and retains damage from strong impacts and fast applied forces — such compression on the metal can happen when it is hit by bullets or explosives; metallurgy theory provides a greater understanding of the material at the atomic scale — an understanding which will lead to the production of more resilient titanium

  • In a speech today to the Council of Foreign relations, DHS secretary Janet Napolitano will unveil the administration’s homeland security strategy; the emphasis will be on continuing and expanding many of the Bush administration’s initiatives, but with greater emphasis on protecting civil liberties

  • During the summer 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war, the Shi’ia organization almost sank an Israeli ship with an advanced Iran-made anti-ship missile; Israel has now successfully tested a sophisticated defense against anti-ship missile — a defensive system which should be of interest to U.S. Navy ships on patrol at the Persian Gulf

  • Florida-based Vcom3D developed software which was used in conjunction with Apple’s iPod to teach sign language to hearing-impaired students; now, the U.S. military and UN peacekeepers use the device as an instant translator in war-torn regions