back to article Israeli futurologist predicts terror horror

Western nations have less than 20 years to prepare for the next generation of terror threats, according to Dr Yair Sharan, director of Tel Aviv University's Interdisciplinary Centre for Technology Analysis and Forecasting. These could consist of suicide bombers remote-controlled by brain-chip implants and carrying nano- …


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  1. Dan


    thats cheered me up.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Terror hype

    When did he say his book is coming out?

  3. Doug

    attack of the remote-controlled brain-chip implant suicide bombers ..

    But do they have freeking lasers ??

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The impostor

    Reminds me of the story "The impostor" by Philip K. Dick where aliens would clone humans so successfully that the replicant wouldn't know he was a clone and he had an inbuilt nanomachine based bomb that would trigger when someone uttered a certain phrase. I think this will remain in the realm of science fiction for a little while...

  5. Robert Spencer

    it's ok....

    ....because by then we'll have flying cars, a safe haven on moon base zappa and a kick-ass robot in every house.


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Europe is naive...

    As opposed to the Israel who have a perfect grip on reality and build huge great concrete walls round anything that looks "iffy" and drop shells onto residential areas?

  7. WarrenG

    How insightful...

    Spewing fear and panick...and coming from an Israeli associated with the US Govt...we haven't heard this before now have we?

  8. Craig


    There will be 40 ft genetically modified lizards with Super anthrax breath and eyes that beam microwave skin melting rays.

    I could do his job!

  9. Dean Varney

    I'm surprised...

    ...that Captain Cyborg hasn't popped up with a comment on this. Who else is so well placed to share his thoughts on chip implants?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Futurology went down the drain when Stanislaw Lem died!

    Nice wanktastic predictions there, these will be lapped up by the US mainstream press in no time. I predict that orbital bombers able to blow your ass to high heaven any time, any place with 6-hour notice will soon be financed by referring to the growing threat of "nanotechnology". A few billions will be shifted to Israel to "strengthen its defenses" etc. etc.

    "Nanotech MOABs" withing five years? Right. No-one even knows whether "Nanotechnology" is possible in principle so STFU is a good idea. "Brain controlled" suicide bombers? Utter tosh, these guys are working quite well even without implants. "Worry about terrorists getting their hands on cluster bombs." Yeah, so they have this cluster bomb in their downtown appartment. Now, damn, where's that delivery vehicle?

    "We get a better-educated class of terrorists these days". Like guys who cannot readily distinguish between JFK the airport and JFK the man? Like Japanese outfits where the study of too much manga leads to illusions of chemweapon know-how? What?! The only "interesting" stuff ever to grace the headlines (adequately refined Anthrax) came directly from your friendly USA laboratory.

    > Western nations have less than 20 years to prepare for the next

    > generation of terror threats.

    Don't care because at the rate things are going USA has less than 15 years to live in its present form.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ohes! Noes! We're all gonna die!


    Europe is naive, so is the US, and well everyone who buys into this bunk.

  12. Sean Ellis

    Why bother with expensive mind control chips

    When a cheap viral meme complex and a few promises about the afterlife can achieve the same end?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hidden meaning

    Just noticed that an anagram of Israeli futurologist


    Glorifies Liar Touts U

    That's all I need to know.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Six times the word "might"!

    I might win the lottery (if I played) or I might get killed by a bus (driven by a implanted bus driver with nano tech and clusterbombs).

    Ah well, its all in the audience he. If he told that to a college or uni, he would get laughed at. But the spooks need a to know the dangers now so that they can put that in the budget of next year!

    I love the phase "Europe is naive with its love of privacy," he told The Register. "It's the weak point in the chain". So its really all about that damm privacy thing? Even if "they" got hold of all the info on every person on the planet and all our movments, the bad guys would still be there. What if we, Europe build a hugh wall around our continent and kick out the israelis, we be anti-semitic. But kick out all suspected terrorists (meaning arabs), thats all cool.

    I love my privacy! Don't take it away!

    btw, i just ticked post anonymously :-D

  15. evil tom

    The terrorists will get their hands on cluster bombs...

    ...because Israel keeps dropping cluster bombs in their gardens.

    And why are they (seriously angry at us) *becoming terrorists of their own accord* again?

    ...maybe because the (five-year old kid next door) *enemy combatant* had his hands blown off after picking up the (freaking shiny toy-looking bomb) *unexploded ordinance* that landed in the (backyard) *terrorist training ground*.

    Which means we (need to drop more cluster bombs) *need more security measures* because those (civilians) *terrorists* keep (getting hit with) *acquiring* (shrapnel & napalm & etc.) *advanced weapons components*.

  16. Zac


    >Spewing fear and panick...and coming from an Israeli associated with the US >Govt...we haven't heard this before now have we?

    We all should live in fear and let the government strip us of any privacy we have in the name of national security!

    *bends over*


  17. Rodrigo Rollan

    Come On guys.......

    It is unvelibable how commited these War Mongers are. Instead of thinking why they have terrorism, they want to have the means to alienate even more people.But hey, war is great for business....just ask any US manufacturer !

  18. John Ellin

    Captain Cyborg's brother ?

    Am I being overly sceptical, or is this guy somehow related to a certain Kevin Warwick of Reading University ?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Many hear showing how naive they are...

    The guy is telling the truth, a small part of it actually. He is simply announcing the fact that terrorist groups and the group of powers behind them are going to start using some of the alien technology they got (I'm not kidding at all), and this means that in order to fight them even more alien technology must become public, new kind of weapons still considered sci-fi that were more than just prototypes in the '50s after the famous Roswell case.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brain chip implants

    So all we need is a gadget to zap the chip at a distance. Or possibly a virus.

  21. Gilbert Wham

    Er, just a moment!

    Can you, if you are under the influence of a 'mind control chip', be a suicide bomber per se? 'Involuntary Bomber' would be more accurate surely?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suicide Bombers walk a two-way street

    I expect that within 20 years, we will see non-Muslims use suicide bombing to strike at terrorists like the Taliban, Hamas, etc.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    by then someone might find a cure for religion and genetically modify the common cold to deliver it across the world.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happily ever after

    By then someone might have found a cure for religion and accidentally genetically modified the common cold to deliver it across the world.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course the solution is...

    to carry on bombing those iffy types into the stone age. It's worked brilliantly for Israel and the US so far.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    End the madness...

    Create a genetically modified mild form of the flu that completely spreads through the human population and destroys human gonads. It would be most humane as it wouldn't be killing anyone, and would do the planet a service by giving it relief from relentless cancerous human population growth.

  27. Ronny Cook

    Re: Happily ever after

    The common cold is several thousand different viruses, which is why there's no cure. Frankly it's not contagious enough to spread effectively. (I haven't had a cold in years, even with several thousand variants around.)

    An effective vector for such changes would have a very long incubation period and be highly contagious during the incubation. AIDS has a long incubation and isn't very contagious but has still managed a high infection rate.

    That said, the common humanist belief that violent acts are mostly performed for religious purposes is at best a simplification. The mass murders of the 20th century were mostly done by secular regimes (Fascism, communism amongst others). Modern terrorist movements are more cultural than religious in origin - the reasons given for terrorist actions are rarely religious in nature, they are usually complaints about cultural and military intervention. Fundamentalism certainly contributes, but fundamentalism is not an exclusive preserve of the religious.

    I would be the last one to claim that any religion is the solution to all the world's problems, or even to most of them, but the claim that religion is the *source* of those problems is wishful thinking. People don't need religion as an excuse to act irrationally.

    With regard to the original article, spooks need to come up with imaginary threats to get their salaries paid. Spooks need to eat too. :-/ And since their job is to find stuff out, privacy legislation just gets in their way, so criticism of privacy measures by a spook is not exactly news.

  28. b shubin

    What a moron...

    -terror will use whatever weapon comes to hand!

    you couldn't think of anything more obvious? poor, desperate, repressed people will use any method that has the slightest chance of causing a result they want. that has been true for all of recorded history.

    -privacy is the problem!!

    no, lazy and incompetent intelligence agencies want the public to do their job for them. additionally, they want more funding. much more funding. and total authority, without oversight. think "V for Vendetta"...

    -we will all die due to an act of terror!

    very unlikely. statistics indicate that you are more likely to die in a lightning strike than in an act of terror (unless you live in the Middle East).

    -shut up! i'm trying to get paid here!!

    at last, the truth.

  29. Dan King

    Approaching the Singularity

    Essentially Sharan is iterating the view of science fiction writer/Computer Scientist Vernor Vinge in his book "Marooned in Real Time" and in the following essay: The argument flows from Moore's Law - the rate at which technology and miniaturization advances is accelerating and the cost is dropping so quickly that advanced weaponry once available only to governments becomes available first to well funded groups then ultimately individuals.

    Israel sees this today with Hezbollah, an essentially private militia acting as a state within a state, firing high tech cluster style weapons at Israel and improvements in Qassam rockets coming from Gaza fired daily at Israel's western border. This is stuff formerly of James Bond fantasy become real.

    And a comment to "Evil Tom" who's knowledge of the Middle East might be limited to what he reads in The Guardian: Israel dropped cluster munitions ONLY in the last 3 days of last summer's war and had by November handed over all the telemetry information they could to the Lebanese government to assist with the clean up. The munitions were close to expiry date (leaving a higher % of unexploded bomblets) and I believe it was a bone headed decision to use them as in "lets use these things now before we have to throw them out". They were not "dropped on gardens" but aimed at legitimate Hezbollah targets. In contrast, Hezbollah used mid range missiles containing cluster munitions (ball bearings not bomblets) designed to do maximum damage to human beings, poorly aimed (Israel knocked out Lebanese radar early on) solely at civilian targets.

    Anyone who deals in security is practically by definition paranoid. High tech exploits easily get shrink wrapped to the point where script kiddies can use them without any understanding of how to build them. Intelligence gathering using digital cameras, satellite images, and command and control using cell phones and wifi are all dirt cheap. There are real threats (including the threat of too much security and surveillance) and discussing these dangers is an unfortunately one of the issues we need to deal with as a free society. Up until now the free dissemination of information has been one of the strengths of Western civilization - it might also wind up being our Achilles heel.

    Dan King, Canada

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brain Chips!!


    "These could consist of suicide bombers remote-controlled by brain-chip implants..."

    OMG, the answer is obvious! The state must install "remote-controlled by brain-chip implants" into us all, before the terrorists do; it's the only way to protect us from this horror.

    Won't some one please wrap me in a warm cuddly blanket and protect me from this evil world?!

    (Reader Advisory: previous comment may contain sarcasm.)

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Moore Law Killbots

    "Israel sees this today with Hezbollah, an essentially private militia acting as a state within a state, firing high tech cluster style weapons at Israel and improvements in Qassam rockets coming from Gaza fired daily at Israel's western border. This is stuff formerly of James Bond fantasy become real."

    Moores law applies equally to both sides.

    Israel though, gets $3 billion from the US with no requirement to account for it tipping the balance in it's favour.

    It seems likely that part of that $3 billion is slushed back into US politicians pockets, since they make decisions regarding Israel that defy logic and represent Israel's interests rather than American interests in the region. Which means the money has no moral constraints attached.

    So we have an imbalance there, Israel can spend $30 billion on war each decade without facing the resulting costs itself. Likewise you admitted they dropped cluster bombs on civilians for 3 days and that is a war crime, yet there is no trial, which suggests the moral controls are missing.

    The combination of lack of moral control, plus lack of 'war price penalty' means Israel will likely have killbots far sooner than it's neighbours and will be more likely to use them.

    Moores law only works if you can afford the latest and Killbots only kill if you have no moral controls in place.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    terrorists will use whatever is available

    There is no way on earth that terrorists will come up with a way to design a brain control chip on their on - and there is even less chance that they will be able to manufacture it or implant it reliably.

    So for brain control chips technology to come into the hands of terrorists, it must first be produced by someone else (DARPA seems like the most likely candidate to fund this type of research).

    Personally I the think the idea of brain controlled soldiers is stupid, but maybe mr. Sharan knows something that I don't.

    I would think the reasonable approach to limit this potential future terrorist threat would be to declare the development and/or production of any brain control chip technology a crime and immediately seize all assets of anybody involved in this. Even if they are paid by a government...

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brain control....

    ....anyone remember playing Syndicate Wars? Can't wait to have my own personal army of brain-chip controlled cyborgs armed with nano-tech weapons!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remote controlled suicide bombers

    How ridiculous, surely there more than enough willing suicide bombers without having to go to the expense of implanting mind control chips into them? The whole concept just seems bizarre to me - why waste all that money (don't tell me brain surgery is cheap) when all you need to do is pay some willing volunteer a few tens of thousands of dollars and tell them they will be a hero in the afterlife.

    I'm glad I read all these comments beforehand as I too couldn't help but think maybe Sharan hasn't seen V for Vendetta (entertaining movie) and doesn't realise that Joe public will rise up against him no matter what his lack of privacy or brain control chips do.

    The security / defence business needs excuses to justify the ridiculous amount of money required to fund its activities and scaremongering like this is typical.

    Long live the weakest link (EU) - may our naivety continue to be a thorn in your (Israel / USA) side!

  35. Naadir Jeewa

    The nanotech fallacy

    We already know what nanobots do. They're called cells. There are physical constraints on nanoengineering, and biology has already optimised most of these processes.

  36. heystoopid

    The Fear of the what if

    The fear of the what if , continually reminds me of the old cautionary tale of Chicken Little , running around yelling "the sky is falling let us flee the safety of the compound and run to the hills!"

    Sadly , we all know that fate which awaited the innocent stampeded victims of Chicken Little's psychosis , of the fear of what if!

    Still interesting but very corrupt logic , but the old truism , those that fail to learn the many lessons of history , are but doomed to repeat them!

    For history tells us all absolute police states are eventually dissolved and the following chaos opens many sore and festering wounds of the imagined self , leaving many disasters in the wake of this resulting chaos!

    With so many selfless Chicken Little's leading us in to chaos , what price for all democracies and freedoms in the face of self created Stalinist Style Police States?

    Quick , send him a rock so he can hide under it!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Syndicate Wars ptII

    Oh, and I'd also like a 'Persuadertron' to go along with my cyborg army please - so I can recruit 'volunteers' to my cause without having to resort to expensive & time-consuming brain surgery.


  38. John Imrie

    'Europe is naive with its love of privacy'

    I wondered why that latest Jonny Dep film did so well over here

  39. b shubin

    Department of hope?

    here's a thought:

    instead of spending government funds on this guy, how about we spend some on those poor, starving, desperate areas of the world that produce the most terror recruits?

    they would probably like electricity and sanitation. maybe some basic medical care (antibiotics, vaccines, first aid services). food. clothing. shelter. education.

    you know, things that may give them hope, instead of the despair they have now...

    somehow, i think it would be cheaper and more effective than paying people like Mr. Sharan to think up doomsday scenarios.

  40. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Do you remember the opening video ?

    Striking tale about how the nameless corporation "acquired" a new subject, eh ?

    Maybe that's how DARPA plans to get the next generation of Marines ?

  41. Rob


    ..."....anyone remember playing Syndicate Wars? Can't wait to have my own personal army of brain-chip controlled cyborgs armed with nano-tech weapons!"

    So loved that game, shame there are no game houses willing to update or recode it for todays market. Just think how far it could go with todays computing power. I have tried a number of times to get it to work on my PC's at home, but can't slow the game speed down enough.... so loved that game, the image of the airship will always stick in my mind :)

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hi-Tech Brain control

    Low tech tin foil.

    I'm wearing mine now, I don't trust Bluetooth.

    This bloody phone doesn't work either ...

  43. Kalle Ollila

    Europe is naive?

    Wow, that must be why they're so damn hated. If military actions, targeted assassinations, thousands of kidnappings and continues increase of illegal settlements worked then Israel would be the safest country on earth against terrorism. CIA has told about blowbacks for years, China didn't have to militarily occupy Iran to get the oil...USA/UK are paying their price because of stupid interventions such as Operation Ajax. Blair didn't say without a reason that UK would pay a bloodprice if it joins USA in it's imperial PNAC adventures...

    Not saying this to justify any acts of violence...but we need to have honests looks on why some of the fundamentalist muslims really hate us. And no, it's not because of our freedoms, simply google "They hate us for our policies, not our freedom" for a Pentagon report. 1999 wargames saw trouble in Iraq, and CIA warned of those as well. These are no secrets to our dear so called leaders. Left, right, centre they all lie to us.

    US report foretells of brave new world ('Hive Mind')

    Say no to all Orwellian nightmare visions. Do not allow brainimplants. It will lead to tyranny and not whatever improvement they tell us it will give.

    “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.”

    H.L. Mencken

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