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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Avoiding Customs Forging the finest print

If I were a terrorist of any sort, and I had some canisters of nerve gas, there’s no way I’d walk it into Singapore. I’d keep my butt safe where the Republic couldn’t reach me, on a boat in the littoral waters, in an (neglected) area of Malaysian responsibility.

It should be feasible to fire artillery rounds housing the sarin from a deck gun into Singapore, but I’m not sure how easy aiming a field gun designed for land would be from the vessels used by pirates or terrorists, and I don’t know if I’d want to make my approach from The Malacca Straits, a bottleneck I’d hate to be trapped in, or from the other side of the peninsula, where shipping traffic wouldn’t be heavy enough for me to hide in the clutter.

I’m going to also assume that smuggling a machine pistol in would be difficult. I’ve heard of Singaporean customs officials catching a tourist sneaking in a package of chewing gum taped behind his knee! However, it should be legally possible to own an air soft version of the Skorpion, and use the frame to upgrade into the most highly sophisticated zip gun the world has ever seen. Heck, it may be possible to label a real Skorpion as an air soft model, and fool customs, that might be more plausible.

Another to smuggle the guns in would be the clichéd method of wrapping everything in wax paper or plastic bags and sinking them into oil drums. That might also be a reliable way to smuggling in more nerve gas. If the tangos have a state sponsor, the diplomatic pouch would be an all but guaranteed means of importing the guns as far as embassy row.

A sure way of smuggling in the inert chemicals that make up sarin would be to store them in silicon implants, most likely the ones for breast augmentation. That would likely mean hiring women (because men with large breasts would draw unwanted attention) and a surgeon to take part in the early phases of the operation. Having such chemicals housed within the silicon pouches, rather than the safe saline solution, would put the women at risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals, and some risk would be involved the surgeries to put the implants in and to remove them.

Paying for apartments and transportation shouldn’t be any more difficult for unknown terrorists than for ordinary tourists.

The last consideration is casing the business district. Where do the people congregate? Where do air ducts pull outside air from? Is there a subway terminal? Do mobile concession stands sell fast food in this business district? Can you park some motor scooters nearby, and can you ordinarily weave among the traffic within your operation’s timeframe?

If it is true that concession stands operate in the district, importing the canisters may be possible. If there’s a subway terminal, you have a packed and accessible closed space. Terrorists love hitting subways with Sarin, or with conventional bombs. Air vents are usually unguarded, and are a great way of introducing hazardous gases. Motor scooters are agile enough to avoid police cordons, and one can still fire a Skorpion reliably one-handed from one.

For maximum effect, terrorists like to have a second set of teeth to take out those fleeing and those rescuing. Consider that crowds gassed in the confined office buildings and subway will escape to the open street. Perhaps then would be the best time for the hypothetical artillery ship to open up, perhaps with incendiary cluster munitions, perhaps with something even more sinister, like fuel-air explosives.

The planning phase is entirely conceivable. One could probably find the plastic surgeons and mules necessary for the Sarin smuggling operation pretty easily, if one could dupe them into believing they were moving drugs. The precursors for sarin aren’t difficult to acquire. If you go with the air soft idea, getting the scorpions is easy. Moving a handful of operatives is the height of ease. One could probably buy an artillery piece and a couple of shells from Karen rebels in Burma easily, with enough funds. If not them, Tamil Tigers might sell, and getting it from land to a boat would only take some hired manpower.

Overall, it would be easy to arrange, and one could even prosper from doing it by buying “puts” (a form of stockbroker insurance) on the businesses ruined in the attacks. The whole thing would fund itself.

Published by Typewriter King | 4:11 PM
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