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[] Feds Really Do Fear Hippy Terror

Feds Really Do Fear Hippy Terror

If you were curious, as I was, why the notional evildoers in DHS's anti-cyber terror wargame Cyber Storm were anti-globalization lefties instead of home grown right wing extremists or al Qaida, it turns out the threat model was completely in keeping with the Bush administration's assessment of where terrorists are festering.

From the very end of the government's newly-and-partially-declassified National Intelligence Estimate summary:

Anti-U.S. and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint.

We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train, and obtain logistical and financial support.

If you accept all that, it begins to make sense that someone like the fictional Worldwide Anti-Globalization Alliance, and its radical arm, the Black Hood Society, would be the first to launch devastating cyber attacks against the power grid, air traffic control, etc., as laid out in a "For Official Use Only" DHS presentation (.ppt) given to industry security professionals last June.

But Salon wonders why the NIE neglects threats from the other end of the ideological spectrum, given that the worst pre-9/11 U.S. terror attack occurred when right-winger Timothy McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City.

That this claim about "leftist" terrorist groups made it into the NIE summary is particularly significant in light of the torture and detention bill that is likely soon to be enacted into law. That bill defines "enemy combatant" very broadly (and the definition may be even broader by the time it is enacted) and could easily encompass domestic groups perceived by the administration to be supporting a "terrorist agenda."

Similarly, the administration has claimed previously that it eavesdrops on the conversations of Americans only where there is reasonable grounds (as judged by the administration) to believe that one of the parties is affiliated with a terrorist group. Does that include "leftist" groups that use the Internet to organize?

Good question. If you're part of a group in the mold of Cyber Storm's villainous "Freedom Not Bombs," you may want to switch away from AT&T as your long distance carrier ASAP.

Actually, you're probably using Working Assets already, you cyber terrorist scumbag.

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