HGs World Commentary
Commentary by H.G. Listiak
Spain Bombs Triggered by Cell Phones

Monday 3/22/2004

Welcome to My World, where the recent Al Qaeda attack on the commuter train in Spain, according to the telecom industry and explosive experts, was nearly impossible to stop, from a technical standpoint. The explosives were detonated by cell phones hooked up to bombs, which could have allowed them to be on the other side of the world when they went off. They also used the alarm clock option as a backup. Here's how it works. A wire in the phone is connected to the detonator. When a call is placed to the phone an electrical circuit is completed, providing juice to the trigger, and the bomb blows. A teenager in the U.S. could dial a wrong number by accident and hundreds of people are dead. It's a phenomenon of our times, and what can you do? Some officials in Arab countries have radio jamming devices in their vehicles that can delay or block the receivers attached to the bombs, technology by far too expensive for most of us. One of the problems is that cell phones can't be traced to their owners for the most part, especially if they are purchased outside of the U.S. where 90% of our cellphone users have contracts that require applications and credit checks. It's a different story elsewhere. Vodaphone Group, the world's largest cellular operator says 55% of it's customers are unidentified, with the figure as high as 82% in Egypt and 92% in Italy. Untraceable cellphones were apparently used in Madrid, with ring tones and alarms. The only positive thing is that experts say if found, these bombs are relatively easy to defuse. Dr. Magnus Ranstrop, a terrorism expert from Scotland, says the Madrid attack was a large operation, involving only a few people, since they didn't have to blow themselves up. One, maybe two phones were all that was needed to trigger the explosions. So, my friends, just how the hell do you stop an evil that can come out of the shadows and kill at will? That's a tough question that can only be answered by hope and guesswork. The killers are worldwide and unified, while only a portion of the world is willing to do anything about it. Look at Spain. They suffer, then quickly bend to the wishes of the butchers. That has to stop. And we must put aside the politics, become more unified, renew our resolve, and complete our mission, to track them down and bring them in dead or alive at all costs. Anything short of that isn't going to work, as I see it ... I'm H.G. Listiak.

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