Schneier on Security
A blog covering security and security technology.
« WPA Cracking in the Cloud |
| DNSSEC Root Key Split Among Seven People »
July 27, 2010
Pork-Filled Counter-Islamic Bomb Device
Okay, this is just weird:
Mark S. Price, a specialist in public security, and his privately held company, Paradise Lost Antiterrorism Network of America (www.plan-a.us), have recently applied to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a Utility Patent on their Suicide Bomb Deterrent, a security device designed, manufactured and distributed by PLAN-A. This device has been designed to warn and deter potential fanatical religious suicide bomb-wielding terrorists from otherwise detonating an explosive charge within close proximity of said device, to the intended end of successfully accomplishing its namesake purpose of Suicide Bomb Deterrent and the protecting and preserving of all life and property otherwise in mortal and destructive danger.
Reading the partial patent application on their minimal website, it appears to be a packet of pork product, combined with a big sign saying something like: "Warning. If you blow up a bomb right here, you'll get pork stuff all over you before you die -- which might be suboptimal from a religious point of view."
This appears to not be a joke.
Posted on July 27, 2010 at 12:33 PM
• 79 Comments
To receive these entries once a month by e-mail, sign up for the Crypto-Gram Newsletter.
I find it very hard to tell what's intended as a joke these days, when it comes to ideas like this. Of course, *is* a joke, but are we laughing at them, or with them?
I'm guessing that there isn't any accredited college that has a "specialist in public security" degree program.
Hmmmm, seems to be based out of AZ.
Where's the episode of "24" where Jack Bauer tosses a pig on top of a would-be suicide bomber to prevent the attack?
I can tell you who is laughing. bin Laden.
and if they get turned down by the Patent Office, they can say Obama is on the side of the "terraists".
If you search for
TTL/suicide AND TTL/bomb
you get no hits...
Same thing with inventor Mark Price.
...so no such US application since 2001
The "patent application" doesn't look like it was written by a professional, no claims are listed for instance....
BTW, we're doomed if this doesn't work.
I just checked, there is no www.plan-b.us
Pork products are known not to be a serious deterrent to terrorists of the Islamic faith.
Think back to Russia promising to bury Islamic terrorists in pig skin etc, apart from a little moral outrage it appeared to have no deterant effect to terrorists.
I believe that scheme was originally propagated in the medieval novel of 'Lancelot', where a Jew was chased and taunted by the means of a leg of pork. Would that be eligible as prior art?
Probably just some dolt looking to make a buck. Even if they did deter (which they don't), if one actually guesses what to protect successfully, they'd be better off buying a lottery ticket.
This appears to be predicated on what's been called the zombie theory of religion, which is that people of faiths other than one's own are programmed by their holy books and then unable to exercise any sort of free will to deviate from the program. (You can also find similar attitudes about aboriginal peoples being programmed by their culture, and people in very foreign countries being programmed by their laws.)
There's some seriously prior art. According to tradition, and as depicted in mosaics on St Mark's Basilica in Venice, in 828 the body of the saint was stolen and smuggled out of Muslim controlled Alexandria hidden under pig parts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
Poor St Mark.
So, all explosives should then be manufactured with pig products.
Or, just issue fatwas against such activity and confuse them.
Pork is forbidden from being eaten willfully in the Koran. Getting pork sprayed on you after you've blown yourself up is not going to deter a suicide bomber because suicide is more of sin than accidentally getting exposed to pork which is not a sin at all.
I look forward to a day where bronze age superstitions are recognized for what they are.
A Muslim can even eat pork if he/she is in Jihad. If a man dies during Jihad, as they believe, not the warrior but whole family will go to heaven.
This pork thing is just a result of public level knowledge.
If you know that bomb detonation will cover you in bacony goodness, and you choose to detonate, any pork you eat cannot be considered an accident.
I've already placed an order.
If the pork somehow manages to fly into ones mouth, but ones mouth is no longer connected to their stomach (which may now be in several small pieces) does that still count as eating it?
I don't think piece mealed intestine is relevant. It's about intent. You deliberately put yourself in porks way.
You have to consider, that these people take the religion so seriously they are willing to die for it.
Just because it's a joke for us doesn't mean it woudn't bother them.
Generally I'd say the religious aspect has been largely ignored. I'm not talking about Islam generally but about serious analysis of particular beliefs of the real terrorists.
Can you say for sure they wouldn't mind being posthumously pork sprayed? Because I can't.
My first thought was "pork" as unnecessary bloat and federal spending just to spend money.
The truth is far more hilarious.
It's from a Tom Clancy novel, I forget which one. Scene in a shopping mall I think.
The earliest reference I've seen to burial (the threat of, that is,) of Muslims in pig skin was in the Philippines, when Black Jack Pershing was there fighting Hukbalahaps (Muslims), before WWI. He (actually a subordinate,) would threaten to bury a given captive alive, tied up in a (fresh and bloody, I hope,) pig's skin, and begin to do so, unless the captive talked. It was said to be effective. I would bet it would work on the Taliban, if we were not so PC these days. What do you think, Bruce?
I took one look at the website, decided the word and pdf files were probably full of malware, and hit the close button.
This is (amusingly enough) not novel -- it's basically a ripoff of "Susblood labs" ("sus" is "horse" in Hebrew), a company which purported to do similar things a few years ago. Alas, they seem to no longer exist, and their site -- which was extremely amusing -- is no more.
Even if this was a joke, there is prior art on the joke by Gerhard Polt (german comedian), Die Toten Hosen (Punk Band), and Biermöslblosn (folk/comedy). During their Christmas Tour 2005 ("Abvent") they described baked-in Schnitzels as a Taliban-orientated theft-deterrant for the parachute-dropped 1.5 ton Christstollen ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stollen )...
lol :) That's hilarious. They should say that no virgins will be waiting for them either. ;) Pity that terrorist prey on poor, uneducated Muslims...
Personally, I believe religiously motivated suicide-bombers are just lazy-asses: They are tired of all the praying their religion mandates and are seeking an easy way out. Hmm. Come to think of it, that would explain a lot. Maybe not funny as planned but close to the truth?
Anyways, this scheme is just stupid.
I believe that line should be: "I don't think piece mealed intestine is relevant. It's about intent. You deliberately put yourself in hams way."
Ha ha, very good.
Never thought I'd see the day when Spam became an anti-terror weapon.
Oh you guys are so negative! One little technical fix and problem solved...
Suicide bombers will be reconstituted by substituting any required parts from cannibal pigs and brought back to life.
Have a pleasant day.
وسيعاد تشكيل مهاجمون انتحاريون من قبل استبدال أي أجزاء المطلوبة من أكلة لحوم البشر والخنازير اعادته الى الحياة.
I'm pretty sure it's a joke. Note that in the press release, the email address given for Price is "Fat-Al@Cox.Net".
This is just stupid.
It's not anymore effective against Muslims than any other.
As Muslims believe:
* People who suicide will be sent to Hell forever (unlike many other sinner who are only cleaned in Hell and then sent to Heaven)
* Getting pork sprayed over is not a sin at all. Islam only wants Muslims to clean those stuff away if any pork made contact with our skin.
* Yeah Muslims can't eat pork intentionally. And its not only pork, there are more stuff.
* There's nothing wrong with looking at a pig or giving it food/water or anything like that as long as you don't touch it (or any part of it) with bare skin.
It could be a urban myth but IIRC the one of the colonial armies at one point was fighting a Muslim army and started burying the dead enemy combatants in pork lard. They very quickly ran out of enemy combatants; alive or dead.
It reminds me of a scheme that Delta Force came up with during the Tehran US Embassy hostage crisis. One of their ideas was to put a bunch of pigs in a plane with parachutes and drop them all over the embassy. The pigs running around would cause the guards to panic and be distracting, allowing Delta to easily take them out and position themselves for a breach. They decided against it, but it was a cool idea. ;)
"There's some seriously prior art. According to tradition, and as depicted in mosaics on St Mark's Basilica in Venice, in 828 the body of the saint was stolen and smuggled out of Muslim controlled Alexandria hidden under pig parts...
Poor St Mark."
Poor St Mark, indeed. Hell of a way to treat a Jewish corpse.
But seriously, this reminds me of the Kill Salman Rushdie days, when bookstores displaying The Satanic Verses were likely to be firebombed. Seemed to me the proper thing to do was to put it prominently in the display window next to -- but physically separated from, to avoid unnecessary offense -- the Koran. Firebomb THAT, mofo!
That would be the Indian uprising of 1857. From wikipedia:
"The final spark was provided by the reaction of Company officers to the controversy over the ammunition for new Pattern 1853 Enfield Rifle. To load the new rifle, the sepoys had to bite the cartridge open. It was believed that the paper cartridges that were standard issue with the rifle were greased with lard (pork fat) which was regarded as unclean by Muslims, or tallow (beef fat), regarded as anathema to Hindus"
Of course this was just one of many grievances, but it is the one siezed on at the time as it allowed the others to be ignored and the Indians to be portrayed as superstitious idiots.
After dying in an ordinary traffic accident, a Christian man arrives in heaven. Much to his surprise, he is greeted by 27 beautiful and horny virgins.
He asks: "This is all very nice, you're all very beautiful and I really don't want to complain, but... ...aren't you supposed to be waiting for the Islamistic suicide bombers?"
"Oh, yes, that's true. But the state those guys are in when they arrive up here..."
(Credit: Dieter Nuhr)
The best way to deter suicide bombers is to not kill them but to keep them in prison until they repent. Dying for your beliefs is a lot easier than living in prison for a few decades for them.
Then regularly interview them for TV to show the world that being a terrorist isn't a good thing.
Prior art: This idea was bruited about for use on Israeli buses a few years ago.
Unless someone has a citation about the religious beliefs _of suicide bombers_, I remind everyone that speculation and sarcasm about religious matters reflects poorly on the person performing the speculation.
If I'm not mistaken, during the Phillipine-American War, it was said that the US military used to dip bullets in pig's blood before loading them into their rifles.
The Muslim insurgents at the time believed that if their bodies were tainted with pig's blood as they died, they would not enter heaven. Hence, quite a few of them gave up the fight.
Not sure if this is completely true, but if it it, then perhaps lard could be a deterrent against suicide bombers. Only, imagine if the lard got onto civilians if a suicide bomb were to take place.
@berkutturan "This pork thing is just a result of public level knowledge."
Most Muslim suicide bombers aren't well versed in Islam either. Alas. Ignorance is, again, proving fatal.
So all we have to do is make pig fly...
The suicide bombers and other terrorist are under what they consider to be official religious sanction guaranteeing them heaven regardless of what religious restrictions they violate. They could die eating a ham and bacon sandwich washed down with champagne while having sex with another man's wife, and they still believe they will get to heaven if they blow themselves up under the conditions of the fatwa.
So, this is useless, as anybody who paid attention to the behavior of the 9/11 attackers prior to the attacks would know.
So all we have to do is wrap our government buildings, our military bases and naval ships, our embassies all our most precious assets in -- layers of pork?
I'm gonna come down on the side of political satire.
hmmmmm the smell of raw pork decomposing in a DC summer heat wave. mmmmmmmmmmmm.
Heh heh heh.
BTW, it is not in "Lancelot" but in "Ivanhoe" that Isaac of York (father to the lovely Rebecca, who competes with Rowena for the affections of Ivanhoe) who is chased from a dinner by one of the guests brandishing a leg of pork at him.
How about an equally idiotic patent that aims to reduce gay/lesbian hate-crimes:
"Warning - If you assault/harrass this gay person you will have to wear this rainbow colored George Michael shirt all day every day".
I hope this is a well-marketed joke.
Thats the problem with 'emotional' attackers / expressive crimes- Very few situational crime prevention techniques will work (deter). The attackers are emotionally triggered and really dont weigh the risks of being caught, like rational offneders might -especially if he/she intends to detonate themsleves.
In case anyone's taking this at all seriously...
If you defile your own bullets in a way that your enemy believes will send him to hell, aren't you threatening him with something much worse than a battlefield death? If your enemy fielded a weapon that you truly believed could send you to hell, wouldn't you consider that a war crime at minimum?
And if Muslims actually believed that a pork-tainted explosion would send them to hell (which I'm sure they don't), how would innocent Muslims feel about passing through an area "protected" by such a device?
@ BF Skinner,
"hmmmmm the smell of raw pork decomposing in a DC summer heat wave. mmmmmmmmmmmm"
You have forgoton all that hot air that blows out of W.DC and how salami are made...
1, Take guts of freshly slaughtered bovine scrape out boil in salt water stretch and dry (ie Ox-Bow).
2, Take a freshly killed pig and seperat belly fat and loin flesh.
3, Corsely chop pig fat and flesh and mix 40% fat to 60% flesh.
4, Add in salts of sodium and nitrate and dried ground white peper, papreka etc.
5, Mix with hands and stuff into rehidrated guts expelling all air in process.
6, Hang up outside in warm draft of air out of sunlight.
7, Wait for around 6-13 weeks and white mould to grow on the outside of the guts.
Cut down slice finely and serve with soured lactate of bovine and green stuff and call it Anti Pasta...
It could prove to be a profitable side line....
This news deserves some suspicious hilarity.
Is this really a hoax? Or what?
Anyway, just to add an (un)fruitful comment, the PLAN-A paper states:
"These bombers kill hundreds of innocent people of the general public each year in places all around the world."
That's true. The vast majority of the attacks take place in muslim countries, mostly killing muslim people.
So, how can you set this device all around in a muslim country? You can't tell them it's not pork.
The funny thing is that this entire product is based on a misunderstanding of Islamic law. Yes, religious Muslims (and Jews) are forbidden from eating pig products, but there is no prohibition on coming into contact with pig products. For some reason internet forwards have been promoting this urban legend for years.
Where is the patent application for Ham Grenades?
"Unless someone has a citation about the religious beliefs _of suicide bombers_, I remind everyone that speculation and sarcasm about religious matters reflects poorly on the person performing the speculation.
Posted by: Moshe Yudkowsky at July 28, 2010 6:37 AM
Quite a presumptuous statement. Freedom of expression does not infringe on freedom of religion. Religion is a human creation, affectation, even affliction and gets no free pass, no right to suppress.
As far as the pork deterrent: it is probably most effective as a topic of entertainment.
"The funny thing is that this entire product is based on a misunderstanding of Islamic law. Yes, religious Muslims (and Jews) are forbidden from eating pig products, but there is no prohibition on coming into contact with pig products. For some reason internet forwards have been promoting this urban legend for years."
Correct me if I am wrong, but in the event of contact, isn't there a lengthy cleansing ritual that is required?
Cleansing ritual consists of washing that parts that came into contact. This is crazy but then so are suicide bombers so who knows. They obviously don't know anything about the religion to begin with so I can't say how they would feel about it.
In Islam, pigs are impure, eating their meat is forbidden except by necessity. Touching them is OK but you have to wash whatever touched them after wards with water, not even soap. Getting covered in pork during or after dying would not be an issue other than something that would offend people.
"This appears to not be a joke."
Appearances can be deceiving.
I think it brings a whole new dimension to the term pork barreling. just think public funds for bombdeterents near me. it'll be like the bear patrol.
"The funny thing is that this entire product is based on a misunderstanding of Islamic law."
Most religious people don't know their religion very well, and just believe what seems to be common sense. Spread the lie, and most terrorists will believe it (a few generations from now ;) ).
I was told a story by an Israeli ex-conscript ( he was assigned to the media office of the military) some years ago along these lines, over an obscene number of drinks, so veracity I leave you to judge. During the spell of suicide bombings (often bus bombs) post Oslo, the sharper end of the Israeli military would gather the bits of the bomber and bury it upright inside a pig carcass - apparently a kind of double Islamic no-no that would prevent the 72 virgin giveaway, and to which Hamas hadn't yet developed theological countermeasures. They let this be as widely known as possible, and according to my drinking partner, credited the practice with slowing the stream of previously willing martyrs.
It's always struck me as a tall but vaguely feasible tale that they'd do it. Whether it had any effect is another matter, and in any case easy enough to counter with a bit of Koranic metaphor shuffling.
I tend to take things as a joke if the contact email address is 'Fat-Al@...'!
Muslems must wash themselves after having contact with pork. So to prevent suicide bombers, on any entry to a place that is a possible target for them, get some security people touching you with a piece of bloody pork meat. Those who don't wash it off are allowed in. It will be smelly in such a place, but a little more secure.
Just for the sake of it. Let's say the device works.
Where are they going to plant it? The issue here as in every thing terrorism-related is intelligence.
Plan-b is to substitute and use pork-flavored products. Bacon-flavored popcorn for example...
@Brandioch Conner LOL!!!
Where's the making a silk purse out of a sow's ear or casting government funded pearls before swine cracks?
> "Warning. If you blow up a bomb right here,
> you'll get pork stuff all over you before you die
Well, there is one thing: this should (at least in theory) be a fairly inexpensive measure to deploy, as security measures go. Actually, you could even skip the actual pork product and just put up the sign. Kind of like putting a large beat-up dog bowl and a length of heavy chain outside your back door.
It would only even potentially deter an extremely specific type of terrorist, though.
The idea isn't new. Mistr Price probably got his inspiration from something like this: http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/... . The validity of this patent could be questioned, general Pershing is the author of the prior art, at least in the story, which is probably just a legend.
Countless muslims have made public statements that Islam does not support violence, suicide will send muslims to hell, yada, yada. Yet there still seems to be an inexhaustible supply of muslims willing to blow themselves up in support of the cause.
Personally, I blame extremists operating the "madrassas" which pass for schools in poorer areas of muslim dominant regions for this state of affairs. (I have often speculated if the US spent the price of 1 B-2 round-trip flight to the region on opening free schools in the area to teach nonsecular language, arithmetic, history and science, then could we reduce the supply of jihadists by 90%)
Regardless, I suspect that even if the Koran explicitly stated "If you have pig parts on you when you die you will suffer in hell for eternity and never go into heaven" in bold print and with double underlines, that it would still be neutralized by sufficient "interpretation" and indoctrination of impressionable youths.
Ah, yes, the porcomite maneuver. Devious.
But rather than buy this guy's device, wouldn't it be cheaper to just walk around with a can of spam slung around your neck on a length of twine?
I also like @Jonadab's suggestion. Just print the message on a t-shirt, no actual pork required. Terrorists don't know it's not bacon!
Bruce, this one is beneath you. As a long time follower, I have to say that allowing this discussion to go on hurts your credibility.
It's obviously a joke that has no chance of deterring anything however it leads me to wonder what an effective anti-Christian terrorism device would be.
Christian terrorism is just as big a threat to world and national security as Islamic and Israeli terrorism, and while a package filled with non-kosher hot dogs might deter an Islamic terrorist, what could be used for Christian terrorists?
Ha! I can't think of any food item that Christians would find repulsive enough to stop them from blowing up Federal buildings or invading innocent countries.
"Bruce, this one is beneath you. As a long time follower, I have to say that allowing this discussion to go on hurts your credibility."
Aw, Dale, it's all in good fun. The idea of packaged pork products or non-kosher food products splattering bombers in an effort to deter terrorist acts *is* an amusing bit of stupidity enough so that it's fun to muse about.
Come on. It's funny. Admit it. }:-}
It is not a question of what you think.
It only matters what the terrorist thinks.
He believes it.
I thank you all for your comments. Yes, there is a Mark Price. I am Mark Price. My patent application was filed, as previously reported by PR Newswire. My patent application is serious. This is not a joke. I could not imagine myself joking about such events. My e-mail address is, in fact, Fat-Al@Cox.Net. That's "Fatal" for those of you who don't get it.
If you had the opportunity to avoid another imminent attack such as any of those on 9-11, however laughable the means to that end might be, and however slim the margin of success might be, wouldn't you promote that opportunity? I, for one, am amazed at the breadth and depth of the negativity presented in some of the postings. May you never need, and find it impossible to obtain, such device.
Perhaps that is what Mr. Price was attempting to engage the public on...Being, what if the air platforms and founded structures of 9-11 had been either originally constructed of, or previously renovated with, materials incorporating the device of Mr. Price? Would those tragic events have been thwarted?
Schneier.com is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Co3 Systems, Inc..