28-05-2018 11:47:07

Engineering terrorism – from dynamite to the Internet

v/professor Mats Fridlund, Aalto University, Finland Torsdag 27. februar 2014, kl. 16.00 –18.00 Ingeniørhuset, Kalvebod Brygge 31 – 33, 1780 København V
Arrangør: IDA - Historisk Teknologi, HITEK

The emergence of modern terrorism is connected to the rise of the first terrorist organization ‘The People's Will’ in 1870s Russia. More specifically it revolutionzed terrorist practice when the engineering student Nikolai Kibalchich’s developed the first dynamite bombs that in 1881 killed Tsar Alexander II. With this as a starting point the presentation explore the importance of engineers and engineering in the development of modern terrorism.

One central issue concerns the development of modern terrorism through technology transfer in the form of new technologies and engineering expertise as illustrated by the fact that following Kibalchich many notable terrorists had advanced engineering experience. With respect to forms of technological practice of terrorism, it can be noted that in addition to the invention of new technologies of terror, such as the dynamite bomb, the appropriation of commercially available products of civilian and military engineering have made it possible for terrorists to innovate new practices of terror of previously unthinkable magnitude or effect.

Examples abound regarding arms and explosives but also include commercial airplanes, television, computers, and the postal and internet systems. As such terrorism is analyzed as much as an outcome of as an effect on modern industrialization and technological globalization.


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