Tag Archive | "terrorists in America"

Terror in Suburbia

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Imagine that you live in a small suburban community and that you stumble upon a covert network.  Are they computer hackers, identity thieves, foreign or domestic terrorists, or – perhaps – something worse?  They assume control of your mobile phone, computer, and every device you own that employs computer or communications technology in its operation.  They track your every movement via GPS technology.  They gain access to your home and remove items of little consequence in a bizarre game to make you aware of their presence.


They have infiltrated your community, purchasing houses in your immediate neighborhood.  From all outward appearances, they seem to be typical community members.  They communicate with each other furtively and identify themselves to other network members via unobtrusive signals such as peculiar exterior lighting of their homes.  Upon their entry into the community whether via purchase or rental of a home, they often remove or dramatically prune trees – creating lines of sight among the properties of those suspected to be in the network.  For the most part, those whom you suspect rarely leave their homes and do not appear to be employed.  They can be observed to be up all hours of the night and appear to launch and track some kind of drone or other aerial device.


Flash back a little more than a dozen years.  You are a successful recruiter, on the cusp of wealth and industry renown.  The Internet as a recruiting tool is in an early stage of evolution.  Recognizing its power, you conceptualize a website that will automate the recruiting process and permit you to identify viable candidates and fill job openings on a scale that would have been unprecedented in decades past.  Eager to seize the moment, you seek out a software and Web developer who can bring your concept to realization.


Concurrently, you are experiencing significant issues with your home office-based computer network, issues that are impacting your productivity.  In an online recruiting forum, you meet someone whom you believe to be the answer to your prayers.  The catch is that he is located 80 miles from your home and inexplicably, for someone of his age, does not own or drive a car.  Undaunted, you suggest and arrange to have him picked up at a train station near your home.


He arrives and is unable (or is it unwilling?) to complete the project in time to return to the station to board the day’s last train to his home.  As the work drags, he suggests that he is amenable, after catching a few hours sleep, to working through the night to complete the project before returning home the next day.  Your partner, uneasy with the prospect of a total stranger spending the night in your home and suspect of his character and motives, recommends against it.


You ignore his advice, and when you awake in the morning, you find your computers totally reconfigured in a fashion that you had neither requested nor desired.  Nonetheless, they are working, so you acquiesce.  He has additional suggestions which require him to stay the remainder of the day before returning home that evening.


Despite his lengthy visit, problems with your systems persist, requiring this individual to make additional repairs remotely (he has setup remote access to your systems) and in person.  You come to rely on this individual and view him as a computer genius.  As you learn more about him, however, you discover that he is a performance artist and independent filmmaker and that his filmmaking reveals a dark side to his personality. His online persona and moniker attest to this. Perhaps, your partner’s initial assessment was right.


In the course of using your “repaired” computers, you discover files that you never created.  Additionally, you find entries in your browser history for sites you did not visit; often, sites relating to odd diseases or those providing information or component materials for chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons.  Is it possible that your computers are somehow being used as a gateway for discrete Internet access by your computer genius or others with whom he is affiliated?


But, you cannot completely focus on this individual.  Your technology issues have become larger than simply problems with connectivity and computer performance and reliability.  Your website is not progressing as anticipated and the costs (billed on an hourly basis) are skyrocketing.  After considerable delay, the developer presents a working prototype.  You learn, however, that – despite the hours spent and cost of development – you do not actually own the entire website created!  The developer informs you that the technology that drives the capture of job candidate information, the heart of the website, is proprietary and that, for reasons of safeguarding his intellectual property, you must utilize the developer’s web hosting company.


At this point, your partner gets involved, demanding the transfer of the entire website to a host of your choosing and threatening non-payment on the outstanding balance should the developer not comply.  The developer’s response is to launch a denial of service attack, spamming both your email and fax machine.


During the course of your involvement with both the computer genius and website developer, you casually mention to each your involvement with the other.  Ultimately, you sever your relationships with both individuals.  Subsequently, as you find your business negatively impacted by changing economics conditions and sabotage on the technology front, you are left to ponder the part played by each of the two individuals whom you retained to help you grow your business.


9/11 intervenes and your business grinds to a halt.  A lawsuit filed by the web developer is dropped during mediation at the courthouse as a result of your countersuit.  You never again hear from the web developer.  Yet, oddly, you receive cryptic email messages from the computer genius, the last of which states “it’s not about today, but also the future.”


You begin suffering a variety of health issues, an “uncommon bundling of common symptoms.”  Spanning virtually every medical specialty, your symptoms defy a unifying diagnosis.  You seek out consults with specialists, many of whom are renowned in their respective fields – to no avail.


Desperately searching for answers, you scour the Internet for information and come to some startling possibilities.  Was your computer genius also a medical genius?  You now recall his mentioning a close association with a medical professional with ties to a Middle Eastern military intelligence organization.  Could you be a target for elimination by some subversive group?  If so, why?  Thereafter, you begin to witness others with whom you are close suffering unusual illnesses.  Are your family and friends also being targeted?


As time passes, odd occurrences become the norm in your neighborhood.  New neighbors arrive who keep unusual hours.  Lights flash on and off in their homes.  At night, you witness strange lights in the sky and observe – through the trees bordering the properties contiguous to yours – launches of some type of device from the back deck of a neighbor’s residence.


Individuals, not from the neighborhood, walk and run on the street in front of your home – sometimes veering off the road onto private properties when they realize they are being observed.  On one occasion, on your return from a trip at night, you turn onto your street and a man walking on the side of the road scurries behind the wooden fence of a property several doors away from yours.  On another, you observe someone walking a bicycle on your street in the middle of the night.  As the headlights of a car turn onto the street, this individual hides behind a tree on your property and waits for the car to pass.  You hear footsteps on the street outside your home during early morning and late night hours and witness unknown individuals running on the street – sometimes wearing apparel not suited to exercise.


As the number of such incidents grow, you mount surveillance cameras in various strategic positions on your property.  These cameras capture images of unusual lights, swirling dust circling your home, vehicles stopping outside and idling on the street in front of your property at odd hours, and unknown persons – in some cases crossing your property.  In one striking instance, three individuals are observed coming from a property behind yours and onto your immediate neighbor’s and either placing or retrieving something from the ground below the row of evergreens separating the properties.  In another, lights illuminate a portion of your backyard in the middle of the night – one appears to be a flashlight, the other illuminates a broader circular area.  The individual or individuals  behind those lights never appear in the video and the lights do not move as if someone were crossing through the property.  Who shone those lights and what were his or their motives?


At multiple points in time over the course of a decade, you attempt to engage law enforcement.  Concerned that your initial discovery may have implications beyond yourself – perhaps, nationally, you contact the FBI, only to be informed that you must begin with local law enforcement.  Convinced that the hard drives on you computers contain invaluable evidence, you have had them removed and replaced multiple times – saving the drives removed for later forensic analysis when you have gained the cooperation of law enforcement.  Surely, law enforcement will have interest in uncovering a covert network that may be a threat to national security.


You are amazed that, in the post 911 world, law enforcement at all levels has no interest in what you have observed and discovered.  Local law enforcement, you discover, is a joke when it comes to investigation of cybercrime or, for that matter, any criminal activity that is out of the ordinary.  Likewise, you make no headway with county or state investigators.  And, your efforts to engage the FBI are similarly fruitless.


You change your course of action and turn to public health.  Surely, you believe, those charged with protecting the public from disease and natural disaster, whether acts of God or manmade, will have interest in you both as a medical specimen and for what you have discovered and learned.  Your hopes quickly turn to disillusionment as your efforts to make contact are either spurned or ignored.


Your experiences with law enforcement, the medical establishment, and public health convince you that the United States is woefully unprepared to protect individual citizens from threats of cyber attacks and bio-terrorism.  A novel attack on an ordinary individual has a virtual 100% likelihood of success with extremely low probability of detection and identification of the perpetrator(s) by law enforcement.  Authorities at the local, state, and national levels would have to receive hundreds if not thousands of similar reports before launching any level of inquiry or investigation.  It is for this very reason that the early victims of a nascent epidemic – if the disease is uncommon in the particular geographical area – frequently suffer the consequences, including death, of their misdiagnoses.


Like an early victim of a newly-evolved disease, you find yourself isolated.  You are disbelieved and even mocked by law enforcement and labeled as delusional by healthcare professionals.  Even those closest to you question your credibility and sanity.


At the core of your being, however, you know that you are neither lying nor insane.  You suspect that there are others like yourself – targets of those who indiscriminately ruin lives with impunity.  You search the Internet and find others whose stories have some degree of similarity to yours.  Yet, you know that ultimately, this is your battle, a struggle for survival, a fight from which you cannot retreat at the cost of your life.  And so for now, you find yourself isolated and terrorized in suburbia.


Author’s Note:  If you are a law enforcement, technology, or medical professional – either active or inactive – and have interest or believe you can be of assistance in this case, contact me via this website.

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