Doug Bedell — November 16, 2007, 7:29 pm

Attacking From Outside Perimeters

Security threats keep being extended rather than narrowed, it seems. Now there’s a warning of technologically enhanced small arms weapons that, potentially, provide terrorists with “the ability to launch attacks from far beyond established security perimeters and the means to escape after an attack.”

A report by the Rand Corp., “Stealing the Sword: Limiting Terrorist Use of Advanced Conventional Weapons,” lays out small arms threats that will exist in the near future unless world authorities manage to head them off.

How about mortars aimed via GPS coordinates: The IRA used mortars against the British, but these would be different. “RAND says the new guided warheads require little more than a firing tube. They can be fired remotely, and with known GPS coordinates, present a new security challenge.

“Rand says,” Government Executive.com continues, “there is a narrow ‘window of opportunity’ to control the proliferation of these types of weapons that may close within a few years, and recommended that the Department of Homeland Security take the lead in imposing sales and export controls on advanced mortar rounds. For example, the digital circuitry on GPS-equipped devices can be designed to require a ‘trusted component’ that could limit where the weapons could be used, or they could be given expiration dates, the report noted.”

Sounds like the RAND report ought to be required reading for security managers everywhere.

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