Apr 4 2009
‘Terrorists could bring down a jumbo jet using a microwave cannon built over the internet.’
A deadly ‘microwave cannon’ capable of bringing down aircraft can be built using information and parts available on the internet, a terrorism expert has warned. The device would fire a high-energy electromagnetic pulse, frying the electronics of a plane as it comes in to land.
(And the UK press is going to tell them exactly how.)
It raises the chilling prospect of attacks at transport hubs like Heathrow, capable of killing hundreds of people living in the flight paths. The warning came from Yael Shahar, director of Israel’s International Institute for Counter Terrorism think-tank. Her research has shown the parts needed to built such a weapon can be bought online, or cannibalised from gadgets such as digital cameras. ‘These are technologically unchallenging to build and most of the information necessary is available,’ she told New Scientist magazine.
Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons work by creating a powerful and concentrated electric field that knocks out any electronic circuits within range. Mrs Shahar told the Directed Energy Weapons conference in London earlier this year that, while aircraft can be built to protect against EMP cannons, manufacturers are increasingly using carbon-fibre in fuselages, which offers little protection.
‘These will become more of a threat as the electromagnetic weapons technology matures,’ Mrs Shahar added. ‘Once it’s known aircraft are vulnerable to particular types of disruption it isn’t too much of a leap to build a device that can produce that sort of disruption.’
The general public needs to know this information because WHY?