Causing Terror on the Cheap

From Schneier on Security:

Total cost for the Yemeni printer cartridge bomb plot: $4200.

“Two Nokia mobiles, $150 each, two HP printers, $300 each, plus shipping, transportation and other miscellaneous expenses add up to a total bill of $4,200. That is all what Operation Hemorrhage cost us,” the magazine said.

Even if you add in costs for training, recruiting, logistics, and everything else, that’s still remarkably cheap. And think of how many times that we spent in security in the aftermath.

School Retracts Ban on Pencils


NORTH BROOKFIELD β€” It was business as usual in the sixth-grade classrooms at the elementary school today.

Some students used traditional yellow No. 2 pencils, while others used pens and mechanical pencils – returning them to their desk or shirt pocket when they were finished.

Last week, Wendy Scott, one of two sixth-grade teachers, sent a letter home to the parents of all sixth-graders announcing that she and Susan LaFlamme were instituting a new rule barring students from carrying any writing implements on their person, in a backpack, or on the school bus.

The memo explained that students would be issued a pencil for use in class that would be collected at the end of the school day.

The memo cited behavior problems and said any student found in possession of a pen or mechanical pencil after Nov. 15 would be assumed to have the implement β€œto build weapons,” or to have stolen it from the classroom art supply basket.