Stochastic Terrorism

` Most initial thoughts about terrorism involve envisioning - at least for individuals in the developed world - a small cell of mostly foreign individuals collaborating with masterminds in a chaotic or war-torn country to plan large scale, ghastly attacks on civilian populations. Those not envisioning such images, likely think of local radicalized groups planning attacks against a government or civilian target (e.g., right-wing militias or anarchist groups). Such terrorism strategies - i.e., the distributed cell model - have been responsible for horrendous attacks; a perfect example would be the September 11th attacks which involved cells of Al Qaeda receiving inspiration and support from Al Qaeda's then headquarters in Afghanistan.

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Video surveillance, while not thought of as an exciting and developing market, is in fact being greatly disrupted by advances in many other areas of technology, notably analytics advances and artificial intelligence. Additionally, continued security compliance requirements which have not been subject, as other industries have, to the current administration’s deregulatory push and the growing ability to use the Internet of Things (IoT) and enhanced sensors have created a healthy market for firms creating, distributing, and maintaining video surveillance systems.

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When most people think of anti-terrorism and air security, they primarily think of a September 11th situation where terrorists target a passenger plane, hijack it, and proceed to use it as a weapon. Alternatively, they may think of a hostage situation where a plane is hijacked, and the passengers are held hostage while a series of demands are made. Those, however, are not the only threats from air travel. Air cargo is, itself, topic of concern for the security community as they too could either be detonated in the air or hijacked and used as mass casualty weapons. In fact, some of the concern for cargo security exists because of the enhanced screening and passenger vetting that has occurred on travel into and within the United States since the September 11th attacks. The threat from cargo exists both on planes carrying only cargo and amongst cargo that travels with passengers; however, it is believed that cargo-only traffic is considered less of a threat. The primary threat posed by cargo-only traffic is hijackings; whereas, explosives are a large concern for cargo traveling with passengers.

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