The emerging grid technology provides a secured platform for multidisciplinary experts in the security intelligence profession to collaborate and fight global terrorism. This chapter developed grid architecture and implementation strategy on how to connect the dots between security agents such as the CIA, FBI, police, custom officers and transport industry to share data and information on terrorists and their movements. The major grid components that featured in the architecture are the grid security portal, data grid, computational grid, semantic grid and collaboratory. The challenges of implementing this architecture are conflicting laws, cooperation among governments, and information on terrorist’s network and interoperability problem.
Terrorism can be defined as the use of violence to cause harm, large-scale destruction and fear in order to force change in societal behaviour or to force a society to acquiesce to the goals of the terrorist(s) (Garrison, 2007). Another definition by Ruby (2002) is that terrorism is politically motivated violence perpetrated in a clandestine manner against non-combatants in order to create a fear state of mind in an audience different from the victims. From these definitions, the September 11th attack can be seen as a way of sending dangerous signals to the U.S. government to change its policies against some interest groups rather than the real victims of the attack.
Terrorism dates back as far as 2000 years ago. Some of the early terrorist attacks were carried by the Jewish resistant group known as Sicarii-Zealots (AD 66-72) whose targets are the Romans in Judea. Others are the reign of terror in France (1793-1794), the Anarchists in Europe (1871-1914), the Soviet Revolution (1917), the Irish Rebellion (1919-1921) and Terrorism in the Middle-East and Islamic Fundamentalism (1960s-date). However, the sophistication, targets, victims, perpetrators, causes and justifications offered by terrorists and their collaborators have changed significantly over the years.
Never in the history of the world had terrorism received attention as in the 21st Century. Terrorists have attacked cities like London, Madrid, Moscow, World Trade Centre, Pentagon and Mumbai. These attacks usually witnessed mass wanton destruction of lives and properties with devastating and lasting psychological, socio-political and economic consequences. Very recently, a major terrorist attack was exposed and stopped at Heathrow Airport in London on August 10, 2006 due to efficient, pervasive, secured, coordinated and timely distributed access to information by the intelligence personnel leading to the arrest of about 24 national and international suspects. Another two attempts were thwarted in London and Glasgow early this year again. It appears that timely distributed information about terrorists’ activities is a great strategy in combating the menace of terrorism. This is where grid computing can play a great role with its pervasive, secured, dynamic and distributed data and information services. Grid computing connects islands of information sources and link different agents around the world to collaborate and respond immediately to disasters (Assuncao and Buyya, 2005). This form of collaboration is possible through efficient high volumes of data processing using data clustering techniques for counter-terrorism (Rajasekaran et al., 2005).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Portal: A uniform entry point for all grid users to access grid resources and services.
Grid Computing: Future generation distributed computational infrastructure that enables secure, dependable, scalable and dynamic collaboration among virtual organisations.
Collaboration: Sharing of security information about terrorists and their networks among countries and security agencies to fight terrorism.
Autonomic Computing: A grand challenge computing paradigm that enables computing systems and its interacting components to manage themselves or adapt to situations without the interference of a human systems administrator.
Forensic Technology: A technology used for investigation and identification of facts surrounding a crime, sometimes using carbon related chemicals around the crime scene.
Semantic Grid: Knowledge-based grid computing which gives meaning to actions and components of resources based on the rules and language of the profession the resources are used for.
Terrorism: The act of causing fear on the society by using force or violence to harm or destroy lives and properties by persons or group of persons for certain political or religious reasons so that authorities can succumb to some demands.
Service Standard: Grid functionalities such as reliable file transfer (RFT), resource management (GRAM), security of resources through authentication and authorisation (GSI) and other customised functionalities are called grid services.
Biometric Information: Unique biological traits of human beings such as finger print and iris for unique identification of terrorists.
Ubiquitous Computing: A grand challenge computing paradigm that enables pervasive distribution of computational resources for effective collaboration.
Resource Grid: Resources are data, information, software, hardware, sensors and instruments which are shared by grid users.
World Wide Grid: Mechanism for linking islands of global grid resources for collaboration.