I regularly read articles about terrorists using cell phones to trigger bombs. The Thai government seems to be particularly worried about this; two years ago I blogged about a particularly bizarre movie-plot threat along these lines. And last year I blogged about the cell phone network being restricted after the Mumbai terrorist bombings.
Efforts to restrict cell phone usage because of this threat are ridiculous. It’s a perfect example of a “movie-plot threat“: by focusing on the specfics of a particular tactic rather than the broad threat, we simply force the bad guys to modify their tactics. Lots of money spent: no security gained.
And that’s exactly what happened in Thailand:
Authorities said yesterday that police are looking for 40 Daihatsu keyless remote entry devices, some of which they believe were used to set off recent explosions in the deep South.
Militants who have in the past used mobile phones to set off bombs are being forced to change their detonation methods as security forces continue to block mobile phone signals while carrying out security missions, preventing them from carrying out their attacks.
Police found one of the Daihatsu keys near a blast site in Yala on April 13. It is thought the bomber dropped it while fleeing the scene. The key had been modified so its signal covered a longer distance, police said.