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General Terrorism


Lenin wrote “Terrorism is one form of military struggle essential during certain moments of battle”. Lenin & Marx however rejected terrorism as a matter of principle as they were against violence. The attempted assassination of Hitler or Stalin, could have saved millions of lives, could it be termed as an act of Terrorism? Of course not. In the countless instances of struggle for independence, one persons terrorist was another persons freedom fighter.

Why is terrorism the most easily resorted to, type of warfare? In nuclear warfare there is a Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) of all the warring countries, hence this is not a feasible option. Conventional warfare is expensive for e.g. an M1 tank costs 3.5 million $, an F16 Aircraft costs 10 million $ & 15 mm Howitzer costs 1.2 million $. Cheap Warfare can be waged with small arms & mercenaries for political gains, terrorism, weapons proliferation & dealing, narcotics, etc.

Countries support terrorism e.g USSR, US do so by sponsoring (money), supplying weapons, providing shelter & sanctuary, harbor & accommodate training camps, give training, provide Intelligence & guidance.

One of the earliest works on terrorism which inspired many was Carlos Marighella’s ‘Mini Manual for the Urban Guerilla’ published in 1960. Carlos Marighella was killed by the Brazilian Police in an ambush!

Terrorism Activities

Terrorism Activities are of various categories: 1) Attack/ Occupation of Embassies [60 in 20 yrs] 2) Sabotage (land) bombing of EMBASSIES –(Bin laden 1998) US embassies in Karachi, Nairobi and Kenya, STORES –Harrods store in London AIRPORTS – Orly in Paris 3) Assasinations of politicians e.g. Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Lord Mountbatten, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat 4) Kidnappings – Doraiswamy of ONGC, India 5) Sabotage of Aircrafts –Air India Boeing 747, ‘Kanishka’ Montreal to Delhi 6)Hijack of Commercial Aircraft –IC –814 India

Alert Codes

Various codes have been designated for various stages of civil alertness.

Code Green – People unaware of their surroundings, involved with their work

Code Yellow – aware of happenings around you.

Code Orange – threat is being perceived and Defence tactics are considered

Code Red – threat identified & reaction to neutralize it – run away or use deadly force

Definition of Terrorism

In 1990, the US Department of Defense defined terrorism as

  • Method – Unlawful use (or threatened use) of premediated force or violence Target – Against individuals or property (government or civilian) by a group
  • Motive – To coerce or intimidate Governments or societies (civilians/groups) or individuals
  • Aim – to achieve Political or Religious or Ideological (social) objectives [Unlawful – without the express chartered permission of a specific government]

Types of Conflicts

There are broadly two types of conflicts – criminal and political.

1. Criminal Conflict: Individual – For psychological or economic reasons Groups – gangs/ organized crime (Police response) Narcotics & drugs – (Police response)

2. Political Conflict a. small groups

without foreign support (Sp Task-Police)

with foreign support (Paramilitary) b. large groups

without foreign support (Paramilitary/ military)

with foreign support (Military response)

The Terrorist Personality

The terrorist personality usually have the following characteristics:

1. They are young.

2. They belong to a fatherless family.

3. The women terrorists are fanatical.

4. They are from the minorities(are represented well).

5. They have a belief that they are martyrs and special laws apply for them.

6. They are mystical (they believe that they shall gain eternal life for example the IRA, they believe that they shall go to heaven for example, Islamic terrorists)

7. They are mentally imbalanced – aggressive, bored, confused. 8. Psychological factors like Ego, anger, feeling of being lost, frustration, Narcissism, tendency towards groupism & warrior dreams play a role in development of a terrorist.

Tools of Terrorism

The tools used previously were daggers, later came the era of pistols and now bombs are being used.

The Russians were the first to use Dynamite. After World War 1 TNT was used and after World War 2, Plastique (Semtex) is currently being used. Car bombs (Parcel bomb) were first used in the US by Al Capone. Remote limpet mines are also in popular use by todays terrorists.

The Root Causes of Terrorism are

1. National Oppression

2. Social inequalities

3. At times it may be for reasons

• Political, for a freedom struggle

• National liberation (independence), or Secession

4. revolt of National minorities community

5. Identity crisis (Black militants)

6. Religious and racial differences,

e.g. North Ireland – Catholics (IRA) & Protestants (UK) Israel – Arabs (PLO) & Jews (US) Spain – Basques (ETA) & Spaniards India, J & K – Pro Pak Muslims & Hindus

Strategy (Political) of Terrorists

The following strategies are used

1. of Provocation

2. of foreign intervention Russian attacks –> German politicians –> Germans intervene with soviet rule.

3. of uniting /coup with other terrorist groups Libya worked with IRA, Arabs, African terrorists, Black September along with Germans.

4. of economic damage to govt ETA attacked terrorist sites in Spain to decrease tourist revenue

5. of increasing support by Soviet segments e.g Islamic

6. of manipulating media to exaggerate acts small killing – media magnification e.g IRA

Tactics employed by Terrorists

Terrorists tactics work on these guidelines: 1. Watch target 2. Procure weapons – Explosives, Weapons ,resources 3. Establish safe houses 4. Central Command outside country 5. Small units (to prevent infiltration, to prevent splits in large groups) 6. Anonymity of big city 7. Finance is from the following sources – well wishers abroad, governments, by Robbery, Kidnapping for ransom (60 million$ ransom taken by Argentinas Montoneros for releasing the corporate MNC, the Born sons Jorge & Juan Borns, Legitimate business – e.g IRA, Drugs & cartels, Cyber terrorism by hacking financial institutions or credit cards, Money is needed for false documents, weapons, safe houses, bribe, informers. 8. Terrorist leaders keep the terrorists lean, hungry, unexposed to temptations & riches. 9. Terrorists Counter attack on Police & civilians but are hesitant towards attacking the Army. 10.Terrorists select victims e.g. Tsars, politicians or arbitrary 11.Terrorists employ Intelligence Offrs – penetrate govt targets for maps & itenerary 12.Terrorists often try liberating their leaders or fellow comrades from prisons.

Weapons of Mass destruction (WMD)

These are the terrorist weapons of Twenty first century and are of the following types:

• CHEMICAL Warfare (poison) • BIOLOGICAL Warfare (germ) • RADIOLOGICAL Warfare • NUCLEAR Warfare • CYBER TERRORISM

Structure of a Terrorist Organization

as per the study by James Fraser & Ian Fulton (1984) is out-lined below:

The Organizational pyramid is as follows: • Command • Active Cadre • Active Supporters • Passive Supporters

Note: • Cells are semi-autonomous with all specialities • Columns are terrorist organizations autonomous sub units which may function independently. Organisation maybe Small <50 (most organizations) / Large Leader is known internationally

1. COMMAND – very small & secret leadership, maintains Internal discipline

2. ACTIVE CADRE (Tactical Arm-OPS) – Striking Arm – small, made of specialists – also known as Active Supporters made up of these cells:

• Communication – within org terrorist campaign media (LTTE run foreign service in 38 countries – daily bulletin, run illegal radio stations in Sri Lanka, the Internet and video clips)

• Supply – of safe houses weapons, explosives, resources food & transport

• Intelligence (Wing to access targets, planning missions and forging documents)

• Logistics (made of finance & administration units) • Training • Recruitment size

3. PASSIVE SUPPORTERS (Largest group) • are more if political support, less if no support • in order to be identified with, they are mixed with population of different groups.

Three primary Arms are

Intelligence made up of : • Planning – selection of target / observation of target • Execution – forging documents / planning ops Logistics (Admin) & Supply – weapons, explosives Support – arrange for safe houses, food, medical treatment, transport.

Management of a Terrorist Organization

The following are the problems in managing a terrorist organization.

1. It is decentralized i.e autonomous independent columns for secrecy & to prevent infiltration. Hence difficult to manage logistics – communicate, coordinate, discipline. One informant can destroy the organization.

2. Financing is difficult

3. Training problems

4. Gaining active supporters

5. Gaining political support

6. Punishment by death (discipline) – results in disgruntling others – Commanders terrorize the terrorist organization!

7. Avoiding fragmented ideologies

8. Logistics – It takes 35-50 support people to keep a single terrorist in field (Bodansky 1999)

9. Bureaucracy – each individual has to justify his existence as in every large Organization.

10.Intelligence planning – selecting target, observing target. Execution – forging documents, travel papers

Types of Terrorist Organizations

1. Utopian groups – seek to destroy the existing order. They do not form alliance with the state. They have no political, rational approach or strategy, endorse no traditional social structure. Their principles are no negotiation, no dialogues, no peacemaking.

2. Apocalyptical groups – use collective violence but are indiscriminate. They firmly believe that they are divinely ordained to commit violent acts and engage in mass casualty & mass catastrophic terrorism, e.g. Al Qaida, Armed Islamic Group of Algeria. By its Sept 11 attack on WTC, Al Qaida moved from Utopian type to Apocalyptical type of terrorism, because WTC was a non polluted, non military non government target, It was an attack on human beings and their private economy.

Terrorism & Organised Crime

Are not directly related but because of the common enemy, they survive together.

Drugs and Terrorism

Columbia (S America) – Narco-terrorism • Both terrorism and organised crime existed • Where terrorism was dominant – protection money, kidnapping, taxes from cartels • Where organised crime was dominant – assassinated terrorist leaders • Terrorists would get their finance from poor peasants growing drugs. Afghanistan-Taliban – Islamic religion – prohibits use of drugs – not sale of drugs!! Afghanistan is the major centre of drug production

Financing of Terrorism

James Adams(1986)

General Financing is via the following sources – • Stock markets – [eg FARC] • Cyber terrorism [future & modern day] • Investment and scams [Hamas] • Legitimate business e.g transport Co & cab-FARC [PLO] • Narcotics, drug cartels (FARC<ELN) [Columbia] • Protection [IRA] • Crime-robbery, reselling of cars,kidnapping (past),

counterfeiting – Chechnya • Foreign govts – IRA from US • Well wishers in state & abroad [Al Qaida from Middle East, PLO from Middle East] • Smuggling arms & nuclear waste, Chechnya

Sample Study of Financing of Terrorist Organizations

PLO The economic wing called “Samed” 1970 developed a business structure with Lebanon as HQ. 1. provided salaries, benefits & incentives 2. developed business via investments

IRA 1. USA finances most activities. 2. Finance through org crime in North Ireland. CAPONE DISCOVERY. Protection money was demanded to protect against IRA attacks and against business troubles 3. Purchased taxi company and forced other companies out of business and other businesses.

LTTE is financed via 1. run Corporations and business. 2. Smuggling of arms 3. Drug trafficking (heroin) Asia to Europe 4. Other commodity smuggling 5. Extortion from 25000 Tamils in Switzerland (8 million $ a year ) voluntary /enforced 6. Extortion from Tamils in Canada, USA, Australia, S.Africa, Europe.

HAMAS – financed via scams and illegal schemes, investments (in N.Carolina)

Columbia – FARC & ELN 1995 – Investment of Income half a billion ELN and 1 1⁄2 billion FARC 10% comes from Guerilla warfare campaign and 90% from transport Companies, stock markets, and association with drug cartels who pay taxes (protection money)to them

Hizbullah – Annual Budget is 60 million $ comes from rich Shiites in Lebanon ,etc and 40 million$ comes from Iran. The organization has a business in supermarkets, bakeries, farming, clothes, bookshops, building.

Anti Terrorism Policies

The following would constitute an ideal Anti Terrorism policy -

1. Countries must first agree on defining Terrorist activity.

2. there must be mutual cooperation, and hot pursuit of the terrorists.

3. Exchange of intelligence

4. International law enforcement on terrorists

5. Sanctions against countries sponsoring terrorism.

6. A boycott on weapons trade with countries sponsoring terrorism

7. Extradition policies

8. Immigration laws and visas

Counter Terrorism Strategies

1. Eliminating political causes(e.g injustice)

2. Uncovering state sponsorship (but majority of terrorism is not state sponsored)

3. Attacking financial structures which support terrorist orgs.

Counter Terrorism Methods

Are employed via

1. Computer Technology e.g to observe movements of tanks etc

2. Infiltration of terror groups as of today impossible

3. Informers Difficult to pay legally

4. Cooperation of a population By providing leads e.g J&K

5. International Cooperation Govts do not extradite for fear of retaliation or higher interests

Ideologies in Terrorism

In every communist country there were factions who supported Imperialism (by USSR) and other Communist factions who wanted Independence (socialists) with Right Wing Ideology. Both commited terrorism against govt.

Karl Marx (and Friedrich Engels, both Germans) was the founder of Communism, principle of common ownership but was feudal in nature. Socialist (Socialist democratic / Conservatives) were supporters of equal rights for all, for independence of countries, but against parliamentary democracy, was an improvement over communism.

Europe – after World War II

• WEST EUROPE Non Communist (Supported by USA) Eg. Spain, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, France, etc.

• EAST EUROPE Communist Countries (led by USSR) Eg. Bulgaria, Turkey, Poland, Hungary, etc.

There existed a Cold War between these two factions for many years even after the war ended.

Terms explained :

Terrorism can be for democratic independence (India – British) or by one imperialist to take over from superpower. He may be supported by another superpower eg. Russia, USA

LT WING extremists (terrorists) RARE – intellects, communists, fighting for communism, common before WW–II, Under support by USSR & China. Imp in Europe & America – as want to overthrow non- communists.

RT WING extremists MORE COMMON – are wanting independence from fuedal rule & democracy. Not very imp in Europe & America & Govts are not seriously endangered. Imp in 1990s in USA.

Extreme Right is a Psychological Phenomenon made of bored and lost individuals. It never has a central command, is poorly coordinated, badly organized, with small groups continuously emerging. These are against everyone who disagrees like the Democrats, homosexuals, the Police, bankers, the media, taxation & tax collectors (e.g. the Tax Rebellion). They dislike any interference of the Washington Government above the local Sheriff.

Socialists In the 1800s, Marx & Engels in Germany, In the 1900s, Lenin in Russia & In 1950s, Stalin, a Russian Politician felt their countries needed a revolution.

Communists After World War II, Stalin converted East Europe into a communist USSR with satellite countries supporting Russia. Thus an autocratic rule was established over East Europe, making USSR into a superpower.

Millenarian – apocalyptic. These live in expectation of impending doom and feel that the end of the world is near. E.g. Nazism, communism

Messiahs – Messianism These feel that they are the messiahs (like Buddha, Vishnu, or Islamic) e.g Judaism ,the Church of Armageddon

Fundamentalist – These are the tenets of Christianity & Christians, who believe that the world is about to end.