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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid