As battlefield moves online, DOD needs new technologies to fight terrorists

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J'Fighting al-Qaida marks the first time in world history that a guerilla faction has moved war from the physical domain to cyberspace, said the Army CIO.

The concepts of warfare have not changed in over 2,000 years, but the tools used for war have, Army Lt. Gen. Steven Boutelle said during a lunch address yesterday at the MILCOM 2005 conference.

Boutelle implored the audience not to get comfortable about the advances that have been made by commercial technologies. Those same technologies, Boutelle warned, are being used by terrorist groups like al-Qaida, and in some instances, America's adversaries are better at obtaining and using information to their advantage.

These groups have "fully embraced the Internet and fully embraced the technology, and they are using it to kill your people," he added.

Today, members of the terrorist network use the Internet to communicate with each other and to recruit new members, Boutelle said, adding that they have posted recipes for ricin poison, outlined the chemicals needed to make a bomb and described in vivid language the best way to shoot and kill an American soldier.

"Your enemy, your adversary, is using your information, and they do it faster, better and cheaper," Boutelle said.

The best counterattack to al-Qaida's increasing use of IT is to spiral new technologies into Iraq as soon as possible, Boutelle said. He encouraged contractors to "think about what you're bringing to the table for us."

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