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Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague 369

Posted by timothy
from the theocrat's-cookbook dept.
Foreign Policy has an in-depth look at the contents of a laptop reportedly seized this year in Syria from a stronghold of the organization now known as the Islamic State, and described as belonging to a Tunisian national ("Muhammed S."). The "hidden documents" folder of the machine, says the report, contained a vast number of documents, including ones describing and justifying biological weapons: The laptop's contents turn out to be a treasure trove of documents that provide ideological justifications for jihadi organizations -- and practical training on how to carry out the Islamic State's deadly campaigns. They include videos of Osama bin Laden, manuals on how to make bombs, instructions for stealing cars, and lessons on how to use disguises in order to avoid getting arrested while traveling from one jihadi hot spot to another. ... The information on the laptop makes clear that its owner is a Tunisian national named Muhammed S. who joined ISIS in Syria and who studied chemistry and physics at two universities in Tunisia's northeast. Even more disturbing is how he planned to use that education: The ISIS laptop contains a 19-page document in Arabic on how to develop biological weapons and how to weaponize the bubonic plague from infected animals. ... "The advantage of biological weapons is that they do not cost a lot of money, while the human casualties can be huge," the document states.
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Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

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  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Friday August 29, 2014 @07:50PM (#47788119)
    Is the "19-page document in Arabic on how to develop biological weapons" a viable plan, or wishfull thinking? Getting ahold if bubonic plague is not exactly easy. If it was ebola, that would be easier...
    • by mc6809e (214243) on Friday August 29, 2014 @08:03PM (#47788221)

      The plague exists in the wild in many western states of the USA.

      Colorado just had four cases in the past few months.

      • by rahvin112 (446269) on Friday August 29, 2014 @08:50PM (#47788499)

        Yea and it's not the middle ages either and there are no strains of plague that are anti-biotic resistant. The only Bacteria that are scary are anti-biotic resistant ones, all the rest can be cured with a dose of anti-biotic. That's why people with the real knowledge don't research bio-weapons from bacteria, they use viruses that have no effective treatment option.

        This sounds like some rank amateur typing up a letter that says "we could do X" where X is some fanciful attack. What I see here is groups like the CIA playing this up as a fund raising drive even if the "plan" is stupidly simple and not even viable. This in fact sounds a lot like the yellow cake uranium crap they pushed into the media.

        People need to stop falling for this BS.

        • +1 propaganda. that's all this is. we better amend the patriot act to give CIA power to stop these underground bioterrorists!
          • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday August 29, 2014 @10:29PM (#47788937)

            the 'culture of fear' continues on.

            BE AFRAID! IF YOU FOLLOW OUR INSTRUCTIONS, YOU WILL BE SAFE!

            yeah, right.

            I'm tired of this scare bullshit. I worry more about my own people (the government and authorities) than I will ever worry about some foreign 'bad guy'.

            when are people going to finally tire of being told to 'be afraid!' ? maybe the next generation will wise-up. (probably not, though; they are not any smarter than we are and they are falling for all the same propaganda.)

            at least some of us can see thru this. not that it helps, any.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Noah Haders (3621429)

              >when are people going to finally tire of being told to 'be afraid!' ?

              when the populace starts to see through their schtick, they'll greenlight another terrorist attack. I just hope they don't attack an airplane with a body cavity bomber. that would make future TSA checkpoints awful.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Yea and it's not the middle ages either

          Those Islamic folks seems to think it's the Middle Ages . . . or they would like to bring the people under their control back to the Middle Ages.

          Ah, the Middle East: God's Monkey House

          • by Dan1701 (1563427) on Saturday August 30, 2014 @06:05AM (#47790115)

            Western culture sees men and women as more or less equal, with neither having a right to oppress the other. This leads to areas of the middle east where the women get liberated, empowered and at that point the culture is forced to get a lot more open and the male-domination gets tempered by a great deal more discussion. Quite a lot of men in that culture cannot handle this sort of thing, and fall back on their religious document (written by a Medieval primitive) as justification for their prejudices.

            The Islamists making all this noise are the thick ones, the losers, the unsocialised and frankly maladaptive ones who cannot make the switch from a prescriptive male-dominated society that uses females as property, to one where women have a culture and an equal say in things. Basically, we're listening to losers yapping away at everything and everyone, because they cannot quite handle the Western way of life.

        • by khallow (566160) on Friday August 29, 2014 @10:02PM (#47788841)

          Yea and it's not the middle ages either and there are no strains of plague that are anti-biotic resistant. The only Bacteria that are scary are anti-biotic resistant ones, all the rest can be cured with a dose of anti-biotic. That's why people with the real knowledge don't research bio-weapons from bacteria, they use viruses that have no effective treatment option.

          OTOH, it's far easier to cultivate bacteria than viruses. For example, Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes bubonic plague can be grown in a modified agar gel [nih.gov] with no need for host cells of any kind. And it's pretty easy to breed in resistance to anti-biotics by exposing the bacteria over many generations to all the anti-biotics in use at doses where a small part of the colony survives.

          Whether that can be done over a short enough time that interests an organization like ISIS, is unknown to me. But it wouldn't take much effort IMHO to make a bubonic plague variant that is at least highly resistant to anti-biotics. Making it also highly infectious and lethal is another problem. That might require substantially more testing and breeding of the bacteria in host animals like rats or mice or something closer to us, like monkeys or people themselves.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You are forgetting that if Abu al-Attacker successfully infects a few thousand people, this can overwhelm the medical care infrastructure and deplete the stocks of antibiotics. Once that happens, and there are enough cases to stir up a good epidemic, we have a serious problem on our hands.

          This obviously hinges on the ability to infect lots of people in the first place, which in turn requires obtaining feedstocks and making and spreading enough of the stuff to infect a goodly swathe of people without or at l

        • by Horshu (2754893)
          ISIS should infect some of their bravest with MSRA and then infiltrate the US, where they would spontaneously start grappling with random people on the streets, thus causing a staph epidemic. But yeah, they probably want to avoid ancient diseases that modern medicine has been able to treat.
        • by mc6809e (214243)

          The only Bacteria that are scary are anti-biotic resistant ones, all the rest can be cured with a dose of anti-biotic.

          Don't be so dismissive.

          I realize the plague is so dark ages and that we have antibiotics, but from 1990 until 2010 the overall mortality rate was 11% [cdc.gov].

          People still die even with antibiotics.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29, 2014 @08:11PM (#47788271)

      Ebola isn't realistic either. You'd get more results with empty glass vials and a written "Deadly Ebola" label in a few dozen big malls.

      The widespread panic would have the same effect for much less cost.

      • by Smallpond (221300) on Friday August 29, 2014 @08:18PM (#47788325) Homepage Journal

        The well-known terrorist organization Aqua Teen Hunger Force shut down the city of Boston in 2007 with just some boards with blinky lights. [wikipedia.org]

      • Ebola isn't realistic either. You'd get more results with empty glass vials and a written "Deadly Ebola" label in a few dozen big malls.

        The widespread panic would have the same effect for much less cost.

        Considering that the goal of a terrorist is to spread terror, having a documented case of getting ebola could be very effective. http://www.nydailynews.com/new... [nydailynews.com] Oh, wait...

      • by Dereck1701 (1922824) on Friday August 29, 2014 @11:12PM (#47789123)

        Sadly you're completely right, a bag of flour thrown off a building or put a few Lite-Brite signs out and you throw a city into chaos. All at the cost of a few bucks and one or two nuts willing to do it. You don't have to look far to see how crazy things have gotten, there have been what, two aircraft diverted in the past week because of minor incidents on-board at least one of which "required" a fighter escort because of a few drunk women having a fight? I can't recall where it came from but there is one statement that pretty well sums it up "the terrorists said "boo" and our reaction was to shoot ourselves in the head". We simply can't sustain this idiocy, eventually we'll end up like Russia at the end of the Cold War, throwing so much money into buying bullets (security) that we can't afford bread (the economy).

    • They make money by the Fuckton, give them enough time and they can buy nukes.

    • Plague is easily treated today. It's just a bacterium, and it doesn't even spread from person to person without blood exchange. That's like one of the dumbest things I've heard, only interesting because plague once killed many people.

      I'd be far more worried about smallpox, an easily created virus that has few people immunized these days.

      • Smallpox is not "easily created".

        • by mysidia (191772)

          Smallpox is not "easily created".

          Maybe not 'easily', but it can be created. The entire genetic sequence of Variola Major is known and has been published, so the virus could be synthesized artificially by reproducing the sequence.

    • by Copid (137416) on Friday August 29, 2014 @08:41PM (#47788461)
      I'd be a little more inclined to believe that the person who wrote the document was a real expert if there had been a known case of these guys actually producing a biological weapon. This sounds a whole lot more like people who have never built a biological weapon teaching other people who have never built a biologial weapon how to build a biological weapon. Lots of thought experiments being put on paper as instructions as if they were tried and true methods.

      I can do a write up for how to build a nuclear bomb for my terrorist brothers based on my rudimentary undergraduate physics education, but there's no way in hell those instructions would actually produce anything useful.
      • Yes, it's always better to be prepared after something very bad happens. Let's just ignore it for now.
        • by Copid (137416) on Friday August 29, 2014 @09:08PM (#47788587)
          There's a difference between "being prepared" and "Oh, shit, let's panic!" When this stuff comes up, the public reaction is usually the latter. These guys aspire to all sorts of stuff and if even half of it were realistic they would have taken over the world by now. The reality is that their resources and competence don't match their aspirations and our policy responses should take that into consideration. Some nutbar in a cave announcing his intention to get hold of a hydrogen bomb and blow us all to hell should cause us to spot check the security of the known hydrogen bomb storage sites. It shouldn't cause us to start digging billion dollar fallout shelters under every major city or grounding airplanes whenever somebody uses the word "hydrogen."
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            I'm not saying panic either. But I wouldn't blow them off. I would think that the biggest barrier they have is access to the equipment and materials to build what they want. They number in the tens of thousands at least, and we keep hearing how many were engineering grads or university students. They can't all be stupid. But sure another roadblock they will have are the throngs of stupid people they have lumped themselves in with. The thing is for biological warfare they don't even need weapons systems. The
            • by Copid (137416)
              So the question is, what are the policy implications? As far as I can tell, we're about as well prepared for a plague as we can reasonably be short of massive expenditure on serious emergency programs. We could go as far as buying everybody NBC suits, but that seems like it's way out of proportion.

              We have a robust medical system with good antibiotics that's reasonably good at containing outbreaks knowledge of how to treat the plague, so what's next, and are the cost of that next thing justifiable given
      • by cold fjord (826450) on Friday August 29, 2014 @11:34PM (#47789203)

        I'd be a little more inclined to believe that the person who wrote the document was a real expert if there had been a known case of these guys actually producing a biological weapon. This sounds a whole lot more like people who have never built a biological weapon teaching other people who have never built a biologial weapon how to build a biological weapon.

        It's been known for quite some time that al Qaida and company have conducted lethal experiments with biological agents, even if at times inadvertently. You are also far too dismissive of them. Many terrorists and terrorist leaders have been well educated people: engineers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, etc. You should also keep in mind that al Qaida has previously canceled attacks because they were uncertain that a particular attack would produce casualties of a large enough number to meet their approval and maintain their "brand" as highly dangerous.

        Black Death 'kills al-Qaeda operatives in Algeria' [telegraph.co.uk]

    • Not so much...
      The South West of the US has it's share, and given the rains of this year it may be worse.
      http://www.arizonaedventures.com/things-to-see-do/arizona-top-ten/scary-arizona/ [arizonaedventures.com]
      I can remember seeing warnings in the local paper as well as hunters advisories.
      Google it...
    • by Applehu Akbar (2968043) on Friday August 29, 2014 @10:43PM (#47788993)

      Actually bubonic has been cycling in rodents in the US Southwest since 1900, when Chinese laborers shipped into San Francisco brought the disease in. A human outbreak was quickly contained, but bubonic in animals has been a part of Western life ever since. Roughly every year, someone in northern Arizona gets it from handling a dead animal.

      For terrorist usage, a disease like this is weaponized by developing a public dispersal plan. "Not infecting your co-workers" hinders use of deadly diseases by conventional bad guys like drug cartelistas, but ISIS warriors are willing self-sacrificers. This allows them to develop tactics that nobody else would contemplate.

  • by ShaunC (203807) on Friday August 29, 2014 @07:55PM (#47788165)

    Buried in the "hidden files" section of the computer were 146 gigabytes of material, containing a total of 35,347 files in 2,367 folders.

    WTF is the "hidden files" section of a computer? From their screenshot, it appears the guy just made a directory called "Videoooooo" and stuffed it full of New Folder, New Folder 2, Copy (3) of New Folder, etc. My cat can hide stuff better than that.

    Most of the things they're describing are absolutely nothing to worry about. Instructions for stealing cars? How to use disguises? This is the kind of shit that was all over every BBS file door 20 years ago. You can download torrents chock full of gigs of this "extremist literature" or "terrorist training materials" now. ISIS are surely a bunch of cunts and I imagine they do pose some threat, but the value of this laptop and its contents is highly exaggerated.

    • by Sperbels (1008585)
      Funny, I keep more porn in the same spot.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      My cat can hide stuff better than that.

      I bet your cat would be better at spreading plague as well.

      • by Kaenneth (82978)

        Actually, it's believed that the killing of cats (by Christians) lead to the explosion of the rat population that allowed the plague to kill so much of Europe.

        Cats are pretty clean creatures.

    • by sumdumass (711423) on Friday August 29, 2014 @08:25PM (#47788373) Journal

      You can hide folders and files in most operating systems, It's generally a file attribute you set either through a command line argument or the properties dialog in the US.

      There have been a couple root-kits that used special characters enveloping the file or folder name which would hide it from the OS and anyone using the OS to look for it. I'm betting it is just the attribute in this case.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MrL0G1C (867445)

      No no no, the US and UK have elections coming up and want to shit on your civil liberties again and look tough whilst doing it.

      Security Security Security TERRORISTS

      Please be sufficiently terrified and not notice it's a sham caused by western meddling in the 1st place.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cold fjord (826450)

        Please be sufficiently terrified and not notice it's a sham caused by western meddling in the 1st place.

        Many problems in the world are either caused or exacerbated by ignorance of the sort that you have just demonstrated. Al Qaida's goals have nothing to do with what the West does or has done, other than repelling the Muslim invasions 500+ years ago. They want to rule the world, and that means taking over places they don't rule now. Pretending the problem is something other than what it actually is will be very likely to have unfortunate results. The Islamists are teaching their children that they will re

        • Nah, you're not very knowledgable yourself. I'm not an expert either but at least read up a bit on history rather than referring to wacky websites. You're mentioning one of their historical justifications, but one of minor importance. (It's also among the most silly ones, because the Kalifats they admire so much and wish to rebuild were at their height at a time when the Muslim world was the most tolerant, when people of all faith were living together without problems while Christians were slaughtering each

  • by 0xdeaddead (797696) on Friday August 29, 2014 @08:02PM (#47788219) Homepage Journal

    Im somewhere between 0 and 0.
    really? hidden documents?

    big whoop.

    But I know a scared population is an easy to control one.

  • The horror! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I can't imagine USA engineers designing and creating weapons of mass destruction. How could these bastards! I mean, education is always for good things, right? right?

    • Agree'ed. It might be time for someone to test a few nuclear weapons. Time to remind the crazies out there there is some out there bigger than you and possibly a little more crazy.
  • by retroworks (652802) on Friday August 29, 2014 @08:16PM (#47788309) Homepage Journal

    This will last about a generation, and a lot of damage is to be expected. There will be soft targets hit. It will last approximately until the Gen2 kids of the Jihadists realize " Dad was an ASSHOLE ". Nazis, Japanese, USA vs. Mexico/Indians... it usually self corrects if Dad gets paddled. Gen2 (or G3) Kids can grow up to be different kinds of assholes (USA no doubt has several generations, I admit) but it's usually an altogether different kind of asshole than grandpa was. Anarchists of 100 years ago did proportionately about the same amount of "terror" as Al Qaeda /Jihad. But shooting world leaders and blowing up post offices didn't impress the kids who grew up with it and realized the anarchists were just assholes.

    If Dad succeeds and gets rich, history shows, all bets are off. Successful assholes breed. Letting dictators rule for several years just gives latent asshole syndrome. So let the assholes get what's coming to them, because the more successful they are, the more we'll elect people to drop bombs on them.

    • The asshole narrative of history.......I'm not sure I've ever seen that one before.
    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday August 29, 2014 @10:46PM (#47789011)

      You have no idea how deep the conditioning goes. In Palestine children's programming is (no joke) broadcasting cartoons showing that jews should be killed and you get a nice reward in heaven for killing yourself in the pursuit of killing said jews.

      The kids are also building the tunnels used to eventually kill jews.

      With enough brainwashing, how are they to rebel? And if one child does break free, they will simply be executed.

      You are applying your own western way of thinking to the problem where children have any value at all. In the middle east for religious fanatics they are just tools of war and treated as such.

  • Not so sure (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Andurian (1162629) on Friday August 29, 2014 @08:21PM (#47788343)
    I'm anything but a conspiracy nut. I think we landed on the moon, that Oswald shot Kennedy, and that Icke is a con man. But the timing on this is seriously convenient. We want to attack ISIS, and *poof*, evidence suddenly shows up that ISIS has weapons of mass destruction. It's enough to make me consider making tinfoil hats.
    • by goruka (1721094)
      Not only that, a guy is decapitated by a british speaking terrorist. The timing was just too good, specially because it helped to move the public opinion away from Israel/Gaza. Coincidentally, the moment Hamas stopped getting press they basically surrendered.
      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Not only that, a guy is decapitated by a british speaking terrorist. The timing was just too good, specially because it helped to move the public opinion away from Israel/Gaza. Coincidentally, the moment Hamas stopped getting press they basically surrendered.

        You haven't really been paying attention to the stuff that's been on-going then. It's similar to the people who don't watch what the jihadi's are doing then say: "but he was such a nice neighbor," after they found out that ran off and committed a suicide attack. Hell Jawa Report [mypetjawa.mu.nu] has been tracking the guy they suspect for at least a year. As a point, they were also instrumental in nailing several dozen other terrorists or want-to-be terrorists to the wall who are now spending time in federal prison.

    • I can see it now:

      first we attack ISIS, then we go for OSPF. ...probably the bridges will come down next.

      I suspect cisco has something to do with it. I can't prove it, though.

    • that Oswald shot Kennedy

      Look, genius; there's a good reason you're not likely to find even an FBI guy who believes that... :p

  • by riverat1 (1048260) on Friday August 29, 2014 @08:22PM (#47788359)

    I'm usually a pretty live and let live kind of guy but IS/ISIL/ISIS need to be treated like they're treating the people who don't agree with them, with no mercy. That is come down on them like a ton of bricks.

    • by Bruce66423 (1678196) on Friday August 29, 2014 @08:32PM (#47788405)
      I remain conflicted; as a moderately competent STEM educated person, I am aware of any number of ways of reducing Western cities to chaos without a lot of effort and no risk. Yet our jihadi brethren never succeed in pulling it off. 7/7 in London and the Boston bombing seem to have been independent efforts, not carried out by people in the jihadi chain of command. Which leads me to suspect a lot of the hype is FUD by our government, or at least its security agencies, to milk the situation for as much as possible. OTOH it is totally clear that IS and HAMAS are committed to doing very nasty things to anyone who gets in their way. Something weird is going on; I look forward to discovering the truth, but I have nasty suspicion we won't.
      • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Friday August 29, 2014 @08:55PM (#47788521)

        Jihadists succeeded in a pretty big way with the 9/11 attacks. I fail to see why another group wouldn't be capable of doing something of that magnitude again, given some proper funding and competent planning. It seems illogical to conclude that there isn't a real threat against western targets after we've seen those and other attacks.

        I'm not saying we should panic, overreact, or (in the case of the NSA) overreach, but I think some vigilance is surely warranted.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Yes, eventually, there will be another large scale attack on the US that will inflict a large number of casualties.

          We assume a few things about terrorism:
          1. 99% of the attacks will either be stopped or simply never get off the ground, leaving 1% that actually make it through to succeed to some extent.
          2. 99% of those attacks will either fail (Times Square bomber) or be small scale attacks (Ft. Hood shooting)
          3.The 1% of 1% that get through and are not small scale attacks will be so rare that they do not pre

          • by Bruce66423 (1678196) on Saturday August 30, 2014 @05:01AM (#47789979)
            FUD works because people don't think things through; we are very bad at proper risk assessment. The question remains whether we should trust our government to do better - or suspect it of abusing the opportunity this allegation makes. Recent history encourages the latter!
            • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Saturday August 30, 2014 @06:40AM (#47790175)

              FUD works because people don't think things through; we are very bad at proper risk assessment. The question remains whether we should trust our government to do better - or suspect it of abusing the opportunity this allegation makes. Recent history encourages the latter!

              Keep in mind that it's quite literally the government's job to try to protect against or prepare for worst case scenarios. FEMA does it with natural disasters. The military plays end-of-the-world wargames and trains for battle against people we hope never to fight against. And of course, the various Homeland Security agencies look for people who want to do America or its citizens harm. It's their job to try to anticipate or prevent worst-case scenarios. We hire people to do this so we won't have to.

              This create a quandary of sorts. On the one hand, they're by far the most qualified to answer the question as to how legitimate the potential threats are. On the flip side, it's in their own best interest to magnify the threats so as to increase their own budgets and importance, which is a natural trend for any bureaucratic agency. We can, however, blame them for overreaching their legal and constitutional bounds in carrying out their mandate. And we need to call them out when we see that they've magnified threats beyond their logical probability as well. That second part is a bit harder to do - realistically, only our elected officials have access to the most sensitive raw sources and data, so we have to trust that they'll exercise proper oversight in that regard.

              As lay persons, you and I (and the general public) are not really qualified to determine whether various threats are real or not, both because a) it's not our area of expertise, and b) we don't have enough data to make a well-informed judgment. For instance, many terrorists may have been stopped by good intelligence, but it's possible this information can't be released to the public (similar to the allies Ultra/Enigma project in WWII), for fear of compromising the source or techniques used. This leaves the public feeling like there is no credible threat, which on the one hand, is a good thing, but on the other, leads people to question the necessity of the very agencies preventing the attacks. It's unfortunate that these agencies have undermined their own trust, because now we have a hard time believing them even if they're telling us the truth.

              Who do you turn to when your best guard dog has been crying wolf?

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday August 29, 2014 @08:57PM (#47788533)

    This may come across as a troll, but I promise it's not. I'm looking for a genuine discussion on something.

    From the small amount of reading I've done, it seems that the Koran is pretty clear: Islam requires non-Muslims to convert or pay tax or be killed:

    http://infidelsarecool.com/200... [infidelsarecool.com]

    http://www.vexen.co.uk/religio... [vexen.co.uk]

    So it seems to me like all fully observant Muslims are required to engage in, or at least approve of, this behavior.

    If that's true, then:

    (1) Why do so many Muslims renounce such violence? Is it that they can't stomach what appears to be this straight-forward interpretation of the Koran?

    (2) If there is some alternative, justifiable interpretation of the Koran, why aren't governments fighting that propaganda war? Does the fact that they're not doing so indicate that no such justifiable interpretation exist?

    • Islam requires non-Muslims to convert or pay tax

      Non-Muslims have to pay tax (jizya). Muslims have to pay tax too; it just goes by a different name (zakat). Which non-failed state doesn't enforce laws against tax evasion?

    • by fluffy99 (870997)

      Go read the bible which has passages advocating similar violence. You don't see the Christians following those either, at least not since the crusades.

      • I see them following those passages. Perhaps you're not looking? Look in the direction of Uganda... Where it's now a death sentence to be gay, or to advocate for gay rights, or even just say that being gay is OK. Christians have plenty to answer for.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday August 29, 2014 @11:32PM (#47789199)

      The thing is, religious texts say a lot of shit, particularly the major religions which often have a whole lot of text including not just their "official" book but all kinds of other documents that have some measure of authority in their belief system for various reasons. Also because the documents are old, and composed of various collected stories of various authorships, there are generally plenty of contradictions, things that have been shown to be untrue, and so on.

      So what really happens is people choose to believe the parts they like, and ignore or reinterpret the rest. They follow the parts they wish and find justifications for not following the others. This happens all the time in all religions. Generally, religious ideology is an excuse, a justification, for a behaviour, not the case. People don't read a holy text and say "Oh, well I have to follow this to the letter!" Rather they have something they want to do and they find a way to make their belief system justify it.

      You can see it with things like the "prosperity gospel" Christians and so on. Any even somewhat literal reading of Jesus's teachings shows the guy was the ultimate hippy. All about helping the poor, against material wealth, etc, etc. However, they find a way to justify their views in the bible.

      Or the crazy things Orthodox Jews go through to supposedly obey arbitrary restrictions in the torah, while then skirting around them. Like they believe that the prohibition on making fire on the sabbath applies to electricity. However then there are things like ovens with timers greater than 24 hours, so you can have it come on automatically on the sabbath and that's ok. Oh Shabbos Goys, non-Jewish individuals you can hire to do things for you that you are not allowed to do on the sabbath.

      Same shit with any of the variants of Islam. What the Koran says isn't really relevant. They'll find a way to make it justify what they want to believe. They can find a way to twist it to allow things that are specifically forbidden, or to ignore things that are required, or whatever.

  • I am trying to picture the hissy fit the US government would throw if someone released the NSA/CIA equivalent of this to the media.
  • by Stonefish (210962) on Friday August 29, 2014 @09:10PM (#47788599)

    This stull is not particularly inspiring and about I could have written this stuff when I was at high school. The reality of the situation is that any biological vector created will impact the poor and the 3rd world more than the Western world. Look at natural outbreaks such as HIV. Western world OK (not great butOK), 3rd world broken, Islamic world really broken because the can't discuss the problem openly.
    The 'cure' in this case might be to infect the region with something virulant and taboo, this may have already been done as apparently there's a couple of particularly virulent STD's making the rounds of ISIS.

  • As others have stated most of the information doesn't seem to be any more harmful than a copy of The Cookbook. With regards to biological weapons: one would hope that whomever thought of this would keep on thinking to realize that poorer nations always fare worse when it comes to communicable diseases. They have fewer resources, longer response times, denser populations, etc.. If the biological isn't communicable it still doesn't make too much sense without some industrial scale dispersal methods which are
  • Regime change, again anyone? There've been enough indications it's sought after in some quarters.

  • by Patent Lover (779809) on Friday August 29, 2014 @10:16PM (#47788881)
    In other words he downloaded a bunch of shit from the Internet. Oh the horror....
  • by manu0601 (2221348) on Friday August 29, 2014 @10:27PM (#47788929)

    The problem with biological weapons is that you are never sure it will not destroy your own population.

    And even evil regimes need a population to support them, to get food to eat, for instance, or to produce oil sold for food.

  • Has anyone else said it? Bubonic plague is not particularly contagious, unlike pneumonic plague, and tetracycline stops Y. pestis cold. Plague is endemic in the wild rodent population in the western US. People get it from time to time, but it's pretty big news if a case is fatal.
  • Terrorists of any flavor really had better not be effective. If the terror nuts in the Arab states were much of a threat they could easily be totally destroyed. They are dealt with in milder ways only because they are not effective terrorists. If we thought more highly of their abilities we would have the option of exterminating their nations completely. Their ace in the hold is that we don't want to kill innocents. But if they ever became a serious threat we would not be concerned about non-hostil

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