The Colonel's Network Warfare

A militant Palestinian guerrilla leader is using information technology to evolve new organisational and operational strategies for his armed struggle. Such a shift offers an important insight into the future trend of warfare and terrorism reports information warfare expert, Giles Trendle.

Holed up in the Ain il-Hilweh refugee camp in south Lebanon, ‘Colonel’ Mounir Maqdah is harnessing the power of Information Technology to grow a networked organisation to extend his strike capabilities beyond all borders. The embracing of IT by small groups to create global networks of communication and coordination could well point to a new facet of warfare.

Maqdah is using information technology in an attempt to redefine the balance of force, in his favour. The shift towards IT by such men portends the emergence of a new and potentially dangerous form of network warfare. And as the West focuses its guns on Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the scale and potential of this more elusive form of warfare is increasing exponentially. It is not immediately and obviously visible. Yet when it explodes at whatever time, in whatever place and whatever manner, it has a very real and potentially drastic impact.

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