New Zealand, new rogue nation?
June 5, 2003 8:00 PM   Subscribe

New Zealand: The New Threat A New Zealand handyman with a passion for jet engines says he is building a cruise missile in his backyard using parts and technology freely available over the Internet. The 'handyman' is a part-time new economy pundit and his methodology isn't documented yet, but he does have a rather interesting page about the idea up.
posted by tankboy (8 comments total)
Cruise missles: can be built for a few thousand dollars, just about any can do it, and can easily be fitted with homemade C4, or the B and C of NBCs. Terrorists' wet dream against politicians going to scheduled events - pack it in a moving van, drive into the middle of the woods near a cliff overlooking a deep lake about two hundred miles from your target, launch, and push the explosives-filled van into the lake before setting off the charges within it to destroy any evidence. Walk to the highway, hitchhike a ride home or have Abdul pick you up.

The only problem is that a guidance system that works as well as Tomahawks, etc. is not as cheap - GPS is one thing, but the US has control of that until the Euro-version of GPS is up and running (ways off). That's only part of the problem in any case. You need to skim along the ground (avoiding obstacles) to avoid radar detection properly, and THAT takes real, serious know-how and expertise not possessed by your common terrorist, no matter how driven.

Conclusion? Patriot batteries and the like will probably be sufficient to ward off the kind of threat actually presented by cruise missles, as the expertise to implement ground-hugging is not readily available. I wouldn't be concerned if I was a politician provided the scheduled event/speech I was giving had some form of point-defense against missles (Patriots, CWIS batteries ala aircraft carriers, etc.)
posted by Ryvar at 9:11 PM on June 5, 2003

At last! Our chance to get back at the French!
posted by dg at 9:14 PM on June 5, 2003

I don't buy the authors argument that this represents a major terrorist threat. There are so many low-tech ways to deliver WMD that a cruise missile would be overkill and complicated and error prone. Truck bombs and hijacked planes are still the most reliable and cheapest delivery method. The material evidence leading back to a cruisemissle would be so strong no one could hide you'd have to be like Kaczynski and build everything from scratch so it doesn't provide anonymity for the attackers.

A more realistic threat is from legit arms builders selling it to legit governments, like Syria or Iran, which would be a threat to American troops in future wars.
posted by stbalbach at 10:08 PM on June 5, 2003

This man is a threat and must be liquidated. This is a job for our most experienced Kiwi killer: Dan Quayle.
posted by homunculus at 11:22 PM on June 5, 2003

As long as the U.S. promptly sends in the B-3 bomber and the fighting men of the 303, I'll be happy.
posted by rudyfink at 11:34 PM on June 5, 2003

Aaaahh the fresh smell of vapour in the morning...
posted by PenDevil at 12:44 AM on June 6, 2003

Seems like a dangerous hobby to me.
posted by troutfishing at 5:30 AM on June 6, 2003

I'd rather build a full size trebuchet, so that I can fling disease ridden corpses over the walls into the keep of my enemy.
posted by troutfishing at 5:35 AM on June 6, 2003

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