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Technology vs. terrorism

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Last year 408 people were killed by terrorists in planes, airports, and airline ticket offices around the world, according to a report issued last February by U.S. Vice President George Bush's Task Force on Combatting Terrorism. A total of 329 were killed when a bomb exploded in the baggage compartment of an Air India Boeing 747 approaching Ireland on June 23. ¿The biggest single problem (in counterterrorism] is detecting bombs placed in baggage,¿ said Robert Kupperman, a senior advisor at Georgetown University's center for Strategic and International Studies In Washington, D.C., and the author of several books on combating terrorism. Despite a flurry of technological initiatives, dogs are still the most reliable bomb detectors, Kupperman said, although they are far from perfect. Expensive to train, dogs can also be foiled by masking odors or by well-sealed packages.

Published in:

Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 11 )