Dam disasters and terrorist attacks

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Dam destruction is one of the greatest man-made disasters that can instantly generate casualties and will carry out disastrous consequences. Public are more concerned on cyberattack, bioterrorism, and chemical terrorism, however, these threats do not create long term economic distress.  Al Qaeda priorities are not to destroy national symbols, but to bring the United States (U.S.) economy to its knees (T&A, 2004).  Biological terrorism is least likely and is only a temporary threat, and yet gets the most media play (T&A, 2004). Amid all the dire warnings and alarming statistics that the subject: so far, there has been no recorded instance of a terrorist cyber attack on U.S. public facilities, transportation systems, nuclear power plants, power grids, or other key components of the national infrastructure (Weimann, 2004).  Cyber attacks are common, but they have not been conducted by terrorists and they have not sought to inflict the kind of damage that would qualify them as cyberterrorism (Weimann, 2004).  According to Weimann (2004), when the U.S. troops recovered Al Qaeda laptops in Afghanistan, officials were surprised to find its members more technologically adept, than previously believed. They discovered structural and engineering software, electronic models of a dam, and information on computerized water systems, nuclear power plants, and U.S. and European stadiums (Weimann, 2004).

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