Individual sponsored terrorism

Countries like Iran, North Korea, Myanmar, Cuba, Syria and Sudan are labeled as sanctioned countries/rouge governments which are breeding ground of international terrorism. However I am beginning to question the very assumption that it needs state sponsorship to incubate and promote terrorism or technology/devices needed for it.

It will take $100/- (INR 6,000) for an individual  to make a crude bomb using an propane/LPG tank, radio control from DIY aircraft hobby kit/cellphone and some detonators fabricated from fireworks. A chat friend from Israel had lamented that it is Diwali for them every day as homemade Palestinian mortars and short range rockets light up the sky. Today crafted explosives kill more life then the much feared IEDs.

Wright brothers not US government made the first practical flight. First space flight was remote control. It does not need an Einstein to create an autonomous vehicle/flying object today. Almost all modern guns are made by individuals and named after them. Today Defense Distributed has proved that anybody can print 3D guns. The 2001 Anthrax attacks did not need any sophisticated pharmaceutical lab and were mostly created by individual. David Hahn created a breeder nuclear reactor in his backyard at the age of 17 using materials he could afford and source locally in USA. Ricin & mustard gas formulae is available to everybody and in the fictional TV series “Breaking Bad” a high-school professor could craft it at home/RV. Alfred Nobel in 19th century created the stable explosive, but lost his brother in the production/testing. Today’s anarchist has much better access to raw materials and safer mechanism to test their prototype.

Somehow we have created a myth around the need or a soulless nation/fanatic organization is needed to fabricate WMD, armaments, chemical warfare, bio-warfare, nuclear; missile & submarine technology. What we forget are two things:

Firstly copying is a lot easier than original design. Most terror labs today only try to replicate on what has been developed and tested (with minor modifications). It is said that humans perfected the weapon technology in the 40s, nuclear technology in the 50s and aviation technology in the 60s.Individuals today are a lot smarter and resourceful and can reverse engineer and improvise with ease.

Secondly internet has made it a lot safer and easier for people to form special interest groups and collaborate and exchange ideas. Mankind has much better access to raw materials, literature & production technology then it had decades ago when these technology was getting developed.

I would ask the same question that I did in 2006. What would you do with an individual who has created a technology in an undesirable area (without any ideological fanatic or malicious intent)? Should we appreciate their genius or punish them for their audacity?

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