by Jean-Bernard Hyppolite
Dr. Rocco Martino, 81, is a Chestnut Hill College benefactor who, along with wife Barbara, a 1960 graduate of CHC, funded the building of “smart” classrooms found in Barbara D’Iorio Martino Hall. (Barbara is chairman of the board at CHC.) He is also the author of “9-11-11: The Tenth Anniversary Attack.” The man behind this political thriller is extremely knowledgeable about the world of computers. Dr. Martino wrote the fictional story to stress the need for America to stay vigilant and fight terrorism with Cyber Warfare.
“I wanted to present a different scenario. We seem to always be on the fence and we always seem to be considering calming people into the dust. There are better ways of (fighting terrorism). We are the technological leaders of the world. Let’s use the technology ourselves,” said Dr. Martino.
The main plot of 9-11-11 revolves around Mark Striker, a cyber consultant who eventually finds himself intertwined in a world of terror plots and grandiose international finance. He joins government forces to ruin the terrorists’ plans via Cyber Warfare. In “9-11-11,” Dr. Martino puts its main protagonist in a high-stakes position that could have deadly consequences for the U.S. and the world. While this is a piece of fiction, its author feels that there is sufficient realism that could be useful in fighting the ongoing battle against terrorism.
“I wanted to call attention to the continuing threat, and it is a real threat. I wanted to propose a solution on how we could really defeat the terrorists by finding out two things: what their plans are without them knowing we found out and secondly, by getting control of their flow of money. Without money they can’t function,” said Dr. Martino, whose background is in the application of computers and finance and in the creation of systems that are “disaster tolerant.”
“There’s a backdoor that is used to collect the financial data of the terrorists. We can see where the money is going and from that, deduce what their plans are.”
While “9-11-11” is fiction, the possibility of an attack aimed at that special date is all too real. “9-11-11” is Dr. Martino’s second work of fiction, and two of his literary influences for it are Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy.
In addition to his novel writing, Dr. Martino is an international authority on finance, planning, space flight and computer systems. He has authored numerous non-fiction works about planning, finance and computers, including “Finding the Critical Path” and “Resources Management.” He graduated Summa Cum Laude from The University of Toronto in Mathematics and Finance and earned a Ph.D from the Institute of Aerospace Studies. He is the founder and chairman of the board at CyberFone Technologies. Previously, he held those same two titles along with being CEO at XRT, a world leader in global treasury and banking relationships. Dr. Martino is a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute located in Philadelphia. His other addition to the world of fiction was a satirical novel, “The Plot to Cancel Christmas.”
Dr. Rocco Martino, a native of Canada, moved here in 1962. He has lived in Villanova since 1965. He and his wife have four sons. “9-11-11: The Tenth Anniversary Attack” can be bought on Amazon.com. More information about Dr. Martino and his other works can be found at www.bluenosepress.com.
Ed. Note: Completed in October 2000, Barbara D’Iorio Martino Hall not only houses numerous “smart” classrooms, the Connelly Telecommunications Center and the Devlin Video Production Suite, but also serves as the home for the Griffins’ basketball and women’s volleyball teams. On the lower level of Martino Hall is the Ann Rusnack Sorgenti Arena, a multi-purpose venue that features two sets of retractable bleachers that seat up to 450 fans and a stage that makes the arena a professional setting for athletic competition. The Martinos said through a spokesman that they would rather not disclose how much money they donated to build Martino Hall.