Re-Boots on the Ground to Defeat ISIS

F_FlagISIS announced recently that it has assigned … I think the number is … 4 ISIS members to work as a team to provide “help desk” / “tech hot line” support for terrorists-in-the-field. That’s right! ISIS now has a tech-support hot line just like most other telecommunication and software companies and user communities. They may have just given the West precisely the tools needed to defeat ISIS: we can leverage the ISIS help desk hotline to defeat this bloodshot-eyed Levantine plague. There would only be two requirements up front, neither of which should present a serious obstacle: (a) recruit a small but technically proficient team of native-quality speakers of Arabic and other Levantine languages, and (b) closely coordinate with American Cyber Command to do the following:


(1) Hack into the help desk / tech support communication and computer systems and pose as … er … ah … technical support people from A Certain Large, Quasi-Monopolistic Cable TV / Telephone / Internet-Access Company World Renowned For Its Incompetent And Slipshod Customer Technical Support (ACLQMCTVTIACWRFIIASCTS) … you know who you are … and, whenever a terrorist calls the ISIS hot-line needing help with, say, a jammed Kalashnikov, a recalcitrant shoulder-launched missile, a balky dynamite vest, finding a get-away car, locating a safe house, etc. … whatever … reroute the call to them and, using the Levantine-language speakers to translate, provide requested assistance courtesy of ACLQMCTVTIACWRFIIASCTS. The Arabic (and other languages) speakers would merely act as translators between ISIS technical support and ACLQMCTVTIACWRFIIASCTS technical support.

The possibilities are endless … considering the ultimate source of the technical support rendered to ISIS, one can envision ISIS help-desk advice to terrorists in the field resulting in things like an unjammed AK-47 that now explodes with the first trigger-pull, a shoulder-launched missile that returns to the firing point shortly after exiting the launch-tube, advising a terrorist to cold-reboot his dynamite vest by turning it off … then, after waiting until the wearer is alone, turning the dynamite vest back on (“Hello, sir? … Sir? ... Hello? … Hello? … “), arranging for ’72 Yugos with clogged carburetors (anyone remember those?) as get-away cars, providing safe-house Google Map directions that lead directly to the headquarters of MI-6 or of the French external-security agency Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE ... basically France's CIA) … all this in addition to only intermittently operative cable boxes and digital video recorders that have to be rebooted prior to every use. One especially beautiful dimension of this idea is that it would require no new research or development on the part of ACLQMCTVTIACWRFIIASCTS: they would merely be continuing the quality of technical support ACLQMCTVTIACWRFIIASCTS  customers have long been acclimated to. The only major difference is that they would now be putting their tradition of incompetence in the service of their Nation and implementing it to the detriment of our enemies. From the standpoint of ACLQMCTVTIACWRFIIASCTS, it would be … business as usual! In fact, ACLQMCTVTIACWRFIIASCTS might not even notice the difference.


(2) Having hacked into the ISIS help desk's telephone and internet connections, our cadre of CyberCom tech-hot-line impersonators could mimic the behavior of a certain legendary Quasi-Monopolistic Computer / Smartphone Hardware Manufacturer With The Highest Capitalization (QMCSHMWTHC) ... again, you know who you are ... and entice ISIS to fritter away valuable time from its core competency of chaos, murder, and mayhem by diverting energy and attention to pursuits like updating operating systems, downloading utterly redundant and useless software applications, and deciphering instructions for how to archive apps and mission-critical data -- for which read "cute-kitten-hugging-doberman-pinscher Facebook pictures" -- to the Cloud.  The ISIS help desk staffers could also be notified that their current equipment is utterly, risibly, toenail-achingly out of date, and thereby incentivize them to update their tech-support hardware infrastructure by ordering from QMCSHMWTHC new, updated, cutting-edge tech-support hardware ... that, when delivered and activated, looks and acts pretty much like the old tech-support hardware with only minimal and trivial upgrades to functionality -- except with glossy new documentation, a global-scope / slick advertising campaign, and -- we must never forget this -- a recharging cord that is utterly incompatible with the old equipment. Moreover, texts and alerts could be sent to the ISIS help desk every month or so repeating this obsolescence-and-update pattern, and code could be inserted into the downloaded software / firmware that would self-corrupt in a month or so, thereby forcing the ISIS users to periodically update their infrastructure, resulting in a vicious download-and-update cycle that just might be sufficient to induce homicidal rage that would motivate the ISIS help desk personnel to turn their weapons on themselves.

(3) My third suggestion as to strategy is really the Manhattan Project of weapons against the ISIS tech hot-line:  international roaming charges.  My cellphone service provider -- a well-known mega-corporation that is forever boasting of the comprehensiveness of its coverage in North America (WKMCTIFBOTCOICINA) -- gives me the option of calling WKMCTIFBOTCOICINA's customer-service number and simply toggling the international part of my WKMCTIFBOTCOICINA voice-and-data plan on and off:  on when we leave the US; off when we return.  Typically, after, say, two weeks in Europe, my cellphone bill, for both voice and data, is only a few dollars higher than a normal all-domestic bill. However, I recently had an accidental object lesson in what happens when I do not turn on the international option.  My wife and I had gone to Canada to see Niagara Falls, just barely over the US-Canada border.  I did not turn on international voice and data ... I suppose because I thought to myself ... "Hey Canada is not really another country ... right?" Wrong!  Canada most decidedly is another country, and consequently ruinous international roaming charges apply -- in my case, to the tune of over $1000 for a few-day stay at the Falls ... which resulted in WKMCTIFBOTCOICINA cutting off my access to the Web. (When we returned to the US side of the border, I called them -- just barely before the billing cycle ended -- and WKMCTIFBOTCOICINA graciously applied my international voice-and-data plan retroactively ... so no harm, no foul.) But ... note to self ... Canada is indeed another country.


Well ... so is France. So is Belgium.  So is England.  So is Germany.  So is the European Union in general.  Ditto all the nations of the Levant.  My suggestion would be to monitor all voice and data communication emanating from the ISIS tech-support hot line, and selectively max out international roaming charges on both the sending and receiving ends of the data stream. (Satellite systems routinely select transmissions from individual cell phones and wireless modems now. If the collection of "ELINT" -- electronic intelligence -- were a violin, then the folks at the NSA and at Fort Huachuca would all be clones of Yitzhak Perlman.) Follow the example of WKMCTIFBOTCOICINA, except on steroids, and the West would not need to bomb the oil fields and refineries under the control of ISIS.  Aggregate international roaming charges would consume that revenue stream, even if it were all converted to liquid platinum!

All the above, or some cognate, is possible.  All we need is a ... er ... da'esh ... of chutzpah.

James R. Cowles

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