News / Asia

Experts: Amateur Terrorists Gain Most from Flight 370 Information

Experts: Amateur Terrorists Gain Most from Flight 370 Informationi
X
Carolyn Presutti
March 21, 2014 1:32 AM
For nearly two weeks, every form of media and many conversations around the world have discussed possible scenarios in the Malaysia plane disappearance. But some experts think we are unconsciously releasing previously unknown information to potential terrorists. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has the story.
For nearly two weeks, every form of media and many conversations around the world have discussed possible scenarios in the Malaysia plane disappearance.  But some experts think we are unconsciously releasing previously unknown information to potential terrorists.  

Theory after theory has surfaced in the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370.  The information discussed has been compared to a basic aviation class - with details on radar, satellites, passport security, 777 capabilities and international communications.

Terrorists have also been taking notes.  That’s according to John Goglia, who spent 40 years in aviation - any of those with the National Transportation Safety Board.   

“That’s been my fear from the very beginning - that there’s been a lot of information out that they may or may not have known.  But they are getting very sophisticated, very educated - the terrorists. They know the system," said Goglia.

Organized terror groups have proven they know the system.  They can locate the transponders, find gaps in radar coverage and exploit lax security.   Some experts worry more about amateur terrorists.

Jonah Blank is a counterterrorism expert with the Rand Corporation.

 "These are things that professional groups like al-Qaida already know.  These are things that, however, not every 23-year-old malcontent knows.  And now, many more do," said Blank.

But Blank says a lot of that information is already available on the Internet or in a flight manual.  Other experts don’t give terrorists that much credit.  

Max Abrahms, a professor of terrorism at Northeastern University, spoke on Skype.

“If you look at data sets on terrorist tactical decisions - the tactics that they use, you’ll see that they’re really not actually that innovative. They tend to use the same very basic tactics over and over again, the same ones they’ve used for decades," said Abrahms.

Abrahms says al-Qaida isn’t as great a threat anymore since it set aside widescale attacks and is now focusing on individual acts of local terrorism .

While the Malaysia search could have revealed some previously unknown information to terrorist groups, it also exposed many security breaches, giving governments a chance to improve procedures and avoid these oversights in the future.

Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid