The threat of toothpaste and gel-based insurgent attacks on flights to and from the Sochi Winter Olympics could have an interesting twist. What if, in the process of protecting flights by removing predominantly safe products in travelers’ bags, a different sort of threat is actually put into motion? What if the intelligence gathered and disseminated ahead of time serves as a form of “disinformation?” Now travelers will have to purchase products already onsite in Sochi, and it could be precisely these onsite products that would be contaminated, athletes and travelers literally taking the terror inside the compounds with them as unwitting carriers of their own demise?
I remember watching an old black and white movie many years ago in which the main character is a security guard or driver. He is feeling sleepy, so he drinks coffee from his thermos to help him stay awake. The catch was that he did not realize it was the coffee itself that had been drugged and was making him sleepy! We all let out gasps… “No, don’t drink the coffee!” We roared and that was a fun-filled moment of cinematic terror. The stakes now are much different and much higher.
In reading accounts about security preparations for Sochi, this old twist came to mind because of research I did in the 1960’s about what were then called domestic “disinformation” programs occurring in the United States. What if the idea of disinformation has been turned around and used by others to compel the purchase of toilet articles after people arrive at the Olympic site? One clever prompt could be to boost business sales there, of course; a more deadly prompt could be to introduce tainted products to athletes and visitors stored on the sites well in advance.
There are many smarter and more informed minds than mine out there working on this. Nevertheless, the possibility of disinformation may be something to think about.