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Because executions by swordare such good fun to watch, ISIS has many fans worldwide. No business is like show business.
No Ordinary Pedophile: Japan’s Idolization of Children
Ten years ago, on Thanksgiving day 2006, a Japanese auto executive was quietly taken into custody on charges of molestation and possession of child pornography. Under a mountain of evidence discovered in a false ceiling within a closet and captured on a USB his daughter plucked from a hidden camera in her bathroom, “Mr. Right” pled guilty, mysteriously vanishing from the automotive scene. Pedophiles exist everywhere, but this was no ordinary perve. Stacy Gleiss met her Japanese husband when she was just sixteen. She had spent the summer of 1980 in Tokyo on a youth exchange when she encountered “Right Man” in Narita airport. The 22-year old was on his way to study in the US when he all but inserted himself into Stacy’s world. Two years later she was his teen bride; the wife an only son and heir to a 500 year-old estate on the remote island of Sado.
Over the next few years, both in Michigan and in Japan the former Mrs. Right was trained to become the perfect Japanese wife. During her “bonsai years,” as she likes to call them, she was pruned and shaped by shame and fits of violence– her speech, dress, and mannerisms effectively regressing to reflect a more child-like essence. It wasn’t until Gleiss was several years into her marriage that she found evidence that she was dealing with more than a controlling husband.
As the former Mrs. Right recalls, “In 1986 while living on Sado, I discovered my husband was some sort of Japanese version of Peter Pan. Carefully tucked under his futon mattress were three paperbacks containing fanciful photos of very young nude girls– innocent erotica. When confronted my husband advised that they were ‘fantasy, art, and nothing more,” adding that the materials were legally obtained; purchased at the local newsstand. Gleiss thought at the time, “What have I gotten myself into? After nearly six years in the culture how could I have missed this?”
What Gleiss hadn’t overlooked was that all around her little girl cuteness was idolized and mimicked as the preferred style for young women and she had followed suit. By her husband’s training she had become soft-spoken and demure. Essentially regressing in mind and body– her nearly six-foot frame fitting into the perfect Japanese size “M.” Japan’s idolization of young girls, a trend that began in the 1980’s and has expanded throughout the world, is most often symbolized by the cute schoolgirl uniform-look popularized by the anime (animation) “Sailor Moon.”
Reminiscing about her days in Japan, Gleiss said “Electric Town, Tokyo’s Akihabara district, was once a place where we shopped for boom boxes and the latest Sony Walkman, but today it is filled with anime, manga (Japanese comics) and cosplay (costumes for teens and young adults). It’s all fantasy…most of it innocent, but some of it crosses a line foreigners may recognize but often dismiss on cultural grounds.”
Gleiss worries that modern Japanophiles do not truly grasp the cultural underpinnings of what they are buying and watching today. “Mr. Right wasn’t your average pedophile. Child pornography was legal to manufacture in Japan until 2011 and to possess until 2014. Sexually graphic anime and manga involving youthful characters in school uniforms is protected as freedom of expression both in Japan and the US.” While Gleiss admits there are plenty of wonderful animation and comics coming out of Japan, parents and fans alike should be aware of the cultural context surrounding the materials they are watching and buying.
“When the sexually graphic or even titillating content featuring children is readily available, it normalizes what would otherwise be considered taboo.” Gleiss explains, “In Japan teenage girls desperate for money and attention sell their time for walks or conversation…putting themselves in precarious situations that can easily lead to sexual acts. Add to this the fact that Japan is a country where molestation is rarely reported and victim services are sorely lacking and opportunity abounds.”
Gleiss cannot say for sure that molestation is more common in Japan than elsewhere as data is sorely lacking, but it would not be surprising that victims would come out of the woodwork if public disclosure were more common. She is painfully aware that the reporting of such incidents is often discouraged by Japanese family members to avoid bringing shame. Her ex mother-in-law, still living in Japan, will not even mention her granddaughter’s name. “It is apparent to me from several conversations that she is blaming the victim for allowing the abuse to occur and angry that her son was reported vs. allowing the matter to be handled internally.”
More and more Gleiss thinks the tide will turn for Japan– at least she hopes it will. “In 2009 when I first began to put the pieces of our story together I Googled ‘pedophillia in Japan’ and was shocked to find child porn was still legal. At the time I reached out to several scholars on the culture and could not find one researching the negative effects of child erotica normalization, but laws regarding child porn have changed and now I’m starting to see a few articles and research papers on virtual characters as well. It’s a good sign.”
It has been more than a decade since Mr. Right was taken from his suburban home to the County jail and he remains incarcerated to this day. Gleiss, who has returned to her American roots, still cannot forget what occurred during her 21-year infatuation with Japan. “Those root-bound days of my bonsai years, those days when I was essentially forced to be a child…have never left me and they never will.” To put all that occurred into perspective she has written a book detailing her years in the culture as a wife, mother, and later interpreter. She hopes her personal account of living inside a culture that idolizes, and often overtly sexualizes, schoolgirls opens a few eyes.
“Those that love what is often termed the “cutie” culture of Japan need to understand how the popularity of such imagery can cause girls and young women to hide their own character and personal strengths” which she says often continues until a girl becomes a mother and loses her child-like appeal for good– something she experienced as her husband began to treat her more harshly in her late twenties…an age he considered “old.” Gleiss says, “For the love of Japan, girls need a real voice– their own style…not some idealized, comic-like version.”
Gleiss serves as an activist/advocate for a national organization called “Stop the Silence” which educates and encourages victims to speak publicly about their abuse. You can find Gleiss’ redemptive story “The Six-Foot Bonsai: A Soul Lost in the Land of the Rising Sun” on Amazon (LINK).
You probably have to look at imagery of death and dying regularly to stay focused on what really counts in life: great sex before you are gone anyway.
The American Conservative Union, which hosts the annual gathering of conservatives called “CPAC,” announced over the weekend that alt-Right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos would be this year’s keynote speaker.
Many criticized the move because Yiannopoulos is not seen as a traditional conservative — if a conservative at all. Instead, Yiannopoulos is seen as the figurehead of the alt-Right movement, a movement that prides itself in nationalism, which many accuse of racism and anti-Semitism.
Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor for the conservative magazine National Review who is seen as one of the conservative leaders in post-modern politics, said the move to include Yiannopoulos as the keynote speaker is “sad and disappointing.”
Still, ACU chairman Matt Schlapp defended the decision in comments to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the story about Yiannopoulos.
“An epidemic of speech suppression has taken over college campuses,” Schlapp told the news outlet. “Milo has exposed their liberal thuggery and we think free speech includes hearing Milo’s important perspective.”
Then on Sunday morning, less than one day after the controversial announcement about the CPAC speaker lineup, video surfaced of Yiannopoulos allegedly defending pedophilia in the past.
“We get hung up on this sort of child abuse stuff,” Yiannopoulos is heard saying in a video, acknowledging that he has a controversial point of view, “to the point where we are heavily policing consensual adults.”
“In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men — the sort of ‘coming of age’ relationship — those relationships in which those older men help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable, sort of rock, where they can’t speak to their parents,” he added.
“It sounds like molestation to me,” an unnamed person tells Yiannopoulos in reply, likely an interviewer. “It sounds like Catholic priest molestation to me.”
“But you know what? I’m grateful for Father Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him,” Yiannopoulos replied, using a euphemism for male oral sex.
It doesn’t end there.
In an interview with comedian Joe Rogan in 2015, Yiannopoulos discussed his sexual relationship with “Father Michael,” which he allegedly had as a teenager at age 14.
During the interview, he even tried to normalize pedophilia.
“So you’re saying you’ve never seen a 15-year-old girl, at any point in your life, that you thought was hot?” Yiannopoulos asked.
“Yeah, when I was 15!” Rogan replied. “I’m not retarded dude.”
“No, when you were 25 or 30, you’ve never seen girls you thought were hot?” Yiannopoulos asked again.
“No, I thought they were little kids!” Rogan said.
Later, Rogan called “Father Michael” a “terrible person” for allegedly having a sexual relationship with Yiannopoulos when he was a young teenager, but Yiannopoulos tried to downplay it.
“It wasn’t molestation,” he alleged
“That’s absolutely molestation,” Rogan shot back.
Later in the interview, Yiannopoulos talked about a Hollywood party he went to years ago that had “very young boys” in attendance for sex.
Yiannopoulos has since responded to the allegations on Facebook Sunday afternoon denying them completely.
There’s a video going around that purports to show me saying anti-semitic things (nope) and advocating for pedophilia (big nope). The shocking thing? It’s Republicans doing it. Sad to see establishment types collapse into the same tactics as social justice warriors: name calling, deceptively edited videos, confected moral outrage and public shaming. This is why they deserve to burn — and why they are burning. Here’s how I actually feel about pedophilia, which you’d know if you’d actually watched or read anything I’ve ever done. Or, you know, if you had two brain cells to rub together. There’s only one appropriate response to this sort of behavior, and it’s a gigantic F**K YOU!
In addition, it appears that the ACU board was not consulted about Yiannopoulos being named a speaker at this years CPAC, let alone the keynote.
“The ACU board was not consulted on this, nor was there a board vote,” Ned Ryun wrote on Twitter Saturday, who sits on the ACU board.
Last year’s keynote speaker was conservative radio host Glenn Beck, who many criticized in 2016 for being an outspoken critic of then-candidate Donald Trump. Beck didn’t support Trump because he didn’t think Trump was conservative enough.
Francisco Sanchez Oria (51 Mount Sinai Drive, Unit 04-04, Singapore) aims to establish himself as sex guru. He writes about himself: “Fran now spend most of his time helping men and women achieve their peak sexual performance though coaching and supplementation.” As credential, he publishes an article on the benefits of masturbation.
If you’re tired of the way things are going in the world today and would like to sit it out for a few years, a doctor in Italy has a deal for you. Professor Sergio Canavero, Director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, says he will be ready to thaw cryogenically frozen brains and transplant them in donor heads by 2020. The question is, will the rest of us be ready for it?
Professor Sergio Canavero. If that name sounds familiar, it may be because he’s the same surgeon who is also planning to perform the first human head transplant by the end of this year. Where does he find the time? In that operation, he’s working with Dr Xiaoping Ren of the Harbin Medical Centre who helped perform the first successful hand transplantation in the US. Canavero had announced that he had a head donor — Russian computer scientist Valery Spiridonov who suffers spinal muscular atrophy -– but Dr. Ren wants to perform the operation in China and believes that the ethnicity of the head should match the body. Since his chances of getting a Russian body in China are slim, Mr. Spiridonov is out of luck for a head transfer.
Maybe he should look into getting just his brain moved instead. In an interview in OOOM magazine (yes, that’s the name — it’s German), Canavero describes the benefits of this option, which he confidently predicts he will perform in 2020, if not sooner.
A brain transplant has many advantages: firstly, there is barely any immune reaction, which means the problem of rejection does not exist. The brain is, in a manner of speaking, a ‘neutral’ organ. If you transplant a head with vessels, nerves, tendons and muscles, rejection can pose a massive problem. Not in the case of the brain. What may be problematic, however, is that no aspect of your original external body remains the same. Your head is no longer there, your brain is transplanted into an entirely different skull.
In this case, he already has a big supply of frozen brains at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona. Bodies too, although it’s likely those people were frozen hoping to keep all of their parts together in the future.
Is any of this actually possible? Professor Canavero claimed last year that a monkey head transplant was performed successfully in China. However, it appear that only the blood system between head and body was connected, not the spinal cord.
And just this week it was announced that scientists in – you guessed it – China had successfully (of course) attached the head of a small rat on the body of a bigger rat creating … a pin-headed rat? Good guess but that would be wrong. They left the big rat’s big head on and created a two-headed rat. This has reportedly been done before with dogs in Russia and rats in Japan. In all cases, the second head was alive but not functional and the two-headed animals died pretty quickly.
That doesn’t seem to discourage Sergio Canavero or Xiaoping Ren. Canavero claims they’re confident that both the head transplants and brain transplants will be successful, although the details are vague.
At the moment, I can only disclose that there has been massive progress in medical experiments that would have seemed impossible even as recently as a few months ago. The milestones that have been reached will undoubtedly revolutionize medicine.
Women were created from a bone of man. Or was that a boner?
Last Sunday, history was made in Saudi Arabia when the recently sworn-in Shura Council, the country’s consultative assembly, held its first session with 30 women appointees participating for the first time.
Thanks to a Royal Decree issued by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz earlier this year, room has now been permanently made for women to take part in advising the government on issues that matter.
As such, Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council will never again be a “men-only” club.
While most Saudis rejoiced this historic accomplishment; the implementation of the decision was received with the contempt of some who resorted to micro-blogging site Twitter to publicly insult the recently-appointed women Shura members.
Derogatory terms such as “prostitutes” and “the filth of society” were used to describe Saudi Arabia’s finest female academics and technocrats.
These terms are already deemed foul and derogatory when coming from the man on the street. But those behind the appalling statements were Islamic teachers and Sheikhs; a slash of irony unleashed from the men who should otherwise be preaching tolerance, respect and compassion.
‘The Filth of Society’
Whilst one doesn’t expect all members society to behave in a similar manner, nor to necessarily respect the achievements of Saudi women; the idea here is that this shouldn’t legitimize the public defamation and insults we have witnessed.
Among the “tweeps” who resorted to insults was member of the Islamic Ministry for Da’wah, Guidance and Endowments, Ahmed al-Abdelqader.
“They thought they can mock the mufti by giving these ‘prostitutes’ legitimacy to be in power,” tweeted al-Abdelqader.
Following angry reactions by Twitter users whom objected the cleric’s foul language, Al-Abdelqader said: “We have heard and read many insults against (God) as well as mockery against the prophet, prayer be upon him, and none of those defending (these female) members was angered.”
Earlier last week, another controversial Saudi cleric also attacked the decision to appoint female members to the Council.
“Corrupt beginnings lead to corrupt results,” tweeted Sheikh Nasser al-Omar warning more of what he described as “Westernization.”
For his part, Dr. Saleh al-Sugair, a former teaching assistant at King Saud University slammed the assignment of female members at the council and tweeted: “The insolent (women) wearing make-up at the Shura Council represent the society? God, no. They are the filth of society.”
This wasn’t the first controversial statement by al-Sugair, who is not a cleric but a medical doctor known for extreme religious views.
Last year, he called for a complete separation in medical colleges between male students and female students.
Sharia is against defamation
Last summer, two courageous young female athletes by the names of Wojdan Shaherkani and Sarah Attar agreed to become Saudi Arabia’s first ever female participants at the Olympics.
The decision, which was reached at the eleventh hour, saved Saudi Arabia from being excluded completely from the London 2012 Olympics.
At the time, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had insisted that all participating countries needed to have female representation; and even though Sarah and Wojdan knew they lacked the experience to win on the international level, they still agreed to take part and respond to the call of duty.
Instead of praise, the two young athletes received their share of derogatory terms, in a very similar manner to what the ladies of Shura Council had to endure last week.
Wojdan’s father (and her Judo instructor) had pledged to take those who have questioned the morality of his 16-year old daughter and insulted her to court.
As a professional and aspiring Judo player, Wojdan is likely to fight many battles for the rest of her life; however, of all those battles, this legal one has to be the most important, and it must be won.
Of course, the battle will be tough as it will require a much clearer and much stricter implementation of defamation and libel laws, probably under a specialized committee.
Whilst one doesn’t expect all members society to behave in a similar manner, nor to necessarily respect the achievements of Saudi women; the idea here is that this shouldn’t legitimize the public defamation and insults we have witnessed.
Women at the Shura Council should study this matter and make appropriate suggestions to the government to criminalize and penalize such libel acts.
What will definitely help such a move is that Shariah law is renowned for prohibiting defamation; and it doesn’t make exceptions if the perpetrator is a cleric or not.
It is the secret dream of every Swedish or German woman to marry a black men, or at least have sex with a black man. Every smart young African man should migrate to Europe. Free money, nice house, good sex!
A bid to boost his manhood, Szilveszter injected his penis with hot Vaseline.
But the dad-of-two was left writhing in pain after his manhood started bleeding a few months later.
"I was talking to my friend about wanting to lose weight so my penis would look bigger when he replied, 'You don’t need to lose weight – I can help you,’” he explained on the last series of TLC show Extreme Beauty Disasters.
Szilveszter’s friend convinced him that it was a good idea to inject Vaseline into his penis – in a bid to make it look bigger.
“My friend injected my penis with Vaseline. Afterwards I was happy as it looked bigger," said Szilveszter.
But just a few months later, the DIY penis enlargement backfired when he began experiencing problems down below.
“It was painful and bleeding. I went to my GP, but he said he couldn’t help me," said Szilveszter.
"It hurt so much I had to stop having sex with my wife. It was the worst mistake of my life."
Szilveszter turned to Extreme Beauty Disasters resident plastic surgeon Dr Vik Vijh who said there was hope he could be cured – but it wouldn't be easy.
Dr Vijh explained: “Your body has formed scar tissue around the Vaseline because it's a foreign body, your body is trying to ward it off and it gives you these painful lumps, it will soon start to ulcer through the skin.
“The other problem is the foreskin is swelling and splitting – the foreskin is 15 times more swollen than should be.”
The cosmetic surgeon had to peel his penis like a banana to remove the scar tissue underneath.
Why is sex so important? Because life is so full of shit, that without sex, it's just not worth living.
International terrorism poses one of the greatest strategic challenges in the modern age as groups have become able to cross borders and carry out operations globally; and has gained a renewed focus since the events of September 11th 2001. It is possible that terrorists might attempt to acquire weapons of mass destruction which could then be used anywhere in the world. The term ‘weapons of mass destruction’ itself is a relatively new term and normally encompasses chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons (CBRN). These are incredibly varied in their effects as well as their availability, and whilst terrorist groups might want to acquire such “weapons of terror”, the effectiveness of such weapons compared to conventional explosives may be disputed. Aum Shinrikyo for example is probably the most famous terrorist group to acquire and use weapons that would now be classified as WMDs, but was only able to do so due to its considerable financial resources, and even then “failed in all 10 of its biological weapons attacks” whilst the Sarin gas attack in 1995 caused roughly the same number of fatalities as “the average Palestinian suicide bomber attack.” In this essay I will examine the component parts of the term weapons of mass destruction (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear) individually to assess the credibility of international terrorists using such weapons. I will show that although it is credible that terrorists would want to use such weapons and may attempt to do so in the future, conventional explosives have thus far proven more effective and in my opinion, it is far more likely that conventional terrorism will remain at the forefront of terrorist tactics.
Chemical terrorism is a potentially devastating form of WMD terrorism and certainly presents a credible threat to the international community. Toxic chemical agents such as chlorine and phosgene (which were first used as chemical weapons during the First World War) are found in many industry sectors and can easily be acquired and adapted for use in chemical weapons, although these devices will not be as effective as nerve agents, which are much more difficult to produce and require sophisticated laboratories to do so. Even so these weapons carry the potential to cause large amounts of casualties, although the vast majority of these would most likely be injuries rather than fatalities, and can be used effectively to create fear and encourage panic. Hamas is just one group that has pursued chemical weapons in the past, often lacing shrapnel used in suicide bombs with chemical agents, such as in December 2001 where “nails and bolts packed into explosives detonated…at the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall in Jerusalem were soaked in rat poison” in order to kill those survivors of the initial blast who were hit by shrapnel, and they have also attempted to acquire and use cyanide in attacks. So far however the effect of these chemical weapons seems limited and have been used in conjunction with conventional explosives rather than separately. Chemical weapons are also dependent on various factors including temperature and humidity, and when dispersed outside they become unpredictable due to wind conditions. In 1990 for example the Tamil Tigers attacked a Sri Lanka Air Force fortification using chlorine gas which was released to drift over the fort, and succeeded in injuring over 60 government soldiers and enabled the Tamil Tigers to take the fort, but then drifted back over their own positions. These chemical agents are rarely particularly effective, and it is noted that the Tamil Tigers used the chlorine gas simply because it was a weapon that they had to hand at the time and it suited a particular battlefield need. As a result terrorist organisations may try to utilise the potential of more deadly chemical weapons such as nerve agents, which I shall now discuss.
The cultivation of nerve agents such as Sarin or VX, is significantly more expensive than the procurement of other more basic agents, and requires considerable amount of expertise. Despite this it is still credible that terrorists could make use of such weapons as they have done in the past, most famously perhaps the Tokyo subway attack in 1995. Aum Shinrikyo had already carried out an attack using Sarin gas in 1994 in the city of Matsumoto, targeting three judges hearing “a lawsuit over a real-estate dispute in which Aum Shinrikyo was the defendant” and which they were likely to lose, subsequently killing 7 and wounding approximately 500. Following this, the Aum Shinrikyo cult group (now known as Aleph) carried out possibly the most successful chemical terrorist attack in 1995, releasing Sarin on the Tokyo subway system and causing 13 deaths and injuring approximately 6,300. In a subsequent raid on Satyan 7, a “supposed shrine to the Hindu god Shiva”, it was found that the building “housed a moderately large-scale chemical weapons production facility” which was designed to produce thousands of kilograms of Sarin a year, although at the time of the Tokyo subway attack it was no longer in service. This attack was the most devastating chemical attack by a terrorist group, and yet other attacks carried out using conventional explosives have been more effective, such as the bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 where 301 people were killed and 5,000 were injured. It is unlikely that a chemical attack will occur again on such a large scale due to the amount of expense involved, as Aum Shinrikyo remains at this time “the only group that had the financing and the motivation to create or obtain a true military-grade CW agent”. It is also important to note that Aum Shinrikyo is an apocalyptic group, and it is relatively unlikely that a more politically motivated group, even one such as Al-Qaeda would carry out a mass casualty chemical attack. The threat of a small-scale chemical attack is very credible with the availability of resources but the effectiveness of such a weapon would be fairly limited, and would actually probably be less effective than a conventional attack.
Bioterrorism is a very real threat to the international community today as it can be both disruptive as well as destructive. There are many different forms of Biological weapons that could be used, “Some are contagious and can spread rapidly in a population, while others, including anthrax and ricin, infect and kill only those who are directly exposed.” This diversity in effects can enable a group to carry out either targeted or indiscriminate attacks depending on their goals but both types, if carried out correctly, have the capability to majorly disrupt the targeted state or region. A biological attack is a much more realistic threat than a nuclear attack largely because “Unlike nuclear arms, dangerous germs are cheap and easy to come by”, whilst their effects on people can potentially reach the same scale as a nuclear bomb. For a more disruptive but by no means less devastating attack, a group could potentially target crops and livestock, disrupting a state’s food supply and economy. Biological warfare itself has been in use for centuries; in the Siege of Caffa in 1346 for example the Tartar forces, who were suffering from an outbreak of plague, ordered the infected corpses loaded onto trebuchets and hurled into the city in an attempt to kill all its inhabitants. In the Second World War the British planned to drop 5 million linseed cakes contaminated with anthrax spores into Germany which would then be consumed first by cattle, and then by Germans who subsequently ate the infected animals, whilst simultaneously creating a food shortage for the surviving population through the death of the remaining cattle. This attack (known as Operation Vegetarian) was never put into action however Gruinard Island, the island on which the cakes were tested, was only cleared of contamination in 1990 which suggests the possible long-term effects such an attack could cause. I shall now examine different types of biological weapons as well as possible future threats.
Perhaps the most well-known biological agent that has been used as a weapon is anthrax, a disease caused by bacteria called Bacillus anthracis, largely because of the relative ease with which it can be cultivated and the various ways it can cause infection which each cause different symptoms (inhalation, contact with a break in the skin, or ingestion of anthrax-tainted meat). Causing infection on a large scale with anthrax is however incredibly difficult. This is perhaps best shown by Aum Shinrikyo’s failed anthrax attack in 1993, in which members of the group attempted to aerosolise a “liquid suspension of Bacillus anthracis in an attempt to cause an inhalational anthrax epidemic”, and in the process create the conditions for another world war. The attack caused a foul odour and some minor cases of appetite-loss; nausea and vomiting, but failed to infect a single person, and it was only discovered that it had been an attack using anthrax during an investigation following the Tokyo subway station attack in March 1995. The most successful attack using anthrax was perhaps the 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States which occurred shortly after the events of September 11th. The attacks caused 22 cases of anthrax infection of which “Eleven of these were inhalational cases, of whom 5 died; [and] 11 were cutaneous cases (7 confirmed, 4 suspected).” Although the attack did not cause mass-casualties, it did cause major disruption and caused the temporary closure of the government mail service, as well as widespread fear of finding anthrax spores in the mail. There is also the threat of terrorists using the Botulinum toxin, one of the most deadly toxins known, which “poses a major bioweapon threat because of its extreme potency and lethality; its ease of production, transport, and misuse”. To cause more widespread damage terrorists could attempt to utilise contagious diseases such as the Ebola virus or even possibly avian influenza, and there is evidence to suggest that Aum Shinrikyo did at least contemplate the possibility of using the Ebola virus as a biological weapon. The use of contagious diseases in particular could become a major tactic for terrorist organisations in the future as it has the potential to cause widespread mass-casualties. The relative ease in the cultivation of agents such as anthrax and Botulinum, as well as the widespread and possibly transnational effects that contagious viruses could cause, makes bioterrorism a credible threat to the international community. However at this time it would appear that it would be extremely difficult to cause a crisis such as an epidemic and would probably therefore be limited to small scale attacks designed to cause more fear than casualties.
Radiological terrorism is perhaps one of the most credible threats to the international community, although arguably is also the least effective. The most credible use of radiological terrorism would probably be through the use of a radiological weapon, otherwise known as a ‘Dirty Bomb’ or a radiological dispersal device (RDD), which is designed to kill or injure “through the initial blast of the conventional explosive, and by airborne radiation and contamination (hence the term “dirty”).” They are realistically more weapons of mass disruption rather than destruction, but their capacity to create both large scale casualties and mass panic cannot be underestimated. A dirty bomb is a more realistic terrorist threat than a nuclear bomb largely because of the relative ease in its manufacture, as it is simply a conventional explosive with a radioactive isotope packed inside it; when the explosive detonates the isotope is dispersed over a large area thereby causing contamination over a wide area. There are a vast number of radioactive isotopes that could be used to make a dirty bomb and many of them are in the public domain, one example being caesium-137, a radioactive isotope that has widespread uses including certain cancer treatments. There have been two cases of terrorists attempting or threatening to use RDDs, though neither was successful in being carried out. The first occurred in 1995 in Moscow, when Chechen separatists buried a package containing Caesium-137 in Izmaylovsky Park, announcing it to the press in order to prove their ability to create and if necessary use a radiological weapon. The second instance of radiological terrorism was in December 1998, when the Chechen Secret Service discovered a dirty bomb “consisting of a land mine combined with radioactive materials”, which was quickly disarmed.
The relative ease in which a dirty bomb could be manufactured makes it far more likely than a nuclear bomb, however there are other possible forms of radiological terrorism that are perhaps less likely but potentially more dangerous, although there are no actual records of them occurring, including distribution in ventilation systems or the use of aircraft to powdered or aerosol forms of radioactive material. It is also theoretically possible that a terrorist organisation may attempt to attack a nuclear power station, following which a large enough explosion may allow the mass dispersion of a large amount of nuclear material, although safeguards and security arrangements should be able to deal with this threat. Although a successful radiological terrorist attack has not yet occurred, there are examples of the effects that radioactive materials have on humans, leading to increased fear about the possibility of attack. In September 1999 as just one example two thieves attempted to steal a container of radioactive materials from a chemical factory in Chechnya, but after half an hour one of the suspects died and the other collapsed, “even though each held the container for only a few minutes.” The threat to the international community from radiological terrorism is fairly credible given the relative ease in procurement and manufacture, and there is speculation that Al-Qaeda may have succeeded in creating a dirty bomb due to evidence found by British Intelligence agents and weapons researchers in 2003, although the device itself has not been found.
Nuclear terrorism is perhaps the most feared, and most unlikely, form of WMD Terrorism facing the world today. It has been argued that with increased amounts of uranium and particularly plutonium in circulation, due to more emphasis being placed on nuclear power, it is becoming far more likely that terrorists could acquire and build a nuclear weapon with relative ease. This argument follows that it is not only likely that terrorist organisations will attempt to acquire nuclear weapons, but they will also use them as a first resort weapon as a means of advancing their aims. In the context of Al-Qaeda, Busch notes that “bin Laden has declared obtaining nuclear weapons to be a religious duty” and that Al-Qaeda has been researching into this technology. This conflicts with bin Laden’s own statement made in November 2001 in which he said that he was already in possession of nuclear and chemical weapons, but that they would only be used as a deterrent, although perhaps the integrity of this statement can be debated in both its claim of ownership and professed intent. Governments and media seem to have a tendency to create worst-case scenarios regarding WMDs, most of which are relatively unrealistic. Albert Mauroni, a senior policy analyst with Northrop Grumman, notes as an example that the “US government fixates on scenarios that envision terrorist use of ten-kiloton nuclear weapons…worst-case scenarios that have little basis in reality” and this in itself can lead to the fear of the attack overshadowing the credibility or otherwise of a real attack. The intent for terrorist organisations to acquire nuclear weapons is certainly real, as is the possibility that they would use them as a first resort weapon, however I shall now examine the credibility of such groups being able to actually obtain them.
There are two main areas that governments are particularly concerned about regarding the acquisition of nuclear weapons or the technology to build them by terrorists: the theft, sale, or capture of warheads; and the theft of civilian nuclear material. In the first instance there is the threat that terrorists could attempt to “Steal, buy or otherwise acquire a ready-made nuclear weapon; or take over a nuclear-armed submarine, plane or base.” The most likely victim of such an attack in the modern world at the moment is Pakistan, which at this time is faced with “a greater threat from Islamic extremists seeking nuclear weapons than any other nuclear stockpile on earth”. Pakistan’s nuclear weapons facilities have come under attack at least three times in the period 2007-2008 by terrorist groups, and with both the Taliban and Al-Qaeda having relocated to the country from Afghanistan there is a significant danger of such facilities being taken over and used against a wide range of targets, including Coalition forces in neighbouring Afghanistan. To counter this threat the United States has opted for a quick reaction strategy, creating a specialist force to “seal off and snatch back Pakistani nuclear weapons” in the event of terrorist groups or other militant forces manage to acquire a weapon or the materials to build one. The likelihood of terrorists buying nuclear weapons is fairly low as such weapons could be traced on use to the manufacturer, providing incontrovertible evidence against the guilty party, which would usually be a state.
The other method that could be used to attempt to acquire a nuclear weapon is that of the theft of civilian nuclear material from nuclear power stations or reprocessing plants. However, these isotopes cannot effectively be used as a nuclear weapon in the state they are used in nuclear power facilities. Uranium is typically only enriched to 4% in a nuclear power station whereas it needs to achieve 85% enrichment to be used as a nuclear weapon, and to “obtain weapon-grade plutonium, nuclear-weapon states have reprocessed spent uranium fuel from special production reactors.” International safeguards should be able to prevent illegal enrichment of uranium from occurring, and it seems unlikely that a non-state actor would be able to build the necessary facilities to achieve sufficient enrichment of uranium themselves or create weapons-grade plutonium without the nations like the United States noticing, at which point they would in all likelihood be able to destroy or capture such a facility. The possibility of terrorist organisations creating nuclear fusion weapons is even more unrealistic as again such an act could not go unnoticed (due to the need to test a fission bomb first) and could easily be disrupted. The threat of international terrorist organisations acquiring nuclear fission weapons is theoretically credible, although with the safeguards that are rapidly being put into place to prevent both nuclear material and weaponry from falling into the hands of terrorists; I would argue that it is simply much easier and cheaper to use more conventional weapons and at the time of writing no nuclear terrorist attack has taken place.
Weapons of mass destruction could potentially cause devastation on a scale that no other weapon at this time can achieve. A well planned chemical or biological attack could theoretically kill thousands or even millions of people, whilst a radiological weapon would cause the necessary evacuation of an area and again could possibly cause large-scale casualties. The issue with these weapons is that they only have the potential to cause such damage, and historical precedents would suggest that it is a very complicated and difficult task to achieve such devastation, even if a group is able to procure such a weapon. A nuclear weapon would have a much larger and more destructive effect, as it is the only weapon of mass destruction that also destroys buildings, but the likelihood of a terrorist group acquiring or building one is fairly low at the moment. Conventional explosives have proven to be more effective than attacks involving WMDs at this point, and though it is theoretically possible that international terrorist groups might acquire weapons of mass destruction and use them upon acquisition, I believe that the use of conventional explosives will continue to dominate terrorist attacks.
For the current legal systems in the Western World, and for the mainstream media anyway, doing physical harm to men, or killing them, is peanuts. A woman who kills her sexual partner always gets full sympathy. Never mind what kind of bitch she is.
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