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Global Terrorism

A Course Produced By
The United Nations Institute For
Training and Research,
Programme of Correspondence Instruction In
Peacekeeping Operations
Course Author:
Paul Medhurst Ph.D.
Deputy Chief,
Security and Safety Section
Series Editor:
Harvey J. Langholtz
UNITAR Training Programme Programme UNITAR de Formation
of Correspondence Instruction Par Correspondance Aux
in Peacekeeping Operations Operations de Maintien de la Paix
Dag Hammarskjld Centre Palais des Nations
Box 20475 1211 Genve 10
New York, NY 10017 Suisse
Global Terrorism
A Course Produced By
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research,
Programme of Correspondence Instruction
in Peacekeeping Operations
Course Author:
Paul Medhurst. Ph.D.
Deputy Chief,
Security and Safety Section
Series Editor:
Harvey J. Langholtz
UNITAR Programme of Correspondence Instruction
Dag Hammarskjld Centre
Box 20475
New York, NY 10017 - 20475
Important Note:
The material contained herein does not reflect the
[apolitical and unexpressed] opinions of UNITAR or
the Author in any sense.
UNITAR and the Author disclaim any and all
responsibility for facts and opinions contained in the
text, which have been assimilated largely from open
media and other independent sources.
Notwithstanding, vigorous effort has been undertaken
to verify the information contained herein. It is
portrayed in as impartial a fashion as possible.
Information with diametrically opposing views is
sometimes provided on given topics, in order to
stimulate scholarly interest, and is in keeping with the
norms of pure and free academic pursuit.
This course is designed for independent study, at a pace determined by the student
Below are suggestions for how to proceed with a UNITAR POCI Course. Though the
student may have alternate approaches that are effective, the following hints have worked
for many.
Before you actually begin studying, first browse through the overall course material.
Notice the lesson outlines which give you an idea of what will be involved as you
The material should be logical and straightforward. Instead of memorizing individual
details, strive to understand concepts and overall perspectives in regard to the course
Set up guidelines regarding how you want to schedule your time.
Study the lesson content. At the beginning of each lesson, orient yourself to the main
points. If you are able to, read the material twice to ensure maximum understanding and
retention, and let time elapse between the readings.
When you finish a lesson, take the End-of-Lesson Quiz. For any error, go back to the
lesson section and re-read it. Before you go on, be aware of the discrepancy in your
understanding that led to the error.
After you complete all lessons, take time to review the main points of each lesson. Then,
while the material is fresh in your mind, take the End-Of-Course Examination. It is
generally best to complete the End-Of-Course Examination in one sitting.
Return your End-Of-Course Examination answer sheet to UNITAR POCI. Your exam will
be scored and if you achieve a passing grade of 75% or higher, you will be sent a
Certificate of Course Completion. If you score below 75%, you will be given one
opportunity to take a second version of the End-Of-Course Examination.
One note of explanation of spelling. There are six official languages at the United
Nations. One of these is English as used in the UK. UNITAR POCI courses are written
using English spelling.
Format of Study................................................................................................................................v
Method of
Table of Contents...........................................................................................................................vii
Lesson 1: The Phenomenon of Terrorism.................................................................................19
Section 1.1: Perceptions and History of Terrorism
a) Perceptions
b) Terrorism in History
c) Early Twentieth Century Terrorism
d) Post World War II Terrorism
Section 1.2: Geography, Types and Origins of Contemporary Terrorism
a) Geography of Terrorism
b) Domestic, International and Transnational Terrorism
c) Guerrilla Warfare
d) Emergence of Modern Terrorism from Guerilla Warfare
Section 1.3: Terrorism and Society
a) Terrorism, Guerilla Warfare and the Geneva Conventions
b) Terrorism in War and Peace
c) Terrorism and Democracy
d) Keywords to Note
e) Terrorist Attack Brief: Attacks on Rome (Italy) and Vienna (Austria) International Airports
Lesson 2: Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism.................................................83
Section 2.1: Defining Terrorism
a) The Necessity
b) Linguistic Barriers
c) Political Differences
d) Existing Definitions
e) Conclusions
Section 2.2: Essential Elements of Terrorism
a) The Four Pillars of Terrorism
b) Cause or Motive
c) Ends and Means
d) Ability
e) Calculation
f) Terror
g) Recognition
h) Publicity
i) Targets and Victims
j) Demands and Coercion
Section 2.3: Anomalies of Terrorism
a) Demands Versus Actions
b) Motives; Planner and Operative
c) Co-operation between Terrorist Groups
d) Terrorism, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity
e) Financing Terrorism through Crime
f) Terrorism and Human Rights Violations
g) Keywords to Note
h) Terrorist Attack Brief: Bombing of US Embassy, Beirut, Lebanon
Lesson 3: Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists..................................................................111
a) Confronting Oppression
b) Independence Struggle
c) Resistance to Military Occupation
d) Religious Duty
e) Political Conviction
f) Social Conviction
g) Pursuit of Mystical, Doomsday or Messianic Goals
h) Restoration of Past Social or Religious System
i) Keywords to Note
j) Terrorist Attack Brief: Restaurant Bombing in Madrid, Spain
Lesson 4: Other Motivations for Terrorism: Catalysts, and Negotiations...........................129
Section 4.1: Concealed and Other Motivations for Terrorism
a) Opportunism
b) Hatred and Intolerance
c) Frustration and Rejection
d) Conventional Criminality
e) Class Resentment
f) Incrimination of Opposition Groups
g) Expediency and Overzealousness
h) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
i) Insanity
Section 4.2: Catalysts for Terrorism
a) Extreme Social or Economic Hardship
b) Suspension of Democracy
c) Favourable Political Environment
Section 4.3: Terrorists and Negotiation
a) Negotiating Groups
b) Non-Negotiating Groups
c) Insincere Negotiations
d) Case Study: Suspension of Democracy; The Armenian Genocide
e) Keywords to Note
f) Terrorist Attack Brief: Bomb Attack in Omagh, Northern Ireland, UK
Lesson 5: A Profile of Terrorists and Their Organisations....................................................159
Section 5.1: A Profile of Terrorists
a) Age
b) Education
c) Background
d) Recruitment
e) Summary
Section 5.2: Structure and Practice of Terrorist Organizations
a) Leadership, Operational, Political and Spiritual
b) Intelligence and Reconnaissance
c) Security and Counter-Intelligence
d) Organising Terrorist Acts
e) Logistics
f) Recruitment, Training and Support
g) The Terrorist Cell Format
h) Keywords to Note
i) Terrorist Attack Brief: Bombing of US Air Base, Frankfurt, West Germany
Lesson 6: Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment....................................................175
Section 6.1: The Terrorist Armoury
a) Small Arms, Light and Medium-Sized Infantry Weapons
b) Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Assassination Devices
c) Military and Improvised Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons
d) Volunteer Suicide-Terrorists
e) Compelled Suicide-Terrorists
f) Computer Viruses and Logic Bombs
g) Other Weapons
Section 6.2: Other Resources, Services and Equipment
a) Illicit Arms Sources
b) Support from Other Terrorist Groups and Sympathisers
c) Diplomatic, Ideological, Political and Spiritual Support
d) Commercially Available Equipment
e) Commercially Available Communications Facilities
f) Funding; Illegally-Generated and Sponsored
g) Negotiating Options
h) Diplomatic Immunity
i) Individual Sponsorship
j) Sponsorship by Governments
k) Rogue Intelligence and Security Personnel
l) Keywords to Note
m) Terrorist Attack Brief: Attacks on Cafs, San Salvador, El Salvador
Lesson 7: Types of Terrorist Acts.............................................................................................215
Section 7.1: Extreme Violence
a) Terrorist Preferences
b) Systematic Genocide and Spontaneous Massacre
c) Random Murder, Wounding and Mutilation
d) Selective Murder and Wounding
e) Forced Suicide of Victims Compelled to Engage in Terrorist Acts
f) De-population or Ethnic Cleansing
g) Political Purges
Section 7.2: Other Crimes
a) Destruction or Damage of Structures, Resources, Craft and other Property
b) Hijacking, Kidnapping, Siege-and-Hostage Situations
c) Racketeering, Extortion, Drug Trafficking and other Crimes
d) Destruction or Disruption of Information and Networks
e) Poisoning of Consumer Food Products
f) Brainwashing and Psychological Warfare
g) Threats and Hoax Threats of Terrorist Action
h) Case Study: The US Embassy Bombing, Nairobi, 7th August 1998
i) Keywords to Note
j) Terrorist Attack Brief: Murder of UK Defence Attach, Athens, Greece
Lesson 8: Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism.....................................................257
Section 8.1: Terrorist Tactics
a) Pursuit of Political Status
b) Blackmail and Corruption of Officials
c) Covert Penetration of Security Forces and Target Circles
d) Provision of Clandestine Interviews with Media
e) Dissemination of Inflammatory Material, Disinformation and Propaganda
f) Breaking of Agreements
Section 8.2: Targets of Terrorism
a) Evaluation and Selection of Targets
b) Government Institutions
c) International and Non-Governmental (NGO) Organisations
d) Commercial Enterprises
e) Ethnic, Political and Religious Groups
f) Rival Criminal Groups
g) Individuals
h) Keywords to Note
i) Terrorist Attack Brief: Attack on US Officer's Club, Rome, Italy
Lesson 9: The Victims of Terrorism........................................................................................271
a) Innocent Individuals
b) Military, Police, Security and Intelligence Services Personnel
c) Governmental, International and NGO Civil Servants
d) Leaders in Society
e) Commercial Enterprises
f) Democracy
g) Global, Regional and National Security
h) Societies and Environment
i) Rival Criminals
j) Case Study; Jammu and Kashmir
k) Keywords to Note
l) Terrorist Attack Brief: Attack on CIA Officers, Langley (McLean), Virginia, USA
Lesson 10: Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media....................................295
Section 10.1: Terrorism During the Cold War
a) Sponsorship
b) Organisation and Training
c) Coalitions
Section 10.2: Terrorism Since the Cold War
a) Resumption and Re-alignment
b) Loss of Control
c) The Intelligence and Security Communities
d) Nuclear Terrorism
e) New Forms of Terrorism
f) The New Wave of Religious Terrorism
Section 10.3: The Media and Terrorism
a) Media: A Two-Edged Sword
b) Excessive Publicity
c) Media Complicity
d) Professional Ethics of the Media
e) Condemnation of Terrorism
f) Keywords to Note
g) Terrorist Attack Brief: Attack on MI 6 Headquarters, London, UK
Lesson 11: Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism................................................................315
Section 11.1: Institutions and Techniques
a) Law and Terrorism
b) Forces Opposing Terrorism
c) Anti-Terrorism and Special Police Formations
d) Notes on Anti-Terrorism Security
e) Counter-Terrorism and Military Special Forces
f) Assessing Terrorist Threats
Section 11.2: Tactics
a) Intelligence Security
b) Security Intelligence
c) Negotiation
d) Concession
e) Deterrent
f) Case Study: Al Qaida attacks on the US: 9/11/01
g) Keywords to Note
h) Terrorist Attack Brief: Achile Lauro Hijacking, near Port Said, Egypt
Lesson 12: Terrorism, The United Nations, and the Future..................................................363
Section 12.1: The United Nations and Terrorism
a) UN Resolutions and Other Instruments against Terrorism
b) The UN Organisation Against Terrorism
c) Other UN Activities Indirectly Affecting Terrorism
Section 12.2: Terrorism and the Future
a) Technological Advantages of Security Forces
b) Political Integrity and Will to Counter Terrorism
c) The Horizon
d) Possibilities to Effectively Defeat Terrorism
e) Keywords to Note
f) Terrorist Attack Brief: Seizure of US Embassy and Hostages, Teheran, Iran
Annex A: Internet Information Sites Related to Terrorism..........................................................383
Annex B: Glossary of Terms........................................................................................................391
Annex C: List of Groups Accused of Terrorism by Governments or Media................................403
Annex D: International Instruments; Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism..........................465
Annex E: UN Resolutions on Terrorism.......................................................................................467
Annex F: International Terrorist Acts by Region, 2001................................................................471
Annex G: Characteristics and Effects of Chemical Weapons.......................................................472
Annex H: Characteristics and Effects of Biological Weapons.....................................................477
Annex I: Characteristics and Effects of Nuclear Weapons...........................................................487
Annex J: Significant Terrorist Incidents 1961-2001 (US State Department)...............................491
Annex K: List of Terrorist Organisations, Compiled by US, UK, and EU...................................508
Annex L: Locations where Al Qaida Network has Firm Presence..............................................511
Annex M: Militants Presence (fought or trained in Afghanistan/Kashmir)................................512
Annex N: Photographic Evidence: Armenian Genocide..............................................................513
Annex O: Photographic Evidence: Nazi Genocide.......................................................................515
Annex P: Photographic Evidence: Chinese (Nanjing) and Asian Genocide................................ 524
Annex Q: Photographic Evidence: Former Yugoslavia Genocide (Kosovo).............................. 527
Annex R: Balfour Declaration/White Papers/League of Nations Palestine................................. 529
Annex S: Further Reading.............................................................................................................545
Course Epilogue............................................................................................................................546
Space for Notes.............................................................................................................................548
Illustration Copyright Acknowledgments.....................................................................................549
End-of-Course Examination.........................................................................................................551
ntroduction 1
The 20
150 million people killed
Anti-Aircraft fire (tracer ammunition), Tunisia, World War II
Courtesy: US Nat. Archives
Introduction to the Self-Paced Correspondence Course
Global Terrorism
One of the difficulties in compiling a study course on
global terrorism has been the fact that there is no universally
accepted definition of terrorism.
On the other hand, this has permitted the inclusion of
a wider range of material which might otherwise have been
excluded by the terms of a rigid definition; few of the many
definitions of terrorism include war crimes and crimes against
humanity; unjustifiably so, given the murder and widespread,
sustained terror that is generated for reasons that can plainly
not be attributed to conventional criminality.
Confining terrorism solely to mean the activities of
groups such the Baader Meinhof gang, the IRA, PLO, Aum
Shinri Kyo and Osama bin Ladens Al Qaida, would be facile,
providing a much narrowed view of the phenomena.
There is some differentiation between types of
terrorism. In this self-paced correspondence course all known
types of terrorism, including international, transnational and
domestic terrorism, are included under the overall title of
Global Terrorism.
This course includes considerable historical reference
to terrorism. This is important, in order to appreciate the roots
and growth of terrorism and to provide a control by which to measure its current intensity and
diversity. Equally as important, it
illustrates that the same patterns of
intolerance, greed, unaccountability, lack
of dialogue and inhumanity, have
remained essentially unchanged for
many centuries and continue to underpin
In the past 3000 years of
recorded history, there have been less
than 300 years free of armed conflict.
We live in an age of disturbing
violence, on a scale of which, the world
has never before seen. The twentieth
century witnessed more than 170 armed
conflicts, from which only arms dealers
profited, in acquiring astonishing wealth.
ntroduction 2
US M-60 Fire-Team of 101
Airborne division, cutting loose at
Vietcong Guerrillas, seconds before being hit and wounded by
return fire. Vietnam was a watershed between WWII and
contemporary conflicts: Regular forces on both sides; guerrillas;
terrorists; limited resources; modern weapons; protracted; harsh
terrain dictating the course of the war; domestic controversy, and
the endless casualties.
Courtesy: VWAM / US Army
The Baader-Meinhof Gang
Former West German Police Wanted Poster
More than 120 of these armed
conflicts occurred in the years between
the end of World War II and the end of
the 20
Approximately 150 million people
were killed in scores of countries, by war,
purges, and other forms of persecution
and oppression in the 20
That is 4109 people killed every
day for 100 years, or in different terms, a
person was killed every 21 seconds for
100 years.
As a result of contemporary armed
conflict alone, occurring even as students
take this course, 2700 people are killed
every day; that is 112 per hour, or in other
terms: a person killed every 31 seconds
day and night, non stop.
Overall, this tragedy is an
appalling and dismal memorial to
civilisation and the enlightenment which we might have expected to have followed from the
Industrial Revolution to the Information Age.
The majority of the 20
century armed conflicts
involved guerrilla or irregular warfare to varying extent
and many also involved use of terrorism.
Terrorism is now a daily event and an increasingly
significant source of violence, especially in relation to the
maintenance of peace between States and by extension,
world peace. Several conflicts have even begun as a direct
result of terrorism.
Almost without exception, the current bi-lateral,
regional, civil-war and separatist conflicts in the world all
involve elements of terrorism, variously including
genocide, depopulation, massacre, assassination and
indiscriminate bombing.
These acts of terrorism continue to be carried out
mostly with impunity, and occasionally by all parties to
the conflict.
From the 1960s to the 1980s most terrorist groups
fell into two categories; nationalist and separatist (such as
the Provisional Irish Republican Army and the Kashmir
separatists) or anarchist-communist terrorists seeking the
overthrow of capitalism and a world revolution (such as
ntroduction 3
Starving Armenian boys in 1917 - victims of state organised terror
and genocide in the former Ottoman empire
Armenian National Institute. John Elder collection
Anthrax Letter
A new era of bio-terrorism
Courtesy: FBI
the Red Army Faction [Baader-
Meinhof gang], the Italian Red
Brigades and the Japanese Red
Since the 1980s however,
terrorism also expanded to include a
wider range of diverse conflicts of a
political, religious, ethnic and social
In the 1990s, following
removal of Cold War restraints,
regional low intensity conflicts and
attendant genocide sprang forth on
several continents, fired by
nationalism and religion and led by a
new generation of petty warlords. More alarmingly, a new strain of ruthless terrorism emerged.
It is characterised by fanatic and bloody religious intolerance, and driven by an almost
fantasy-like ambition to create a single medival-style religious state across half or more of the
world, needless to say, without consulting its inhabitants. The figurehead and current leader of this
transnational terrorist foundation, or network, is Osama bin Laden.
Cause for further serious concern is the quest by transnational terrorists, for almost a decade,
to acquire nuclear weapons and their components.
The possibility of terrorists
procuring or manufacturing (less
likely) a crude nuclear weapon (of
which there are several categories) in
the fairly near future, seems almost
certain and merely a question of time.
The period in which we live is
also termed as the age of information.
Books and Internet information
certainly exist on various, specific
aspects of terrorism (Annex A
provides a list of internet information
sites related to terrorism).
However, public knowledge of
terrorism is in general, mostly limited
to either specific terrorist incidents or
censored informat i on whi ch
governments and their law
enforcement bodies reveal to the
media, usually following a terrorist
ntroduction 4
Josef Goebbels
Hi t l er s Mi ni s t er of
Propaganda. A master at lies
and deceit, despised by even
his peers. Like contemporary
t er r or i st s, t he Nazi s
murdered innocent victims
and tried to justify their
crimes under cover of a
propaganda barrage
Courtesy: US Army / USHMM
Rogove Village, Kosovo, 1998
A terrorised region where massacres like this were
commonplace and a deliberate tactic of ethnic
cleansing (depopulation and genocide - a war crime
and a crime against humanity, respectively); for
which the UN conducted trials at the international
criminal tribunal in the Hague
Courtesy: E. B. Albania Net
An IED (Improvised Explosive Device)
Courtesy: Washington State Military Dept. EMD
Information is censored and partially withheld due to
well-founded security reasons and a legitimate
inclination towards confidentiality. Consequently, the
information finally presented by media is sometimes piece-
meal. The subject of terrorism is not generally dealt with
This course aims to fill this information gap with a
wide-ranging exposure of terrorism: of definitions and law; of
terrorists and victims; of weapons and acts; of motives and
catalysts; of tactics and resources, and of its history and future.
Every effort has been taken to confirm the information
in this course and to present it as impartially as possible.
It is not within the scope of this course to research and
assemble the vast amounts of
information concerning all single
acts of contemporary terrorism,
but four detailed and important
case-studies are included in the course.
The first three case studies are examined in the contexts of
Lessons 4, 7 and 9, and concern the Armenian genocide, the US
Embassy bombings in Nairobi on 7th August 1998, and the conflict in
the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, now in its 55
Most importantly, the fourth case study at the end of Lesson 11
examines the unprecedented terrorist attacks in the US on 11
September 2001 and
t h e s u b s e q u e n t
scrambling for political
alliances, seemingly in
preparation for a
historical landmark
conflict, yet to come.
The domestic
US Anthrax attacks
which followed those
events are mentioned in
Les s on 6 under
biological weapons.
This course
separately dissects each
aspect of terrorism; the acts, perpetrators, weapons,
motives, causes, financing and many other elements.
Mention of the more notorious terrorist
groups, individuals and their acts, is necessarily
ntroduction 5
Major T. E. Lawrence, Cairo 1918
Despite the legality of the albeit
unconventional guerrilla warfare, which
he organised and carried out in WW1
Arabia, the Ottoman government put a
price on his head for terrorism
LHCMA (Kings College London)
FAPLA soldier in wait for UNITA guerrillas in Angola
The 20
Century launched a new era of guerrilla warfare
from which contemporary terrorism sprang
Courtesy: MPLA
repeated in differing contexts, amongst the lessons, not only to
illustrate the wide-ranging complexities of terrorism, but to
separate and simplify them individually for learning purposes.
To better prepare the student, before launching directly
into the lessons and learning material, this introduction
concludes in the form of a preface, briefly discussing some of
the most frequently asked questions about terrorism.
The meaning of terrorism.
The words terror and terrorism were adopted from the
word terreur, a 14
century French word, which derives from
the Latin: terrere (to frighten). The word was first used widely
in France during the French Revolution in what was called the
Reign of Terror (1793-1794).
Since then, terrorism has evolved into something
unrelated to its historical origin. Terrorism is now a specialised
and sometimes sophisticated and large-scale, type of criminal
It mostly involves the ruthless, pre-meditated use of
military weapons or force to generate: multiple casualty
incidents, in
w h i c h
r a n d o m ,
innocent, defenceless and unrelated civilians are
the victims, or, the destruction of select physical
assets of a States infrastructure, including
cultural sites.
The object of this murder and carnage is
mostly to coerce political concession from third
parties known as targets, usually governments.
Terrorism is usually carried out under the
political shelter of some sort of proclaimed
agenda in which the terrorists portray themselves
as acting for virtuous or popular interests.
Ordinary crimes stem mostly from need,
greed, or passion. In contrast, most terrorism is
compelled neither by need (since there are no
poor terrorists), nor passion (since most terrorist
acts are clinically calculated in several distinct
Terrorism in general, is motivated for
individual reasons of greed, egotism and a wide
ntroduction 6
The ultimate weapon and terrorist threat: A nuclear bomb
Courtesy: US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
US FBI examining barrels of mail, for anthrax contamination
Courtesy: US FBI / Environmental Protection Agency
range of vices related to intolerance,
especially religious and ethnic
intolerance. Intolerance is often the
primary motive behind genocide and
depopulation, running in tandem
with whole-sale looting and
dispossession (theft).
The political cover that
terrorists adopt in trying to justify
their actions behind a shield of
virtue, is plainly absurd and
hypocritical, since innocent and
defenceless victims are maimed and
murdered in the name of furthering
social justice and fighting
Nevertheless, terrorists are
able to win a certain number of
hearts and minds, whatever the
nature of their group or cause, uncomfortably giving credence to Hitlers Minister for propaganda
who said tell a lie that is big enough and repeat it often enough and the whole world will believe
Terrorism was frequently used throughout history by tyrants against the oppressed, and by
the oppressed against tyrants, but it now seems exclusively used by tyrants and oppressors against
the innocent.
What is common to all forms of terrorism is that they involve use of force or the threat of it;
there are always victims and targets;
terror (or extreme anxiety in the modern
meaning of the word) is always
deliberately invoked, and all forms of
terrorism are illegal. There are many
differing definitions of terrorism; some
are discussed in Lesson 2 (a glossary
with definitions for terrorism-related
words may be found in Annex B).
What terrorists are.
Many terrorists will not view themselves
as terrorists. They prefer to posture
themselves as idealists or altruists
engaged in a partisan struggle for
ntroduction 7

(Grenzschutzgruppe 9 / Border Guard Group 9)

Elite German Counter-Terrorist Police Officers
Courtesy: GSG-9
SAS (Special Air Service) night shooting
Originally an elite British special forces commando type
unit, formed in WWII by Captain David Stirling, it was
re-instated some time after the war to respond to the
military requirements of campaigns in Malaya, Oman,
Aden and Borneo. It was the first armed force in the
world to develop a proper counter-terrorist wing to
respond to modern terrorist incidents like the Munich
Olympics hostage-taking and embassy sieges.
Considered the worlds best counter-terrorist force in
most circles, it came to wide public notice, during
Operation Nimrod - the 1980 siege of the Iranian
Embassy in London. In the wake of WWII, SAS
Regiment hunter-teams tracked down a number of
particularly elusive and dangerous Nazi war criminals.

societys oppressed or some other worthy sounding
cause. Many are proud of their actions and indulge in
Under this banner of altruism they
conveniently satisfy a variety of personality and
behaviour disorders, such as cruelty and power-
seeking; whereby vices become virtues and
cowardice becomes heroism. What many terrorists
seek to pass off as altruism is in reality, a perversion
of egotism.
Terrorists share many of the symptoms from
which psychopaths suffer, including the ability to
convince to an extraordinary degree, great cunning
and an overwhelming justification and rationalisation
of their actions. Like psychopaths, terrorists are often
obsessed with oppression and control of others.
Altruists do not commit brutal murder. The
sounding political causes professed by terrorists are
often part of delusions (and propaganda), in which they
reconcile these lofty political ideals with their
personality or behaviour disorders, as an attempt to
legitimise brutal violence and misconduct.
Delusions can be very potent; many terrorists
eventually come to believe the deception that they
continually live out. Terrorism could be considered as
the ultimate expression of egotism or selfishness.
Most terrorists, especially their organisers, take
great pains to escape and avoid accountability for their
actions. An example of this is Osama bin Ladin, who
fled in late 2001, soon after the invasion of
Afghanistan to remove his Al Qaida-dominated
Taliban regime.
Most of society traditionally rejects terrorists
and sees them for just what they are:
From a medical viewpoint, terrorists are
irrational and mentally unhealthy, exhibiting the
symptoms of psychopathic disorder.
From a moral or social point of view, terrorists
appear cowardly, vicious and anti-social.
From a legal point of view, terrorist acts are
plainly criminal.
ntroduction 8
Anti-Police Poster: Revolutionaries shooting Police
Committee to Support Revolution in Peru (CSRP)
Polish Jewish boy starving in the Warsaw Ghetto in
1943, prior to deportation and murder under the Nazi
regime - together with the Soviet holocaust, this was
the most notorious state terrorism and genocide in
Dr. Charles Roland
Terrorism and other crimes.
Terrorism is like no other crime, since it
is takes so many radically different forms. What
clearly separates most terrorism from common
criminal conduct, is the fact that it is sometimes
defended for political reasons.
Moreover terrorism is sometimes
organised or sponsored by governments (as it
was during the Cold War). Furthermore,
conventional criminals do not seek to terrorise
masses in order to coerce governments.
Terrorism has expanded to include social
protection (anti-abortion), animal rights,
information technology (computer) terrorism,
contract (hired) terrorism and Armageddonist
(doomsday or judgement day) terrorism.
A further form of terrorism, used
increasingly: as a tactic on military battlefields; to enact vengeance; to achieve ethnic or political
change; or to acquire territory and property, is de-population, a war crime under the 1949 Genocide
Convention Act and currently known in popular terms, as ethnic-cleansing.
The threat of terrorism.
Terrorism knows no geographical or
political boundaries. It is often much more
sophisticated than ordinary crime and therefore
beyond the conventional resources of most police
forces to effectively prevent or oppose.
The gravity of this threat is reflected by the
fact that today, police forces are no longer alone in
combatting terrorism. Segments of many armed
forces, national intelligence and security
organisations are now also actively engaged
against terrorism.
Many governments have signed and ratified
agreements called International Instruments,
designed to suppress terrorism; a further indication
that the threat is serious.
Terrorism, drug-trafficking and other
organised crime as individual phenomena in their
own rights, were always of serious concern to
Introduction 9
King David Hotel, Jerusalem, 22
July 1946
The Headquarters of the British Mandate (League of
Nations, succeeded by the United Nations); bombed by
Irgun terrorists, killing 91 and wounding 45 (Christians,
Jews and Muslims of several nationalities).
Institute for Palestine Studies, Washington DC
Abdul Rahman Yasin
Indicted fugitive, wanted for the 1993
World Trade Centre bombing
Courtesy: FBI
many governments, and generated a degree of
international cooperation.
However, other serious concerns have
arisen in recent years owing to the increasing
integration of terrorism with drug trafficking, and
a range of other organised criminal activities,
including illegal diamond acquisition and
smuggling, and money laundering. Another
concern is posed by the increase in contract
terrorism (terrorism carried out by a third party
only for financial gain). Yet further concerns
have arisen from the use of terrorism to deter
judicial and police activities against organised
criminal gangs including drug traffickers.
However, the scale and nature of the
terrorist events of 11
September 2001 have
seriously alarmed governments all over the
world, and galvanised many into joining a
convincing international co-operative effort
against terrorism, known informally as the
coalition against terrorism and led by the US.
Terrorism has in some countries of the world become a practically standard response towards
unfavourable government policy.
As the events of 11
September 2001 have well shown, terrorism has become a mobile
battlefield for sometimes remote or unheard of causes, whereby
instant mass murder and large scale carnage can be imported
without warning to any city in the world, with impunity.
Terrorists have already used biological and chemical
weapons, the obtaining or engineering of which has become
progressively easier.
However, the ultimate concern posed by terrorism is the
potential, under certain circumstances, to seriously undermine the
maintenance of peace between nations. In connection with this,
there is clear evidence that several of the more fanatical terrorist
groups have, in the last decade, attempted to obtain illicit nuclear
weapons and their components.
Terrorists cannot be expected to adhere to international
protocols governing the illicit procurement, smuggling, assembly
and detonation of atomic bomb components. Of these stages, the
only major obstacles that terrorists face, are firstly, the undetected
procurement of such a device or its individual components and
secondly, engaging the technical expertise necessary to assemble
Introduction 10
Orphans whose parents were massacred in the former Yugoslavia in
1998, during so called ethnic cleansing (genocide and depopulation)

E. Bardhi. Albania Net
Osama bin Ladin: Leader of Al Qaida
Courtesy: US Navy
components, and to by-pass coded
multiple arming and fail-safe
There has been at least one
instance of nuclear scientists being
in contact with Al Qaida terrorists
who had sought them out.
Following the conclusion of
the Cold War, there are significant
numbers of unemployed nuclear
scientists who possess the necessary
technical skills that Al Qaida and
others seek.
Strong Russo-US efforts are
being undertaken to engage these
scientists on government projects
and thus undermine the likelihood
of Al Qaida employing some of
Smuggling, assembly and detonation of an atomic device, once acquired, are not difficult
tasks for determined and ruthless terrorists, especially as the components of an atomic device are not
necessarily very large and it is not possible for security forces to examine all air, sea and road cargo
entering countries or crossing borders.
Should a nuclear device be detonated by terrorists,
especially those sponsored by a government, it might in the
worst scenario, escalate into an exchange of nuclear strikes
between States which could trigger a regional war. In any
event, such an atomic detonation would most likely cause
large-scale loss of life, probably in a major population-
centre, generate mass long-term casualties, and would cause
considerable damage to the ecosphere.
What the world is doing about terrorism.
All countries have organisations, mechanisms and
procedures, of different types and effectiveness, for
preventing and reacting to terrorism. Legislation is a useful
mechanism, for both outlawing types of Terrorism and
legalising special preventative measures that may be taken by
security forces.
Anti-terrorism efforts have practically doubled in
many countries since 11
September 2001.
Introduction 11
Ramzi Youssef
Masterminded the 1993 World Trade
Centre bombing which killed six and
wounded 1000. He received a 240 year
jail sentence
Courtesy: US State Dept.
Stalin, 1930s
At the height of his reign of terror.
With a criminal record in the Czars
time, he was later responsible for the
deaths of at least 20 million Soviet
citizens. He died a natural death and
was never indicted for his crimes
Courtesy: Funet
Hideki Tojo
Prime Minister, Minister of Munitions, General
and War Minister for [former] Imperial Japan,
receives his sentence at the UN International
Military Tribunals conducted in Asia. For the
terror, genocide and indescribable cruelties that
his troops committed in Asia, he was hanged on
December 1948
Courtesy: US Army / National Archives
In those countries where there are special organisations to
oppose terrorism, the forces are either termed as anti-terrorist
(general and preventative measures) or counter-terrorist (active or
responsive measures).
They usually conduct well planned and coordinated
operations according to law and disciplined methodology and
training, within the confines of standard operational procedures
known as SOPs (a set of guidelines and courses of action for
different duties and situations), and specific operational plans for
special situations that have arisen.
Activities against terrorism are carried out by security,
intelligence, police and military forces, accountable to their
governments. In a few countries however, measures to combat
terrorism, such as stop and
search procedures, are of such
a nature that they are a
significant hindrance to
citizens going about their
lawful business.
Moreover, in a very few developing or under-developed
count ri es, count er-
terrorist measures used
by police (sometimes
al so corrupt ), are
perceived as more
oppressive than the
terrorism they are
calculated to prevent, and
provoke serious violence
in response.
In the history of
s o me c o u n t r i e s ,
government forces,
including police and
security forces, have
been used to implement terrorism and popular oppression,
and in some cases, genocide.
Examples of this are the death squads of some of the
South American governments, and on the genocide scale, in
the former Yugoslavia, where Serbian armed forces and
police committed crimes against humanity and war crimes.
It is noteworthy that in some of those few countries
whose governments support terrorism, the very same
Introduction 12
Saigon, 1
April 1966
An improvised Vietcong bomb was planted in these US Officers billets,
killing four Americans and three Vietnamese
Courtesy: US National Archives
US State Department poster, 1993
Courtesy: US State Dept.
security and intelligence organisations who
are charged with protecting their countries
from terrorism, actively recruit, train, field
and protect terrorists.
In the worst scenario of state
involvement in terrorism, the interaction of
government and terrorism in Afghanistan,
until the removal of the Taliban regime,
blurred the lines between the Taliban and
Al Qaida terrorists to the point whereby Al
Qaida dominated the Taliban and in effect,
took over the state.
However, the majority of national,
bi-lateral and regional government efforts
to combat terrorism, are generally sincere
and united.
To optimise them into a single
international effort, it is however necessary,
in order to establish international credibility, to utilise a neutral international platform, such as the
United Nations Organisation, since unilateral efforts tend not to foster very wide international
support and legitimacy.
Since the conclusion of the cold war, which confounded many efforts against terrorism, it
has been possible for the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council to pursue this
objective more effectively, especially and dramatically following the events of 11
September 2001.
However, political difficulties still persist, because
among the member-States which fund the Organisation,
may be found a very few States who either sponsor
terrorism or engage in it directly (while sometimes accusing
other states of terrorism).
Yet others give sanctuary to terrorists and guerrillas
fleeing apprehension by occupying or hostile forces in their
own countries, pending implementation of UN resolutions
or other settlement. This hinders agreement upon a
universal definition.
Besides the Security Council, General Assembly
and Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations efforts against
terrorism are engaged in by the Terrorism Prevention
Branch or TPB. The TPB is headquartered in the UN
Vienna office, where several of the other anti-crime
organisations are co-located.
Since 11
September 2001, several new Resolutions
against terrorism were passed by the United Nations in
response to the attacks.
Introduction 13
The Cold War
A devastating blight on 20
century life and
development, generated by the now defunct
Soviet brand of communism, in the closing
months of WWII. The Cold War is one of
several underlying events that developed
contemporary terrorism, especially after
1961, when Soviet premier Khruschchev
announced that the USSR would support [so
called] liberation movements around the
world, thus escalating the Cold War.
Courtesy: Funet
Anti-terrorism poster
Courtesy: US State Dept.
Stopping Governments who sponsor terrorism.
A political impasse on global efforts to eliminate
terrorism is that it serves the interests of a small number
of governments to sponsor terrorism and guerrilla warfare.
Some governments passively resist an effective
and unified response against terrorism, tending to
articulate the terrorism that they sponsor, as purely
legitimate support for guerrilla warfare or freedom-
Yet other governments provide sanctuary (not
sponsorship) for terrorists and guerrillas sought in their
own countries by foreign, occupying or hostile forces.
To provide undeniable evidence against
governments who sponsor terrorism is often difficult. The
support they provide for Terrorists is covert and therefore
subject to high security.
While satellite, electronic intercept and human
intelligence may provide clear evidence of guerrilla
training facilities and operations, this is not evidence of
individual terrorist acts.
Providing legal standard evidence of terrorist acts
is more difficult, especially as it can often compromise
g a t h e r i n g
methods and
a g e n t s
deployed inside or close to terrorist groups.
Forensic science can sometimes be a valuable
aid in the detection of terrorists, but even if sufficient
evidence is assembled, sponsoring governments
sometimes avoid blame by accusing the terrorists of
acting as individuals, on their own initiative.
To further distance themselves from the
terrorism that they sponsor and in order to frustrate
assembly of evidence, governments who sponsor
terrorism sometimes diffuse the operation by siting
guerrilla and terrorist training and operations facilities
in different countries, with terrorists and training staff
of different nationalities.
Some government sponsorship of terrorism
amounts only to a transfer of funds from one bank
Introduction 14
Todays terrorist

A case of every man for himself or
whats yours is mine?
(Failure of political systems or
a new genre of criminal?)
Dismantling an Army anti-terrorism observation post in
Northern Ireland
account to another.
Sanctions are not an effective deterrent
against terrorism, tend to drive it deeper underground
and punish innocent populations.
Diffusion of terrorists and their activities is a
main characteristic of the Al Qaida terrorist umbrella
coalition (it is not a single terrorist group), whose
transnational terrorist members were responsible for
the events of 11
September 2001: Members of this
umbrella coalition consist of individuals, in a loose
network, not entire terrorist groups.
Some of the members have committed
terrorism before and are past or present members of
terrorist groups in different parts of the world. Other
members have no history of terrorist activity.
Al Qaida members have no fixed
geographical base, no boundaries in their operations,
no single government providing sanctuary, no single
nationality, source of funding or regular meetings.
They do not originate from any single terrorist
group and overall, their profiles and activities are
extremely difficult to analyse and identify patterns
This strengthens the security of the Al Qaida
coalition and their ability to commit terrorist acts.
Collectively, their resources are phenomenal
in comparison to conventional terrorist groups, not only financially, but in terms of support,
wherever they travel, incognito among their
own ethnic and religious groups, societies,
and associates
Terrorists who are apprehended.
Unlike conventional criminals who
engage in serious crime, many terrorists are
never apprehended for the crimes they
commit, although in recent years a concerted
effort has been made to apprehend and punish
major or transnational terrorists, especially
those responsible for the first World Trade
Centre bombing, the Nairobi and Dar es
Introduction 15
GSG-9 Counter-terrorist team practice entering hijacked airliner
Courtesy: GSG-9
Khobar Towers, Dharan, Saudi Arabia. A US Military facility bombed by
terrorists linked with the Al Qaida network in 1996,and in which 19 US
personnel were killed
Courtesy: US State Dept.
Salaam US Embassy bombings and
the terrorist acts of 11
When terrorists are detected
and apprehended, some countries
impose the death penalty. In other
countries, terrorists are sentenced to
detention and are also afforded the
same privileges of conventional
criminals. In most developed
countries, such criminals are
subject to punitive rehabilitation; a
system calculated to reform those
who are viewed as weak or having
been subjected to negative
conditioning or environment.
There is however, little or
no evidence to support this benign assumption (and frequently evidence to the contrary) that
ruthlessly violent terrorists can also be successfully reformed or rehabilitated by appeals to their
supposed sense of reason.
Additionally, there is little evidence to establish whether or not that detention is an effective
deterrent to other terrorists.
It would be reasonable to assume however, that capital punishment, whether acceptable or
not from a human rights point of view, certainly deters a number of potential terrorists with weaker
Legislation does little to deter
terrorists, but anti-terrorist legislation
is often useful as a police detective
tool for gathering evidence and
facilitating preventative measures.
Punishment in many countries
is the same as that of the ordinary
criminal who commits an equivalent
crime, mainly owing to a political
impasse, as follows:
Governments are regularly
pressed by sectors of their populace
for a harsher punitive element in the
legal sentence passed on terrorists,
especially following terrorist
Most governments however,
choose not to significantly
Introduction 16
World War I
Two shots fired from a pistol by a terrorist (student) in
Sarajevo, triggered the First World War, costing millions of
Courtesy: Think Quest Library
Post WWII revolutionary poster from South
America. Oppression continues to underpin
much guerrilla warfare and terrorism
Courtesy: Think Quest Library
differentiate terrorists from conventional
The reasoning behind this is that, to
completely segregate terrorists into a different
category from other criminals would be to
afford special status to terrorists.
By extension, this would confer a
degree of political recognition upon them.
Since political recognition is a major step that
most terrorists seek towards legitimising their
actions and goals, many governments strive to
avoid it.
Several countries however, have already
produced terrorism laws and others are
evaluating possible recognition of terrorist
offences, which means that crimes tried and
sentenced under conventional criminal laws
might instead be classified as terrorist acts, if
an element of terrorism is present or a connection to terrorism is proven.
Many countries have their own national definitions of terrorism, used for legal purposes, and
many are developing definitions, after 11
September 2001.
The reasons for this course on terrorism.
Terrorism in some developing countries and nations
with weak infrastructures, was for a long time and remains,
a daily aspect of life.
In the 1960s, this began intermittently, to become
the case in developed countries, especially western Europe.
In the 21
century, terrorism of one type or another, is now
clearly a daily aspect in many regions of the planet.
This is due largely to the massive disruption caused
by two world wars in the 20th century, exacerbated by the
global instability resulting from the colonial and Cold War
The post World War II expansion and development
of terrorism is owed to several reasons, but was schooled
mainly by guerrilla warfare, and greatly facilitated by the
following political and military trends and events:
The staggering proliferation of weapons, especially
small arms (which have also undergone significant
advances - automatic weapons have replaced the bolt
action rifle)
Introduction 17
La Guillotine
This machine was used to publicly
execute (decapitate) political
enemies (especially Royalty and
aristocrats) during the French
Revolution, causing the period to
be known as La Terreur (a
French word derived from the
Latin terrere, meaning to frighten).
From this point in history, the word
terrorism came into frequent
Courtesy: Think Quest Library
Widespread access to media, sophisticated communications
equipment, unrestricted borders, automobiles and
international travel
De-colonialisation in a climate pursuing instant freedom,
with little or no heed to the adequate transition periods
needed to ensure stability, integrity and democracy of
independent successor governments
The Cold War, in which some protagonists variously:
divided most of the world into two blocs; fomented
revolution and civil war; maintained guerilla warfare at
WWII levels; supported and helped develop the roots of a
number of emerging new-generation terrorist groups
The fall of the former Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact and
subsequent conclusion of the Cold War resulted in:
accelerating the proliferation of small arms, the instability of
nuclear facilities and the lifting of many border control and
financial restrictions
The mainstream terrorists of today have funding, practically
unrestricted mobility and access to devastating weapons, all to a
degree unimagined by their predecessors.
Terrorism is an unwelcome intrusion upon 21
century life.
This is not entirely unexpected. There was eventually bound to be
a reaction to the overall global record of injustice, intolerance and
disparity of wealth and resources, that continues to kill and oppress
millions of human beings.
If terrorists themselves might not be oppressed, starving or
poverty-stricken, they most certainly manipulate the suffering of
others to generate support and use as a political shield, preying
upon popular anxieties.
This course intends to provide a comprehensive study of the
terrorist phenomenon, orchestrated by so few, but affecting so many. It is generously illustrated in
order to enhance the learning process and make it generally a more enjoyable experience. Although
the Lesson lengths are approximately the same, some of the more important ones are heavily
illustrated; thus the overall physical size of such Lessons is increased accordingly, but without
affecting the quantity of learning material evenly allocated to each Lesson.
Each Lesson concludes with a self-marking quiz, a table of Keywords to Note, and a short
Terrorist Attack Brief, outlining an important terrorist incident from the past.
In conclusion, some of the main events and trends during the past century or so that have shaped
and led up to contemporary terrorism, are summarised as follows:
Introduction 18
Sl ow formati on of anti -monarchy
revolutionary groups after communism was
commissioned and written in the 1880s by
Marx and Engels. Boer War in South Africa
(1899-1902): the Dutch Afrikanas (Boers)
adopted mobile hit-and-run irregular warfare
tactics, and popularised the word
Kommando. Assassinations of Royalty and
Heads of State occurring.
Revolvers, Pistols and military
explosives are not widely available,
but can be obtained. Anarchists not
uncommon; assassinations of
Royalty and Heads of State still
A student assassin in Sarajevo triggers WW1,
resulting in approximately 10 million killed.
Massive social disruption and unrest results.
Limited guerrilla warfare used with success
during the war. Several old political dynasties
and social stabilities passed. Main Armenian
genocide occurs in Ottoman Turkey.
Covert political backing of peasants and
disaffected middle class revolutionaries in
Russia resulted in revolution, demonstrating
to the world: the overthrow of an
unfavourable established monarchial
government, and the effectiveness of
modern weapons and communications for
revolt. Czar and family murdered by Russian
Bolsheviks in 1917, on signed order of
Hand grenades, sub machine guns
and more sophisticated explosives
available. In Russia, re-named
several times to eventually become
the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republ i cs (USSR), t error,
oppression and genocide is used
routinely by the Bolsheviks (later
renamed communists) to maintain
control for over 70 years.
Mass guerrilla warfare demonstrated in the
Spanish Civil War, in which Nazi Germany
tested some of its arms and tactics in
preparation for WWII. Domestic democide
begins to take root in China. [Imperial]
Japanese genocide occurred against
WW2 caused further massive social
disruption and unrest; generated a giant leap
in the development of weapons, including
small arms; saw a massive increase in
guerrilla warfare to supplement conventional
combat. Nazi, highly organised, genocide
occurred. Terror used domestically by
authoritarian right-wing states (Axis).
Significant advances in the development of
Chemical weapons (nerve gases). Biological
weapons tested, then used in China. World
War II killed approximately 55 million people.
Anti -col oni al I ndependence
movements, fomented after WW1,
begin to adopt armed struggle,
many supported by communist
governments of USSR and China,
especially in Middle East, Africa,
East Asia and South East Asia.
The atomic bomb is invented and
used; a weapon that forty years
later (together with chemical and
biological agents), terrorists would
begin to pursue the acquisition of.
Communist manipulated independence
movements continue. Significant increase in
both South American revolutionary and
government death squad activity. Highly
effective automatic small arms become easily
available. Palestinians expand the hi-jacking
phenomena. Left wing middle class
revolutionary terrorists emerge in Germany,
Japan, and Italy. Chinese and Soviet backed
guerrilla warfare and terrorism is a significant
part of the fighting in the Vietnam war, against
conventional US forces.
Middle East terrorist and guerrilla groups
proliferate, some with a ruthless fanaticism
not seen before. Some Middle East groups
begin to posture a religious (Islamic) identity.
Wide variety of terrorist attacks occur in
several European countries, related to
separatism, Middle East dispute and anti-
capitalism. Genocide occurs in Cambodia
and Uganda.
Post colonial era shows that
independence did not bring
satisfaction to all countries
inhabitants: Many indigenous post-
Col oni al admi ni s t r at i ons
degenerated i nto rul e by
indigenous tyrants and surrogates
for Cold War protagonists.
Revolutionary activity proliferates
as a result. Terrorists in the Middle
East exploit popular sentiment for
a post colonial Islamic identity.
Soviet Union ejected from
Afghanistan by Mujahideen Army,
rallied and backed by several
western countries. This results in
unrest within the Warsaw Pact and
its final dissolution after the
collapse of the Soviet Union. Bin
Ladin forms Al Qaida in 1988. Cold
War declared over in 1991.
Post Cold War power vacuum results in
intense surge of nationalism, separatism and
ethnic oppression [for pre-war grievances],
orchestrated by a proliferation of petty
warlords. Genocide-level massacres become
more commonplace: Former Yugoslavia,
Rwanda, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Indonesia and
other countries. Algeria and Egypt subjected
to mass terrorist attacks by domestic groups
of hitherto unseen ferocity, projecting militant
Islam. Transnational terrorists emerge, after
fighting in Afghan-Soviet war and wishing to
apply same measures against own
governments and the West. Al Qaida network
(formed in 1988) being developed by bin
Ladin. Transnational terrorist attacks on US
Embassies and other installations around the
world occur, culminating in attacks of 11
September 2001. There are now 50 million
Russian AK-47 / 56 assault rifles (sub
machine guns) in world circulation, with
ammunition costing US$3 for a magazine-load
of 30 rounds.

Lesson 1
The Phenomenon of Terrorism
Section 1.1: Perceptions and History of Terrorism
Terrorism in History
Early Twentieth Century Terrorism
Post World War II Terrorism
Section 1.2: Geography, Types and Origins of Contemporary
Geography of Terrorism
Domestic, International and Transnational Terrorism
Guerrilla Warfare
Emergence of Modern Terrorism from Guerilla Warfare
Section 1.3: Terrorism and Society
Terrorism, Guerilla Warfare and the Geneva Conventions
Terrorism in War and Peace
Terrorism and Democracy
Keywords to Note
Terrorist Attack Brief: Attacks on Rome & Vienna International
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 20
Lesson 1 Scope and Objectives
Section 1.1: Perceptions and History of Terrorism
This section introduces the subject of terrorism and explains the different perceptions. It goes on to
examine the roots, history and development of terrorism.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to :
Understand different perceptions of terrorism
Outline the origins and history of terrorism
Describe twentieth century terrorism
Section 1.2: Geography, Types and Origins of Contemporary Terrorism
This section explains the geography or terrorism, and the relationship and differences between
terrorism and guerrilla warfare. The differences between domestic, international and transnational
terrorism are explained and the section goes on to demonstrate how contemporary terrorism largely
emerged out of guerrilla warfare.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to :
Understand the geographical limitations of terrorism
Appreciate the difference between, international, transnational and domestic terrorism
Differentiate between guerrilla warfare and terrorism
Section 1.3: Terrorism and Society
This section examines guerrilla warfare and terrorism in relation to the Geneva Conventions. Finally,
it views terrorism in the contexts of war, peace and democracy. The Terrorist Attack Brief for this
lesson concerns the attacks on Rome and Vienna Airports.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to :
Appreciate standing of guerrilla warfare and terrorism within the Geneva Conventions
Understand the differences between peacetime terrorism and terrorism during war
Comprehend the standing of terrorism in war, peace and democracy
Recall the meaning of the words contained in the Lessons Keywords to Note table
Recall the basics facts concerning the attacks on Rome and Vienna Airports
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 21
Lesson 1. The Phenomenon of Terrorism
Section 1.1: Perceptions and History of Terrorism
Nothing, is terrible except fear itself
Francis Bacon; De Augmentis Scientiarum: Fortitudo (1623)
In the first decades of the 20
century, the popular perception of a terrorist was a caricature
of a bearded anarchist in a black hat and cloak, holding a small round bomb, who struck only
occasionally. Contrastingly, despite technological, social and scientific advances, by the end of the
century, the world had witnessed several new and horrifying forms of terrorism, some by the
State, such as genocides, collectivisation, purges, crimes against humanity and mass casualty
By the 1960s, the word terrorist had firmly replaced the word anarchist and by 1970, the
popular perception of the terrorist was an aircraft hijacker. Today, the terrorist is largely perceived
as an unknown, obscure and shadowy murderer, sometimes a religious fanatic, who sets off bombs
causing loss of life and great destruction in civilian population centres.
If contemporary terrorism is to be accurately and thoroughly understood in a clinical and
impartial fashion, it is necessary at the outset to dispel one current political myth: Islamic
fundamentalism in the context of terrorism is actually a misnomer, since a true Muslim who adheres
to the fundamental tenets of Islam views terrorism as a serious crime and a blasphemy. Islam not
only forbids the killing of women, children and unarmed or surrendered combatants, but also forbids
the destruction of buildings, even the felling of a tree, if it has a single green leaf on it.
Over one hundred thousand victims of terrorism in Algeria were of Muslim religion, and
several hundred thousand Muslim police officers and soldiers, from all over the world, are directly
engaged in fighting terrorism, and have taken substantial casualties in so doing.
Religion is much associated with terrorism in the world today. It is certainly a factor which
causes increased resentment between political protagonists, even if it is not overt.
Further clarification in connection with Islam and terrorism is required. The circumstances
of the bombing of the US World Trade Centre, the US Embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es
Salaam, the terrorist acts of 11
September 2001 and many other terrorist acts in the world, ranging
back several decades, in which some Muslims have been indicted or convicted reflect two facts:
Firstly, that some terrorist acts are committed by persons who incidentally happen to be
Muslims but their religion is not relevant to the terrorist act. Secondly, some Muslims commit
terrorist acts, misusing, distorting and projecting the name of Islam. This differentiation is not always
appreciated by some sectors of the media who tend to equate all terrorism by Muslims as so called
fundamentalist Islam and under the banner of Jehad (holy struggle or war). This is entirely
Yet other media sources automatically attribute Islam to any terrorists who happen to be
ethnic Arabs or of Middle East origin; a result of a widespread misconception that all Arabs are
Muslims. This is however, incorrect as national and ethnic Arab populations include Muslims, Jews
and Christians among their numbers (a likely situation, considering that these three great religions
were born in the Middle East). A large number of Israeli Jews are ethnic Arabs.
Other related widespread misconceptions are that Iranians or Persians are also Arabs, which
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 22
Osama bin Laden
The most hunted
terrorist in history
Hand Grenade
A popular terrorist weapon
following WWI. Within 2 yards (2
meters), the average grenade
has virtually a 100% kill rate, and
at 5 yards (5 meters) distance,
50% lethality
Courtesy: US Army
is incorrect and that anti-Semitism is hatred of Jews, when in
fact it is hatred for the many different Semitic races, including
Jews and Arabs. One of the results of these misconceptions has
been to wrongly simplify some conflicts and boil them down to
facile slogans such as Islam versus the West, and Islam =Jihad.
It is important to note a new turning point in religion
and terrorism. In 1998, a terrorist organisation was formed,
with a base in Afghanistan, which by its title and charter openly
professes to discriminate on grounds of religion; Al Jabhah al
Islamiya al Alamiyah li Quital al Yahud wal Salibiyyin (The
International Islamic Front to Fight Jews and Crusaders).
Osama bin Laden (leader of the related Al Qaida
network, formed in 1988) is a founding member of this group,
also formed in 1988, and is the chairman of its higher council.
He is the main architect behind the terrorist events of
September 2001 and several other major terrorist acts.
Following a very small number of unlawful attacks in
the US upon Muslims (in which an Indian Sikh was killed), in
retaliation for the terrorist strikes of 11
September 2001,
President Bush condemned such attacks and announced a new initiative in October 2001 called
Friendship Through Education, a consortium of groups expanding links between US students and
students in countries with Muslim populations.
In the Middle East conflict, there are several terrorist
groups, who happen to be comprised of Muslims that oppose
Israel. Doubtless, religious enmity exists to a degree, on a personal
basis, amongst some members on all sides of the dispute, as an
aggravating factor. However, the formal and stated standpoints of
the Middle East governments are that: The Israeli government does
not discriminate on religious grounds; this is a fact verified by the
many Muslim and Christian Israelis living freely within their
populations. In support of this fact, there were from 1985 until
1999, up to 10,000 Christians (mainly) and Muslims fighting in
their surrogate militia, the South Lebanese Army or SLA. The
Arabic countries surrounding Israel do not discriminate on
religious grounds; this is a fact verified by the many Jewish and
Christian citizens freely living within their populations.
Furthermore, their openly stated standpoint is that they do
not oppose Jews, only Zionists (most of whom they consider as
political extremists who coincidentally happen to be Jewish, and
some few, Christian).
The International Islamic Front to Fight Jews and
Crusaders, like the closely related Al Qaida network, is a
landmark departure from other Middle East groups of Christian,
Jewish or Muslim terrorists. This group is a fanatical, virulent and
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 23
The 99 names for God in Islam. The
Holy Quran forbids the killing of
innocent people: men, women,
children and unarmed combatants.
Terrorists who distort Islam to use as
a shield to kill innocent people are
committing a blasphemy against its
teachings and are rejected by devout
inflammatory new variant of terrorism, openly advocating religious hatred, rivalling the fanaticism
of contemporary Algerian and Egyptian terrorist groups. The threat from this new group is
considerable as its name implies. It is an integral part of the Al Qaida transnational terrorist network
Some proportion however, should be placed on the issue of Muslims and non-Muslims
committing terrorism.
Besides the many terrorist acts committed by Muslims mis-using a distorted banner of Islam,
in Algeria, Angola, Egypt, France, Kashmir, Kenya, India, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan,
Phillippines, South Africa, Syria, Tanzania, Turkey, Tunisia, United States, Yugoslavia (former) and
several other countries, terrorist acts committed by non-Muslims have been recorded in Angola,
Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Colombia, Cyprus, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany,
India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Greece, Lebanon, Mexico, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Northern Ireland,
Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Spain, Sudan, Sumatra, Turkey, Uganda,
United Kingdom, United States, Yugoslavia (former), Venezuela, and several other countries.
Specific terrorist incidents and groups are discussed in later chapters.
It should further be noted that the word often incorrectly attached to Islamic terrorism is
Jehad or Jihad (Arabic - from Juhd / Jehd - to make an effort or struggle).
The word means, by translation and theological tradition, a holy struggle, especially spiritual,
against evil, injustice or personal imperfection. It may be fulfilled in four ways; by using the heart,
tongue, hand or sword. In contemporary use, except by terrorists, it denotes an effort against
something either personally negative or detracting from the common social good, and is used mostly
as a last resort. There are many such Jehads. For example: A Jehad on litter in order to clean up an
area, or a Jihad on ones self when encountering difficulties achieving a personal goal, such as
studying. In simple terms, it can be considered as a self-motivating
effort to do some good, underpinned with prayer.
Misunderstanding or mis-use of the word Jehad by sections
of the media is not confined to the media. Several umbrella
Organisations, religious clerics and spiritual leaders, based in the
Middle East, western Asia, Africa and in and around the Indian sub-
continent constantly misuse the banners of Islam and Jehad in an
effort to legitimise terrorist actions.
This is especially so in relation to the Middle East dispute,
continuing since the 1948 war, in the Jammu & Kashmir dispute,
since 1947.
In reality, there are terrorists who belong, by birth, to all of
the major religions of the world. Many carry out terrorist acts without
any overt or covert religious motive or consciousness. Some carry
out terrorist acts and justify them by twisting their respective
religious doctrines, while others conceal religious intolerance with
other motives. A few of these terrorists and their religious clerics
have persuaded themselves that God has actually conferred upon
them, the right to punish and reward others, on a religious basis, as
they see fit. This punishment has been shown to include the ruthless
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 24
Christian Jewish Muslim Buddhist
(Armenian) (German) (Kosovan) (Sth. Vietnamese)
ANI (JE) / USHMM / E. Bardhi (AN) / US Army
and savage slaughtering of innocent men, women and children.
The conclusion we may draw from these points is that blame for the majority of terrorism
today can be attributed neither to the adherents to any single religion, but that a significant number
of the more outrageous terrorist acts may be attributed to a small number of terrorists, who are
entirely divorced from their own religion, who distort it, and use it as a convenient cover to try to
legitimise their actions in the popular mind.
Terrorists bear comparison with organised groups that extract funds from businesses in order
to provide the donor with protection from crime: In reality, they are gangsters who extort, and punish
those who refuse to pay.
The vast majority of adherents to the major faiths in the world are peaceful and law-abiding
citizens who follow religious doctrines that condemn terrorism; their inability to suppress terrorism
and belonging to the same religious group does not make them terrorists. To persistently expound
terrorism as a confederation with one or more of the major world religions is an exercise in
disinformation, perhaps for political reasons.
Its results however, are that it helps foment religious hatred and is counter-productive to
understanding and suppressing terrorism. In a long established multi-cultural Nation such as the
United States, it has an especially unhealthy and divisive effect - which is surely one of the
secondary [unstated] objectives of bin Ladin and Al Qaida.
Historically, terrorists as well as their victims are represented in many nationalities and
among all of the major religions of the world.
To perceive terrorism accurately, which is a pre-condition to combatting it effectively, it is
also very necessary to recognise that terrorism is not committed by any other single type of
demographic or social group, but by many diverse groups, sometimes by individuals, sometimes by
governments and sometimes by rogue officials while engaged on government service.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 25
British Troops in the former Yugoslavia
Once Ethnic Cleansing has begun, the only way to
arrest it is by use of absolute military force
It is carried out in many names besides
religion including politics, freedom, environment,
racial supremacy, animal rights, anti-abortion and
even for mystical and doomsday aims.
Terrorism is used by organised criminal
groups and drug-traffickers and is sometimes carried
out by Generals on the battlefield and occasionally
by the criminally-insane.
Terrorism and its motives are sometimes
concealed and it is necessary to appreciate that the
motive for a given terrorist act, whether declared by
the terrorists, government or by media, may not
always reflect the truth.
Terrorism is sometimes manifest in war
zones in a different guise, under the new name for
de-population, ethnic-cleansing.
Ethnic cleansing is often an operational
characteristic of genocide and these particular types
of terrorism are currently tried and punished under
the category of crimes against humanity or war
crimes and are not as yet, formally categorised as
If terrorism was in previous decades a
serious irritation, but not on a scale to seriously
disrupt society, it has now developed and assumed
more serious proportions. The nations of the world are struggling hard to arrive at a common
definition for terrorism after the events of 11th September 2001, which will help combat it, from a
legislative angle, and bond the anti-terrorism coalition.
Most terrorist acts are already indictable and punishable under existing national criminal law
or anti-terrorist legislation, but a critical first step in an international effort to suppress terrorism is
its unanimous definition. i.e. Before it can be eliminated, it must be agreed upon what it actually is.
In one sense this could, if unintentional, be partly in line with a terrorist objective; special
recognition for their cause and avoiding to be dealt with as common criminals.
Today terrorism is a well established part of life. From one point of view, it is a political
failure in the prevention of crime and maintenance of peace at national and international levels.
There are many arguable reasons for this. One is the massive upheaval caused by two World
Another reason is an inability (owed partly to the Cold War) and in some instances, an
unwillingness, to globally enforce democracy, justice and respect for human rights.
A further reason is the abuse and tyranny of dictators and leaders-for-life, who have seized
power in the absence of colonial and Cold War constraints.
Another often mentioned and instinctively convincing reason is the ever-continuing economic
crises and extreme poverty afflicting the majority of the population of the world, which daily creates
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 26
The Black hand crest
Emperor Franz Joseph
of Austria-Hungary
the gravest imaginable and most disgraceful human suffering. This is a breeding ground for the
discontent from which terrorism springs, especially as terrorists often exploit these extreme forms
of human suffering.
Terrorism in History
Even the bravest are frightened by sudden terrors
Tacitus; Annals. Bk. xv, sec. 59
Examples of terrorism may be found throughout the past
several thousand years, but the most notorious and savage terrorist
acts were committed during the twentieth century, due in part to the
advances of science and communications but mainly due to the
massive social and economic upheavals caused by two World Wars.
Much terrorism has occurred during wartime and terrorism
is sometimes attributed to having started wars: The Narodna
Odbrana (People's Defence), was a semi-secret Serbian nationalist
group, formed in October 1908 by ministers, generals and other
Serbs, after Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina.
From this group, Ujedinjenye ili Smrt (Union or Death), also
known as the Black Hand, evolved in May 1911 to continue
anti-Austrian activities.
On 5
June 1914, Jovan Jovanovic, the
Serbian Minister to Vienna, warned the Austrian
Minister of Finance, Dr. Leon von Belinski, that it
would be better if [Crown Prince] Franz Ferdinand
did not visit Sarajevo to accept the Governor's
invitation for inspecting army manoeuvres later in
the month, as some young Serb might put a live
rather than a blank cartridge in his gun and fire it.
This warning was either misunderstood or
not heeded.
On 28
June 1914, a member of the Serbian
Black Hand terrorist group threw a bomb at the
Crown Prince's car in Sarajevo, but it glanced off
the arm of the Crown Prince as he lunged sideways
to protect his wife, and continued travelling before
A fragment hit the Archduke's wife Sophie,
Duchess of Hohenburg, in the face and wounded
three persons in the car travelling behind (Count
Boos-Waldeck, Colonel von Merizzi, and Countess
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 27
The face that destroyed the old world:
Gavrilo Princip - the Serbian student whose two
shots triggered World War I, resulting in 8.5 million
dead and 37 million casualties. He shot Archduke
Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie von
Chathovato und Wogin, Duchess of Hohenburg, in
Sarajevo on 18
June 1914. The couple were being
driven in Sarajevo on an official visit and it was their
wedding anniversary. They were en route to a
hospital to visit members of their entourage who
were wounded earlier in the day with a bomb thrown
by the same terrorist group, the Black Hand. Princip
murdered them both by shooting the Archduke in the
neck and his wife Sophie, who was expecting a
child, in the stomach.
Courtesy: Bundespolizei Wien
A mandate to end wars and now,
Lanjus, the attendant of the Archduke's wife).
The Crown Prince was unharmed, but later in
the day, when his car halted after the driver had
taken a wrong turn, another member of the Black
Hand terrorist group, an armed student by the name
of Gavrilo Princip, saw the Crown Prince's car by
Princip stepped forward and fired two shots
with his revolver, killing Franz Ferdinand and his
wife Sophie.
Just over thirty days after the two shots were
fired, reactions to the assassinations, unmet
ultimatums, and implementation of binding political
treaties and informal defence pacts had resulted in
the outbreak of the First World War.
Emperor Franz-Joseph of Austria-Hungary
declared war on Serbia on 28th July 1914.
In a domino-like effect, the nations of Europe
reacted variously; honouring their defence treaties,
aiding their peacetime allies, acting in national
interests, but all entering the war.
Four years later 8.5 million men were dead
and 16 million wounded, with a total of 37 million
casualties of all categories.
Terrorism and war are often linked. War
(more specifically its antithesis, the maintenance of
Peace) is the primary concern of the United Nations
(UN), especially since war claimed more than 100
million lives in the 20th Century.
The United Nations is very concerned with
the issue of peace between nations: the stated
primary goal of the UN is to end, what it termed in
1945, a s t he
scourge of war, and now in light of increasing and unprecedented
terrorist outrages, like the events of 11
September 2001, that goal
logically includes the suppression of terrorism.
It is only as strong, united and effective however, as the
member states that it consists of.
Moreover, an organisation with over 170 members will
naturally not be as resolute or prompt, initially, as a single nation,
since there are that many more partners.
Sometimes, depending upon the issue, member states of the
UN have entirely differing priorities, interpretations and agendas.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 28
Hashish (Cannabis Sativa)
Used ritually by the Hashisheen (Assassins)
Vlad Tepes Dracula
There is therefore, no instant solution to
terrorism, simply by referring it to the United Nations.
It is however in principle, the most neutral platform
from which to launch a united front against terrorism.
It is important to note the historical development
of terrorism. This is necessary in order to measure and
compare its current intensity and forms, see the roots
from which it sprang, and understand something of how
and why it has endured down the centuries.
Some of the more notable examples of terrorism
throughout history have been recorded as follows:
Terrorism was used by the ancient Greeks
against the Persians as a military tactic to
demoralise the enemy, prior to conventional
The Roman emperors Tiberius (AD 14-37) and Caligula (AD 37-41) used many forms of
violent terrorism against their own populations in order to maintain domestic oppression.
A different type of terrorism also occurred in the first century against the Roman occupation
of Judea, carried out by the Sicarii (dagger men), an element of the Zealot religious sect.
They assassinated prominent Romans and Jews who co-operated with Roman rule.
The Hashasheen (from whence the word assassin is derived), were a cult of terrorist assassins
founded by Hassan Sabbah and located in the Alamut mountains in northern Iran.
They ritually used hashish, carrying out
terrorist-style assassinations of Christian and
Muslim leaders during the crusader era between
1090 and 1256, to achieve politico-religious goals.
The Guelphs and Ghibellines (political sects
named after two princely Germanic houses and
their estates) resorted to terrorism in ancient Italy
during the 12th to 15th centuries, in a protracted
politico-religious struggle for the throne of the holy
Roman empire.
Terrorism by ritual killing and cannibalism of their
old and sick people, was engaged in by an early
religious sect called Bindewurs who worshipped
the god Kali in central India.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 29
Vlad Tepes (Dracula) dines while his men
dismember and impale. A medival French woodcut
Witch Killings
One of 100,000. A 1555 Derneburg (Harz) woodcut
A Muntenian prince, Vlad Tepes (the
impaler) Dracula, 1431-1476, used terrorism
against invading Ottoman Turkish armies.
Although impaling was not uncommon in
that period, Vlad Tepes had 20,000 Turkish
prisoners-of-war impaled on wooden posts,
along the Danube river, leaving them to rot
and deter Ottoman Turkish armies.
He also used terror for domestic oppression;
a third of the 100,000 deaths for which he
was responsible, were of his own population
of Wallachia, in present-day Romania.
The Aztecs, an ancient empire in Mexico
(conquered in 1519), terrorised large
numbers of their population over the
millennia, by annually killing thousands, in
religious sacrifice which sometimes
included ritual cannibalism.
A protracted episode of terrorism for reasons
of religion and gender, known as the
witch-craze, occurred in Europe from about
the middle of the 11th century to the end of
the 17
century. With religious sanction and sponsorship, approximately 100,000 European women
(and some few men, male witches being
termed warlocks) were accused of
witchcraft, tortured and publicly murdered,
mostly by burning but also by drowning
and hanging.
Witchcraft accusations could be brought by
anyone, and subsequent witch trials were
based upon so called witness evidence of
supernatural phenomena such as: humans
changing into animals, or flying; signs of
possession, such as wild convulsions in
humans and animals; blights, such as
sudden deaths of humans and livestock,
and failing crops.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 30
The Inquisition
A woman hanged, accused of consorting with Demons. From:
Rappresentione della passione. Florence 1520
Tests for witches sometimes included the
water test: If guilty, the victim would
float, if innocent, the victim would sink
(and drown).
It is a fact that the major sites of witchcraft
phenomena, trials and executions in
Europe, occurred in the major Rye
producing areas of the period. Made
possible by the suitable climatic
conditions, which prevailed in those ages,
there is strong evidence to suggest that
Ergot mould (Claviceps Purpurea)
contaminated the Rye which was used by
bakers to bake bread. It was then
consumed in one form or another by
humans and livestock.
It now seems reasonable that the failing
crops, dead humans and animals, and convulsions, that were viewed at the time as so called
supernatural phenomena, can safely be attributed to the effects of consuming Ergot from the
contaminated Rye (Ergot survives the baking process). Ergot has the effects of producing severe
convulsions (possession), vivid hallucinations (supernatural phenomena), and dead humans and
animals (gangrene is generated if a potent amount is ingested).
Under warm and damp climatic conditions (present in mediaeval Europe), Rye (and other grains and
some wild grasses, to a lesser extent) crops fail to varying extents when attacked by Ergot mould.
The same climatic and crop-growing conditions were apparently present in the English Puritan
colony at Salem, Massachusetts, New England, US, during the witch trials of 1692.
In Salem, now synonymous with witchcraft, about 150 villagers were arrested, of which fourteen
women and five men were subsequently hanged for witchcraft. One man was pressed to death in a
field, for refusing to cooperate with the court.
Outbreaks of Ergot poisoning last occurred at a village in Russia in the 1920s and in a village in
France during the 1950s. LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethlamide), a synthetic drug, was derived from
Ergot mould and thereby invented in 1938 by Albert Hoffman, a Swiss Scientist.
Further notable forms of terrorism related to religion were mediaeval judicial institutions called
Inquisitions, established by the Pope in Europe to detect, judge and sentence those guilty of heresy
(infidelity towards official religious theory).
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 31
The Consistere
Dominican Monks burnt at the stake, accused of signing a
pact with the Devil. From: Histoire veritable de quatre
lacopins, Geneva 1549
KALI (Bhivani)
The inquisitions were responsible for the
killings of many thousands of victims. From
1478 to 1834 the Spanish Inquisition sought to
cleanse Catholicism from those perceived as
unfaithful or insincerely converted to
Christianity by coercion or social pressure.
The victims were initially Jews (subsequently
termed as Conversos or insultingly as
Marranos, after approximately 50,000 were
forcibly converted to Catholicism, rather than
face expulsion or death); after 1502 included
former Muslims, and during the 1520s,
suspected Protestants.
The Spanish Inquisition was run largely by
Dominican church officers. The notorious first
Grand Inquisitor, Tomas de Torquemada,
ordered the execution of many thousands of
suspected heretics and the torture and maiming
during interrogation of many more thousands, some in Peru and Mexico.
At one point in time, the Spanish Inquisition convened and condemned to death the entire population
of the Netherlands (Holland).
Protestant institutions engaged in Terrorism, an example being the Consistory (Latin:
Consistere; to stand together) in Geneva at the time of the French Protestant reformer John
In the East, the Thuggee or Thagi (from whence the
word Thug derives) cult in northern India, worshipped
and offered human sacrifices to Kali (in the form of
Bhivani), a destructive Indian Goddess of time or
darkness. The cult is first mentioned in historical
records in the 13
century, when 1000 cult members
were brought before the Sultan of Delhi.
The Thugs terrorised parts of several Indian Princely
States, carrying out random ritual murder, especially
of travellers, by strangulation and sometimes
poisoning, with immunity under religious law, until
suppressed by British colonial powers in 1829.
British colonial authorities recorded an estimated
40,000 ritual Thuggee murders in the year 1812 alone.
A notorious Thuggee member named Rumzam led
gangs of 30 to 40 that carried out 80 to 90 ritual
murders each year.
Probably the most notorious member was Thuggee
leader Buhram, who ritually killed 931 victims during
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 32
La Terreur
Aristocrats await execution in a dungeon. Inset: Victim
being placed on guillotine. Inventor Dr. Joseph-Horace
Guillotin (right)
Courtesy: Federal. & Islamic Rep. Comoros
Viking Helmet
British Museum
a 40 year period in the Uttar Pradesh region
(now State).
Between 1830 and 1848, British Colonial
authorities tried and convicted 4,500 Thugee cult
members, of which 110 were executed for
murder. Estimates of the total number of victims
vary radically among historians, between several
hundred thousand up to several million victims
in the 500 years of the Thuggee cults recorded
La Terreur (Fr.) refers to a period during
the French Revolution, (between April
1792 and January 1794). In August
1792, 600 Swiss guards were hacked to
death by the mob who between 2
September 1792, murdered and
mutilated 1000 inmates of Paris jails (including 100 Priests). During La Terreur, 250,000
people were arrested, 17,000 were tried and guillotined, 12,000 were executed without trial,
thousands more died in jail, with a total of 40,000 deaths attributed to the Revolutionary
government. 1200 enemies of the people (political prisoners) were publicly guillotined.
The modern usage of the word terrorism derives from the word La Terreur, a 14
French word, widely used in revolutionary France and Europe to describe the events.
Piracy goes back almost to the first use of vessels. In his youth, Julius Csar was abducted
from a ship travelling to Rhodes; he was held for five weeks by the pirates, until the ransom
was paid. Csar later tracked down the pirates and crucified them.
Piracy occurred in ancient Greece as well as Ancient Rome. In
century Europe, Saxon pirates from the Baltic Sea terrorised
coasts and shipping, eventually compelling Englands Roman
rulers to strengthen their fleet and fortify the Eastern coast.
During the same period, Chinese pirates combined sea robbery
with local warfare. Japan and China often acted together to
suppress them.
In the 9
century, Viking (Scandinavian) raiders struck terror
into the people of northern Europe, plundering, murdering and
raping on ships they captured, and wherever they landed. Piracy
continued down the centuries, two notable periods being those
of the Barbary Corsairs and later, the Buccaneers.
The Barbary Corsairs sailed at the time of the Crusades and
were Muslim Arabs from the Barbary Coast (southern coast of
the Mediterranean Sea, so named after Barbarians, the term that
Christians used for their Muslim opponents), having occupied
it since the 7
century. They terrorised the Mediterranean Sea,
raiding ships from Venice and Genoa for prisoners to sell as
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 33
HMS Aurora (centre) attacked in 1812 by armed pirates
National Maritime Museum
The notorious Edward Teach
National Maritime Museum
slaves, as well as attacking ships bound for the
crusades. Responses to this were various: some
countries made treaties with the Corsairs, while
others responded in kind, an example being the
Corsairs of Malta, a Christian version of the
Barbary Corsairs.
From the 11
century, privateers generally came
into existence, although the French Corsairs had
existed since the 9
century to counter-attack
Viking raiders. Privateers were privately owned
ships and crews, contracted by various monarchs
in Europe, to harass their enemies of the time.
Looting enemy ships was an acceptable part of
operations. Privateers were authorised by Letters
of Marque, and the booty was often divided
between employers and Privateers. Frequently, Privateers attacked not just enemy ships, but any
cargo ships, in search of booty. During the 16
and 17
centuries, British, French and other
Privateers plundered Spanish ships, loaded with fabulous amounts of treasure (vast quantities of
gold, silver and jewels) being brought back from North and South America (Spains empire in the
New World, known as the Spanish Main), which itself had been looted from the Aztec and Inca
nations of Mexico and Peru.
In order to end the chaos of Privateering raids in the
Carribean, King James 1
of England withdrew all Letters
of Marque. This resulted in disaster and soon after, crews
of lawless Buccaneers replaced the Privateers. Buccaneers
were originally hunters from the island of Hispaniola
(present day Dominican Republic and Haiti), who had
banded together when the Spanish had tried to drive them
The Buccaneers terrorised the Carribean, and some, when
the pickings became leaner, moved on to terrorise the
Indian Ocean, terrorising and looting the treasure fleets of
the Indian Moghuls and the British, French and Dutch
East India companies. They acquired fantastic wealth.
Following American independence, war broke out again
between the US and Great Britain in 1812, whereupon the
US again used privateers, although not so effectively as
when they had secured their nations freedom. One
notable Privateer of this conflict was Jean Lafitte. Lafitte
was a pirate, privateer, smuggler and slaver, born in Haiti
(formerly known as Hispaniola). With his brother Pierre,
he ran an organised criminal gang that provided about
10% of the jobs in New Orleans at the turn of the 19
century. Lafitte earned a pardon by defending New
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 34
Port Royal Jamaica, 1841
A lawless pirate stronghold, where Buccaneers rested, re-supplied and
re-fitted their ships between terrorising the Caribbean
National Maritime Museum
Four Buccaneers Flags
Rackham, Tew, Wynne, Avery
Orleans from attack during the war of
The Buccaneers are the most notable
of the pirates who terrorised and
looted shipping down the centuries,
also the bloodiest and the richest.
An example of the fabulous wealth
occasionally offered by piracy,
occurred in 1693, when Thomas Tew
(born in present day North America),
raided a ship in the Indian Ocean.
Each member of the crew received a
share of 3000 (approximately
US$4500), which by the standards and
values of that time, made them the
equivalent of instant millionaires (a
Navy seamans pay was 1 per month at that time).
Buccaneers tried to condition other users of the oceans into surrendering on sight, by brutally
torturing and murdering crew and passengers who showed the slightest signs of evasion or resistence.
An example of this terror was that when their victims tried to sail away from them, pursuing pirates
took down their black flag (Jolly Roger*), and ran up a plain red flag:
This struck certain terror into their victims, as it signified that all on board would die. Some pirates
routinely tortured and murdered their prisoners, even if they surrendered immediately.
[* A Jolly Roger is from the French Jolie Rouge meaning pretty red (flag.) Each Jolly Rogers
design was different, but usually had a theme of death, signified by a skull and bones, and time to
surrender running out, signified by an hour glass, sometimes with wings].
Notable Buccaneers of these eras were: Edward
Low; Bartholomew Roberts (Black Bart);
Charlotte de Berry; Christopher Moody; Henry
Avery; Edward Teach (Blackbeard); Francis
lOllonais; Anne Bonny; Edward England;
Stede Bonnet; Howell Davis; Roche Braziliano;
Bartholomew Portugues; Mary Read; Sir Henry
Morgan; Charles Vane; Alvida; Ching Shih (a
Chinese female pirate in the early 19
with 1800 ships and 80,000 pirates), and Jack
Rackham (Calico Jack).
Nearly 5000 years of traditional piracy was
brought to an end in the 19
century. In 1856,
most maritime nations signed a treaty (the
Declaration of Paris), banning Letters of Marque
and navy steam ships quickly finished off
pirates, especially on windless days.
Few of those caught were imprisoned,
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 35
HMS Frolic driving a pirate slave ship onto the shore, 1800s
National Maritime Museum
A starving Armenian mother and child
flee the genocide in Ottoman Turkey
ANI / A. Wegner / S. Stevens
most were hanged. In England, pirates were
left hanging from a gibbet to deter others, and
encased in a close-fitting iron frame to
prevent relatives and friends from taking them
down. This frequently occurred beside the sea,
since Admiralty law required that they be
washed three times by the tide. By 1850,
only a few pirate ships were left.
Modern pirates in the far east commit acts of
piracy using powerful and modern boats, but
the principle has changed - the objective is
instant wealth, with little or no care for the
bloody terror that the Buccaneers and pirates
of the Spanish Main and Carribean are
remembered for.
King Leopold II of Belgium terrorised the Congo for a twenty year period from 1888,
draining the Congo of ivory and wild rubber. He enslaved the local population as a workforce
by coercion through the hostage-taking of their family-members. He is accused of being
responsible for the deaths of 10 million Congolese people and for draining resources from
the Congo of 1.76 billion US Dollars (at todays value)
In the former Ottoman empire between 1890 and 1921,
approximately one million Turkish Armenians were
massacred by different ethnic inhabitants and soldiers,
sanctioned by government authorities, in retaliation
Firstly, politico-religious interference by several
foreign powers;
Secondly, due to a very small number of Turkish
Armenians aligning with enemy forces during the First
World War (when Armenia was a battlefield between
Czarist and Ottoman armies);
Thirdly, due to a very small number of Turkish
Armenians aligning with Greece during the Greco-
Turkish War;
Fourthly, Armenian resistance to Kurdish aggression
and attempts to depopulate them
One of the most politically strong and affluent terrorist
groups existed in the late 19
century in Czarist
Russia. It was called the Narodnaya Volya (free
nation); a group of upper-class revolutionaries, who
assassinated Czar Alexander II in 1881
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 36
The Communist figurehead and Father
of the Revolution.
Expelled from University as a trouble
maker and exiled, he later qualified as
a lawyer and turned to bank robbery to
fund his revolutionary activities. His
brother was convicted and executed
for bomb offences and planning to
assassinate the Czar
Early Twentieth Century Terrorism
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself
F. D. Roosevelt, former US President; First inaugural address, 4
March 1933
The 20
Century witnessed the most intense and savage
terrorism in the history of mankind.
During the Russian Revolution (begun in 1905, but fully
established in 1917), the Bolshevik Political Party regularly
engaged in acts of terrorism in the form of bombing,
assassinations and atrocities against the Czars Army, selected
political targets and other civilians, in the name of freedom
from oppression, and in order to implement a new, untried
political system called communism.
Communism was commissioned in the 1840s and
authored by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in 1848. It was
ostensibly a system to ensure even and communal distribution
of work and wealth.
A landmark beginning in Bolshevik (communist)
terrorism, on the signed orders of Lenin, was the murder of
Czar Nicolas II and his immediate family, including his wife the
Czarina, his son, four daughters and some faithful retainers.
This was done in a cellar at Ekaterinburg, in the eastern
foothills of the central Urals in 1918.
Subsequently, the longest-sustained and greatest
terrorism in the history of the world (in terms of numerical
murders and widespread suffering), began under the regimes of
a political dissident and bank robber named Vladimir Ilich
Lenin (real name Vladimir Ilich Uljanov) and later, a convicted Georgian criminal named Josef
Stalin (man of steel) whose real name was Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, for reasons variously
attributed to insanity (psychopathy), paranoia and sadism.
The civil war lasted from 1918 to 1921 and the period was known as the Red Terror,
referring to the arbitrary political arrests, imprisonments and executions (murders) that took place.
The Red Terror was orchestrated mainly by Lenin, in what was called the Russian Soviet
Federated Socialist Republic [RSFSR], in later years to be re-named again to the USSR (Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics).
Lenin was the communist statess figurehead and Bolshevik-Soviet propaganda cultivated
this image.
In reality, Lenin was renowned among his peers for having a vile temperament, legendary
intolerance (whereby he would vocally condemn any disagreement as treachery and treason), and a
taste for violence: He personally authored such documents as How to Kill a Police Officer.
Lenins brother was convicted and hanged in 1887, for terrorism offences involving bombs,
and planning to assassinate the Czar.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 37
Czar Nicolas II and his family
During the prelude to the revolution, Lenin was
expelled from Kazan University as a radical trouble-
maker and exiled to his grandfathers estate, but
eventually qualified as a lawyer in 1891.
Lenin turned to criminal activity, including
bank robbery, in order to raise funds for his political
Stalin was at that time a messenger for Lenin,
smuggling political leaflets into Russia for him, after
he had fled the country.
Possessing the funds to do so, Lenin exiled
himself in a variety of countries, including
Switzerland, where he was located during the famous
storming of the Czars winter palace, despite Soviet
propaganda, which portrayed a more heroic and
dramatic role for him at the head of the revolution, on
the ground.
Stalin, during the Czars reign, had been
medically rejected for the army (ironically, he was told
by one of the three Army examining medical officers,
that he had the marks of the devil) and had also
gained a criminal record for political offences.
Lenins Red Terror (1918-1921) set the stage for the later reign of terror carried out by Stalin
until his death in 1953.
Stalin was initially helped on the path to power by a variety of Bolsheviks, including Lenin
(who died in 1924) and once his position was secured, a multitude of others in government positions
of great power (and of several different nationalities), helped him to maintain his position and
develop party control over the populace.
Notably, a significant number of these immediate post-
revolution officials and politicians (that formally governed the
country) were foreigners, had never before been to Russia, and
were unable to speak the Russian language.
Stalins reign of terror included Bolshevik post-
revolutionary purges, followed by forced re-locations of
populations who were unequipped and ill-suited to survive
their new environments. Stalins oppression also included
collectivisation, in addition to a notorious political purge (in
which one million were killed), known popularly as the Great
Terror or the Great Purge, which lasted from 1936 to 1938.
Collectivisation was a purge of the agricultural
communities, carried out by arresting and imprisoning
independent farmers (Kulaks), confiscating and
communalising their farms and crop-harvests.
As a consequence, the Soviets agricultural capability
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 38
Imperial Japanese soldier about to
behead a young Chinese boy at Nanking,
China 1937
predictably fell apart causing a great number of deaths.
Concerning the Russian Bolshevik revolution and subsequent events, the former UK Prime
Minister, Winston Churchill once said:
Of all tyrannies in history, the Bolshevik tyranny is the worst, the most destructive and the
most degrading.
Historical estimates attribute between 20 and 30 million Russian citizens as having died as
a result of this terror. Millions of people were arrested for so called political crimes or counter
revolutionary attitudes, and deported to a chain of concentration camps (forced labour
camps/political prisons) built in the 1930s.
These chains of concentration camps were located mainly in Siberia and the far north, and
were known as the Gulag (a Russian acronym for the Main Directorate for Corrective Labour
Camps) Archipelago.
Stalins victims included:
Potential dissidents
Purge victims
Polish & Baltic populations in Nazi-annexed territories
Potentially disloyal ethnic foreigners such as Volga Germans
Prisoners of war and Russians who fought on the Axis side
Loyal Soviet soldiers returning from Axis captivity
Possibly the most brutally cruel episode of genocidal
terror in world history occurred in China during late 1937.
On 13
December, the Imperial Japanese Army
(which ceased to exist in 1945, upon the emergence of a new
and democratic Japan) stormed the city of Nanking, during
a ruthless war of conquest through south east Asia.
During a six week period, the Imperial Japanese
Army killed an estimated 300,000 Chinese people and raped
approximately 20,000 of the women, many of them infants
and the very old, including nuns. This all took place against
a background of large scale theft, looting and arson.
The figure of 300,000 was confirmed in writing by
Japanese Foreign Minister Hirota Koki to the Imperial
Japanese Embassy in Washington in 1938.
Simultaneously, an effective large scale propaganda
and psychological warfare campaign was launched, that
included careful distribution of select photos, portraying the
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 39
Imperial Japanese Soldiers bayoneting
civilians to death at Nanking, China, 1937
Imperial Japanese officer about to
murder US Air Force Prisoner-of-War,
after Imperial Japans surrender on 2nd
September 1945, even as the war
crimes trials were being prepared
Courtesy: CND
Imperial Japanese Army as humane and caring benefactors towards their Chinese wards.
Nanking was among the worst, but not the only area where the Imperial Japanese army
carried out massacres and atrocities during this period.
As the Imperial army murdered, raped and sacked upon whim, working its way down through
Asia in a medival-style conquest, similar events to Nanking also occurred at:
Bangkok Canton
Changchun Hailar
Harbin Mukden
Peking Rangoon
Singapore Shanghai
See Annex P for photographic evidence of Chinese and Asian Genocide
Many photographs of torture and savagery were taken
at the time by Imperial Japanese soldiers and others,
surviving to become evidence in later war crimes trials.
Some of the victims were beheaded. Others were
murdered by freezing them to death while others were shot
in groups and thrown in the Yangtze river.
Yet others were variously: buried alive; burned alive;
used for live target practice and bayonet practice (an
a t r o c i t y a l s o
committed later
agai nst Br i t i sh
Indian Army Sikh
troops in WWII);
some had their eyes
and living hearts
torn out.
Many others
were murdered by
compelled suicide and in so called killing games, involving
the use of gasoline and acid.
There were cases of pregnant women being cut open and
indescribable events following.
A foreign (US) Missionary who was at Nanking and
witnessed many events, James McCallum, wrote on 9
January 1938:
Some newspaper men came to the entrance of a
concentration camp and distributed cakes and apples, and
handed out a few coins to the refugees.
And a moving picture [movie] was taken of this kind of
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 40
UN International War Crimes trials for Asia, Manilla 1946
Courtesy: US Army
The Nazi leader
act. At the same time, a bunch of [Japanese]
soldiers climbed over the back wall of the
compound and raped a dozen or so of the
[Chinese] women. There were no pictures
taken out back.
The Imperial Japanese Army continued to
commit savage cruelties in the Asian countries
that it invaded and occupied, until the total
surrender of the Axis forces (Nazi Germany,
Imperial Japan, Italy, and minor allies) at
different periods in 1945.
After surrender, 28 soldiers (Category B
and C war criminals) were tried specifically for
the Nanking crimes.
Of these, 25 were convicted as two died
and another went insane while the trials were
in session. Of the remainder, seven were
hanged, sixteen were imprisoned for life and two received lesser sentences. All those imprisoned
however, were released on parole after eight years.
At the overall WWII Asian war crimes trials, seven Class A and 1068 Class B and C Imperial
Japanese war criminals were executed after being tried, convicted and sentenced for war crimes.
Members of the top secret Unit 731, carried out a biological and chemical warfare campaign in
China during the late 1930s and early 1940s, dropping plague from aeroplanes and experimenting
upon Chinese, Korean and White Russian Prisoners. Unit 731 members were not prosecuted for war
crimes. According to media, they were recruited for their
knowledge, as part of the Cold War fight against the Soviets.
Nearly 60 years ago now, just after the war crimes trials
ended and before Imperialism was largely laid to rest in the new
post-war Japan, a monument was erected for the war criminals
that were convicted and punished. The Japanese prime minister
of that time officiated at the opening ceremony for the placing
of the Monument which is inscribed:
The Memorial Tablet for 1068 Heroes who died for their
Nation in the great East Asia War.
The next greatest act of genocidal terrorism (in numerical
terms) in history, after the Soviet episodes, is sometimes referred
to as the Holocaust.
It was a calculated, partly confused programme of conquest,
racial hatred, genocidal terror, oppression and occultism, carried
out by members of the NSDAP (Nazi regime,
(Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei or National
Socialist German Workers Party), led by Adolf Hitler since July
1921.The objectives of the NSDAP or Nazi Reich (empire)
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 41
SA man (brownshirt) coerces boycott of
Jewish store. After the SA wrested control of
the streets from the communists in the early
1930s, the Nazis intensified their ruthless
persecution of the Jewish race

Courtesy: US National Archives
The Nazi Reichstag or seat of government
All the trappings of a sovereign state could not conceal
the savage dictatorship and complete absence of
democracy. Homage and loyalty was paid to Hitler not the
State, then the two became politically inseparable
Courtesy: US Army
were to: completely destroy Judaism and Jews; conquer
the world; harness its natural resources and enslave
populations to service this new world order, based upon so
called Aryan biological and ethnic supremacy; in short, a
new world religion, in which the Christian cross was to be
replaced by the Nazi swastika (fylfot or hakenkreutz), and
controlled by a race of so called supermen.
Originally rooted in a different, far larger political
party of first world war veterans, the relatively small
NSDAP evolved and ascended to power in 1933 by an
almost miraculous combination of guile, force, fate,
manipulation and a political manifesto that pledged relief
of widespread suffering and resentment attributed to the
crippling terms of the Versailles Treaty (the surrender
terms imposed upon the Germans at the conclusion of the
First World War). Its manifesto also sought to provide a
degree of psychological relief and reckoning, amidst the
post war plight, economic ruin and loss of national pride,
in the form of invented scapegoats: Political leaders and
the Jewish race.
The steering committee of the NSDAP included a
secret party within a party, consisting of members of
several occult groups such as the Germanen Orden, Thulle
Gesellschaft and Vril Society, who influenced, groomed
and moulded Hitler, sharing his long term and unswerving dedication, firstly to occultism in the form
of so-called demonic worship and secondly, a
quest for linking the ancient [as yet
unsubstantiated, perhaps mythical] civilisation
of Atlantis [as recorded by Plato] and the Aryan
race, to Germanic culture. One member of this
circle was Professor Dr. (and Army General)
Karl Haushofer, inventor of the science of Geo-
politics. Some members of these groups were
later to help form the Nazi occult research
organisations, the [SS] Ahnenerbe (Research &
Teaching Society) and the [SS] Stiftung
(Ancestral Research Unit).
Following service in the WWI trenches,
Hitler formulated his politico-racial doctrines
based upon his occult pursuits. He also
experimented with mind expanding
amphetamines along the Donau (Danube) river
at Wachau, Austria (using Peyote or Mescaline,
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 42
Hitler in Paris
France was overrun and occupied in a new
type of warfare: Blitzkrieg (meaning lightning

Courtesy: US Army
London and other major cities were
heavily bombed by Nazi aircraft, V-1
and V-2 rockets (V meaning
vergeltungswaffen or vengeance
weapons), but the island endured.
Great Britain became a fortress from
which British Empire, US and other
allied forces prosecuted an all out war
of untold cost, to rid the free world of
Hitlers shadow
Courtesy: US Army
obtained from the tip of the Mexican cactus).
None of these activities were revealed or
propagated amongst the Nazi rank and file; any suspicions
were allayed under a cloak of historical Germanic
The NSDAP fielded a semi-legal, paramilitary force
in uniform consisting largely of thugs, misfits and former
criminals. It was called the Sturmabteilung (SA, Storm
troops or brown-shirts) and it battled communists to take
control of the streets, then began imposing Nazi dogma,
terrorising Jews and indirectly forcing emigration of
German Jews.
Democracy and popular dissent was systematically
and violently suppressed by the NSDAP, first in Germany
and later in the countries on several continents that the
regime subsequently invaded with an unprovoked, highly
aggressive and predatory form of warfare known as
Blitzkrieg or Lightning War.
Estimates vary in that between four and a half to six
million innocent men,
women and children,
mainly Jews, were
terrorised and murdered by the Nazis.
An elite bodyguard section of the SA, the SS or
Schutzstaffel (Guard or protection detachment) grew into a
large and independent organisation, with twelve central
branches, and eventually enveloped the complicated national
security police system and had its own armed military
formations, the Waffen (armed) SS. The Waffen SS (100,000
men in 1940, and by 1945, 40 divisions, totalling 580,000 men)
conducted ruthless and unprovoked warfare alongside the other
regular German armed forces (Wehrmacht), and committed a
number of terrorist-style atrocities in occupied countries and
combat zones, including the massacre of allied prisoners of
war, and brutal war crimes against civilians.
The SS Totenkopf Verbnde (Deaths head echelon)
and RSHAs (Reich central security office) economic
administration main office [WVHA] were responsible to run
the concentration and death camps.
Foreign divisions of the Waffen SS carried out further
atrocities in different European theatres of the war, including
inside their own Nazi-occupied countries, an example being in
the former Yugoslavia.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 43
Planning genocide
Himmler (left), a former chicken farmer and head of the
SS, dining at Krakow castle with Hans Frank, Nazi
Governor General of occupied Poland
Courtesy: USHMM
Over a million Yugoslavs were killed in the war, a not insignificant number of those by
Croatian (Muslim) volunteers, serving in the Waffen SS divisions: Croatische and Handschar.
[note: This is one of several historical reasons behind the extreme hatred shown one another by the
protagonists in the former Yugoslavia conflicts, during the 1990s].
Besides the approximate 55 million people who were killed during the war in general
hostilities, the Nazis selected special victims.
Many of these victims were systematically dispossessed of their property, de-populated and
conveyed to concentration camps.
Starvation was not uncommon and medical facilities poor or non-existent for inmates.
Sadistic cruelty was commonplace and murder of inmates was frequently carried out casually, upon
whim by the Nazis, sometimes in perverse amusement.
The vast majority of these victims were Jewish people, but also included the following:
Polish nationals Trade Unionists Freemasons Gypsies
Handicapped people Soviet Prisoners of War The incurably ill Homosexuals
Political dissidents (serious disloyalty or treason) Certain types of ethnic Slavs
Religious dissidents, including Nuns and Priests Habitual and dangerous criminals
Large numbers of inmates were deployed as forced labour, not uncommonly resulting in death
from exhaustion, starvation and illness.
Once the formal decision for dedicated genocide had been taken (largely decided at a meeting
at Grossen Wannsee, Berlin on 20
January 1942), death camps were fully established, and a
systematic production-line genocide formally began.
Especially victimised were Jews, Polish
nationals and gypsies, who were murdered in a
variety of barbaric fashions, including by poison-
gas, then cremated or thrown into mass burial
Some inmates died as the result of so-
called scientific experiments, often carried out
without anaesthetic. Some of these experiments
concerned research into dangers and effects of
combat, and were carried out by Doctors from
several organisations, including the Nazi Air
Force (Luftwaffe).
A wider and larger range of experiments
concerning pseudo-genetics were carried out
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 44
Carpathian Jews arriving in Auschwitz 1944, many of whom
were shortly to be herded to their murder in gas chambers or
The Desert Fox
Rommel with his Afrika Korps in the western desert
Courtesy: US Army
mainly by SS Doctors who were later in the
war to come under a new institute (the
Institute for Military Scientific Research)
but which was attached to the [SS]
Despite a smaller number of deaths
compared to the Stalinist reign of terror, the
NSDAP episode is popularly perceived as
the greatest terrorist act in history.
It qualifies for this notoriety largely
for its calculated descent into savage
barbarism, carried out in later stages on a
commercial basis in order to yield a profit
from each death.
In some death camps, individual
cadavers were processed by production-line
During these later stages of the war,
an entire economy was generated from
genocide through the confiscation and sale of assets and personal property such as clothes, jewellery,
gold and silver tooth fillings removed from cadavers and sometimes by producing agricultural
fertiliser and soap from human remains. In the Buchenwald camp, two shrunken heads were found
and held as exhibits for the war crimes trials at Nuremberg.
Although Hitler legally rose to power, there was significant resistance to his Nazi Party.
Hitler survived several attempts on his life by a number of small resistance movements in
Germany, spanning from the early 1930s up to his death, which included two notable Wehrmacht
(Army) Officers with some degree of
Field Marshall Erwin Rommel
Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg
Rommel, a Field Marshall respected by both
sides as a master tactician, fell victim to a more
secular terrorism on Hitlers part, by being
forced to commit suicide in exchange for his
familys well-being.
Between 1933 and 1945, nearly three
thousand members of the German resistance
movement were murdered at the Nazi
execution site in Pltzensee, where they were
hanged or ritually beheaded.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 45
British Prime Minister Churchill
test fires a sub machine gun in
The Nazis initiated a highly aggressive,
predatory, and unprovoked war of
conquest, in addition to launching a
genocide programme
Germany became free from the Nazi regime in 1945 upon the
military defeat of its NSDAP-controlled government and armed
forces, which followed Hitlers suicide.
This was followed by allied occupation, a de-Nazification
campaign and the hunting down of war criminals.
War crimes trials were conducted at Nuremberg in Germany,
by the Allied forces, in the form of International Military Tribunals.
These were established following on from discussions held
in London in October 1943, that established the United Nations
War Crimes Commission, which then first met formally in January
This led to an international agreement for the trials, reached
in London in 1945, and agreed to by 23 nations.
In these trials, officials from the various organisations of the
NSDAP regime were found guilty and imprisoned or sentenced to
death and hanged, for a variety of crimes, all part of a predatory war
that the Nazis initiated and which resulted in a total of 55 million
people being killed.
The Moscow Declaration of 1943 and the Potsdam
declaration of 1945, had dealt with the punishment that was to be
meted out to German and Japanese War Criminals at the trials.
Also in 1945, the London Agreement had determined
that being a head of state or acting under orders would not
provide immunity, and decided that entire organisations
(such as the SS) could be declared criminal, and thus, mere
membership would constitute an indictable crime. This
charter also included provisions for fair trials.
Twenty-four Nazi leaders were tried between October
1945 and October 1946.
Of those, one committed suicide, one was physically
unable to be tried, three were acquitted, twelve were hanged,
three were sentenced to life imprisonment, and four were
sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from ten to
twenty years.
Those convicted war criminals who were sentenced to
death, were executed on 16
October 1946 in the old
gymnasium of the Nuremberg prison (torn down in 1987),
cremated, and their ashes strewn anonymously and
unceremoniously into an estuary of the river Isar.
Subsequently, no further International Military
Tribunals were held, but various US, British, Soviet and
French military court trials occurred in the zones of
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 46
Free World in the balance
Aircraft like this RAF Spitfire
won the four-month air battle
over England in 1940, known
as the Battle of Britain. It
prevented invasion, and thus
the total Nazi defeat of Europe,
which would have eventually
resul ted i n Nazi worl d
domination following from:
Nazi seizure of the immense
resources of Europe, secure
from further attack; release of
massive Nazi forces tied down
on the European front,
deployable to overwhelm the
USSR, and no base or
infrastructure left in Europe for
the US to prosecute a war
against the Nazis. Maintaining
this air superiority permitted
the island to serve as the [only
possible] Allied platform in
Europe, from which was
launched the relentless air
assault on Nazi Germany and
the Allied land invasion of
mainland Europe, resulting,
with the massive Soviet effort
from the East, in the Nazi
defeat in 1945.
War Crimes trials at Mauthausen. The Gauleiter
(Nazi District Leader) of Linz, August Eingruber, is
sentenced to death for his part in genocide and
crimes against humanity
Courtesy: US National Archives
occupation, to try lesser politicians, military personnel, doctors,
lawyers, scientists, diplomats and others.
Many war criminals never faced trial, and some few were
covertly recruited by the victorious nations in the fight against the
Soviet Union, since the Cold War had already begun.
As described earlier in this lesson, the war crimes trials for
Asia had been conducted more or less in parallel to those in Europe.
The International Military Tribunal for the Far East began its
work in May 1946 and lasted just over two years.
Of twenty-five Imperial Japanese defendants (Class A war
criminals) convicted, seven were hanged, sixteen were imprisoned for
life and two were imprisoned for shorter terms. Of the B and C
category war criminals, 1068 were executed after conviction.
The Geneva Conventions of 1949 make punishable, certain
acts committed against victims of war, but leave trials for these
crimes to be arranged by the concerned countries.
The United Nations elaborated upon this by setting up two
International Criminal Tribunals in the Hague and Rwanda, to try war
crimes and crimes against humanity relating to the genocides in the
former Yugoslavia (Security Council Resolution 827 of 25
1993) and Rwanda (Security Council Resolution 955 of 8
1994), respectively.
The trial of Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann (taken from
Argentina to Israel in a dramatic [but technically illegal] abduction
and smuggling operation) raised questions of jurisdiction, since Israel
did not exist at the time of Eichmanns war crimes and crimes against
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 47
Polish children at Auschwitz, murdered in 1944
Courtesy: USHMM
The reputed Spear of Longinus
When Hitler invaded Austria, he
went promptly to Viennas
Hofburg palace and seized this
religious artefact, as a so-called
talisman for the Nazi party. He
emerged after hours alone, and to
mark the occasion, commenced a
night of terror, ordering the
immediate round up of 100,000
Jews for deportation (and
implicitly their murder). The lance
head was returned to the Hofburg
after the war.
Israel agreed upon representing the
victims of Nazi atrocities against Jews, and
that given the gravity and geographical area
of the genocide, it was held reasonable to
permit any state to try him. Several states
subsequently abolished their statutory
limitations on trying crimes against
This resulted in a French court trying
Nazi SS officer Klaus Barbie or the butcher
of Lyons, in 1987, who had worked for the
Allied forces after the war, in the Cold War
effort against the Soviets, despite protests
from the French government.
The nature of the Nazi war crimes trials is of interest, in that the victorious allies discretely
instructed their trial judges to try the Nazi leaders on the premise that they were an aberration of
human conduct, at the bottom of the scale of the accepted
Humanist and Cartesian system of the western world, and not as
members of a deceptive, brutally violent occult movement, trying
to implement a new world religion.
The Nazi terror, although only spanning 12 years, was the
second largest genocide in world history, subordinate only to that
of Stalin and the Bolshevik, Soviet phenomena.
The motives behind the Nazi terror are unique and therefore
bear some scrutiny. This is important when comparing modern
neo-Nazism with the Nazi terror of the 1930s and 1940s.
The Jewish victims of the Nazi terror were selected
ostensibly (for the consumption of the masses) as scapegoats for
financial hardship, social ills, the loss of WWI, national pride, and
so called racial impurity.
The other victims were selected for the so called cleansing
or purifying of Nazi society, of the unwanted.
These slogan-like platitudes prayed upon popular anxieties
and appealed to the deepest, baser, popular yearnings of the
German populace of that era.
This, intensified by Hitlers remarkable [painstakingly acquired]
oratory skills, accounts for the almost hysterical mass euphoria
which often accompanied his speeches at Nazi party rallies.
However, research of Nazi activity at the higher levels, reveals not a crude political
programme calculated merely to appease the masses, but a consistent so called occult activity with
a hidden agenda.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 48
Hitler at a Nazi Rally
Hitlers, as yet unrivalled, oratory skills and ability to appeal
directly to the heart of the baser human instincts, suspended
reason and left crowds mesmerised
Courtesy: Think Quest Library
Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925)
When the Nazi party began
laying its roots, he was first on
the list of those to be
assassinated, owing to his
extraordi nary predi cti ons
concerning the future rise of
Hitler and the Nazis
Courtesy: Fotolab Wien
[It is of interest that the contemporary
word often used to describe the Nazi mass
murder is not genocide as often as
Holocaust (Greek: kaustos = burnt),
meaning: A religious ritual in which the
offering or sacrifice is totally consumed by
fire. This coincidence unintentionally
reflects the driving force and true nature
behind the NSDAP - Hitlers (and his
backers) bizarre obsession with so called
occultism and quest for a new world
religion, reminiscent of a pre-history dark
age, in which human sacrifice played a
significant role].
A strange but notable example of
this occult leaning occurred when Hitler
invaded Austria (with the aid of local Nazis) and declared the Anchluss (union) of Germany and
Upon arriving in Vienna, instead of tending to strategic and military issues as would be
expected of an invader, planning war with most of the civilised world, he went promptly to the
Weltliche Schatzkammer (State Treasure House) at the Hofburg palace.
After ordering his entourage out, he then spent some hours alone there in some form of strange
meditation, after seizing what is known as the Heilige Lanze (holy
The lance is a spearhead reputed in Christian theological
legend to be the actual lance that the Roman soldier Longinus used
to pierce the side of Christ and which, according to occult
mythology, brings world domination to the holder.
Upon emerging alone from the Hofburg, Hitler ordered the
immediate round up and deportation (and implicitly, impending
death) of 100,000 Jews, as a bizarre and brutal form of human
Hitler subsequently ordered the spear conveyed to
Nuremberg (the spiritual home of Nazism) by armoured train with
other select crown jewels, and had them buried beneath the city in
a specially constructed vault.
It survived bombings and fell into US hands at the time of
Hitlers suicide in Berlin on the afternoon of 30
April 1945 (an
occult date that Hitler revered; Walpurgisnacht).
The personal advisor on Hitler to wartime British Prime
Minister, Winston Churchill, was Dr. Walter Johannes Stein, a
Viennese Scientist who knew more about Hitler than any man alive
at that time.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 49
The A-Bomb
The Atomic bombs dropped on
Japan, compelled the last Axis
power still fighting to surrender in
September 1945, thus ending the
terror of WWII that had cost over
50 million lives
Courtesy: Think Quest Library
When Stein was considering the publication of his
memoirs in 1945, Churchill instructed him that the occultism of
the Nazi party should not be revealed to the general public, under
any circumstances.
Stein had studied under another Viennese academic, Dr.
Rudolph Steiner. Steiner was the Austrian founder of
anthroposophy (a type of spiritual philosophy), who lived in the
relative safety of Switzerland.
He was nevertheless on the top of the NSDAP
assassination list until his death in 1925, on account of his
extraordinarily accurate predictions concerning the rise of Hitler,
the Nazi movement, and the catastrophic results. Following the
Nazi surrender in 1945, a lesser known episode of terror occurred
in Germany during the same year, involving the female
Media reports that up to 20,000 cases of rape were
reported against troops in the Soviet occupied sector, involving
females who ranged in age from 11 to 70 years old.
This is a remarkable and likely very conservative figure, given that many cases of rape are
invariably not reported.
Casualties (Military and Civilian killed) in World War II
(61 million total is approximate, compiled from several reliable but differing sources)
This key does not reflect collaboration in Axis occupied countries, Nazi foreign legions, or the 3 million Indians who died
in the 1943 famine (relief of which was frustrated by war)
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 50
British Army anti-terrorist patrol, Aden 1967
Refer to Annex O for photographic evidence of Nazi genocide.
Of interest to both students and victims of terrorism is the fact that the NSDAP holocaust is
the only case of mass terrorism in history, whereby following the defeat of the perpetrator (NSDAP)
regime, successor governments have made financial and other restitution to those victims left alive
and to the descendants of those murdered.
Further formal compensation for terrorist acts was not to occur until fairly recent times and
only for single acts of terrorism.
A notable case occurred under a 1996 US anti-terrorism law, in which a Federal District Judge
ordered the Government of Iran to pay US$ 247.5 million in compensation.
The compensation was ordered to the family of a US exchange student travelling in a bus with
seven Israeli soldiers in 1995.
They were all murdered by a suicide-bomb terrorist from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group,
which according to media reports had alleged connections with Iran.
During the Lebanese civil war, Associated Press (AP) Correspondent Terry Anderson was
held for six years shackled and blindfolded by his captors who were allegedly controlled and
supported by the Iranian government.
In 1999, Anderson began a court case to sue the Iranian government for US$100 million in
compensation for his terrible ordeal.
Post World War II Terrorism
Following the Second World War, terrorism was occasionally used on a small scale by some
members of guerrilla groups.
Some of these groups were supported and manipulated by Warsaw Pact countries and China
variously, in those cases where the guerrilla bands were communist.
Several of these post war guerrilla
groups (with terrorists among their
membership) were engaged in struggles on
several continents for independence or
separatism, towards the close of the
colonial period, during the Cold War.
Well known examples were:
The Mau-Mau movement in
The Eoka B guerrillas in Cyprus
The Stern gang in Palestine
The FLN in Algeria
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 51
Japanese Red Army Rote Armee Fraktion
In these campaigns, besides terrorist murders of unarmed officials, women and children
family members of British and other colonial personnel were kidnaped and murdered in some
Guerrilla warfare with terrorism occurred in China as a characteristic of the communist
struggles which began in the 1930s but were revitalised between 1966 and 1969 in the form of the
Cultural Revolution.
Some international conflict historians assert that there were an estimated 35 million deaths
attributable to democide (which can be practically defined as the intentional killing of people by a
government through negligence or passive oppression) in China during the period 1949 to 1987.
During the late 1960s until the late 1980s, terrorism in Europe reached its zenith, under a
variety of banners, many related to class and political perceptions (as in the case of the Japanese Red
Army, Italian Red Brigades and the Baader-Meinhof Gang or Red Army Faction).
This terrorism emerged from those Axis countries that had very rapidly experienced the
upheaval of exchanging totalitarianism for democracy following the conclusion of WW II:
This type of terrorism was characterised by the objective of anarchy and disintegration of the
state. This was sought by violent terrorist action, carried out by fashionable young upper-middle
class revolutionaries (some of whose fathers had been Nazis, fascists and Imperialists) with a
mixture of left-wing ideologies.
These young revolutionary movements were viewed by many of the generation that had
fought through WWII, as privileged and spoilt idlers; the children of an era of prosperity, disturbed
by their nations past, but for which they were not responsible.
Such movements might have stood some chances of growth and acceptance, had they sprung
from a purely humanitarian platform, but instead, they aligned with the communist bloc, who shared
a hatred of capitalism, in its form at that time. This also brought them into the sphere of national
security risks, owing to contacts with officials from the Warsaw Pact countries, whose intelligence
officers were only too ready to exploit and develop the phenomena.
This completely undermined the credibility of the revolutionary movements, since they chose
to ignore the far greater vices of the organised communist bloc, such as authoritarianism and wide
scale human rights abuses. These abuses included the democide in China under Chairman Mau Tse
Tung, and the greatest [and most protracted] genocide in history, which was still taking place at that
time inside the Soviet Union.
The Baader Meinhof gang (Rote Armee Fraktion or Red Army Faction), the Italian Red
Brigades and the Japanese Red Army were prominent among the terrorist groups of that era, but
there were other groups, an example being the 2
June Movement.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 52
Formed in West Berlin
June Movement
A left wing anarchist group of the late 1960s / early 1970s style. This was a 'revolutionary' period for
numbers of young, fashionable, left-wing western university students, inspired by the likes of Che Guevara,
Mao Tse Tung and Carlos Marighella, and sometimes covertly stimulated with considerable success, by
Warsaw Pact intelligence officers.
Students like these rebelled, condemning: the so called liberal democracies they sprang from; their
forefathers and the world wars they were responsible for; capitalism, and many other aspects of traditional
western society.
All this took place against a background of a general social revolution conducted by the younger
generation, hallmarked by: permissiveness; extreme socialism; independence; radical pop music and
fashion; mind-expanding narcotics; the Hippy flower-power phenomena; oriental philosophy and the
esoteric; rejection of the establishment; peace and ban-the-bomb movements, and Vietnam war protests.
The 2nd June Movement (2JM) was an extreme of that era and like the Baader Meinhof gang
(Red Army Faction), with whom they consorted (and whom several members later joined), they turned to
murder and terrorism.
The group is named after Benno Ohnejorg, killed (shot accidentally in the back of the head by
police) in a violent demonstration against the Iranian Shah's visit to West Berlin on 2nd June 1967.
In 1972, 2JM bombed the British Yacht club in West Berlin, killing a German national. When a
2JM member committed suicide in jail, they killed West Berlin's Chief Justice, Gunter von Drenkmann, in
Three years later, they abducted Peter Lorenz, leader of the Berlin Christian Democrat Party, and
released him in exchange for the flight to Yemen of five left wing terrorists in jail. After protracted police
operations, many 2JM members were eventually apprehended, convicted and jailed, with those still at
liberty joining the Baader Meinhof gang (Red Army Faction).
Terrorism also characterised some of the activities of politically left and right wing guerilla
groups, fighting various political causes in South and Central America during the 1960s up to the
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 53
British Army & Trans Jordanian Frontier Force (TJFF)
patrol Jerusalem in 1947 on League of Nations (UN)
Mandate duty
Palestine Police officer (Arabic) carries away a
child wounded with a bomb on 29
1947. It was thrown out of a moving taxi by Irgun
terrorists, in the Palestinian residential quarter
of Jerusalem, outside Herods gate, and killed
17 Palestinian Arabs
IPS Washington
Since the late 1960s, however, terrorism
has been most synonymous with the Middle
East conflict and a significant amount of
contemporary terrorism is directly related to it.
It is therefore necessary to understand
the basic but essential historical facts which led
to a series of wars, the ongoing conflicts and
much of this contemporary terrorism.
Great Britain had conquered the
Ottoman forces in Palestine in 1917, during
WW1, but ceased to be a colonial power there
in 1922, when it was appointed by the League of
Nations (an organisation based upon US
President Woodrow Wilsons 14 point plan) to
effect the Palestine Mandate, one of several in
the region.
These mandates, leading to
independence, were designed for the League of Nations by the South African Statesman, General Jan
Christiaan Smuts.
In 1922, British authorities, as Trustees in
Palestine, began to enact the objectives of the League of
Nations mandate, which were quite different from
national or colonial interests. This included a mandate
requirement to establish a Palestine Nationality Act
(law), prior to independence, and also to assist new
Jewish immigrants (of numerical quotas agreed to by all
parties) to acquire Palestinian citizenship.
League of Nations mandated territories (category
A mandates, like Palestine) were subjected to
provisional independence with the final objective of full
independence from the trustee power, which in all cases
had occurred by 1949. The United Nations, which
formally came into being in 1945, succeeded the League
of Nations in 1946, and assumed responsibility to
implement its mandates when the League dissolved (A
reproduction of the League of Nations Palestine
mandate may be viewed in Annex R and also at:
The Middle East conflict mainly began with
Palestinian unrest and revolts in 1921 and between 1933
and 1939, against continued Jewish immigration, some
illegal, beyond the agreed numbers. The immigration
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 54
British armoured car patrolling Jerusalem in 1947 on
League of Nations (succeeded by UN) Mandate duty
Palestine Police Force poster of wanted terrorists,
during the British League of Nations Mandate
had begun in strength with new settlements in
1882, after the birth of political Zionism; a
movement to satisfy Jewish desires to return to
the Holy Land, in order to escape religious and
ethnic persecution.
This possible solution to Jewish
persecution down the centuries, which occurred
on and off in many different countries, was
supported by several European powers and the
United States, where strong sentiment existed
to solve this issue. In the 19
century, Great
Britain had facilitated the immigration (into the
UK) of more than one hundred thousand Jews
from some parts of Russia and Eastern Europe,
in order to save them from the cruel massacres
and anti-Jewish pogroms that numbers of them
were being subjected to in those parts of the
Prior to the League of Nations Mandate, efforts to assist a solution to the recurring
persecution faced by Jews, in the absence of a Jewish homeland or state, were formalised in 1917,
in a British political paper (a letter from Lord Balfour to Lord Rothschild, representative of the
Zionist Federation), known as the Balfour declaration. It agreed with Zionist proposals for Palestine
as a national home (not a state or nation) for the Jewish people, the underlying principle being
provision of homeland in the world where Jews who wished, could emigrate and settle in safety from
the persecution that significant amounts of them had experienced in so many countries, following
their mass emigration (diaspora) from Palestine in the 8
to 6
centuries BC.
Palestine as a choice was finally determined on the basis that there had been a Jewish
presence there for thousands of years, before and after the diaspora, and the fact that many Jewish
holy sites are located in Jerusalem, as they are for the
other great monotheistic religions.
The Balfour declaration was formulated in
good faith and made public. Some influential and
wealthy Jews such as Edwin Montagu however,
objected to some of its text. It was therefore
subsequently changed from the national home of the
Jewish people to the establishment in Palestine of a
home for the Jewish people, and the proviso added:
nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil
and religious rights of existing non-Jewish
communities in Palestine.
At the time of the declaration there had already
been considerable Jewish immigration into Palestine,
and by 1915, approximately 11% of the population was
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 55
1936. Abd al Husseini. Palestinian
(Arab) guerrilla commander for
Jerusalem. A graduate of the American
University (Cairo), he was killed in
action during the war in 1948.
IPS Washington
Menachem Begin at a Zionist meeting in
1948. He arrived in Palestine in 1942 from
the Soviet Union, as a member of Polish
forces en route to fight the Germans in the
west. Begin deserted and stayed in
Palestine to form the Irgun and fight the
British League of Nations forces, and later
the Palestinian Arabs
IPS Washington
Jewish (approximately 90,000 out of 780,000). A reproduced
copy of the Balfour declaration may be found in Annex R and
also viewed at:
After British Government consultations with the High
Commissioner for Palestine [Sir Herbert Samuel] and
discussions between the Secretary of State and a delegation
from the Moslem Christian Society of Palestine [present in the
UK] in 1922, a domestic British political paper (white paper)
confirmed the Balfour declaration and stated that Further, it
is contemplated that the status of all citizens of Palestine in the
eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been
intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any
other juridical status.
(A copy of the 1922 white paper is in Annex R and also at:
t/brwh1922. htm)
I n 1 9 3 9 ,
a n o t h e r Br i t i s h
political paper (white
paper) re-iterated the
1922 white paper, stating that Unauthorized statements
have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to
create a wholly Jewish Palestine. Phrases have been used
such as that Palestine is to become as Jewish as England
is English. His Majesty's Government regard any such
expectation as impracticable and have no such aim in view.
Nor have they at any time contemplated .... the
disappearance or the subordination of the Arabic
population, language or culture in Palestine. They would
draw attention to the fact that the terms of the (Balfour)
Declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine
as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National
Home, but that such a Home should be founded IN
PALESTINE. But this statement has not removed doubts,
and His Majesty's Government therefore now declare
unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that
Palestine should become a Jewish State. They would indeed
regard it as contrary to their obligations to the Arabs under
the Mandate, as well as to the assurances which have been
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 56
Wreckage at the offices of the Jerusalem Post newspaper
in February 1948, caused by a car bomb that killed 20
Jewish Palestinians. It was planted by terrorists among the
Palestinian Arab resistance forces.
IPS Washington
Winter 1948. Some of the 700,000 Palestinian refugees, at the
Nahr Al Barid refugee camp in North Lebanon
IPS Washington
given to the Arab people in the past, that the Arab
population of Palestine should be made the
subjects of a Jewish State against their will.
From the 1920s onwards, acts of
terrorism were carried out by Jewish
Palestinians and non-Jewish Arabic Palestinians
(Muslim and Christian) against each other and
also against the British League of Nations
mandated forces.
A landmark terrorist act was carried out
by the terrorist group Irgun Zwei Leumi. The
British Mandate Headquarters in 1946, located
at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, was
blown up. Over 88 people were killed,
including Jewish and Arabic Palestinians and
British League of Nations Mandate personnel.
In the wake of continued violence, the
British Mandate authorities referred the
Palestine issue back to the United Nations (the successor of the League of Nations) in 1947.
Subsequently, the UN Special Commission on Palestine (U.N.S.C.O.P.) was formed.
Great Britain announced that it would not be renewing its League of Nations mandate in
Palestine (this was largely due to massive commitments owing to WWII; the fact that in carrying out
its League of Nations mandate, it was continually and increasingly subjected to armed attack by both
the indigenous and immigrant sectors of the population in Palestine, in addition to persistent political
pressures from various other nations, with
different agendas).
During this period, member nations
of the UN General Assembly presented
several plans for the partition of Palestine
into two states, of which none were agreed
to unanimously by all parties involved.
In 1947, the UN General Assembly passed
a Resolution calling for establishment of
an independent Jewish state in Palestine,
due to the seeming insolubility of the
problem, but also in view of the terrible
suffering of the Jewish people under the
Nazis, many survivors of which were
living in displaced persons (DP) camps in
Europe, a fate soon to be visited, in turn,
upon several millions of Palestinians of
successive generations.
The conflict escalated into war
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 57
UN staff member (UNWRA) searched at gunpoint for
arms by Israeli Army (IDF) outside a Palestinian
refugee camp
Courtesy: UNWRA
The heart of the Middle East
conflict - ownership of land
A family of Palestinian refugees in a
tent erected over the rubble of their
deliberately demolished home (a war
crime under the 1949 genocide act),
Khan Younis refugee camp, April
2001. Such cruelties and the resulting
inhuman living conditions result in
despair, and predictably generate
terrorist suicide bombers

when the modern state of Israel was suddenly and unilaterally declared on 14
May 1948, upon the
departure of British troops from Palestine.
Several Arab neighbouring countries entered the conflict on the Palestinian Arab side, in
order to regain rapidly-occupied Palestinian Arab territories. In spite of several armies converging
to aid the Palestinians, the Israeli armed forces were numerically (and logistically) stronger than the
Arab coalition ranged against them, and fought with more skill.
In 1948, over 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were displaced from 14 districts throughout
Palestine; 20 cities/towns and 418 villages were depopulated, of which 290 villages were entirely
obliterated (383 according to some Israeli historians), many with their names struck from subsequent
On some few subsequent Israeli topographical maps of the 1950s, the Hebrew word harus
[demolished] is over-stamped on many of these former villages.
During these tragic events, over 10,000 Palestinians were killed, more than 30,000 wounded,
and 60% of their entire population (which was almost 714,000) turned into refugees, exiled to
refugee camps and dispossessed, or across borders into refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
The United Nations has an organisation devoted to refugees in the world (UN High
Commission for Refugees or UNHCR), but so great was the number of Palestinian refugees, and in
such catastrophic circumstances, a specific UN Agency was set up solely for Palestinians, called
UNWRA (UN Works and Relief Agency for Palestinian Refugees).
The declaration of the State of Israel had instantly nullified the resolutions of the Zionist
Congress (the supreme governing body of the Zionist Organization), held at Carlsbad in September,
1921, where one resolution was passed expressing as the official statement of Zionist aims as,
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 58
Palestinian refugee woman, searching
through the rubble of her demolished
home at an UNWRA refugee camp,
Courtesy: UNWRA
Count Folke Bernadotte of
The UN Mediator on Palestine was
assassinated with a UN Military
Observer in Jerusalem, 1948, by
terrorists from the Stern gang
IPS Washington
.....the determination of the Jewish people to live with the Arab
people on terms of unity and mutual respect, and together with
them to make the common home into a flourishing community, the
upbuilding of which may assure to each of its peoples an
undisturbed national development.
It is also necessary to point out that the Zionist
Commission in Palestine, now termed the Palestine Zionist
Executive, has not desired to possess, and does not possess, any
share in the general administration of the country.
Through the decades since, charges of terrorism have been
levelled and counter-levelled at each other, by the two major
protagonists of the dispute; Israelis and Palestinians.
One side charged that the other hijacked aircraft, bombed
and randomly murdered its citizens, assassinated its civil
servants, deliberately and indiscriminately, both in the Middle
East and at other locations around the world.
The other side charged that the creation of a state against
the will of the majority was illegal, was followed by forced de-
population and confiscation of land, refusal of refugees return,
oppression of those left behind and
defiance of UN Resolutions.
Following on from the revolts
in 1936 to 1939 and war in 1948, further wars and invasions occurred in
1956, 1967, 1973, 1975 and 1982, related to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
These conflicts variously involved Palestinian guerillas and
Egyptian, Israeli, Jordanian, Lebanese, and Syrian armed forces.
The United Nations has based Military Observers, and later, lightly
armed forces, in the Middle East since 1948, and established several
mixed-armistice commissions and peacekeeping missions (UNTSO,
The first United Nations Mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte of
Sweden, was assassinated in Jerusalem in 1948, by Israeli terrorists from
the Lehi (Lochamei Herut Israel, or fighters for the freedom of Israel)
organisation, also known as the Stern Gang.
The Stern gang was named after its leader, Avraham Stern.
Several terrorists of this gang were later arrested by the newly
established Israeli authorities of that time, for the murder of Count
Bernadotte. Count Bernadotte had submitted his recommendations for a
partition plan which was viewed as unfavourable by the Lehi. They
subsequently decided to assassinate him as a means of frustrating the plan.
From the 1920s but especially since 1948 until today, terrorist acts
related to the Israel-Palestine conflict periodically continue.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 59
Late 1990s. Suici de bombing,
Jerusalem, carried out by a Hammas
Courtesy: US State Dept.
1990s. A Palestinian views the rubble of his home
after IDF bulldozers demolished it.
G. Azar
A very few of the more notable acts are as follows:
Massacre at Atteel, 1938
Massacre/destruction at Jerusalem King David Hotel,1946
Massacres at Safad, Der Yassin and Jewish Agency, 1948
Massacre and destruction at Qebya, 1952
Massacre and destruction at Al Samou, 1966
Massacre at the Munich Olympics, 1972
Massacre at Lod airport, 1972
Massacre at Tel al Zaater, 1976
Massacre at Damour, 1976
Murder/kidnapping of westerners in Lebanon, 1980s
Massacres at Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps, 1982
Massacres at Rome and Vienna airports, 1985
Hijacking/murder on ocean liner Achile Lauro, 1985
Massacre at the Al Aqsa Mosque, 1990
The 400 deportations to neighbouring Lebanon, 1992
Massacre at the Hebron Mosque, 1994
10 suicide-bomb massacres in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ramat
Gan and Ashkelon, 1994-7
Murder of Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, 1995
A multitude of terrorist acts by individuals on both sides since the September 2001
resurgence of Palestinian revolt against Israeli occupation, from which time until April 2002, more
than 1,132 Palestinians and 399 Israelis have been killed.
Innocent victims have died throughout the past sixty years of the Middle East conflict, at the
hands of terrorists from the many sides, acting either upon orders or independently as individuals.
Despite the initial measure of dtente resulting from several agreements beginning with the
Oslo accords (reached in theory but not practice by
Israeli and Palestinian leaders in 1991, 1993), and the
peace agreement between Israel and Jordan in 1994,
the Peace initiatives collapsed in September 2001.
From 1948 until 2002, there were more than 60 UN
Resolutions concerning the Middle East conflict.
Incidents of open warfare are now
commonplace between Israeli forces and Palestinian
fighters, using a range of conventional miliary
weapons. Terrorism occurs frequently, carried out by
nationals of both sides in various scenarios;
sometimes by fanatical individuals and groups, acting
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 60
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 61
FATAH crest
DFLP crest
Democratic Front for the
Liberation of Palestine
PFLP-GC crest
Popular Front for the
L i b e r a t i o n o f
Palestine - General
PFLP crest
Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine
Hizbollah crest
Party of God
Iqhwan ul Muslimeen
Muslim Brotherhood
independently and illegally, beyond the abilities of the
respective governments and authorities in Israel and of
the Palestinian National Authority, to entirely prevent.
In the late 1990s, the Israeli government
classified a handful of Israeli political groups as
terrorist. The governments domestic security service
evaluated them as potentially more dangerous than
Palestinian terrorist groups.
The reason given for this is that they possess
the ability, by a single terrorist act, to destroy a
religious shrine or target of such importance, it might
feasibly inflame the entire Muslim world and possibly trigger a nuclear war.
The Middle East conflict is extraordinarily protracted, complicated and not without ironies:
A number of Arabic and Jewish Palestinian combatants were wanted for terrorism by the British
Mandate (League of Nations / UN) government, amongst which were two who were later to become
Prime Ministers of Israel; Menachem Begin (Menahem Beigin) and Yitzhak Shamir (Itzhak
Jazernicki or Zernitsky), both originally Polish
Moreover, in 1993 a peace accord was signed in
Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
and Chairman Yassir Arafat of the Palestinian
Liberation Organisation (PLO).
Interestingly, the latter was wanted for decades
for terrorism before renouncing it, and was, in the
greater interests of peace in the Middle East, formally
received with the dignities afforded a head of state.
In the light of the political irony (naturally
tolerable when the gun is renounced in favour of the
olive branch), it could be held not so much that one
mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter, but that todays terrorists
may be tomorrows statesmen.
There are ruthless extremists on both sides of the conflict, but in contrast, a significant
number of Israeli and Palestinian politicians (as well as many ordinary men and women) devoted to
peace, justice and security. Despite the actions of the latter, the extremists often prevail, and people
are murdered on both sides of the dispute. Palestinians are noted for suicide bombings and killing
Israelis, while Israelis are noted for killing Palestinians in response and deliberate demolition of
houses. Prime Minister Rabin was murdered for
trying to move peace negotiations forward.
An example of an episode in this conflict
is as follows: According to the UNWRA internet
website (, On 10
April 2001, the Israeli defence forces (IDF)
launched a wide scale military operation at the
edge of the western side of Khan Younis refugee
camp along the border fence of Neve Dekalim
settlement and demolished 32 refugee shelters
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 62
Gaza, February 2002. A Palestinian school hit by an IDF
Courtesy: UNWRA
leaving 56 families homeless. Four days later,
the IDF launched a military operation near
the Salah Eddin Gate in Rafah and
demolished 16 houses, including three
refugee shelters as well as 20 stores
opposite to the IDF military post.
This is the type of response that is
common after suicide bomb attacks by
Palestinian terrorists.
Of the approximately 714,000
Palestinian refugees that were dispossessed
in 1948, tens of thousands of them, over the
decades, have since assimilated locally in
surrounding countries, and emigrated to the
several countries that offered relief.
However, most importantly, the number of
successive generations born in refugee
camps has swelled the numbers of registered
Palestinian refugees to 3.7 million in the
Middle East, of which 1.2 million live in 59 UNWRA refugee camps.
Most of the remainder live nearby, in refugee settlements, altogether many in indescribable
conditions, located in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. They remain dispossessed,
since they are refused their legal rights (under International Law) of return and entry to their country
of birth, to access their personal land and property, in defiance of UN Resolutions.
The most striking contemporary feature of the middle east conflict is the manipulation of the
media, wherever possible, in an intensive information and dis-information war, in order to win hearts
and minds (and by extension acquiescence or support) of US, European and other major political
powers. Consequently, surveys of US and European populations repeatedly find that the average
citizens knowledge of the dispute is greatly lacking and often distorted.
The Middle East conflict continues, the root being the Palestinian quest for the re-
establishment of their State. The conflict was escalated in 2002 by Palestinian terrorist suicide
bombings in Israel; Israeli military incursions into Palestinian Autonomous Areas; the siege-isolation
of Yasser Arafat in his Ramallah compound, and a siege (involving sniper shootings) at the Church
of the Nativity (the birth place of Jesus Christ, and Christendoms holiest site) in Bethlehem. In the
first week of May 2002, approximately 50,000 Israelis took to the streets in Tel Aviv, demanding
that the government withdraw from Palestinian territories.
The following comments of academic interest illustrate the type of trends that are the
backdrop to the conflict, and only serve to raise tensions on all sides. These comments are extracts
from critiques of both main protagonists in the Middle East conflict. They are from the late Prof. Dr.
Israel Shahak (Hebrew University, Jerusalem), a former Chairman of the Israeli Human & Civil
Rights League, and a Holocaust survivor of the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen:
I want to add something about the Palestinian Authority economy as it is now. I know you
are aware how Israel puts the whole economy in fetters, and how it dominates and continues
indirectly to exploit it.
There are many areas in Gaza where apartments cost as much as in Tel Aviv.
The whole economy is pervaded by two things that Arafat instituted immediately when he
came heremonopolies and corruption.
First are the official monopolies, abetted by the fact that imports to the Palestinian economy
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 63
Refugees return in safety
British Army Sergeant escorts refugee back on East
come from or through Israela list, which Sara Roy gave, of fifteen or sixteen products including
flour, frozen meat, gasoline.
Basically every important product cannot be sold on the free market. You can ask the World
Bank and IMF, who tolerate all this. I can only mention that in recent weeks Arafat is being called
All these products can be sold only to Arafat-controlled monopolies, who then sell them to
shops. The distributor-agents are in many cases Fateh activists at the same time, and on top of what
the monopoly takes, they take their percentage, as happens in every such system, and in addition to
this there is bribery on every level which pervades the whole economy.
And by the way, those who most fully exploit this situation are Israeli companies, headed by
former employees of the Civil Administration during the time of the military occupation.
Now moving on to a different topic; in terms of numerical death-toll, the greatest post World
War II terrorism occurred in Cambodia as a result of the Pol Pot regime.
Pol Pot waged a war from 1970 to 1975 to topple the Lon Nol government. Pol Pot (real
name Saloth Sar) subsequently undertook a ruthless campaign of terror, called collectivisation
between 1975 and 1978. This collectivisation was a complex socio-political programme. It
practically emptied the cities, persecuted the intelligentsia, those with foreign connections, linguistic
skills or other foreign associations, severed conventional parental links with children and forced the
populations to work on the land. Historians estimate that between two and four million Cambodians
were murdered by execution, disease, starvation and overwork.
This genocide was organised and executed by Pol Pots Khmer Rouge, a Cambodian
communist guerrilla-terrorist force aided by Vietnamese communists. A considerable force, the
Khmer Rouge fielded an army, signed pledges in a joint peace-process and at one time retained UN
recognition as the official Cambodian government.
In 1998, Indonesias President, General Suharto, stepped down from his brutal dictatorship.
He was responsible for approximately 1 million political murders between 1965 (when he seized
power) and 1998, including many on East Timor.
Since 1991, in the former Yugoslavia, the world has witnessed instances of terrorism in the
form of massacres, depopulation or ethnic cleansing, the establishment of Nazi-style concentration
camps with denial of medical and sanitation supplies, wide-spread murder, rape, starvation and
torture. Former President Slobodan Miloevi was indicted for crimes against humanity and war
crimes, and finally appeared on trial in 2002, at the UN International Criminal Court at the Hague,
Netherlands. See Annex Q for photographic
evidence of genocide in Kosovo (former
In Rwanda during 1994 and onwards, the
world witnessed terrorism in the form of large-
scale brutal massacres of Watutsi and moderate
Hutu natives, by an organised group of about
8000 Hutu extremists. Estimates range between
half a million and one million murdered in
Rwanda (often with machetes), which was
accompanied by widespread rape and de-
population or ethnic cleansing.
This mostly occurred during a 100-day
period in which the frenzy of savage barbarism
actually turned some rivers colour to red.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 64
Restoring order by force
British Air Assault Brigade patrol near Skopje in the
former Yugoslavia
According to major media reports, over two
million people were murdered in a genocide that
took place in the east of the Democratic Republic of
Congo, from 1994 to 2001. The DR Congo
government attributes responsibility to interference
by six regional, mostly surrounding African states.
In March 2001, US Majority House Leader
Richard Armey held a press conference about slavery
in Sudan . He stated:
Sudan today is a horror without parallel. It
is the only place in the world in which religious
genocide takes place. People are being tortured,
mutilated and killed solely because of their Christian
faith. It is a place where two million people have
been slaughtered - more than in Bosnia, Rwanda and
Somalia combined.
Four million people in the Sudan have also been displaced during the past 17 years of civil
war and many made into refugees.
A more aggressive wave of terrorism evolved in the 1990s after the Cold War in the form of
several new terrorist groups and umbrella coalitions, sponsoring and committing terrorist acts
towards the same ends, and who share a common bond. These groups distort Islam, which they
posture as a shield to justify their actions, with the overall objective of destroying the present status
quo of eastern and western governments, in order to establish a single, medival-style, Islamic state
in the world. These terrorist groups are recognised as the most dangerous in the world today. They
Al Qaida (the Base), Afghanistan, partly in Lebanon, the Gulf and many other countries
Groupe Salafiste pour la Prdication et le Combat (Salafist Preaching & Combat Group), Algeria
Groupe Islamique Arm (Armed Islamic Group), Algeria
Arm Islamique du Salut (Islamic Salvation Front), Algeria
Gamaa Al Islamiya (The Islamic Group), Egypt
Jihad al Islamiya (Islamic Holy War), Egypt
Al Jabhah al Islamiyah al Alamiyah li Quital al Yahud wal Salibiyyin
(International Islamic Front to Fight Jews and Crusaders), inter-linked with Al Qaida
Their various but closely-related aims are to:
Kill Americans (civilians and military) and their allies
Create a single pure Islamic revival state (Caliphate)
Destroy what they describe as the corrupted aspects of the western system of life
Punish corrupt Muslim governments and individuals who support that system
Remove US presence from Saudi Arabia (Mecca and Medina; 1
& 2
holiest Islamic sites)
Restore Jerusalems Al Aqsa Mosque (3
holiest Islamic site) to Muslim control
Restore Palestine
Destroy Israel
Apart from vast increases in genocide and depopulation, the overall number of single
international terrorist incidents declined in the 1990s in comparison to the 1980s and 1970s.
However, in the last 2 to 3 years, the frequency has begun to rise again. The following statistics
indicate this pattern:
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 65
1979 434
1980 499
1981 489
1982 487
1983 497
1984 565
1985 635
1986 612
1987 666
1988 605
1989 375
1990 437
1991 565
1992 363 729
1993 431 1510
1994 322 988
1995 440 6526
1996 296 3224
1997 304 905
1998 273 6693
1999 392 939
2000 423 1196
2001 348 4649
(Includes dead but not
wounded from 9/11)
Despite this decline in the number of international terrorist incidents during the 1990s in
comparison to the 1980s, owed mainly to the improved effectiveness of anti-terrorist / counter
terrorist forces and technology, many of the attacks that did occur were more deadly and destructive.
This is owed to terrorists intelligently selecting victim-scenarios which generate a higher
casualty rate (with proportionate publicity) and also due to terrorists utilising explosive devices and
weapons with a higher destructive capability. Such explosives are more freely available following
the conclusion of the cold war, together with small and medium arms from arsenals disposed of by
former Warsaw Pact countries.
See Annex F for a map of International Terrorist Attacks by Region for the year 2001.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 66
Section 1.2 Geography, Types and Origins of Contemporary Terrorism
Geography of Terrorism
Terrorism now occurs on every continent in the world, sometimes as an extension of
localised insurgency or guerrilla warfare.
Terrain and climate have little influence upon terrorist activity. It is not uncommon for a
terrorist organisation to exist in one country, with or without government consent or the ability to
intervene, and besides committing acts in-country, it may commit terrorist acts in a neighbouring
country or an entirely different geographic location from the main conflict.
An examples of this was the PIRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army) terrorist group, that
attacked the mainland UK.
Terrorists are sometimes located at a great distance from the area where they commit terrorist
acts. This is frequently the case with terrorists from the highly mobile Al Qaida network.
Other examples of this are:
The Japanese Red Army (JRA) who carried out the 1972 massacre at Lod airport in Israel
on behalf of Palestinian terrorists
The Palestinian Abu Nidal group who carried out the massacres at Rome and Vienna airports
in 1985
Inderjit Singh Reyat, an Indian Sikh separatist with dual nationality (British and Canadian),
was convicted of Tokyos Narita airport bombing, and indicted with Ripudman Singh Malik
and Ajaib Singh Bagri for the Air India flight 182 bombing over the north Atlantic

The political considerations and the response of the security forces is complicated in those
cases where terrorists cross borders and cease-fire lines and also in those cases where hi-jacked
aircraft cross into several countries airspace.
An example of such a complicated case was the Achile Lauro hijacking in October 1985:
It was an intended suicide raid into Israel, in response an air attacks on PLO HQ in Tunis

The group was led by a terrorist called Abu Abbas (Muhammad Zaidan)
The plan went wrong and ending up in the hi-jacking of the Achile Lauro cruiser
500 hostages were taken on board
The terrorist demand was for release of 50 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails
A terrorist murdered an American Jewish passenger in a wheel chair, after an argument
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 67
A Tunis bound airliner with escaping terrorists was forced down in Italy by a US fighter
The US issued an arrest warrant and requests for detention of the terrorists
Italian authorities let two terrorists, including Abu Abbas, leave Italy on legal grounds
Some of the terrorists were later convicted and received long prison sentences
This caused political friction between the US and Italian governments

Domestic, International and Transnational Terrorism
Domestic Terrorism:
Domestic terrorism is generally viewed as part of the internal sovereign affairs of a state and
refers to nationals or permanent residents of a given country committing or planning terrorist acts
within the borders of that country, without external involvement.
Domestic terrorism directly accounted for more lives than any other form of terrorism in the
Century; up to an estimated 42 million victims; if genocide, collectivisation, ethnic cleansing
(de-population) and purges are duly accepted as forms of terrorism.
International Terrorism:
International terrorism is generally considered to mean terrorist acts committed, planned or
otherwise involving terrorists (who either act independently or are sponsored by their governments),
in a foreign country.
International terrorism continues to be a source of sometimes grave tension between states
and has the clear potential for undermining international peace and stability.
An example of this is the conflict in Jammu and Kashmir, which has caused two wars and
regularly escalates tension between India and Pakistan.
This region is widely considered as potentially the worlds most volatile nuclear flashpoint.
In that conflict, both domestic and international terrorism occurs as well as separatist and
accessionist guerilla warfare.
Transnational terrorism:
Transnational terrorism is a relatively recent term, notably mentioned by US FBI Director
Louis Freeh, before the Senate Committee on Appropriations in February 1999.
Transnational terrorism depends upon the particular circumstances of three elements:
Location, motivation and sponsorship.

1. Location: Location is not a relevant factor for transnational terrorists and may be committed
by citizens of the State in which the terrorist act takes place, foreign residents, foreign
nationals, visitors, or a combination of these categories. Transnational terrorists have no
fixed geographical or national base. They are highly mobile.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 68
Imad Mugniyeh
Courtesy: FBI
2. Motivation: Transnational terrorists are motivated mostly by a strong personal or religious
idea, rather then a broad purely political motive.
3. Sponsorship: States and nations do not mostly sponsor Transnational terrorists. Transnational
terrorists obtain their funding from private sources or diversion of legitimate charity funds.
In brief, most transnational terrorists are mobile, having no fixed base or boundaries
governing where they commit acts of terrorism; are motivated by strong personal beliefs; are
ruthless, and independent, being free of government sponsorship.
Examples of transnational terrorists are:
Osama bin Ladin: Responsible for terrorists acts in the US on 11
September 2001, the 1998
US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, and other acts
Ramzi Ahmed Yousef: One of several responsible for the bombing of the World Trade
Centre in 1993 and various plots to bomb US and Philippine airlines in 1994 and 1996
Imad Mughniyeh: Known as the Lebanese Carlos, who according to media reports was
involved, during the 1980s and 1990s, in multiple attacks
on US, French and Israeli facilities and nationals in
Beirut, Kuwait and Argentina.
According to a Janes media report (19
2001), Israeli Military Intelligence (Aman) believe that
Mugniyeh was one of those responsible for planning and
directing the attacks of 11
September 2001 in the US.
It is reported that Muhniyeh may have undergone plastic
surgery in recent times, and is now unrecognisable from
his photograph
(See Lesson 11. Case Study: Al Qaida Terrorism in New
York, Washington and Pennsylvania: 11
Why some International Resolutions do not focus equally
upon measures to eliminate domestic as well as international and
transnational terrorism may only be speculated upon.
Avoiding the subject of domestic terrorism may be intended to allay fears by national
governments of interference in their domestic affairs.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 69
This in turn may make it easier to arrive at a definition of international terrorism.
Certainly, international, transnational and domestic terrorism are equally as lethal, but domestic
terrorism is unlikely to result in war between nations.
A partial segregation between domestic and international terrorism has been made by
many intelligence and security forces.
They tended in the past to divide terrorists into categories according to the ideology of the
Current security and intelligence trends among some western nations however, are to
categorise terrorists as follows:
Domestic terrorism:
Egotistic terrorists (pursuing goals for their own beliefs)
Messianic terrorism (pursuing perceived goals of a messiah or saviour-figure)
Domestic and international terrorism:
Negotiable terrorists (who may be entered into negotiations with)
Non-negotiable terrorists (who refuse to negotiate)
Surrogate terrorists (who commit terrorism on behalf of others)
Guerrilla Warfare
Guerrilla war is far more intellectual than a bayonet charge
T.E. Lawrence. British Army guerrilla leader in WW1 Arabia
The word guerrilla was first used to describe Spanish and Portuguese resistance to French
occupation in the Peninsula War from 1808 to 1814. The following were notable examples of
guerrilla warfare in the 20
Boer War in South Africa (1899 to 1902), from which the word Kommando became
During World War 1 Arabia (1916 to 1918)
In the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939)

In China (periodically between 1934 to 1969) involving Mao Zedung, a leading guerrilla
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 70
Captain T. E. Lawrence in Arabia, 1917.
He was wanted by the Ottoman government
for blowing up trains and bridges with a
[mainly] Bedouin Arab Guerrilla army. When
in disguise and reconnoitering Deraa (in
present day Syria), he was arrested by
Ottoman troops and tortured during
interrogation. Speaking Arabic, he passed
himself off as a Circassian, and was
subsequently released, whereupon he
continued guerrilla warfare until the
liberation of Damascus from Ottoman rule.
theorist of the 20th century
In several theatres of conflict during the Second
World War (1939 to 1945)
In Cuba (1959) and in Bolivia (1967) when Che
Ernesto Guevara, (1928-1967) became a guerilla
role model for other aspiring revolutionaries
In the Middle East largely (since 1948)
In Kashmir (since 1947)
In parts of Central American (1962 to 1992)
In Cambodia (since 1970 until recently)
In Sri Lanka (since 1972)
In South West Africa (1979 to 1990)
In Peru (since 1990)
Of these, the period of the two World Wars is the
main era responsible for the evolution of modern
terrorism out of guerrilla warfare.
Although the First World War was a conventional
conflict, beginning with some armies still utilising
cavalry in brightly coloured uniforms, it did witness the
first guerilla campaign conducted by a modern
government. This occurred in Arabia between 1916 and 1918.
In order to facilitate conquering the southern sector of the Ottoman empire, several major
Bedouin tribes in Arabia and Syria (and present-day Jordan) were rallied under the name of
Grand Sherif al Hussein of Mecca, and united at field-level under a British soldier (T.E.
They successfully engaged in a guerrilla warfare campaign, against a conventional Ottoman
(Turkish) army, playing a decisive role in the Middle East theatre of World War I.
The advantages of this type of warfare were not lost and during the Second World War,
irregular guerrilla forces such as the French Resistance (Maquis), Greek partisans, Yugoslav
partisans and many other forces of indigenous natives under Axis occupation sprang up, aided
and sponsored by Allied forces.
At the same time, the Allied armies began to directly field irregular forces led by their own
professional soldiers who utilised guerrilla tactics, such as:
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 71
Lucky Laycock
(later General Sir Robert Laycock), notable
Commando chief and a pioneer of irregular
SOE crest
OSS crest
The Chindits, a British unit fighting behind
Japanese lines in Burma, composed of Chinese
bandits and allied troops, led by Lt. Col. Orde
Popskis Private Army (formerly Number 1 Long
Range Demolition Squad), a British unit of Libyan
exiles, fighting in the western desert and led by Lt.
Colonel Vladimir Peniakoff, a Belgium-born white
Merrills Marauders, a US special force (Galahad;
the 5037th composite force) named after its leader
Brigadier Frank Merrill which spearheaded the
Chinese Army and carried out operations behind
Japanese lines;
Fuzzy-Wuzzies, consisting of 20,000 Ethiopians led by British Lt. Colonel Basil Ringrose,
opposing Italian forces in the southern flank of the western desert;
Force Laycock, a British Commando unit led by Major Robert lucky Laycock, who in
parallel to the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) and the Special Air Service (SAS),
raided and fought commando, guerrilla style actions behind enemy lines;

The key allied organisations in irregular and guerrilla warfare during this era were:
The British S.O.E. (Special Operations Executive)
The American O.S.S. (Office of Strategic
Following World War II, several guerrilla warfare campaigns have been carried out
involving professional armies. The following three cases are diverse and noteworthy:
The first campaign was the Malaya emergency from 1948 to 1960, in which the British
Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment and Special Boat Squadron (SBS) conducted a
guerrilla warfare campaign against communist insurgents in the jungles of Malaya.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 72
Malaya 1956
British soldier waiting for communist insurgents in
US Special Forces and Montagnard tribesmen move out on a
mission at Ba To, Vietnam, 1969
Courtesy: VWAM / US Army
The SAS eventually decided the campaign
through skilful guerrilla fighting but also
through pioneering the tactic known as a
hearts and minds campaign.
A hearts and minds campaign entails
befriending indigenous natives and supplying
them with services such as medical assistance,
technical engineering assistance and supplies
such as food and medicines. The objective is
that eventually the indigenous natives will no
longer hide or support guerrillas and terrorists.
Ironically, some of the guerrillas fighting
against the British in the Malaya emergency,
were trained by the British in World War II, to
fight a guerrilla war against the Japanese.
The same situation has occurred more recently;
some of the Muslim guerrillas associated with
the US during the Cold War, that successfully
fought and ejected Soviet forces from Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989, now make terrorist attacks
on US targets; Osama bin Ladin is one such example.
The second campaign involved US
special forces in the Vietnam War.
They successfully trained the
Vietnamese Montagnard tribes to
defend themselves against the
Vietcong guerrillas, under the
programme known as CIDG
(Civilian Irregular Defence Group).
The third campaign is in Jammu and
Kashmir, where Indian security
forces field at various times between
two and five thousand former
militants (who have changed sides)
in guerrilla warfare against Kashmiri
and foreign separatists.
They are called Counter-Militants.
The 400,000 members of the Indian security forces are thin on the ground due to the large
size of the state of Jammu & Kashmir (in total 222, 236 sq. kilometres (85,000 sq. miles).
Consequently, in 1996, Indian security forces also created several hundred Village Defence
Committees (VDCs) to whom they issued 11,000 weapons with which to defend
themselves, guerrilla-style, against Kashmiri or foreign guerrilla-terrorist attacks.
Lesson 1/ the Phenomenon of Terrorism 73
Otto Skorzeni
Austrian guerrilla warfare expert; head of
Nazi special forces; post-war Fedayeen
trainer, and suspected key figure in post war
Nazi-aid organisations: 0dessa ard 0|e 3p|rre
M. Wendel [Skalman]
Emergence of Modern Terrorism from Guerrilla Warfare
Post World War II Europe, Arabia, Africa and the Far East had all became witness to modern
guerilla warfare and its effectiveness.
Subsequently, the lessons learned were put to use by some of the inhabitants of the many
countries under colonial rule or foreign mandate, including:
Algeria Malaya
Cyprus Mozambique
Kenya Palestine
In these countries, in addition to guerrilla-type struggles for independence, occasional
deviations were made into terrorism.
Many of the characteristics and tactics of the
guerrilla are now also those of the modern terrorist, such
as surprise attack, choice of weapons (the bomb is often
favoured by both), concealing identity and illicit arms
Modern terrorism emerged from guerrilla warfare,
remains closely related and is sometimes inseparable.
Several current insurgency campaigns involve both
guerrilla warfare and terrorism, co-existing side by side,
such as found in the dispute over the former princely state
of Jammu and Kashmir.
Some terrorists are members of guerilla groups
whose majority of members do not engage in terrorism,
but confine themselves to attacking so-called legitimate
military targets or installations.
Such attacks are generally termed as guerrilla
attacks or irregular warfare.
A major stimulus for the growth of terrorism from
guerrilla warfare appears to have stemmed not only from
the victors of the Second World War, but from a
vanquished cadre of former German (Nazi) soldiers.
These soldiers took up residence in Egypt after the
war, recruited in the struggle against the then infant state
of modern Israel.
Lesson 1/ the Phenomenon of Terrorism 74
1960s archetypal South American guerrilla, and
hero figure for the left-inclined younger
generation, especially in Europe
Carlos Marighella
Brazilian Politician, Guerrilla-terrorist and
author of the mini-manual of the urban
Besides technical aid, rendered by former Third
Reich rocket-scientists not co-opted by the west or
Soviet Union, guerrilla and terrorist warfare was
taught to Palestinian Fedayeen (Self-Sacrificers - not
the same as the word for Martyr which is Shaheed) by
former Wehrmacht (Armed Forces) and Waffen
(Combat or Armed) SS officers, in order that they
could carry out raids inside the newly established State
of Israel.
This cadre of instructors was at one time led by
a former professional commando and head of Nazi
special forces, SS Colonel Otto Skorzeni, of wartime
acclaim for his mountaintop glider-borne rescue of
Benito Mussolini from prison (Gran Sasso), without
fatalities to either side.
Many conventional guerrilla tactics were
taught to the Fedayeen; some were based upon
experience gained in Yugoslavia, Greece and other
counter-partisan campaigns while other lessons were
taught from the SS Werwolf-Kampf-Anwiesung (SS
Werewolf Combat Instruction Manual*); a resistance,
guerrilla warfare and partly terrorism instruction
manual, designed for popular German resistance
following the
victory of the Allies in 1945, before the concept was
overtaken by events and rendered inoperable by allied
The Fedayeen later evolved to became Mujahideen
(Religious Fighters), who belonged to a variety of groups
within or competing with, the Palestinian Liberation
Organisation or PLO.
The PLO began a campaign of terrorism in addition
to carrying out conventional guerrilla warfare.
The PLO and other Palestinian Groups were
supported to an extent by the Soviet Union as a matter of
Cold War policy, together with other regional opponents to
Israel, since the Soviet Union viewed Israel as an ally of its
opponent, the U.S.
During the 1960s, more Middle Eastern groups
sprang up, while third countries provided training and
resources, and other foreign groups unrelated to the Middle
East conflict (both guerrilla and terrorist) introduced the
new concept of exchange programmes for training and
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 75
0uerr|||a warlare Varua|
sometimes terrorist actions.
By September 1968, the emergence of a new form of terrorism
from guerrilla warfare became clear when the world witnessed a highly
publicised terrorist hi-jacking by Palestinian terrorists.
It was followed by many more in the decades that followed.
The former So Paulo (Brazil) head of the communist party,
Carlos Marighella, became a guerrilla and terrorist, forming the
organisation Action for National Liberation in 1967.
Marighella describes the urban guerrilla profile (as follows
below); largely a glamorous myth, since many were in reality, largely
unemployable outlaws, who were little better than members of the
authoritarian regimes that they opposed.
Nevertheless, it enjoyed quite an aura and credence amongst the
idealistic social-revolutionary left-wing younger generations of the 1960s
in Europe and the US:
The urban guerrilla is a person who fights the military dictatorship with weapons, using
unconventional methods.
A revolutionary and an ardent patriot, he is a fighter for his countrys liberation, a friend
of the people and of freedom.

* Well known books and manuals on guerilla warfare / terrorism warfare are:
On War by Karl von Clausewitz. ISBN: 0140444270
The Art of War by Sun Tzu. ISBN: 0195014766
Guerrilla Warfare by Che Guevara. ISBN: 0803270755
The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell. ISBN: 0-9623032-0-8
On Guerrilla Warfare by Chairman Mao Tse Tung. ISBN: 1-877853100
Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla by Carlos Marighella. ISBN: 0-89712-204-9
Manual of Afghan Jihad by Maktaba al Khidmat (bin Ladins Services Office)
SS Werewolf Combat Instruction Manual (SS Werwolf-Kampfanwiesung) ISBN:0873642481
Fighting in the Streets: A Manual of Urban Guerrilla Warfare by Urbano. ISBN: 0918751144
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 76
Section 1.3: Terrorism and Society
Terrorism, Guerilla Warfare and the Geneva Conventions
The Geneva Conventions are a series of international treaties concerning the laws and
customs of war, which began to be ratified and enter into force from 1864 to 1949. Their purpose
was to ameliorate the effects of war on soldiers and civilians.
A useful guerrilla warfare campaign in which to examine the context of guerrillas and
terrorists, is that of Jammu and Kashmir, waged on and off since before the middle of the last century
(1947), between conventional Indo-Pakistani wars. In such campaigns it is often difficult to
determine whether certain acts are terrorism or are legitimate guerrilla warfare.
In any given case, it must first be determined if guerrilla warfare can be considered a
legitimate part of the conflict under the Geneva conventions (i.e. resistance to foreign invasion is a
clear cut and legitimate cause for guerrilla warfare, with certain provisos regarding leadership,
insignia, arms and conduct).
In the Kashmir question, both protagonists have opposing views over this. It is necessary to
examine the UN Resolutions which refer to the conflict, the Geneva Conventions and the UN
Resolution concerning the use of force, in order to draw a conclusion, but this case is in principle,
difficult, as Kashmir is in political limbo: The long-pledged plebiscite to determine its future has not
been held; the claim by India of Kashmirs legal accession to India cannot be supported with
documentary evidence (the alleged signed instrument of accession and original copies are reported
missing), and the signing could not have taken place in the circumstances projected (according to
British military transport records which only came to light in recent years), since the air transport to
the alleged venue for signing, never took off.
The following points summarise guerilla warfare and terrorism in the context of the Geneva
If not categorised as regular belligerents recognised by the Conventions, combatants engaged
in warfare enjoy no protection under the Geneva Conventions unless:
Their dress is marked by an identifying symbol
They are clearly under the control of a leader
They carry arms openly
They carry out their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war
Many guerrillas do not fit into this category, and thus enjoy no such protection.
If guerrillas engage in guerrilla warfare and terrorism, but are recognised as legitimate
combatants under the Geneva Convention when captured, they are subject to legislation which
applies to the military formations of their captors in that locality.
If persons captured have committed terrorist acts and are not combatants according to the
Geneva Convention, they are only subject to protections (if any) of the national criminal legislation
(and special terrorist legislation if it exists), and military legislation of the locality in which they are
There is no mention, protection or privilege under the Hague Regulation of 1907 or Geneva
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 77
A clear act of peace-time terrorism
Pan Am Flight 103 (the Boeing 747 Maid of the Sea). Blown up
in the air on 21
December 1988 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing
259 people on board and 11 on the ground. Two Libyan
Intelligence officials faced trial (by special arrangement at The
Hague under Scottish Law) for this terrorist crime and one was
Photo courtesy of US Dept. of State
Conventions of 1949, for terrorists or terrorism or those who do not conduct themselves according
to the laws and customs of war.
Terrorism in War and Peace
There never was a good war or a bad peace
US Statesman Benjamin Franklin
In general, peacetime terrorism receives much more attention by the media who enjoy wider
freedom of access in peacetime conditions. Terrorism in wartime often passes unnoticed in the heat
of battle or unmonitored by the media who do not always have free access to war-zones.
There is an inherent complication in a conflict where one nation or protagonist does not
declare war or one party will not admit the status of a conflict to be a war (especially common in
these times, for political reasons). This can make the difference of whether certain acts are
categorised as terrorist acts or legitimate acts by belligerents.
For example, a terrorist act in peace-time, such as the blowing up of a bridge, may not be
considered a terrorist act in wartime.
It is illustrated from this that much depends upon the circumstances and each case must be
judged upon its individual characteristics, in the absence of precise definitions of terrorism and
legitimate struggle.
It is a fact that during military operations and the subsequent confusion, terrorism is
committed during war-time, on varying scales, for a variety of reasons.
In the absence of a set of rules of
war (although Aggression has been very
generally defined by the UN General
Assembly), some acts of war that lie on
the borderline with terrorism may by one
side be perceived as terrorism, but not by
the opposing side.
In peace-time, such acts tend to
be isolated and subjected to painstaking
efforts by criminal justice systems and
accompanied by media attention with
leisurely analysis.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 78
Terrorism and Democracy
Terrorism is the antithesis of democracy because it utilises undemocratic means.
It uses illegal force and methods to steal or punish or to bring about political or social change,
against the will of the majority, outside of democratic process by state legislative organs.
As will be discussed further in Lesson 4, democracy offers a favourable environment for
terrorists for the following reasons:
Anti and counter-terrorist controls in democratic countries are of a much higher quality, but
often weaker in effect, in order to protect democratic rights, such as freedom of movement.
The chances of detection are less and penalties for terrorism are more favourable in
democracies than in dictatorships and other political systems.
Media coverage in democracies tends to be of a higher quality, more rapid and widespread;
these are attractive considerations for terrorists.
The hypocrisies of terrorism (which is mostly oppression committed in the name of freedom)
in a democracy are several:
Terrorists unilaterally suspend democracy for their own acts
Terrorists expect democratic principles to be fully applied to them if captured
Terrorists seek special recognition from governments they do not recognise
Terrorists avoid mentioning violation of their victims human rights

The fact that terrorist expectations in a democracy are essentially illogical, in that they
demand that a democracy accedes to and implements their demands in an undemocratic fashion,
suggests that terrorists not only do not adhere to democracy, but either fundamentally misunderstand
it, or are naively optimistic in imagining that this striking anomaly will pass unnoticed.
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 79
Anarchist One desiring society without government, or trying to bring it about through terrorism
Depopulation or Deportation (a War Crime), often during wartime and associated with
genocide (a Crime Against Humanity)
Fedayeen Arabic. Those who self sacrifice (not the same word as Martyrs, which is Shuhadaa)
Guerrilla Member of irregular force (often political) engaged in warfare or harassing an army
Islam The Muslim religion. Monotheistic. Belief in Mohammed as Gods last prophet
Jihad Arabic. Holy struggle or holy war. Most frequently, Jihad is against own vices
Mujahideen Arabic. Religious (or holy) fighters. Islamic equivalent of Crusaders
Semite Descendent of tribe of Shem (Bible Genesis 10), or one speaking a Semitic language
Zionist Political Movement which acquired territory in Palestine for Jews as State of Israel
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 80
Attacks at Rome and Vienna International Airports
Facts of the Case: On 27th December 1985, seven terrorists
simultaneously attacked Israeli El Al airline check-in counters at
the International airports in Rome, Italy, and Vienna, Austria.
Three terrorists in Vienna and four in Rome used machine guns
(AK47 assault rifles) and hand grenades to carry out these
attacks. Twenty people in total were killed in the attacks.
Four of the killed were terrorists,
shot by Austrian and Italian police.
The Palestinian terrorist group Abu
Nidal (Father of the Struggle)
claimed responsibility.
Investigation: The US imposed sanctions upon Libya in 1986,
for supporting the Abu Nidal terrorist group. Italy issued arrest
warrants for 14 terrorists including Abu Nidal (Sabri al Banna).
Austria convicted two terrorists and imprisoned them for life,
while Italy convicted one terrorist who also received a life
sentence. Al Banna and another terrorist were convicted in
absentia, receiving sentences of life imprisonment.
This was the case where in defence of Abu Nidal, Libyan Head
of state Muammar Qaddafi made the controversial response to
US President Ronald Reagan "If Abu Nidal is a terrorist, then so
is George Washington."
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 81
1. All acts of terrorism by Muslims are committed in the name of Islam or Jihad.
a) True
b) False
2. Terrorists come from different religious, social and political groups.
a) True
b) False
3. Terrorism occurred
a) After World War I
b) From the 1960s
c) Throughout history
4. The most deaths from terrorism were caused by
a) Adolf Hitler
b) Joseph Stalin
c) Pol Pot
5. Terrorism in the Middle East began
a) Before 1948
b) After 1948
c) In the 1960s
6. Individual international terrorist attacks reached their height in the
a) 1970s
b) 1980s
c) 1990s
7. Domestic terrorism has accounted for approximately how many lives in the 20th century?
a) 4.5 to 6 million
b) 20 million
c) 42 million
8. Contemporary Guerrilla warfare began
a) In the 19th century
b) Before World War II
c) After World War II
9. Guerrillas are protected by the Geneva convention if their dress is marked by an identifying
symbol, arms are openly carried, rules and customs of war are adhered to and they are clearly under
the control of a leader.
a) True
b) False
10. Democracy offers an environment more favourable for terrorists, than authoritarian regimes.
a) True
b) False
Lesson 1/ The Phenomenon of Terrorism 82
11. The Achile Lauro hijacking was planned as an intended
a) Hijacking
b) Suicide raid
c) Bombing
12. Who organised and ran several guerrilla resistance campaigns in WWII?
a) SOE and OSS
b) CIA and MI5
c) SS and Wehrmacht
13. Fedayeen means
a) Those who self-sacrifice
b) Martyrs
c) Religious Fighters
14. Transnational terrorism is delineated by
a) Weapons, Resources and mobility
b) Motivation, mobility and ferocity
c) Location, motivation and sponsorship
15. The Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla was authored by
a) Che Guevara
b) Carlos Marighella
c) Chairman Mao
16. How many Russians are estimated to have died in the Great Terror?
a) 1 to 5 million
b) 20 to 30 million
c) 40 to 50 million
17. Al Qaida means
a) Taliban
b) Students
c) The Base or the Foundation
18. Between 1994 and 2001, how many people did media report as killed in the DR Congo?
a) Over 10,000
b) Over 100,000
c) Over 2 million
19. How many Geneva Conventions are there?
a) One
b) Two
c) Several
20. From 1922 to 1948, British Forces in Palestine were
a) Acting in British colonial interests
b) Effecting League of Nations (then UN) mandated responsibilities for Palestinian independence
c) Neither
ANSWERS: 1-b, 2-a, 3-c, 4-b, 5-a, 6-b, 7-c, 8-a, 9-a, 10-a, 11-b, 12-a, 13-a, 14-c, 15-b, 16-b, 17-c,
18-c, 19-c, 20-b.
Lesson 2
Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism
Section 2.1: Defining Terrorism
The Necessity
Linguistic Barriers
Political Differences
Existing Definitions
Section 2.2: Essential Elements of Terrorism
The Four Pillars of Terrorism
Cause or Motive
Ends and Means
Targets and Victims
Demands and Coercion
Section 2.3: Anomalies of Terrorism
Demands Versus Actions
Motives; Planner and Operative
Co-operation between Terrorist Groups
Terrorism, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity
Financing Terrorism through Crime
Terrorism and Human Rights Violations
Keywords to Note
Terrorist Attack Brief: Bombing of US Embassy, Beirut, Lebanon
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 84
Lesson 2 Scope and Objectives
Section 2.1: Defining Terrorism
This section explains the importance for UN member states to universally define terrorism, and the
barriers to such a common definition. The lesson goes on to explain how varying perceptions of
domestic and international terrorism result in the pursuit of different definitions. Several differently
perceived definitions of terrorism are illustrated. The section concludes with defining terrorism
without a strict, clearer definition of modern warfare.
After studying this section, the student should be able to:
State the necessity for arriving at a common definition of terrorism
Discuss political and cultural differences which hinder the common definition of terrorism
Understand the linguistic difficulties in commonly defining terrorism
Differentiate an international definition of terrorism vs. a definition of international terrorism
Discuss how universally defining terrorism could call into question the conduct of war
Section 2.2: Essential Elements of Terrorism
This section explores the characteristics of terrorism which demarcate it from conventional crime,
explains the Four Pillars of Terrorism, and individually explains the essential elements of terrorism.
After studying this section, the student should be able to:
Discuss the four pillars of terrorism: Motive, Objective, Target and Asset Harm
Appreciate that all terrorism has a motive or cause and that terrorists justify means by ends
Explain the need for terrorists to convince that they have the ability to commit the act
Understand that all terrorist acts are calculated to varying degrees
Describe the essential element of terror and how terrorists use recognition and publicity
Understand that terrorist motivations, objectives, targets and victims are often separate
Section 2.3: Anomalies of Terrorism
This lesson describes the anomalies of terrorism and illustrates the differences between terrorist
demands and actions; motives of terrorist planners and operatives, and victims and targets. It
discusses co-operation between terrorist groups; classing of certain terrorist acts as war crimes,
crimes against humanity and human rights violations, and financing terrorism through conventional
crime. The Terrorist Attack Brief for this Lesson is the 1984 Bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut.
After studying this section, the student should be able to:
Compare reasonable terrorist demands with ruthless terrorist actions
Appreciate that the architects and perpetrators of terrorism have different motives
Understand that the victim of a terrorist act can be different from the target of a terrorist act
Describe co-operation between terrorist groups, past and present
Recognise the forms of terrorism that are war crimes and crimes against humanity
Discuss how some terrorist groups finance terrorism by committing conventional crimes
Recall the meaning of the words contained in the Lessons Keywords to Note table
Recall the basic facts concerning the US Embassy bombing in Beirut
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 85
Lesson 2 Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism
Section 2.1: Defining Terrorism
The Necessity For Defining Terrorism
The necessity to define international terrorism is at the forefront of United Nations criminal
anti-terrorism efforts, owing to a steady increase in quantity and diversity of terrorist acts, their links
with organised crime, including narcotics-trafficking and the increased dangers posed to global
security, specifically peace between states. India and Pakistan are an example of terrorist-inspired
tension, bringing nuclear nations to the brink of war.
UN efforts are partly facilitated by the end of the Cold War, a period during which guerrilla
warfare and to an extent, terrorism, was sometimes sponsored by the protagonists. A definition of
terror itself is a critical factor in any legal definition of terrorism. Many definitions exist of terrorism
and all use the words terror or fear, but none define them.
The terrorist acts of 11
September 2001 have further galvanised UN efforts to reach a
common definition, but as yet, unsuccessfully.
As a generalisation, domestic terrorism is an issue for the sovereign state or de-facto
government and has been fully or partially defined by many but not all states. Many Nations have
merely left terrorist acts to be dealt with under ordinary criminal legislation, while others view
international definition of terrorism as a prelude to laws being compelled upon their constitutions.
The most important reasons that Terrorism should be defined are:
To facilitate the formation of a more unified international front against terrorism (which
cannot meaningfully decide upon a firm mandate or formulate operational tasks until
terrorism is clearly and universally defined);
To prevent the practice of terrorists and sponsoring governments using the umbrella defence
of freedom-fighting and thereby pursue an end to state-sponsored terrorism
To facilitate future legislation for extradition of defined terrorists from safe-haven countries
To halt further integration of organised crime with terrorism, including narcotics-trafficking
By these measures to seriously suppress terrorism and thereby improve international security
by reducing tension between nations
Linguistic Difficulties
Strangely enough, it is not simply a matter of translation into different languages. Difficulties
exist not only in arranging words and phrases in priority, but finding the appropriate words or
phrases, which in some languages simply do not exist, or can only be imprecisely translated.
Verbatim translation into different languages, of deliberations to arrive at a common
definition can be as complex and sensitive as written draft proposals for resolutions. While in theory,
the emphasis should be on criminal, legal and linguistic issues, terrorism is often a sensitive political
issue and definition debates can be expected to digress periodically into conflict-specific debate
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 86

Irregular troops on opposing sides:
3oulr v|elrar Peop|e's 0elerce Force (|ell) ard Norlr v|elrar v|el Corg (r|grl)
Political Differences
I n s o m e
countries, unrestrained
use of force against
opposition is considered
more or l ess as
legitimate and is used
and supported by
several governments. In
o t h e r c o u n t r i e s ,
governmental human
rights abuses are so
wi de- s pr ead, t hat
terrorism is not viewed
as a gross violation of
human rights, but as
something inconvenient
and impertinent to
Another type of
political impasse is that
one government might
condemn a terrorist who
is defended by another
government as a
During the Cold War, the Soviet bloc and its satellite countries adopted the position that
people who regard themselves as oppressed or exploited have the right to resort to guerrilla warfare
(and implicitly terrorism), and the USSR openly declared support for all such causes. In 1977, the
Tanzanian Delegate to the United Nations insisted that the UN should recognise the inalienable
right of freedom fighters to take up arms to fight their oppressors and who could not be prevented
from taking their oppressors hostage if it became inevitable.
It is furthermore difficult to arrive at a common definition on international terrorism, when
different national legislations for even ordinary and conventional criminal offences are so
irreconcilable, highlighting various concepts of human rights and cultures.
Examples of this are:
The death penalty for murder, balanced against life imprisonment
Stoning to death for adultery, balanced against no crime and punishment
The severing of a hand for theft, balanced against probation or imprisonment
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 87
Some governments fail to agree upon whether the definition of terrorism should be according to:
The underlying causes
The motivations of the terrorist
The nature of terrorist acts carried out
Existing Definitions
The diverse [random] definitions of terrorism that follow illustrate differing perceptions:
i) Any act causing death or grievous bodily harm or loss of liberty to a head of state, persons
exercising the prerogatives of the head of state, their hereditary or designated successors, the spouse
of such persons, or persons charged with public functions or holding public positions when the act
is directed against them in their public capacity;
ii) Acts calculated to destroy or damage public property or property devoted to a public purpose;
iii) Any act likely to imperil human lives through the creation of a public danger, in particular the
seizure of aircraft, the taking of hostages and any form of violence directed against persons who
enjoy international protection or diplomatic immunity;
iv) The manufacture, obtaining, possession or supplying of arms, ammunition, explosives or harmful
substances with a view to the commission of a terrorist act.
Section IX: Crimes against Public Safety and Public Order, Chapter 24; Crimes against Public
Safety; Article 205. Terrorism:
1. Terrorism, i.e. setting off explosions, fires or performing other acts endangering human life,
causing substantial damage to property or bringing about other consequences dangerous to the
public, in so far as those acts are committed for the purpose of disrupting public safety, intimidating
the population or influencing decision-making by the authorities, as well as threatening to commit
such acts for these purposes shall be punishable by 5-10 years imprisonment.
2. The same acts committed,
a) by a group of persons acting in complicity;
b) repeatedly;
c) with use of firearms,
shall be punishable by 8-15 years imprisonment.
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 88
3. The acts referred to in Sections 1 or 2 of this Article, if they were committed by an organised
group or through negligence led to a persons death or to other serious consequences, shall be
punishable by 10-20 years imprisonment.
Note: A person involved in the preparation of an act of terrorism shall be exempt from
criminal prosecution if he or she, by timely notification of the authorities or otherwise, contributed
to preventing execution of this act of terrorism and he or she committed no other criminal acts.
UK TERRORISM ACT, 2000 (Extracts and Basics):
The use or threat of action involving serious violence against a person / where the use or threat is
designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public or a section of the public / the use
or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.
It should then involve serious damage to property /endangering a persons life / creating a serious
risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public / be designed seriously to interfere
with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.
Use or threat of action falling within these sections involving the use of firearms or explosives is
Notes: Action, person, public, property and government includes those outside of the United
The calculated use of violence or the threat of violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to
intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or
US FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation):
Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce
a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social
International terrorism is terrorism conducted with the support of a foreign government or
organisation and / or directed against foreign nationals, institutions or governments.
Terrorist or subversive acts are all those intended :
a) To spread fear throughout the population and to create a climate of insecurity by causing
individuals mental anguish or physical injury, or by endangering their lives, freedom, safety or
b) To impede traffic or freedom of movement on roads or to occupy public places by mob action
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 89
c) To attack symbols of the nation and of the Republic or to desecrate cemeteries
d) To interfere with the communications media, the transport system or public and private property,
to take possession of them or to occupy them unlawfully
e) To harm the environment or to introduce in the atmosphere, on land, underground or in the water,
including the territorial waters of the ocean, any substance that might endanger the health of persons
or animals or the natural environment
f) To interfere with the actions of public authorities, freedom of religion or civil liberties, or with the
operation of establishments that serve the public
g) To interfere with the operations of public institutions or to attack the lives or property of their
agents, or to hinder the enforcement of laws and regulations
Terrorism is the use or threat of use of violence, a method of combat, or a strategy to achieve certain
targets, that it aims to induce a state of fear in the victim, that it is ruthless and does not conform
with humanitarian rules, and that publicity is an essential factor in the terrorist strategy.
Long definition:
Terrorism is an anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-)
clandestine individual, group, or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal, or political reasons,
whereby - in contrast to assassination - the direct targets of violence are not the main targets.
The immediate human victims of violence are generally chosen randomly (targets of opportunity)
or selectively (representative or symbolic targets) from a target population, and serve as message
Threat-and-violence-based communication processes between terrorist (organization), (imperiled)
victims, and main targets are used to manipulate the main target [audience(s], turning it into a target
of terror, a target of demands, or a target of attention, depending on whether intimidation, coercion,
or propaganda is primarily sought.
Short definition:
Act of Terrorism = Peace-time equivalent of war crime.
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 90
Brief Definition
The abstract (but increasingly legislative) term Terrorism refers to criminal offences which
produce widespread popular unease (namely: murder, wounding, destruction and damage) through
overt and ruthless violence. These offences are mostly committed by groups, against random
innocent victims or specific structures or resources, using military weaponry, usually in order to
coerce or punish governmental authorities or commercial enterprises, for political or social reasons.
Detailed Definition

Terrorism is : Voluntary act(s) (or the threat), at any location, of
Murder Wounding Abduction
Depopulation Theft Destruction or damage
by person (s), generating public anxiety, during peace, wartime or insurrection;
as a tactic to influence or coerce:
Governments Organisations
Groups Individuals
with the objective of:

Manipulating political, ethnic
or social change
Commissioning war crimes
or crimes against humanity
Extortion of money,
valuables or services
Deterring law enforcement Enacting vengeance Propaganda benefit
Pursuing esoteric goals
- Acting under orders, recklessness or negligence are not defences to a charge of terrorism.
- War crimes and crimes against humanity are indictable in their own right (double jeopardy).
1) Terrorist offences may already be partly or wholly defined and indictable under respective
national or international criminal legislation (double jeopardy permissible) .
2) This wide definition: Excludes ordinary criminals engaged in conventional crime; encompasses
both terrorists and organised criminal gangs that resort to ruthlessly violent terrorism; includes
terrorists who are committing conventional criminal activities to fund terrorism; covers borderline
terrorists who sometimes commit lesser crimes for socio-political purposes (such as animal rights
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 91
groups). i.e. In short, terrorists and criminals using terrorism, activists committing milder terrorist
acts, and also terrorists committing conventional criminal acts to support terrorism, are all catered
for under this definition.
This avoids the inconsistency and dilemma in which for example, criminals bombing to extort
money or murder rivals are not classified as terrorists, but whereby animal rights activists are
classified as terrorists (perhaps for breaking a window of a medical clinic), purely upon the strength
of having a political agenda (which the criminals do not). Conventional criminals who employ
terrorism are also netted under this definition.
Application of this definition hinges upon the generation of public anxiety (the modern usage
of the word terror); a phenomenon difficult to precisely measure, but a just, effective and decisive
criterion. Moreover, since the offence is terrorism, the necessity for emphasis upon terror, fear or
anxiety is self evident.
3) To apply this definition, it is pre-requisite that the following terms are precisely defined in law:
Public Anxiety (public knowledge of the act, and common expression or experience of fear,
worry or uneasiness)
Rules and Conduct of war (Legitimate struggle is generally cited in Article 7 of the United
Nations General Assembly Resolution No 3314 on Definition of Aggression).
Some nations view terrorism as a single phenomena to be suppressed, whether it is domestic,
international or transnational, regardless of the source or where it takes place and who is involved.
Yet others pursue the elimination of terrorism that is purely international.
The phrase international terrorism is perceived by some nations to mean terrorism that originates
from outside of the state. Yet others perceive international terrorism as a phrase indicating that
terrorism is global and therefore means all terrorism.
The consequence of differing views of terrorism become apparent when examining international
instruments, resolutions and other documents concerning measures to eliminate or suppress
international terrorism. Because of this impasse in perception and objectivity by different member
states, the measures must necessarily be very general, in order to gain wide-spread acceptance.
These measures may sometimes pose an irritation to terrorists, but they are not measures on the
cutting edge of anti-terrorism, and are unrelated to counter-terrorist measures.
Despite much imposed involvement from legal and academic quarters in the world, terrorists
are restrained and suppressed neither by law bills nor research, but by death or capture by security
forces - an issue decided by the latters skills, intelligence, imagination, hard work and willingness
to take risks.
Some of the measures against terrorism pertain to proposals for enhancing national police
training and logistics, amending national legislations, seizing terrorist assets, and providing technical
and legal assistance on mechanisms to facilitate these measures.
Endeavours in this field are mostly termed Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism.
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 92
This could be misleading as some of the measures concern international and domestic terrorism.
It must also be clarified that the definition that should be pursued is an international definition of
terrorism, not a definition of international terrorism. What is being sought after is a definition on
terrorism agreed upon by all, not a definition only of terrorism committed by foreign entities.
A recurring problem related to defining terrorism is the segregation of legitimate freedom
fighters from terrorists, which nations who sponsor terrorism are reluctant to do.
Prima facie, it seems feasible that a universally accepted definition of terrorism could be arrived
at by first defining terrorist acts and then incorporating as terrorists, all categories of people
(including common criminals if need be) regardless of motive, who knowingly and freely commit
those acts.
Political problems however, would rapidly emerge. For example, let us consider the case of a
bomber who detonates a bomb in a civilian population centre, killing and maiming innocent people.
He is clearly a terrorist.
The problem arises however, in that if bombing of civilians in population centres is universally
accepted as terrorism and those who carried it out are by default, terrorists, then the whole conduct
of war (as yet not precisely defined) would be called into question. This is because many innocent
persons are regularly bombed and killed in civilian population centres by air attack, the only
difference being (in practical not moral terms) the weapon delivery method.
Perhaps a solution to this dilemma could be approached by a legal requirement, as in the case
of murder, for proof of intent and malice aforethought. This might go some distance in exculpating
military duty, if not political responsibility.
Existing legislation, treaties and conventions concerning international terrorism have not yet all
been signed or ratified in all parts by all states.
Concerning the immediate or near future chances of arriving at a common definition of
terrorism, there are few indications for optimism, despite the renewed political will, following the
terrorist acts of 11
September 2001.
Section 2.2: Essential Elements of Terrorism
The Four Pillars of Terrorism
There are elements essential to, or found in, all cases of terrorism. They are:
Cause or motive
Ends and means
There are also elements which frequently occur, but not necessarily in all cases of terrorism:
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 93
To put all of these elements in context and sequence, in a more logical or scientific structure,
most terrorism can be viewed as having four pillars, which are linked, in sequence, and dependent
upon each other.
The FOUR PILLARS of Terrorism are:
Motivation precedes objective and although it drives it, can be considered as a sleeping
The objective of terrorists is the most important factor to them. The other two factors (or
pillars) of target and asset harm, are secondary and are overall, governed by the objective.
The target is the entity (body or individual) to be coerced into indirectly achieving the objective
for the terrorist.
Asset Harm is a phrase meaning wounding (physically, mentally or morally) or killing victims
(usually non military) and damage / destruction of buildings, resources or other non-human assets.
How the Four Pillars of Terrorism are linked and interact is explained in the following way:
Terrorists are all motivated. Motivation generates an objective
The objective determines what (or who) is to be the target
The type of target decides the asset harm that is selected
Is what coerces the target so as to achieve the objective
Examples of the Four Pillars are as follows
Greed / Weakness
Intolerance or hatred
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 94
Unbalanced convictions (e.g. religious or political)
Confused altruism (e.g. terrorism for animal rights)
Political or religious change
Demographic or social change
Extortion / Illicit wealth
Government policy making organs
Commercial enterprises
Law enforcement and criminal justice systems
Private individuals
Social or rival groups
Asset Harm:
Killing or injuring:
Government employees
Private sector employees
Other random or select victims
Destruction or damage of / to:
State owned buildings, resources, other assets
Private buildings, resources, other assets
An example of how the four pillars interact in sequence is as follows, in this hypothetical scenario:
A narcotics trafficker is motivated by greed to increase his illicit income (MOTIVATION)
The narcotics trafficker forms the objective to deter law enforcement activities, in order to
expand trafficking operations and generate this income (OBJECTIVE)
To accomplish this, the narcotics trafficker decides to target (coerce) the Mayors office that
controls police strategies. He issues a threat to the Mayor that innocent civilians will be
randomly murdered unless he restricts police anti-narcotics efforts (TARGET)
To re-enforce his threat (or if it is ignored), the narcotics trafficker causes asset harm by
murdering random civilian victims in a bombing (ASSET HARM)
This cycle of violence continues until the demand disappears (terrorist apprehended or killed,
situation changes etc) or is met. If the demand is met, the cycle reverses:
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 95
IRA bombing of British Army Barracks, Northern Ireland, UK
i.e. Asset Harm overwhelms the target (who concedes to demands), achieving the objective, which
satisfies the motive.
Cause or Motive
There is no accidental terrorism. All terrorists have a cause, motive or reason, (discussed in
detail in Lessons 3 and 4) for committing their acts.
Even individual terrorists who are clinically insane, have reasons for committing their acts,
despite the fact that they may be invalid, absurd, illogical or unintelligible.
Often, an important part of terrorism is communicating the terrorist cause to media, forces of
law and order, the target and the victim, variously, depending upon the circumstances of the case.
Ends and Means
Terrorists always justify the
means by the end, regardless of law,
ethics, morality, logic, religion or
cost. This is to say that no matter what
the terrorist act may be, it is always
justifiable to the terrorists, because it
is a means of achieving their goals.
Terrorists must have the ability to
carry out their act, or in the case of
hoaxes, they must convince the target
and / or victim that they have the
ability. Achieving the ability to carry
out a terrorist act is usually the most
difficult and vulnerable stage of
terrorism; obtaining the materials and
equipment for a terrorist act, is a
likely stage for being detected by security forces that monitor legal and illegal sources of small arms
and explosives.
Political, religious or social terrorist acts are not as random as they sometimes appear (although
the victims often are) and are usually subject to careful advance planning.
With careful planning, all aspects are calculated, including financial, political, logistical and
security issues, almost along the lines of a military or commercial operation.
Despite this, the effects of a given terrorist act are not always evaluated well and are sometimes
too excessive.
Public terror can turn partly or wholly to anger or alienation of the terrorist cause. This is
counter-productive to gaining public sympathy from those on the fringe of belief in the terrorist
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 96
Death leaving the mouth of Hell to hunt a new victim
From: The Boke Names the Royal, London, 1507
It is also counter-productive to
instilling the fine state of fear that the
terrorists wish to achieve in targets and
This has sometimes been the case
with terrorist acts committed by factions
involved in the Northern Ireland conflict.
Such ill-judgement is sometimes
termed as an overkill or an intelligence-
An example was the Omagh
(Northern Ireland) bombing in 1998, in
which 23 people were killed and 200
wounded. It was carried out by members
of the so called Real IRA and drew
worldwide condemnation.
Many terrorists calculate that once they induce a fine state of fear, the public pressure may force
the government in question to accede to the terrorist demand, just in order to obtain peace and
security again.
From a government view point, acceding to terrorist demands and even engaging in dialogue
with terrorists is viewed as politically dangerous.
Terrorist calculation and planning demands above-average intelligence, but above all, cunning;
this often accounts for the low rate of detection; overall, few terrorists ever face trial.
He who terrorises is himself the more terrified
Claudian; Panegyricus de Quarto Consulatu Honorii Augusti.
Terror, fear or anxiety induced by terrorists is variable. It may be pre-determined (and evaluated)
if the threat is clearly communicated by the terrorists prior to their committing a terrorist act.
Although some acts of terrorism are committed with no prior warning, they still induce terror,
but post facto, or after the act.
This is so in the cases of contract and punitive terrorism; it is not coercive and is sometimes
called sub-conflict terrorism.
This means that the terrorists have no objective or desire to negotiate.
Terrorism in general, requires a fine state of fear, not too little, but also not too much so that the
act causes excessive alienation or public anger.
Political, religious or social terrorists seek recognition and by extension, acceptance for their
cause. They view themselves not as terrorists, but as rebels to oppression.
Those terrorists that are prepared to negotiate, first pursue recognition. These types of terrorists
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 97
Vietcong terrorist bombing in the middle of Saigon, 1969
Courtesy: US Army
present their cause to the media, forces of law and order, victim or target and pursue acceptance of
it, partly through threat, fear and coercion and wherever possible, by persuasion of their cause.
Their preferred primary objective [usually] is concession through negotiation, before resorting
to ruthless violence. However, to establish themselves as a terrorist group, they often have to commit
a terrorist act beforehand, in order to gain credibility.
Terrorists who are non-negotiable or sub-conflict, care little for recognition and only resort to
further terrorism until radical change or concession is forthcoming; the quest for vengeance is
satisfied; they are detected or killed by security forces, or they become dormant.
It has been said that the oxygen of terrorists is publicity, and accordingly, some terrorist acts are
as spectacular and high profile as possible. There are exceptions to this however, as the discovery
of mass-graves years after an act of genocidal terrorism would indicate.
Yet other terrorists seek no publicity and conceal their identity as far as possible; an example
being the terrorist who placed a pipe bomb at the Atlanta Olympic games in 1996, Eric Rudolph,
later identified and indicted.
Most military or paramilitary terrorists who have engaged in de-population tend to avoid
publicity in the same way organised criminal gangs who commit contract terrorist bombings or
assassinations avoid publicity.
There is a direct correlation between desired amounts of terror, publicity and the terrorist act.
i.e. Terrorists who seek to achieve wide-spread terror, need to generate wide-spread publicity;
consequently, they tend to commit suitably outrageous terrorist acts in media-favourable
circumstances, in order to generate the desired degree of publicity.
Publicity is essential for terrorists seeking to coerce a government or a regime. Achieving
publicity and media coverage in
democracies is easy and practically
guaranteed, but publicity is mostly
denied or minimised in totalitarian and
undemocratic societies where media is
strictly controlled by the state.
The media have a major, if formally
unaccepted, responsibility in the amount
of terror generated.
Occasionally, a few media
organisations experience a clash of
interests: Sensationalism should be
limited, but it conflicts with the
commercial interest of media enterprise
to sell news. Sensationalism is also often
incompatible with the notion that all
information must be freely disseminated in order to safeguard democracy; a responsibility that some
sectors of the media have assumed for themselves. Moreover, the fashion in which political issues
are sometimes presented in the media, can incite violence and thereby undermine democracy.
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 98
A young Kashmiri girl raped and beaten
in the Jammu Kashmir Conflict
A Bomb in a public place where there are likely to be
many victims, as portrayed in this contemporary anti-
terrorism warning poster. The most common terrorist
pattern does not change: attacking innocent victims in
order to coerce governments.
Courtesy: New Scotland Yard
It is widely held that the terrorist events of
September 2001 were not only portrayed
with a high degree of professionalism and
suitable moderation by the media (in general),
but directly contributed to unifying the national
and international response during the aftermath.
The customary sensationalism which
characterised media coverage of terrorism for
several decades, was notably absent.
Victims and Targets
If you are terrible to many, beware of many
Periander (Ausonius); Septem Sapientum
Sententim. IV/1.5
There are always victims and targets in cases
of terrorism (see the Four Pillars of Terrorism
earlier in this Lesson).
Sometimes the victim and target are one and the same. Victims and targets are discussed in
depth in Lesson 2.3 Anomalies of Terrorism; (Segregation of Victim from Target) and partly in
Lessons 8 and 9.
In the media, the word target is used interchangeably with the word victim, as if they are one
and the same, which in fact, they are usually not.
Demands and Coercion
Demands are what terrorists ask from the target in order
to achieve their objectives.
In most cases, if the demands are not met, terrorists
commit acts of terrorism in order to coerce the target into
meeting the demands.
Some examples of terrorist demands are:
The release of
A change i n
Ransom money
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 99
Reasons that Governments can be coerced are because they:
Are accountable for public safety
Have the power to meet demands or make concessions
Try to avoid anti-Government unrest (generated by loss of life if demands are not met)
Section 2.3: Anomalies of Terrorism
Demands Versus Actions
Except for certain types of Armageddonist (doomsday and final judgment) and contract
terrorism, the most striking anomaly about terrorism is that in most cases, terrorists project
themselves as social freedom fighters, engaged in a legitimate democratic struggle against some form
of oppression.
The anomaly here lies in the truth that terrorists themselves oppress people and are
Terrorist actions are usually the antithesis of terrorist demands. The demands appear sometimes
reasonable (in reality, they are glib), but their actions are often outrageous. Simply put, terrorist
demands are irreconcilable with their actions - they make democratic demands and commit
undemocratic actions.
Terrorist acts are in some cases coercive actions carried out for non-compliance with preceding
The cycle of demand and action often continues until the demands are met, the terrorists are
apprehended or a compromise is achieved.
Compromise however, is not possible with those terrorists who are classified as non-negotiable
or sub-conflict.
Motives; Planner and Operative
Who here really believes that we can win the war through the ballot box? But will anyone here
object if, with a ballot paper in one hand and the Armalite in the other, we take power in Ireland ?
Danny Morrison, Sinn Fein Conference, October 1981
The motives of the terrorist who plans or organises a terrorist act may not always be shared by
the terrorists who carry out the acts. As in the case of common criminal activity, the organisers are
frequently too prudent to risk being caught in the act or to expose themselves to almost certain
danger from security forces.
Bin Ladin and Sheikh Omar (Al Qaida and Taliban) are examples of this type of terrorist
planner. Instead, they motivate then manipulate other, less intelligent persons to carry out terrorist
acts for them.
The terrorist planner may lie openly, and support and encourage the personal motives of the
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 100
Andreas Baader and Ulrika Meinhof.
The Red Army Faction announced a cessation of
activities, but members of it are still sought for
terrorism. One of these was Horst Ludwig Meyer.
After being stopped for a routine check in September
1999 by Vienna police, he opened fire, and
absconded. He was shot dead a short while later
when cornered and firing again. The Red Brigades
(Brigate Rosse), a peer group of the same era, were
thought to be dormant, but re-activated in the 1990s.
terrorist operative, just in order to inspire him.
In the cases of religiously manipulated [mostly Islamic] terrorists, the planners promise and
frequently re-enforce belief in suicide bombers unlimited martyrs rewards in paradise.
There is often more than one motive for a terrorist; sometimes, it is a mixture of political and
religious considerations, and frequently egotistical and financial considerations.
Co-operation between Terrorist Groups
Co-operation between left-wing and anarchist terrorist groups was not uncommon during the
1970s and 1980s, when notable exchange-terrorist acts were undertaken, especially related to the
middle-east conflict. A notorious example of this was the Tel Aviv Lod airport massacre in 1972,
in which 24 persons were killed and 74 wounded, undertaken by terrorists of the Tokyo-based
Japanese Red Army (JRA), on behalf of Palestinian terrorists.
Co-operation between terrorist groups became less common at the beginning of the 1990s,
because most terrorists had realised by then, the security risks involved of sharing information with
outside groups that may have been penetrated by security forces. Hizbollah in Lebanon were (and
still are) an example, with a deep mistrust of Palestinian and other Lebanese guerrillas and terrorists,
as they believe them to have been penetrated by agents working for Israeli intelligence.
By 1993, some terrorist groups were beginning to cooperate again and [in 1993], the first World
Trade Centre bombing showed that different terrorists (but not necessarily from specific groups)
were once more forming alliances, but this time for specific transnational terrorist acts.
This was the case in the 1998 US Embassy
bombings in Nairobi and Dar as Salaam, Africa.
During the 1970s and 1980s, many of the
groups who undertook missions for other groups
shared common or similar political sentiments.
Such groups included those who were anti-
western, anti-capitalist, anti-totalitarian, anti-
imperialist and sometimes anti-Zionist.
The Baader-Meinhof gang or Red Army
Faction is an example of such a group. Following
the conclusion of the Cold War, the number of
such politically extreme-left terrorist groups
decreased with the decline of Communism. Few
remain active, but these groups are not all extinct
however; some remain only dormant.
In late September 2001, six Algerian
terrorists of the bin Ladin-linked Salafist Group
for Preaching and Combat were arrested in
Spain, while supplying Chechen terrorists with
false travel documents.
This illustrates the resurgence of
international cooperation and mobility that is again taking place between terrorist groups.
As the events of 11
September 2001 show, transnational terrorists have firmly emerged to
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 101
War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity - Depopulation and
Genocide. Warsaw ghetto, 1943
perfect the concept of coalition and exchange terrorism. The characteristics of these terrorists are as
Almost invariably, Islam is thoroughly distorted and projected as a legitimate shield *
No self-constraints are placed upon mobility or location
These terrorists are of above average intelligence, ability and cunning
These terrorists are ruthless, risking a strong likelihood of death or life imprisonment
This category of terrorist is non-negotiable as their general demands are unimplementable
These terrorists may commit a terrorist act together, but disperse and never meet again
* Exceptions exist to this generality, as some transnational terrorists are non-Muslims and have no
involvement in projecting Islam as a justification for terrorism. An example is the 2001 interaction
(exchange of training, arms and intelligence) in Colombia between the some members of the Real
IRA, other groups, and FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia).
Terrorism, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity
There is no denying that Hitler and Stalin are alive today.............they are waiting for us to forget,
because that is what makes possible the resurrection of these two monsters
Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal, at a meeting with US President Carter in 1980
War crimes and crimes against
humanity generally mean massacre,
genocide or other forms of brutal
persecution or savage barbarism,
against civilian populations or
prisoners of war.
Ther e ar e t hr ee mai n
interpretations concerning these
breaches of humanitarian law and
Crimes Against Peace: Planning
or commencing a war of
War Crimes: Murder, ill treatment
or deportation of civilians in
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 102
Making the West fund terrorism against itself.
Considerable amounts of Illegal drugs profits generated
in Europe and the US are used to fund terrorism.
Examples of groups using drug profits for terrorism on
the large scale are: The PKK (Kurdistan Workers
Party, aka the Congress for Freedom and Democracy
in Kurdistan) and the former Taliban / Al Qaida regime
in Afghanistan
Photo: Courtesy: Interpol
occupied territory
Crimes Against Humanity: Persecution of civilians of a specific racial, religious or political
group, in peacetime or in war, at the level of genocide
These crimes generate a great deal of terror and often result in the rapid displacement of
populations, who become refugees.
Ejecting populations is one of the objectives of so-called ethnic cleansing. Ethnic cleansing is
a war crime, specifically termed as Depopulation (or deportation) and is often accompanied by
Genocide (a Crime against Humanity). War crimes and Crimes against Humanity are all forms of
terrorism and are human rights violations.
Financing Terrorism through Crime
Terrorists sometimes engage in conventional
criminal activity in order to obtain funding. For
example, they commit ordinary crimes like bank
robberies in order to be able to finance their
terrorist acts.
A terrorist group heavily engaged in
conventional criminality in order to fund
terrorism, is the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party).
The PKK smuggle illegal narcotics into
Europe. Their trafficking amounts to an
estimated 56 million Deutschmarks (street
value) per annum
Between 1985 and 1994, 315 PKK members
were convicted of narcotics trafficking in
Europe, of which 154 were arrested in
The PKK extort money from Kurdish
communities all over Europe. Some of the
profits fund the PKK and its activities
Another example of such a group is the
Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA).
They were engaged in many forms of crime,
ranging from narcotics trafficking to extortion, although this has diminished since they declared a
cease-fire in 1994.
The PIRA are so deeply involved in racketeering and conventional criminality, that some
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 103
Anti-terrorist Observation Post: British Internal Security Forces,
Northern Ireland
politicians evaluate their criminal activities
as likely to endanger any lasting settlement
to the Northern Ireland conflict.
Some Loyalist terrorist groups
opposing the PIRA also engage in the
same types of criminal activity.
Conventional crimes engaged in (directly
or indirectly) by terrorists include:
Armed bank robberies
Trafficking in human beings
Narcotics trafficking
Money laundering
Diamond smuggling
Organised prostitution
Other lucrative vice offences
Extorting money from members of local communities
Kidnapping for ransom money
Copyright infringements (pirating)
The illicit revenues generated all over the world from these types of crime are enormous and
should not be underestimated. Here are some statistics:
Global money laundering profits exceed US$ 1 trillion per annum
Narcotics trafficking profits range from US$ 300 billion to US$ 500 billion per annum
In 1997, some 700,000 women and children were forced into sexual slavery and exported
US Copyright infringements (pirating) costs US businesses approx. US$ 24 billion per year
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 104
The right to freedom of religion - one of the
articles in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights (UN) and several national legislations.
British Army Anti-terrorism patrol outside the
Serb Cathedral at Pristina, Kosovo - a prime
terrorist target following Serbian armed forces
war crimes
Terrorism and Human Rights Violations
Whatever the terrorist act may be, all terrorist acts are violations of human rights, the general
foundation of which is the right to life free from fear and oppression. No terrorist respects or
recognises human rights, except his own, or unless it serves his purpose.
Terrorists and those governments who sponsor terrorism, are in breach of the provisions of:
The [UN] Universal Declaration of Human Rights
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
UN Convention against torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
European Convention on Human Rights
The resolutions on human rights and terrorism adopted by the UN General Assembly on 22nd
December 1995, (50 / 186) re-iterated grave concern
over the gross violations of human rights, perpetrated
by terrorist groups and the increasing number of
innocent maimed by terrorists in indiscriminate and
random acts of violence and terror.
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 105
Ability The fact of being able to accomplish something. Skill or strength
Calculation To estimate, think out or reckon
Coercion To compel, or restrain by force
Collateral Damage Human victims and non-human damage or destruction of assets
Definition of
A definition of Terrorism committed or involving (other than as victims) a
person or government that is classified as foreign in the country of attack
Demands Claims, requirements, things insisted upon
Ends & Means Results and methods / consequences & Instruments
Freedom Fighter Fighter in armed movement for liberation from tyranny or occupation
Definition of
A definition of Terrorism, that is agreed to among all nations (internationally)
Motivation Incentive, inducement, driving force
Objective Goal or aim. Desired result
Publicity Information or act being made known to the public through media
Recognition Acknowledgement or praise
Target An objective or an entity or person aimed at or focussed upon
Terror Extreme fear, anxiety or dread. Adopted from the 14
century French word
Terreur, which was derived in turn from a Latin root: Terrere = to frighten. Terror
is also the source of the English word deter. The word terror came into
common usage during the French Revolution, owing to the new Revolutionary
governments vengeful conduct during a period known as La Terreur
War Crimes &
Crimes Against
Indictable crimes during war and violation of international laws governing
accepted norms of human conduct. e.g. Depopulation & Genocide

Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 106

Bombing of US Embassy, Beirut, Lebanon
Facts of the Case: On 20
1984, a pick-up truck filled with explosives
skidded around several barriers and
obstacles guarded by US soldiers. The
pickup truck entered the compound of the
newly relocated US Embassy in the East
(mostly Christian) sector of Beirut, Lebanon
and exploded 10 yards away from the
embassy annex.
Twelve people were killed in addition to the suicide driver. The
terrorist group 'Islamic Jihad' called in and claimed responsibility.
Investigation: After a month, US Investigators found evidence
implicating the Shiite group 'Hezbollah', with Iranian government
sponsoring in the form of explosives and related materials.
Hezbollah and Iran denied all responsibility. The US Government
(Reagan administration) did not retaliate directly in this case,
apparently due to political and logistical constraints.
Earlier in the year, on 16
March 1984, William Buckley, Political
Officer and CIA Station Chief for Beirut, had been abducted when
going to work, in the basement garage of his apartment block
(beaten unconscious with a rock-filled attache case, put on the
floor of a car and driven away, out of the garage) and later killed,
allegedly by terrorists belonging to Hizballah.
During the previous year, the US Embassy in Beirut was also
blown up by a suicide bomber. The bomb killed 63 people
including seven CIA officers and five DIA Officers attending a
regional conference on terrorism.
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 107
1. The most important reason for a universal definition of terrorism is to
a) Separate terrorism from guerrilla warfare
b) Identify terrorists
c) Unify efforts for the suppression of terrorism and thereby improve international security
2. One of the political problems which frustrates efforts to define terrorism is
a) Opposed left and right wing political ideologies
b) Some governments defend terrorists as freedom fighters
c) Legal difficulties
3. A government might have several different definitions of terrorism within its various law
enforcement agencies.
a) True
b) False
4. All nations seek a universal definition of both international and domestic terrorism.
a) True
b) False
5. It is easier to first define acts of terrorism and then to define terrorists as those who commit the
terrorist acts.
a) True
b) False
6. What are the four pillars of terrorism?
a) Motivation, Alienation, Attack and Response
b) Motivation, Objective, Target and Asset Harm
c) Reconnaissance, Logistics, Planning and Execution
7. Terrorists do not always justify the means (terrorist act) by the end (objective or result).
a) True
b) False
8. Terrorists are vulnerable when
a) Planning the terrorist act
b) Delivering their threat
c) Obtaining the materials and equipment for the terrorist act
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 108
9. Terrorists sometimes commit acts of terrorism so outrageous, that instead of inspiring public
terror, it results in widespread public anger and alienation of the terrorists and their cause.
a) True
b) False
10. Terror is created
a) After a terrorist act
b) Before the terrorist act
c) Before or after the terrorist act
11. All terrorists seek recognition and publicity.
a) True
b) False
12. The amount of publicity for a terrorist act is proportionate to the
a) Size of the terrorist group
b) Scale of the terrorist act
c) Terrorist weapons used
13. Terrorists usually decide the scale of the terrorist act that they will commit, according to the
amount of terror that they wish to create.
a) True
b) False
14. Terrorists project their demands as
a) Always reasonable
b) Part of a legitimate struggle against oppression
c) Legal rights
15. The planner of a terrorist act and the terrorist who carries out the act share the same motives.
a) Sometimes
b) Always
c) Never
16. The victims and targets of terrorism are
a) Always the same
b) Sometimes the same
c) Never the same
17. Terrorist groups co-operate
a) Never
b) Frequently
c) Sometimes
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 109
18. De-population (ethnic cleansing), war crimes and crimes against humanity are
a) Sometimes forms of terrorism
b) Not forms of terrorism
c) Always forms of terrorism
19. Terrorists sometimes commit conventional crimes in order to
a) Finance their terrorism
b) Increase terror
c) Coerce governments
20. Terrorism is a violation of human rights
a) Sometimes
b) Usually
c) Always
Lesson 2/ Definitions, Elements, and Anomalies of Terrorism 110
1-c, 2-b, 3-a, 4-b, 5-a, 6-b, 7-b, 8-c, 9-a, 10-c, 11-b, 12-b, 13-a, 14-b, 15-a, 16-b, 17-c, 18-c, 19-a,
Lesson 3
Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists
Confronting Oppression
Independence Struggle
Resistance to Military Occupation
Religious Duty
Political Conviction
Social Conviction
Pursuit of Mystical, Doomsday or Messianic Goals
Restoration of Past Social or Religious System
Keywords to Note
Terrorist Attack Brief: Restaurant Bombing in Madrid, Spain
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 112
Lesson 3 Scope and Objectives
This lesson discusses the different types of reasons or motives that terrorists publicly project
as justifications for carrying out acts of terrorism. Those reasons include confronting oppression,
struggle for independence, resistance to military occupation, political, social or religious convictions,
esoteric and historical objectives. The Terrorist Attack Brief for this Lesson is the 1985 Restaurant
bombing in Madrid, Spain.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to:
Comprehend that some terrorists view their actions as legitimate and cite their justifications
Realise that there is sometimes more than one motive for terrorism
Understand the different meanings of accession, secession, independence and separatism
Explain the motive of religious duty
Describe the differences between social, mystical, doomsday and messianic justifications
Quote an example of terrorism in order to restore a past social or religious system
Recall the meaning of the words contained in the Lessons Keywords to Note table
Recall the basic facts concerning the 1985 restaurant bombing in Madrid, Spain
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 113
Lesson 3. Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists
There is sometimes a single reason or motive for terrorism. In many other instances, there
is clearly a combination of motives. For the purposes of clarity, each motive, reason and proclaimed
justification for terrorism is separately discussed in the next two lessons of this course.
Confronting Oppression
When liberty comes with hands dabbled in blood it is hard to shake hands with her
Oscar Wilde (18541900), Anglo-Irish author and playwright
Confronting oppression refers to oppression by governments. This can take many forms, but
essentially, oppression by governments in authoritarian regimes takes the following forms:
Practical oppressive measures can be imposed in authoritarian regimes by:
Government Officials
Armed Forces
Civilian groups with Government support
Both guerrillas and terrorists use the justification of confronting oppression. In some cases
it is true, while in other cases, it is not true and is simply used as a cover for other, hidden motives
(discussed in Lesson 4).
There are governments who oppress their populations and resistance is widely accepted as
justified, but terrorism can never be justified. An example of a conflict which results from claims
of oppression is in Kosovo from 1998 to 1999. The Serbian police and army and also their
opponents, the Kosovo [Albanian] Liberation Army (UCK), have all resorted to terrorism in the
When terrorists claim they are opposing political tyranny, it is sometimes, in reality, an
inability by the terrorists to achieve political objectives through ordinary political mechanisms.
An example of this is the Mutahidda (formerly Mohajir) Quami Movement (MQM) or United
(National) Refugee Movement, which in 1996 began an ongoing campaign of terrorism in Karachi
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 114
against Pakistan Government Forces. One justification given by the MQM was that the government
failed to redress inequalities concerning refugee migrant issues such as freedom of travel, health
care, education and identity documents (citizens who were Muslim immigrants from 1947-
partitioned India do not have equal legal rights).
An example of a US terrorist group that claimed political oppression were the Weathermen
or Weather Underground, an offshoot of the Students for a Democratic Society or SDS. They later
changed their name to the Non-sexist Weather Underground.
Their proclaimed causes were to:
Stop racism
Put an end to the Vietnam War
They stated that the US exploited people around the world and therefore deserved to be
defeated by the communists.
They detonated twenty bombs in all, during the 1970s. The oppression they claimed was in
fact a shield for a different motive; political frustration (since most Americans strongly opposed
communism). This rejection by society widened after they resorted to terrorism and alienated further
sectors of US society.
Confronting religious oppression is sometimes claimed as a defence to terrorism, especially
by minority groups whose members commit terrorist acts.
Sometimes, it may be an authentic case of oppression, or it may just be a cover-story for
another motive such as religious fanaticism.
An example of terrorism involving religious oppression is in Pakistan, where some very
small terrorist groups (Sunni and Shiite Muslim) quite regularly commit terrorist attacks against each
other for reasons of intolerance and in response to intolerance. Some of these groups also attack
Christians and the few Hindus left (who are in too weak a position to defend or respond).
Confronting ethnic oppression is a reason sometimes used by terrorists to defend their
actions. Several current conflicts in the world stem from ethnic oppression.
An example of a group involved in this type of conflict was:
The Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN)
Prior to agreements for full independence in May 2002, FRETILIN conducted a low-intensity
insurgency and terrorism campaign for separatism, and although the group did not attack foreign
visitors, it brutally slaughtered political prisoners that it held in detention.
Besides the military response and oppression by the Indonesian government at that time, prior
to the independence process, this conflict was aggravated as outside Javans were encouraged by the
government to settle on the island of East Timor, in order to change the demographics.
Sometimes oppression of one ethnic minority is carried out by another ethnic minority within
a society. An example of such a cyclic conflict involves Assyrians in Turkey. Besides illegally
pursuing separatism from Turkey, some parts of the Assyrian ethnic community have formed
political groups amongst whom there are terrorists, who respond to what they allege as ethnic and
religious oppression (such as attacks on their religion, destruction of their churches and culture) by
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 115
SAS jungle patrol, Borneo 1963
Chinese backed communist insurgents unsuccessfully tried to wrest
the government from the Sultans in this British protectorate, under the
guise of supposed independence struggle
PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) terrorists. Kurds similarly attacked Armenians in early 20
Some members of Assyrian (Ashuryeen) groups are domiciled in Europe, and in 1997, they
violently demonstrated, breaking into the United Nations Offices at Geneva.
Notable Assyrian groups are:
Hezb ul Tahrir Al Ashur (Assyria Liberation Party)
Asur Kurtulus Partisi (Assyrian Salvation Party)
Independence Struggle
Ter r or i s m was ( and
occasionally still is) a part of many
guerrilla struggles for independence.
Independence means either
being liberated from a foreign
occupying power, or the quest of
separating from an existing state and
the forming of a new state.
An example of a conflict like
this borders Afghanistan, in
neighbouring Jammu and Kashmir,
where some indigenous guerrillas and
terrorists (termed there by local
security forces as Militants) seek an
independent new country called
Jammu and Kashmir.
Yet other indigenous groups
involved in the Jammu and Kashmir conflict wish to become part of Pakistan, a desire known as
In other parts of the world, some terrorist groups seek secession. Secession means to separate
from the country which they are part of without necessarily specifying independence or union with
another country afterwards; they merely seek separation from their existing country. Any type of
demand to detach from an existing country can be called separatism.
Sometimes, the quest for independence is legitimate and provided for in UN Resolutions. In
other conflicts, the demand for independence is clearly not legitimate. In most cases, demands for
independence are controversial and involve terrorism.
Resistance to Military Occupation
Resistance to military occupation is an often cited justification by terrorists and guerrillas.
It refers to resisting military occupation by invading foreign forces. Terrorism however, is neither
justified nor legal in any type of military occupation.
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 116
Political poster: PFLP (Palestinian Front for
the Liberation of Palestine)
Whether or not resistance to military
occupation may seem justified, it must be viewed
under international law and any UN Resolutions that
may exist concerning the specific conflict in
Guerilla warfare may be justified in certain
circumstances under the UN Charter and UN
Resolution which defines aggression, but terrorism is
Invasion and military occupation are conflicts
involving sovereignty and are frequently
characterised by much emotion and violence, often in
the form of terrorism.
An example of a conflict involving resistance
to military occupation was that in south Lebanon.
Hizbollah (Party of God) is a group which has
engaged both in guerrilla warfare and terrorism
variously, although in recent times there has been a
cessation of indiscriminate rocket attacks over the
border into Israel.
In 1982 Israel invaded and occupied a strip of
Lebanese territory inside Lebanon, in order to create
a buffer zone, for stated reasons of security, against
terrorist attacks (especially Palestinian) into Israel. Israel consolidated its presence and remained in
Lebanon until 2000. Hizbollah attacked Israeli military targets inside Lebanon, considered widely
to be legitimate resistance to foreign invasion under international law. However, Hizbollah also
periodically dispatched surface-to-surface missiles across the Lebanese border into Israeli civilian
population centres, which is clearly terrorism.
According to media, in March 1992, four men with silenced pistols, allegedly from
Hizbollah, murdered Michael Nassar and his wife in Brazil. Nassar was a cousin of General Lahad,
who ran the former SLA (South Lebanese Army) that assisted Israels occupation of Lebanon until
2000 (whereupon the SLA formally ceased to exist).
Media reported that Nassar was murdered for having supplied arms to the SLA, but this is
very unlikely to be the sole reason. The media further alleged that Hizbollah has connections with
drug cartels in Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.
Religious Duty
Some types of terrorist and their sponsors believe or posture that they have a religious duty
to resort to armed struggle. Sometimes they commit terrorist acts.
Terrorists who are partly motivated by what they perceive or project as religious duty are
found among:
Al Qaida (the Base or Foundation), an international terrorist network
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 117
The so called fire-and-forget Jihad weapon, which changed
world history. The Mujahideen turned the course of the Soviet-
Afghan war with this weapon, forcing an eventual Soviet
withdrawal. This in turn, set in motion a chain of events that led
to: the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union; an end
to the Cold War; a rash of petty warlords emerging globally to
initiate nationalist and independence civil wars, and the forging
of todays transnational terrorists who have hi-jacked Islam and
distorted it for their banner.
Courtesy: USAF Air War College
Al Jabhah al Islamiyah al Alamiyah li Quital al Yahud wal Salibiyyin (International Islamic
Front to Fight Jews and Crusaders) a transnational coalition integrated with its executive
arm, Al Qaida
Gamaa Al Islamiya (GAI or Islamic group) in Egypt
Jihad Al Islamiya (Egyptian Islamic Jihad) in Egypt
Groupe Islamique Arm (GIA or Armed Islamic Group), based in Algeria
Arm Islamique du Salut (Islamic Salvations Front) in Algeria
Groupe Salafiste pour la Prdication et le Combat (Salafist Group for Preaching & Combat)
in Algeria, set up by bin Laden
Also amongst these groups
number many who are simply intolerant
of moderate and balanced Muslims,
other religions and cultural differences.
Some sponsors of terrorism
consider that they have a religious duty;
but they inspire others to commit the
acts, avoiding participation themselves.
An incentive for terrorism or motivating
others to terrorism, is the acquisition of
divine credit.
In the Islamic religion, it is a
belief that divine credit (known as
Sawab) is conferred upon not only the
one who fights or crusades against evil,
but to an extent, upon the sponsor
(known as Kafil).
These beliefs apply to legitimate
armed struggle, such as self defence, but
are twisted by religious distortionists like bin Laden, to include terrorism. This terrorism is often
postured as Jihad or Holy War (which it is clearly not, since Islam forbids killing of innocents,
women and children and unarmed combatants who have surrendered).
Another example of religious duty as a motive for terrorism is the Fatwa. A Fatwa is a
religious injunction or legal opinion. A Fatwa was issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei
(deceased) against writer Salman Rushdie, a Bombay-born Indian Muslim with British citizenship.
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 118
Political Revolutionary poster from Peru
British Army Sgts. Martin and Paice, abducted and hung by
Irgun terrorists trying to de-rail the objectives of the League
of Nations mandate for Palestine, and force a British
withdrawal. The bodies were booby-trapped with bombs for
Crown / IPS Washington
Rushdie still stands accused of publishing a
book which is considered as an attack on the Islamic
The Fatwa against Salman Rushdie requires
that he and everyone involved in publishing the book be
put to death. To obey the Fatwa is considered a religious
duty by many Muslims and overrides any considerations
of transgressing national or international laws.
According to media reports, in recent years, although the
Rushdie Fatwa cannot be voided, the Government of
Iran has indicated that it is less vigorously pursuing its
An example of a group that engages in
terrorism for what they claim is religious duty is the
Turkish Hizballah (Party of God). The Turkish
Hizballah believes that the PKK (the outlawed Kurdish
Workers Party) is the enemy of Islam, accusing it of
trying to create an atheist community, supporting
communism, dividing populations and oppressing
The Turkish Hizballah killed many pro-PKK activists, journalists, academics, politicians,
terrorists and narcotics traffickers between 1991 and 1993. This anti-PKK activity was viewed by
some sectors of Turkish society as
coincidentally being on a parallel track to
the security forces, to the extent whereby
Hizballah ironically became known as the
Hizbul Contras.
Political Conviction
There are many who lust for the simple
answers of doctrine or decree. They are on
the left and right. They are not confined to
a single part of the society. They are
terrorists of the mind
Angelo Bartlett Giamatti, American
Educator, President, Yale
Political conviction is a motive
frequently proclaimed by terrorists.
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 119
Alabama Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Animal Liberation Front
Political convictions held by terrorists are usually extreme,
unacceptable, or absurd to an ordinary, balanced mind.
Examples of extremist political convictions held by
terrorists are those of the NSDAP regime, the former
Baader-Meinhof gang (Red Army Faction) and
contemporary neo-Nazis, who practice racial hatred and
terrorise people for blameless, innocent and inherited
attributes, entirely beyond their control. Some groups
commit terrorism for held beliefs of so-called racial
supremacy. Examples of such groups are the neo-Nazi and
some skinhead groups in the US and Europe, and also the
Ku Klux Klan of the mainly southern states in the US [This organisation can be said to have gone
through three phases of activity, from 1865-1876, 1920-1925 and 1956-1965].
As with the other proclaimed justifications by terrorists cited in this Lesson, they are mostly
calculated by terrorists to convince their target audience that they are justified and reasonable.
Neo-Nazis make strong efforts to portray their terrorist acts and doctrines as justified, as a
self-righteous response to alleged tyranny, mis-government and other purported grievances.
Social Conviction
No just cause can be advanced by terror
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Social (specifically, humanitarian) conviction is the motive given by those terrorists who are
anti-abortion activists. These groups usually engage in lower and medium range violence. They
include some dangerous terrorists who have on occasion, resorted to murder of Doctors who legally
carry out abortions, harassment and serious assault on Doctors, medical staff, their family members
and also arson of their practices and clinics.
Other types of terrorists in the social conviction category are vigilante-type groups who are
normally law-abiding citizens, but who sometimes engage in terrorist activities. Their targets are
usually local individuals or groups who they consider to be socially
unacceptable in the locality, such as prostitutes or narcotics dealers that
police forces may be unable to entirely suppress. This type of terrorism
sometimes occurs amongst immigrant communities who are unable or
unwilling to fully assimilate into their newly chosen countries or cultures.
They tend to retain belief and value systems from their former cultures
which clash with the realities of their new environments.
Further social conviction terrorists are those who commit terrorist
acts in order to establish or protect animal rights. They exist inside groups
of genuinely and rightfully concerned law abiding people who are
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 120
Animal experiments are not entirely
open to public scrutiny. It is not
satisfactorily established that the
cruelties inflicted are all for scientific
medical reasons, resulting in the
saving of human lives. Animal
liberation movements suggest that
many of these cruelties are carried
out purely for financial profit,
especially in the cosmetics market
Liberation Magazine
Dumb animals like this are experimented upon,
and are the name in which some members of
animal rights groups commit terrorist acts
Liberation Magazine
disturbed at the commercial and callous use of cruelty towards
animals in so called scientific experiments, which are often driven
by purely economic considerations. Since the late 1960s, this has
occurred mostly in western Europe but has begun to spread
The small number of dedicated terrorists inside these
activist groups go beyond the aims and activities of the worthy,
conventional and politically healthy protest that characterises the
majority of the movement. They have resorted to arson and
kidnapping and other terrorist violence calculated to close
pharmaceutical and other companies that use animals in these often
cruel and sometimes horrifying experiments.
Another form of this terrorism which involves animals is
practiced by some few members of the groups which oppose legal
forms of hunting and transportation of live animals under inhuman
conditions. Among genuinely concerned activists are found a
minority who carry out terrorist acts, sometimes only for concealed
motives of class resentment and financial jealousy.
The most notable of these groups in which a small number
of terrorists conceal themselves, is the Animal Liberation Front
(ALF) based in the UK and US, who use letter-bombs, car-bombs
and high explosive devices in terrorist attacks. One fifth (20%) of the activities of this minority
involves terrorism. Examples of their activity in recent years were the high explosive bomb attack
on Bristol Universitys Senate House (U.K.) and the targeting of a veterinary surgeon and a
psychologist with car bombs. In 1999, animal rights
groups carried out 1200 attacks in the UK, causing
2.6 million (approximately US$ 4.1 million) in
In 1998, the ALF protested genetic
manipulation of food by forcing a Swiss chocolate
company to halt production; the ALF sent food laced
with rat poison to a news agency, alleging that the
products were contaminated. The subsequent halt in
production cost the company US$ 30 million.
Protecting the environment is another form of
social belief terrorism. There are many
environmental protection groups in the world, of
which most members are also ordinary people with
sincere and worthy concerns. However, amongst
them exist a few violent members who sometimes
resort to forms of terrorism.
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 121
The most publicised group is Green Peace. These groups consider the environment as the
earth, seas, oceans, atmosphere, troposphere, stratosphere and space, whether used peacefully or
Some members of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), committed an act of terrorist arson at
Vail Ski resort in Colorado in 1998, which caused US$ 12 million in damage.
The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) collectively
committed approximately 600 criminal acts, some of a terrorist nature, in the US between 1996 and
2002, resulting in damage to the value of US$ 42 million.
Millions of Dollars worth of damage is caused annually in many parts of the world by
Animal Rights terrorists, who focus their attacks on the following types of victim and target:
Abattoirs Furriers
Breeders Hunts
Butchers Laboratories
Chemists Restaurants
Doctors Supermarkets
Factories Veterinary clinics
Pursuit of Mystical, Doomsday or Messianic Goals
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find out that it
was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dream with
open eyes, to make it possible
T.E. Lawrence. Seven Pillars of Wisdom
The Japanese terrorist group Aum Shinri Kyo (Supreme Truth) discharged Botulism and
Anthrax (biological weapons) from a vehicle against targets in Japan, between 1990 and 1993.
The group also discharged deadly nerve-gas in central Japan in 1994, killing seven people.
Again in 1995, the cult discharged deadly Sarin nerve gas (a chemical weapon) against
random victims on Japans Tokyo underground railway system, killing 12 people. The attack was
planned by the cults guru, Shoko Asahara (whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto).
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 122
The Last Judgement, from The Dance of
Death by Hans Holbein, Lyons, 1538
The Grand Reaper on Judgement Day
From an engraving by Gustave Dor
Aum Shinri Kyo is an Armageddonist terrorist
group with ten thousand members and 1 billion US
Dollars in assets, including a property in Australia,
suitable for Uranium mining. The Group professes to be
Buddhist and specifically worships the Hindu God Siva
(or Shiva), who presides over creation and destruction.
100 members were convicted and the cult was ordered
to disband after its 1995 attack. However, it is merely
Armageddon is a word used to describe
doomsday: the final battle between good and evil or the
end of the world and judgement day, which according to
some religious theology, will eventually occur,
beginning around a town in ancient Palestine, called
Meggido (the site of one of ancient King Solomons
military stables), in the plain of Jezreel (Esdrlon).
It was populated from about 7000 BC to 450 BC
and is the root of the word Armageddon.
The Aum Shinri Kyo group projected that it was
furthering goals associated with Armageddon by killing
people, and accelerating preparations for destruction
and divine judgement.
There are other groups in this category that commit
occasional acts of terrorism with similar religiously esoteric
beliefs, that urged the killing and terrorising of people at the
time when the millennium changed in the year 2000. No acts
occurred however.
They were convinced that the beginning of the new
Millennium would herald Armageddon or the end of the earth
and that it was a time in which divine judgement would be
Some Messianic groups (groups who believe a
Messiah or saviour of the world would appear or re-appear,
especially in the year 2000, at the change of the millennium)
and other terrorist groups and cults with mystical or esoteric
beliefs, pose concerns to security forces. Several threats from
these groups were pre-empted at the Millennium change.
An example of a Messianic group was the Branch
Davidians led by David Koresh (Vernon Wayne Howell).
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 123
Aum 8hinri Kyo 8uspect
Japanese National Police
Restoration of Past Social or Religious System
These types of terrorist groups pursue a return to a past religious system, such as a Caliphate
(a past system of rule for a single unified Muslim state, by a Muslim leader who is considered as a
successor to Mohammed the prophet), or an austere or totalitarian social system from past times.
Some groups have committed terrorism to pursue this objective. An example of this type
of terrorism was the occasional post World War II Nazi terrorist activity, including assassination and
bombings, from the 1960s to the mid-1970s, to protect hidden Nazi loot (of which a great amount
is still unaccounted for), put aside to finance a supposed future Nazi resurgence.
An example of a group sponsoring this type of terrorism is the Hizb ut Tahrir (The party of
the spiritually pure). They held a conference in London in 1994 as part of the agenda of the
International Muslim Khalifa (Caliphate) Conference.
At the London conference, the groups spokesman, Farid Kassim, publicly made a
determined call to rid this earth of the non-Islamic and return to the Islamic way of life.
The Hezb al Tahrir was founded in Jordan in 1953 and began activity in Turkey in 1962.
Now it is banned throughout the Middle East due to its attempts to incite an Islamic revolution, in
order to create a Caliphate.
It is the type of organisation that would almost certainly have some persons among its
membership (whether known to its leadership or not) who are in contact and association with
members or active supporters of the Al Qaida network.
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 124
Accession To join or become part of
Armageddonist One believing in final battle between good and evil, preceding divine judgement
Caliphate Rule of unified Muslim state, by successor to Mohammed the prophet
Democracy Type of society which recognises equal rights and privileges for all members
Fatwa Arabic. A religious injunction or legal opinion in the Islamic religion
Independence Freedom from occupation. Self governing nationhood
Kafil Arabic. Sponsor
Messianic Belief in an expected religious saviour figure
Neo-Nazi One who holds same or similar convictions of former NSDAP (Nazi Party)
Oppression Tyranny. Unjust cruelty or pressure
Politics Craft of governing. Study of individuals in a group context. Intrigue. Manipulation
Sawab Arabic. Divine Credit
Secession To withdraw or separate
Separatism Desire to separation from a state for independence or accession to another state
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 125
Restaurant Bombing in Madrid, Spain
Facts of the Case: On 12th
April 1985, a bomb exploded at
a restaurant in Madrid, Spain,
frequented by US service
The bomb killed 18 Spanish
citizens and wounded 82
persons, including 15 Americans.
Investigation: Several groups cl ai med
responsibility, including ETA (Spain) and Islamic
Jihad in Beirut.
Despite an international investigation involving
many services, no conclusive evidence came to
light concerning the perpetrating group or
individuals responsible.
Uncharacteristically, this was the first unsolved
major terrorism case in Spain.
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 126
1. Terrorists always have
a) A single motive
b) More than one motive
c) One or more motives
2. Terrorists who demand independence seek
a) A new country or liberation from an occupying power
b) Accession to a second country
c) Only separatism
3. Disputes over sovereignty are usually
a) Highly controversial and violent
b) Mostly peaceful
c) Mediated by the UN
4. Sawab and Kafil mean
a) Holy war and divine credit
b) Divine credit and sponsor
c) Religious fighter and holy war
5. Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis terrorise for reasons of
a) Religious and political beliefs
b) Political and racial beliefs
c) Racial and religious beliefs
6. Aum Shinri Kyo (supreme truth) terrorists are motivated by which beliefs?
a) Religious
b) Messianic
c) Armageddonist
7. Some terrorists commit murders for anti-abortion and animal rights causes.
a) True
b) False
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 127
8. Aum Shinri Kyo used what types of weapon?
a) Chemical
b) Biological
c) Both Chemical and Biological
9. Which groups caused damage of $US 42 million with 600 terrorist acts from 1996 to 2002?
a) Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front
b) Ikhwan ul Muslimeen and Gamaa al Islamiya
c) Provisional IRA and Ulster Defence Force
10. Oppression can be divided into three main categories:
a) Political, Religious and Ethnic
b) Political, Military and Governmental
c) Military, Ethnic and Religious
11. In Kosovo from 1998 to 1999, who resorted to terrorism?
a) Serbian government forces
b) Kosovo Liberation Army
c) Both a and b
12. The South Lebanese Army ceased to exist in which year?
a) 1998
b) 1999
c) 2000
13. The Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN)
a) Was a peaceful political party only
b) Committed some acts of terrorism
c) Committed no acts of terrorism
14. Which group is banned throughout the Middle East?
a) Hizb ut Tahrir
b) Hizbollah
c) Kach
Lesson 3/ Justifications Proclaimed by Terrorists 128
15. Neo Nazis portray their doctrine
a) Infrequently
b) As dishonest
c) As a righteous response
16. Terrorism is committed by immigrants who cannot or will not adjust to their new environment.
a) Never
b) Continually
c) Sometimes
17. The Mutahidda (formerly Mohajir) Quami Movement was formed in 1996 in
a) Saudi Arabia
b) Iran
c) Pakistan
18. The group Weather Underground
a) Was a peaceful political party
b) Detonated 20 bombs in the 1970s
c) Did not commit terrorist acts
19. What percentage of the Animal Liberation Fronts activities involves terrorism?
a) 2%
b) 5%
c) 20%
20.Groupe Salafiste pour la Prdication et le Combat is located in
a) Burundi
b) Algeria
c) Afghanistan
ANSWERS: 1-c, 2-a, 3-a, 4-b, 5-b, 6-c, 7-a, 8-c, 9-a, 10-a, 11-c, 12-c, 13-b, 14-a, 15-c, 16-c, 17-c,
18-b, 19-c, 20-b.
Lesson 4
Other Motivations for Terrorism: Catalysts, and Negotiations
Section 4.1: Concealed and Other Motivations for Terrorism
Hatred and Intolerance
Frustration and Rejection
Conventional Criminality
Class Resentment
Incrimination of Opposition Groups
Expediency and Recklessness
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Section 4.2: Catalysts for Terrorism
Extreme Social or Economic Hardship
Suspension of Democracy
Favourable Political Environment
Section 4.3: Terrorists and Negotiation
Negotiating Groups
Non-Negotiating Groups
Insincere Negotiations
Keywords to Note
Terrorist Attack Brief: Bomb Attack in Omagh, Northern Ireland, UK
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 130
Lesson 4 Scope and Objectives
Section 4.1: Concealed and Other Motivations for Terrorism
This section explains motives for terrorism which terrorists usually conceal behind the noble-
sounding justifications described in the last lesson. This Lesson explains how terrorists are often
motivated by opportunism, intolerance and frustration, sometimes by conventional criminality, as
an effort to incriminate others, class resentment or by insanity.
Lastly, this lesson explains with examples of military terrorist acts (lesser than genocide and de-
population) that occur in wartime as a result of overzealousness, stress disorder or expediency.
The Terrorist Attack Brief for this Lesson is the 1998 bomb attack in Omagh, Northern Ireland, UK.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to:
Understand that projected motives may be false; there are frequently hidden motives
Explain the motives of religious and ethnic hatred
Differentiate between racial hatred and xenophobia
Cite the circumstances under which military personnel sometimes commit terrorism
Explain the difference between terrorists who commit conventional criminal acts and
conventional criminals who commit terrorist acts
Section 4.2: Catalysts for Terrorism
This section explains those circumstances which catalyse or act as a stimulus for terrorism, including
harsh economic and social privation. Other catalysts explained in the lesson are the many different
suspensions of democracy, such as coup dtat and fraudulent elections. Finally, political
environments favourable to terrorists, such as democracies, are discussed.
After studying this section, the student should be able to:
Recognise extreme economic or social privation as catalysts for terrorism
Discuss how economic and social oppression are main catalysts for 21st century terrorism
Understand the different types of suspension of democracy which can catalyse terrorism
State why democracies provide favourable circumstances for, and can catalyse, terrorism
Section 4.3: Terrorists and Negotiations
This section explains the differences between terrorists who are prepared to negotiate and terrorists
who will not negotiate, the various types of terrorist offers to negotiate and terrorist ultimatums. The
lesson also mentions the different types of insincere negotiations that sometimes occur between
terrorists and governments or targets.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to:
Understand the categorising terrorists according to whether or not they will negotiate
Appreciate that when terrorists release an agenda, it may be an indirect offer for negotiations
Clearly identify non-negotiating terrorists or sub-conflict groups
Understand why terrorists sometimes first commit a terrorist act, before making demands
Differentiate between an indirect offer for negotiations and a coercive ultimatum
Explain different types of insincere terrorist negotiations
Recall the meaning of the words contained in the Lessons Keywords to Note table
Recall the basic facts concerning the bomb attack in Omagh, Northern Ireland, UK
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 131
The Temptation, from The Dance of Death
by Hans Holbein, Lyons, 1538
UN Military Observers from U.N. Field Station Domel
observing for violations of the cease-fire line by soldiers /
guerrillas / terrorists at the Lipa Valley, in west Kashmir
(Azad), on Pakistans side of the cease-fire line (Line of
Lesson 4: Other Motivations for Terrorism
Section 4.1: Concealed and Other Motivations for Terrorism
The cause serves terrorists, not terrorists the cause
The Author
Opportunism is a recognised and common human
phenomenon (vice) throughout the world.
In the context of terrorism, opportunists either enter an
ongoing conflict to seek a position which will provide power
or financial gain, or attempt to create a conflict and seize a
position from which to seize power or financial benefit.
The type of conflict most favourable for this is guerrilla
warfare or campaigns of terrorism, in which there is little
enforceable accountability concerning funding.
Opportunists conceal their true motives with another
motive, usually political, religious, social or ethnic.
Many groups that engage in guerilla warfare and
terrorism receive considerable clandestine funding from
sponsors which sometimes include governments. It is fairly
common for guerrilla or terrorist leaders to divert some of
these funds for their own private purposes.
Diverting funds is however, increasingly hard to conceal as illicit wealth accumulates and life-
styles become noticeably more lavish.
Corruption like this sometimes causes
guerrilla and terrorist groups to divide into
splinter groups.
A good example of this is the Kashmir
conflict which has by far the greatest number
of guerrilla and terrorist groups of any single
conflict in the world.
As an example, one Kashmir group, the
JKLF (Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front),
has seven different splinter groups, in several
Hatred and Intolerance
Fear is the parent of cruelty
J.A. Froude; Short Studies: Party Politics
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 132
Religious hatred is a common motive for terrorism, but one which few terrorists will admit to.
It is noteworthy that the Middle East guerrilla and terrorist groups ranged against Israel and its
supporters, traditionally profess hatred for a political system, not a religion. They claim to oppose
Zionism and its supporters, not Judaism.
Osama bin Ladin, the leader of Al Qaida (the Base or Foundation) terrorist group, has changed
this pattern. He took a key role in 1998 in forming a new group opposing a religion in name. This
is an unexpected landmark of religious prejudice. This terrorist organisation is called the
International Islamic Front for Fighting the Jews and Crusaders or Al Jabbah al Islamiyah al
Alamiyyah li Qital al Yahud wal Salibiyyin [by Crusaders, bin Ladin means Christians (from Crux.
Latin meaning Cross) associated with the Crusade period when Christians and Muslims fought on
the basis of religion. This is one more small initiative on bin Ladins part to encourage division
between Christians and Muslims, part of an overall strategy aimed at eventually creating a separate
Muslim world.
The name of this group is a contradiction in terms, because injunctions in the Holy Koran
instruct Muslims to practice tolerance towards Christians and Jews. It is the first terrorist group
which in name opposes an entire religion (Jewish) rather than a political system. Although mainly
opposed to a US presence near the holy sites of Mecca and Medina and Jerusalems Al Aqsa
Mosque being under Israeli control, the groups name is inflammatory; an open expression of
religious hatred.
Examples of terrorist attacks motivated by religious hatred are:
The 1985 attack on a Mosque in Houston US
The 1987 attack on a Synagogue in Istanbul, Turkey
The 1996 murder of Christians, burning of several churches, dwellings and hundreds of
bibles, by mobs of fanatics during an overnight orgy of religious intolerance in Pakistan
According to media, an example of a campaign based upon religious intolerance has been going
on in East Africa since the mid 1990s, and is part of a large, loose strategy as follows:
Guerrillas and terrorists of many different groups, allegedly trained in Sudan, are part of a
joint objective to de-stabilise east Africa
The long term objective is to establish a strict Islamic regime of 200+ million people, under
the centralised control of Sudan. This plan is supported by Osama bin Ladin
Target countries in this campaign include the Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti,
Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Zaire
Were this plan to succeed, the strategy is apparently then to push north and north-west,
which would prove decisive in the Algerian conflict and envelop the remainder of the North
African coastal countries (Morocco, Tunisia and Libya)
In recent years, and especially since the terrorist events of 11
September 2001, this large scale
plan has suffered some setbacks and a general loss of impetus.
An outburst of religious intolerance occurred in India in March 2002, in the State of Gujarrat and
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 133
The UNABOMBERs Pipe (tyre) bomb -
Courtesy FBI
its environs. Over 700 people were murdered in
Hindu-Muslim violence, after Hindu extremists of
the Hindu Vashwa Parishad (HVP or Hindu Saints
Organisation) unilaterally moved to build a Hindu
temple on an ancient site at Ayodha in Uttar Pradesh
State, a site sacred to both Hindus and Muslims.
In 1992, the 16
century Muslim Moghul
Mosque on the site had been destroyed by violent
fanatics of the HVP, on the basis that the Hindu God,
Lord Ramachandra (or Lord Rama) was born 20
million years ago on the same site. It caused
nationwide rioting in which 3000 people were killed.
In March 2002, the Indian Government imposed
a Court order on the HVP and others, forbidding
them to pray at the site and moved in 8000 troops to
enforce the order.
Ethnic hatred is another form of intolerance which results in terrorism in several conflict theatres
in the world. It sometimes accompanies religious intolerance. The genocide and depopulation in the
former Yugoslavia was an example of ethno-religious hatred and the genocide in Rwanda an
example of ethnic hatred, triggered by suspension of democracy.
Racial hatred is a motive closely related to ethnic hatred (racial hatred for a specific race may
include hatred for a variety of ethnicities within that single race).
Terrorists sometimes conceal this motive under other causes, but not always; racial terrorism was
openly committed by irregular forces on both sides to the conflict in South Africa and the former
South West Africa (Namibia) before the end of apartheid (segregation).
An example of racial hatred terrorism occurred in March 1999 in Uganda where Rwandan Hutu
Interahamwe (meaning those who kill without mercy) terrorists kidnapped 21 foreigners (from
Australia, France, New Zealand, UK and US). The terrorists selected 14 victims for killing on the
basis of looks (Anglo-Saxon, blond) and nationality. They were herded barefoot into the jungle,
where the eight who did not manage to escape were hacked to death with knives and machetes. Post
cards were left by the terrorists explaining their racial motives.
Another example of terrorism motivated by racial hatred occurred in Boston, US in 1995, when
a bomb exploded outside a branch of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, wounding
two uniformed Police Officers.
Xenophobia is the fear or dislike of foreigners or foreign customs. It is closely related to racial
hatred, but racial hatred tends to be more specific: Xenophobia is a general fear of all foreigners or
their customs and is the motive behind much hatred and terrorism against new immigrant
communities. Racial hatred tends to be more race specific and could be hate only for a single specific
Frustration and Rejection
Some terrorists are motivated by political, intellectual or other forms of frustration. Yet others
perceive that society rejects them or denies them due recognition.
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 134
To further avoid the feeling of being outcast and embarrassed, they usually cloak their personal
grievance under another justification.
Theodore Kaczynski (known as the Unabomber) had an unusual agenda of being anti-
However, some historians speculate that he was originally motivated by frustration and
rejection, before he was captured 18 years later and legally found to be insane.
Another example of frustration leading to terrorism is the case of Franz Fuchs of the Bavarian
Liberation Army. The facts of the case are as follows:
Fuchs terrorised sectors of Austria from 1993 to 1995
He dispatched 28 letter bombs through the postal system and used a road side bomb
As a result, four people were killed and several were maimed and wounded
Victim Helmut Zilk, Mayor of Vienna, lost some of a hand and suffered cardiac arrests
It was concluded, but not proven, that Fuchs was alone and there was no terrorist group
Fuchs developed frustration and hatred over the years
He was an intellectual loner who withdrew from university studies for lack of funds
He lived in Germany for 5 years with a Yugoslav woman he claimed stole his life-savings
Fuchs agenda included German nationalism, intolerance of foreign immigrants and perceptions
that they negatively affected racial demographics and living space (lebensraum)
Conventional Criminality
A criminal terrorist or a terrorist criminal?
The Author
Conventional criminality as a motive for terrorism, means ordinary criminals who commit
terrorist acts. The reasons for committing these acts include vengeance, punitive action, rivalry with
other criminal groups, deterring law enforcement activity, and mercenary or contract terrorism. The
most notorious mercenary terrorist in recent history was Illich Ramirez Sanchez, known as Carlos
the Jackal, who was captured in 1994.
Some conventional criminals resort to terrorist acts in order to support or enhance their criminal
activity. For example, criminals assassinate a judge in order to stop his efforts against organised
criminal gang activity.
An example of this was the series of terrorist attacks carried out in the late 1980s and early
1990s by the Sicilian mafia in response to the Italian governments prosecution of leading mafia
In reverse of this, there are terrorists who commit criminal acts in order to support their terrorist
activity. For example, a terrorist group carries out a bank robbery in order to obtain funds for
purchasing illegal weapons. This type of terrorism is discussed in Lesson 2: Anomalies of Terrorism;
Financing Terrorism through Crime.
In many situations where conventional crime is associated with terrorism, it is normally sub-
conflict, which means there is no possibility for the victim or target to negotiate. For example, a
criminal group carries out an assassination for a sum of money from a third party. In other situations,
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 135
Animal Liberation Front
it is possible to negotiate, i.e. a criminal group may release a hostage if a ransom is paid.
Class Resentment
Class resentment is a motive for terrorism, held by some members of animal rights groups such
the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and especially inside those groups opposing hunting.
This is because hunting is associated with the higher or more affluent classes of society. They
are resented by some less wealthy members of society who experience jealousy. Among genuine
activists, are a few who commit terrorist acts, concealing their motive
of class-resentment behind concern for animals. This type of motive
for terrorism is especially prevalent in the United Kingdom and France.
Incrimination of Opposition Groups
Incriminating opposition groups means carrying out a terrorist act
using another groups name or projecting their identity, in order to
discredit them. This motive is a cunning strategy whereby an act is
carried out with evidence deliberately left which results in blame upon
an opposition group.
One fashion in which this operation is achieved is by recruiting a
terrorist and making him believe that he and the recruiter are both on
the same side. In reality, the recruiter is working for an opposition
group. The recruiter sets the terrorist (recruit) to commit a terrorist act and later leaks incriminating
evidence to implicate the recruit and the group.
This is sometimes called a false flag operation. Media reports occasionally describe this
strategy as used by governments, in order to discredit terrorists and dissidents so as to alienate them
from the public.
Expediency and Recklessness
Military expediency and recklessness in this context describes a terrorist act during war or
conflict, whereby military forces callously or negligently commit terrorism to achieve a military
objective with least inconvenience, or negligently act upon impulse without due care.
When discovered, common defences cited are accident and military necessity, but in reality such
acts are indefensible and usually constitute war crimes. An example is massacre and destruction in
a refugee camp, in order to kill terrorists concealed inside.
Political expediency characterises a terrorist act ordered by a head of state or a government, in
order to achieve a political objective. An example of terrorism carried out for political expediency
would be re-enforcing control of the population by destruction of a civilian population centre,
harbouring terrorists.
Alternatively, another example of terrorism for reasons of political expediency could be the
acquisition of land by depopulation or ethnic cleansing. By this, civilians are killed or terrorised and
driven out prior to, during, or after a military assault; one objective of depopulation is to acquire
land, with or without genocide.
Commonly cited defences to depopulation or ethnic cleansing are: Military necessity, refugees
fleeing through fear, or that civilians were killed accidentally.
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 136
Military recklessness does not usually amount to terrorism as we normally understand it.
However, regular military forces occasionally act in a reckless, callous and sometimes criminally
irresponsible fashion, ignoring the possible consequences and are sometimes, rightly or wrongly,
accused of terrorism.
Some examples of cases of Expediency and Recklessness are as follows:

Amritsar, British India, in 1919: Public assemblies were banned at the time, a decree which
could be legally enforced by use of arms. Demonstrators gathered to protest the arrest of local
Indian National Congress leaders; a riot ensued in which banks were burned, four Europeans
were murdered and two women attacked by mobs. General Dyer subsequently approached and
confronted 20,000 unarmed protestors in an enclosed public square called Jallian Wallah Barg.
General Dyer ordered his troops to fire upon the crowd; 1650 rifle rounds were fired, resulting
in 379 men women and children massacred and over 1200 wounded. General Dyer was
repatriated, facing wide criticism after the British Government enquiry.
Military recklessness in the Boer War in South Africa from 1899 to 1902: British Commander
Lord Kitchener carried out a campaign of devastating Boer (Afrikana) farms and detaining
families, including women and children, in concentration camps. The object of this was to deny
Boer Kommandos a refuge for rest, recovery and support, between mobile guerrilla warfare
sorties. Due to insanitary conditions, poor medical facilities and neglect, over 20,000 Boer
women and children died from disease, together with 14,000 native South Africans.
A more recent example occurred in 1973: A Libyan civil airliner on its scheduled Tripoli to
Cairo flight was piloted by a contractual French aircrew. A sandstorm caused a human
navigational error and they drifted into Sinai desert airspace, controlled by Israeli forces. Two
Israeli jet fighters intercepted the airliner. They were subsequently given permission to shoot
it down. 106 men women and children were killed.
Another more recent example in 1983: A Korean airliner wandered unintentionally through
Soviet airspace near Sakhalin Island. It was shot down by a Soviet fighter aircraft. All 269 men,
women and children were killed.
An example of recklessness (due to over-zealousness under combat conditions) occurred in
1988 in the Persian Gulf: An Iranian airliner strayed too close to a US warship that was already
engaged in a battle with Iranian gunboats. Impetuous in the heat of combat, the warship mistook
the Iranian airliner for an F14 fighter aircraft and shot it down, killing 290 men women and
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can only be ascertained by qualified
doctors, but it is certain that persons suffering from PTSD are capable of spontaneous terrorist
crimes. PTSD, amongst other symptoms, can cause explosive, aggressive and irrational behaviour,
practically beyond the control of the sufferer.
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 137
Vietnam,1968. Converse to the unique
exception of the My Lai massacre: a US GI
risks his life bringing two children to safety,
while under fire
Courtesy: VMAM / US Army
This can occur when soldiers suffer stress-related mental disorders, resulting from incident
shock or accumulated negative stress from prolonged exposure to lethal force in violent theatres of
It is not new and has been reported and diagnosed in soldiers for the past several thousand years.
PTSD also occurs in civilian police forces, amongst those officers who are regularly exposed
to lethal danger and have witnessed the full measure of human tragedy. PTSD has been given dozens
of names, but the following four should be noted:
In WWI, this medical disorder was termed as shell-shock
During WWII, it was called battle fatigue
Now it is known as PTSD
Contemporary slang for PTSD is burn-out
A highly likely but unestablished example of terrorism attributed to PTSD, was an isolated
massacre which took place during the Vietnam War in 1968. A company of US troops on a search
and destroy mission massacred 504 unarmed civilians, mostly old men, women and children in My
Lai 4, Binh Tay, Tu Cung and Co Luy hamlets. There was no enemy presence, firing, or any
resistance from the hamlets.
Multiple rapes of young girls also took place with families forced to watch before they were
shot, and babies were killed and mutilated, according to the final report by the Armys investigating
officer, Lt. General William Peers.
The units commander, Lt. William Caley (who apparently shot over 100 civilians himself with
automatic fire in a frenzy) told his men that the chance of revenge for snipers and booby traps had
arrived, and gave the order to kill everything that
moves, under pressure from some few of his men. Many
members of the company refused to carry out the orders.
Several massacres simultaneously took place in
different locations around My Lai. Calley reloaded his M-
16 automatic rifle ten times with fresh magazines, as he
fired into a small ravine that he had pushed many of his
victims down into. At his trial, he claimed to be acting
under orders, stating he was taught that they [north
Vietnamese] were all the communist enemy. He later
portrayed My Lai as a military action, telling Time
magazine in 1971 that he was sorry that anyone had to die
there, that he ever had to kill a soldier in Vietnam, but
was very proud to have been in the army and fought at
My Lai.
Calley was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard
labour in 1971, and remained under house arrest while an
appeal case was launched. His sentence was commuted
to ten years in 1973. Due to intense political pressure
(from media, veterans and soldiers) upon President
Nixons government, and presumably because of the
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 138
negative impact upon the military draft (compulsory military service), he was eventually paroled in
1974, after serving a total of three and a half years under house arrest.
During the massacres, a US helicopter H-23 gun-ship landed between some soldiers and
civilians. The pilot got out, ordering his crew to train their guns on the troops and fire if they
intervened, and confronted Lt. Calley, threatening to open fire upon him and his troops unless the
massacre stopped.
The helicopter crew radioed down another gunship and together they herded as many survivors
as would fit, into the helicopters and evacuated them to a US air base and an orphanage in Quang
Ngai city. When the helicopters had departed, the massacre resumed. The pilot (Warrant Officer
Hugh Thompson) and his crew (Lawrence Colburn and Glenn Andreotta) were decorated with the
Soldiers Medal, 28 years later (Andreotta posthumously; he died in action, three weeks after My
Points to note are:
Later cited reasons for the massacre were: Acting under orders and failures of leadership,
discipline and morale
The unit (normal, ordinary well-balanced men, from all walks of life) however, had suffered
numerous casualties, killed (2) and maimed (11) by booby traps, prior to the massacre, with no
enemy subsequently captured or killed, and was highly agitated, angry and frustrated
This clearly illustrates the highly abnormal situation. It is reasonable to mostly attribute this
massacre to wide-spread post traumatic stress disorder, in the case of the non-command ranks
Terrorist acts as a result of PTSD should not be compared with pre-planned terrorist massacres
carried out by mentally healthy soldiers, such as occurred in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia
By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes.....
William Shakespeare, Macbeth IV i
Insanity can most certainly be a reason for terrorism. In fact, it has often been argued that no
terrorist is fully sane. Four clear examples of cases involving insane terrorists are as follows:
Theodore Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, who bombed universities and airlines in
the US for 18 years before apprehension in 1996. Acting primarily out of frustration, he was
subsequently found to be legally insane.
Mohammed Sabri al Banna also known as Abu Nidal (meaning Father of the struggle), of the
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 139
Carlos the Jackal
Illich Ramirez Sanchez in his youth.
Sane enough to stand trial and be
convicted, he was a dangerous
Courtesy: Caracas Police
Middle East conflict. His associates described him as a
psychopath, and according to one of his peers, in a case
where he murdered a girl, he began whistling, eating,
singing and drinking coffee.
Zeljko Raznjatovic, known as Arkan. Already wanted
for robbery in Western Europe, he was accused of a
terror campaign involving war crimes and genocide.
An arrest order was issued from the Hagues
International Criminal Tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia. Raznjatovic and his Serbian irregular armed
force (also known variously as Arkanovci, Tigers, Serb
Volunteer Guard, White Eagles, and as a special unit in
the Srem Baraja Corps), were accused of brutal
massacres, murders, rapes, torture and other acts
characterising the criminally insane. Before arrest and
trial, Raznjatovic was shot dead in January 2000 at the
Belgrade Intercontinental Hotel by unknown assailants
(political or criminal).
A less known example of an insane terrorist is that of a
Yemeni national who stated that he had trained in
Bosnia and considered himself a Muslim fundamentalist.
In 1998, he shot and killed three Catholic nuns (a
Filipino and two Indians) in the port of Al Hudaydah. Authorities captured him and he was
found to be insane.

Other types of insane terrorists are what were once termed as mass murderers, but have come
to be called serial killers. They are not generally or widely recognised as terrorists.
However, many do fit into the category of terrorists, since they commit multiple murder, often
at random, in cold blood, for personal motives, and often cause protracted terror among
Once police or media announce the activities of serial killers (to protect communities), this often
has the effect of terrorising localities, communities, and occasionally entire regions.
These murderers kill multiple victims, sometimes sadistically, mutilating, dismembering, in
some cases committing necrophilia, cannibalism and worse, in protracted campaigns that can last
many years.
When their presence is known to the public, the degree of terror (or extreme anxiety, in the
modern sense and usage of the word) that they inspire in localities, is sometimes greater than that
generated by political terrorist groups.
It is not a new phenomenon. Historical examples are as follows:
Gilles de Rais terrorised part of France from 1431 to 1440, torturing, sexually abusing and
murdering over 200 young children in Satanic ritual

Peter Stubbe, accused of lycanthropy (supposedly changing into a wolf), terrorised Cologne. He
was convicted in 1589 of sodomising his daughter and his sister; violating his son, murdering
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 140
Jack the Rippers first victim is found, Whitechapel
Courtesy: New Scotland Yard
him and devouring his brain; murdering
thirteen women and children. After trial
and conviction, he was tied to a wheel,
dismembered with red-hot pincers,
decapitated, then burnt at the stake
Countess Erzsbet Bthory, who terrorised
early 17th century Csjthe, Hungary,
sadistically torturing and murdering over
300 children
Jack the Ripper (identity never formally
proven / ascertained / revealed) who
terrorised London from 1888 to 1891,
mutilating and killing between five and
eleven women (mostly prostitutes), of
which five were in the streets
Peter Kurten (the Vampire of Duesseldorf) who killed eight women and children, wounded
and tortured many other people and animals, from the turn of the century until 1930
Albert de Salvo (the Boston Strangler), who terrorised Boston by strangling thirteen women
to death and sexually assaulting hundreds of others between 1962 and 1964
David Berkowitz (the Son of Sam), who killed six people and several animals, terrorising New
York City in 1977
Pedro Lopez, who killed 300 girls, between the ages of 8 and 12 years old, in Colombia,
Ecuador and Peru up until his arrest in 1980
Jeffrey Dahmer, who committed 17 murders between the late 1980s and early 1990s in
Milwaukee, committing necrophilia and cannibalism, and experimenting with a power drill and
acid filled hyperdermics, attempted to make Zombies from some of his drugged victims.
Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo, who in the Soviet Union / Russia, committed 52 sex murders
during the 1970s and 1980s, including cannibalism and necrophilia in some of the cases
Dr. Harold Shipman in the UK, a drug addict who subtly murdered almost 400 of his patients
over 24 years until his arrest in 1999
The thought processes of some of these fringe-terrorists is provided by trial transcripts:
It was an urge... a strong urge and the longer I let it go the stronger it got, to where I was taking
risks to go out and kill people - risks that normally, according to my little rules of operation, I
wouldnt take. Therefore they could lead to arrest.
Edmund Kemper, matricidal serial [sex] killer
I wanted only to try to live in accord with the prompting that came from my true self. Why was that
so very difficult? The Maquis de Sade
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 141
Donald Gaskins
Peter Kurten
Vampire of
Jeffrey Dahmer
Ted Bundy
Charles Manson
Albert de Salvo
Boston Strangler
Pedro Lopez
Andrei Chikatilo
Mass murderers / serial killers - terrorism and insanity
Courtesy of Police: Dusseldorf, Germany; Bogot, Columbia; Rostov-on-Don, Russia; New Scotland Yard, UK. USA: Florence, SC ; Salt Lake City, UT;
Boston, MA; Milwaukee, WI; Los Angeles, CA;
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 142
Mau Zedong
Guerrilla Warfare expert
Section 4.2: Catalysts for Terrorism
Extreme Social or Economic Hardship
Kill one and terrorise a thousand
Former Chinese Statesman, Chairman Mao Zedong
When populations suffer from continuing social or
economic hardship, especially as a result of incompetence or
corruption, it tends to provoke widespread popular unrest.
In non-democratic countries where there is no possibility
to elect an alternative government, it can result in the formation
of political opposition groups who sometimes engage in
guerrilla warfare and terrorism against their governments. This
is especially so in wartime which tends to further worsen severe
economic hardship.
It is thought amongst experts on terrorism that economic
hardship will be the greatest underlying cause of terrorism well
into this century.
This is because the worlds wealth is in so few hands;
developing nations have little chance to make significant
advances, being so deeply in debt that they are unable to make
repayments at the same time as developing to any significant
This causes wide-spread hopelessness and resentment
which often, when coupled with government corruption, results
in revolt, insurrection and terrorism.
Suspension of Democracy
Democracy is generally given to mean that formal state in a society which recognises equal
rights and privileges for all members.
Suspension of democracy can take many forms. It may include the imposition of martial law,
undemocratic succession, falsifying political elections, seizing of power or inciting and turning loose
one section of the population on another.
When democracy is suspended, it causes immediate dissent, even in cases where it is
genuinely necessary to impose martial law.
In most cases any unjustified suspension of democracy catalyses the emergence of opposition
groups, some of which engage in guerrilla warfare or terrorism as the only possible forms of
resistance. As a response to this, governments tend to respond with oppressive measures which in
turn escalate the conflict.
Suspension of democracy fuelled the ethnic hatred which led to the 1994 terrorist genocide
in Rwanda.
The former prime minister, several ministers and army commanders (indicted for crimes
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 143
UN Int. Criminal
against humanity at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda)
organised the massacre of the Watutsi minority, moderate Hutus and
opponents of the dictatorial president, Juvenal Habyarimana.
Democracy was formally suspended during several public
speeches, one given by a Hutu government official named Mugesera,
who later fled to Canada.
Mugesera publicly called for (by public radio station broadcasts)
executions and the expulsion of Watutsis from Rwanda by dumping
them in the Nyabarongo river.
Following the suspension of democracy in Rwanda, between half
a million and one million men, women and children were murdered in
a savagely brutal genocide (largely with machetes and edged weapons),
which carried on unabated for at least 100 days, despite the knowledge
of the International Community.
Refer to the end of this Lesson for a case study concerning suspension of democracy (The
Armenian Genocide).
Favourable Political Environment
Democracies do not exercise totalitarian control over their populations, while dictatorships
or totalitarian regimes that are weak are unable to impose full totalitarian control of their
populations. There is a common factor to both of these political systems: These systems can provide
a more favourable operational climate to terrorists, which is not the case in powerful and repressive
For example, following a terrorist outrage in a western democracy, it is not a tolerable
practice to seal off entire cities, bring large traffic systems to a halt, ground all aircraft and round up
large numbers of suspects for detention, pending leisurely interrogation.
In weak authoritarian regimes, it is impractical to do so. The chances of escape and evading
detection are therefore greater in a democracy and in weak totalitarian regimes, except in siege and
hostage situations. This is attractive to the terrorist and sometimes a determining factor during the
process of target selection by terrorists.
Consequently, Europe was selected as a favourable venue for terrorist activity in the 1980s
and early 1990s by foreign terrorist groups related to the Middle East and north African conflicts.
A further advantage for terrorists in committing terrorism in democracies is the almost
unrestricted publicity; a major goal for many terrorists. In a powerful totalitarian regime, media is
tightly controlled by the state and publicity for terrorists is little or none.
Section 4.3: Terrorists and Negotiation
Negotiating Groups
Negotiating groups refer to those who are prepared to negotiate, even if they do not make
their demands known. They sometimes express their demands indirectly, by publishing an agenda
of their perceived grievances. They are no less dangerous for that fact.
Many intelligence and security forces segregate terrorist groups according to whether or not
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 144
they negotiate or are assessed as willing to do so.
Some terrorist groups wish to negotiate, but first commit a terrorist act, in order to either
exert pressure upon their target, or establish credibility. Other terrorists do not engage in dialogue,
but they casually publicise their agenda, which in their view, is an indirect offer to the target to
comply or negotiate and thereby avoid further terrorist acts.
An example of this is the agenda of Osama bin Ladins coalition who demand by their written
agenda, in addition to other things, a US troop withdrawal from Saudi Arabia and an Israeli
withdrawal from East Jerusalem.
Yet other groups publish a coercive ultimatum, such as the Algerian Islamic Armed Group
(Group Islamique Arm or GIA), who threatened to turn Belgium into a bloodbath in August 1999,
unless the Belgian government released GIA members held pending extradition.
Non-Negotiating Groups
Those who seek revenge must remember to dig two graves
Old Chinese proverb
Non-negotiating groups are sometimes called sub-conflict groups. These groups have no
wish to enter into negotiations, because of hardened attitude and convictions. They terrorise as a
punishment or in vengeance without opportunity for victim or target to discuss perceived grievances
with them.
Occasionally, they reveal demands which are clearly beyond the ability of the target or victim
to implement, are unrealistic, or absurd. If they do make their demands known and they are not
acceded to, terrorism continues to occur until the terrorists are apprehended, killed or become extinct
or dormant with time or circumstance.
Insincere Negotiations
Sincerity is not a virtue attributed to any terrorist, but insincere negotiations describe the
dealings of some terrorist groups who exploit what they view as weaknesses in democracies or
specific situations. They extract concessions following which they do not adhere to their side of the
negotiated agreement.
An example of this would be a publicised political agreement, such as recognition of a cause
or organisation, in exchange for a cease-fire or a de-commissioning of weapons, which is later
reneged upon, similar to the actions of the PIRA in Northern Ireland.
An example of insincere terrorist negotiations on a more secular scale, took place in Algeria
in 1992. Terrorists were trapped in a building by security forces in a siege and hostage situation. The
terrorists negotiated an agreement for the exchange of a civilian female hostage with an unarmed
member of the security forces.
As soon as the member of the Algerian special forces (former UN Military Observer: Major
Haj Cherif) took off his equipment, laid down his weapons and exposed himself, the terrorists
opened fire and murdered him.
The civilian hostage was retained by the terrorists and transpired to be a female terrorist only
posing as a hostage, held at gunpoint, in order to manipulate the murder of one of the security forces.
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 145
Sultan Abdul Hamid II
A. Joundurian
Case Study: Suspension of Democracy: The Armenian Genocide
A notable example of the suspension of democracy occurred in Ottoman Turkey and resulted
in the Armenian genocide, in which over one million Armenians were murdered, and which took
place during three periods.
It began in 1894, upon sanction of Sultan Abdul Hamid II, with the main genocide occurring
in 1915, but with massacres still continuing periodically until 1923, largely as a result of land
exchanging hands in the wake of WW I and a revolution in Turkey, ending the Ottoman dynasty.
[Refer to Annex N for Photographic Evidence of the Armenian Genocide].
The events which resulted in the genocide began in 1828, when Persia ceded Yerevan and
Nakhichevan to Russia, re-awakening Armenian desires for restoration of their ancient homeland.
In Ottoman Turkey, reform measures known as the Tanzimat, had benefited the entire population,
including the Armenian minority, and in 1863, a special Armenian constitution was recognised by
the Ottoman government.
Armenians in the eastern provinces of Ottoman Turkey began, with encouragement from
Russia, to promote the idea of Armenian autonomy for those areas. This culminated in the formation
of two revolutionary parties, Hnchak (the Bell) in 1887, and Dashnaktsutyun (Union) in 1890.
In 1894, massacres of Armenians occurred in Sasun, where the Ottoman government
responded to Armenian resistance to Kurdish encroachment upon the last mountain recesses of
Armenians. This resulted in strong Armenian protests against the Ottoman Sultans actions, which
in turn resulted in a further massacre in Constantinople in September 1895.
Thereafter, beginning in Trebizond on the Black Sea, organised massacres occurred in nearly
every major town in the Ottoman Empire where Armenians lived, culminating in the burning of Urfa
Cathedral (ancient Edessa), where 3000 Armenians had taken refuge inside.
In response to these massacres, Armenian protests occurred in 1896, and 26 members of
Dashnak occupied the European-owned Ottoman Bank.
Reprisals occurred shortly afterwards when between 5000 and 6000 Armenians were
massacred during a period of three days within sight of European Embassies.
Hnchak and Dashnaktsutyun, which did not even
amount to a tiny fraction of the Armenian population, were
later cited by some Ottoman authorities as causing significant
friction between the Armenian Christian minority and the
Turkish Muslim majority in the Ottoman Empire.
Some European envoys of the era reported in
diplomatic dispatches that some members of these two groups
had terrorised some few Armenians, besides Ottomans, and it
appeared that a number of them had the aim to provoke a
violent Ottoman reaction which they calculated would bring
European intervention in favour of Armenian independence.

In alarm, the Russian Czar Alexander III and his son,
Nicolas II closed several hundred Armenian schools, libraries
and newspaper offices. In 1903, Czar Nicolas II confiscated the
property of the Armenian Church in Russia.
The second and main phase of the genocide occurred
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 146
under a subsequent Ottoman government, which succeeded in a coup detat: The Committee for
Union and Progress (Ittihad ve Terakki Cemiyet) known as the Young Turks, comprising: Ahmed
Riza, the chief spokesman, Mehmet Djavid [Bey], and the three most notable, who effectively, were
to rule Ottoman Turkey: Minister of War Ismail Enver [Pasha], Prime Minister (1917-18) Memhed
Talt [Pasha] and General Ahmed Djemal [Pasha]; the first two being most responsible for the
The Young Turks followed a specific political doctine, which included elements of racism,
of three political intellectuals of the day, Zia Gkalp, Dr. Mehmed Nazim, and Dr. Behaeddin
The manifesto of the Young Turks was orderly reform under a strong central government,
with the exclusion of all foreign influence. The Young Turks was originally formed by a group of
revolutionary students at the Imperial Medical Academy, who became temporary migrs after being
discovered. They subsequently allied with several Ottoman army commanders, managed to return,
and organised an army revolt which forced Sultan Abdul Hamid II to restore a constitutional
government in 1908.
The Young Turks were a diverse group that included students, liberals, nationalists,
modernists, both devout and liberal Muslims, and also members of the Dnmeh (the Turkish word
for convert), a Jewish sect originally from Salonika (found mainly in Istanbul, Izmir and Edirne),
who had converted to Islam after their leader was forced, but who also secretly practised and
preserved the Judaic rites and heritage.
During WWI, Enver Pasha and Talt Bey organised a systematic genocide of the Armenian
minority of the Ottoman Turkish population, which began on 14
April 1915. The Central
Committee of the Young Turk Party formed an organisation called the Teshkilati Mahsusa (Special
Unit) to carry out the genocide. They created special so-called butcher battalions formed out of
criminals released from prison.
Some Ottoman officials of integrity, refused to take part in the genocide, but were removed
from office, notably Governor Celal of Halab (Aleppo), Governor Mazhar of Ankara and Governor
Reshid of Kastamonu. Non-prominent Ottoman Turks found protecting Armenians were killed.
The genocide began with the disarming of Armenian soldiers in the Ottoman army, who were
transferred to labour battalions, then massacred.
On 24
April 1915, approximately 300 Armenian political and intellectual leaders, writers
and professionals were summoned to Constantinople (renamed Istanbul in 1930), gathered together,
then massacred. On the same day, approximately 5000 of the poorest Armenians were massacred in
Constantinople on the streets and in their homes.
The remaining Armenian population were then summoned from their homes to localised
centres, where they were told that they were being re-located to Syria and Mesopotamia [Iraq],
outposts of the Ottoman Empire.
They were then marched off by force under guard of gendarmes, in very hot summer
conditions, to concentration camps in the dessert between Dier el Zour and Jerablus (in present-day
Syria). They were denied food and water on the march and also upon arrival at the camps.
En route to the camps, many of those men, women and children who did not die of thirst and
hunger, were robbed and massacred by their guards and marauding bandits, with many cases of rape
and murder.
The Ottoman authorities in Trebizond (on the black sea coast) varied the genocide by
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 147
loading tied groups of Armenian captives onto barges, taking them out to sea, then sinking the
The genocide occurred at (in and around) Ismid (Izmit); Broussa (Bursa); Angora (Ankara);
Konia (Konya); Adana; Anatolia; Diyarbekir (Diyarbakir); Harpout (Harput); Marash; Sivas
(Sepastia); Shabin Kara-Hissar (Sebin Karahisar); Ourfa (Urfa), and Trebizond (Trabzon).
Reasons cited to defend the genocide are:
Foreign interference in Ottoman domestic affairs. Russian Armenians had taken part in the
Russo-Turkish War (1877-78), following which Russia insisted in the Treaty of San Stefano
that Ottoman reforms protect the Sultan's Armenian subjects from the Kurds, failing which,
Russia would continue to occupy the Turkish held part of Armenia
Some Armenians (a very small number) sided with the Greeks in the Greco-Turkish war of
1897 (which lasted 30 days)
Russian Armenians (some battalions of approximately 500 men each) from the Caucusus
took part in WW1 and from 1915, organised the [very limited] recruiting of Turkish
Armenians from behind the Turkish lines
Armenians wanted independence and wanted to separate from the Ottoman Empire
Evidence suggests that religious and racial intolerance was an underlying factor enshrined
in the contemporary political doctrine of the Young Turk Party and that also, some envy or
resentment was present on account of Armenian intellectual and commercial prowess. Armenians
also supported the Young Turk Party after they came to power in a coup detat, as they promised
certain reforms which benefited Armenians (which were never to materialise).
Although several subsequent governments have denied the genocide, the Ottoman Empire
government of Grand Vizier (Prime Minister) Damad Adil Ferid Pasha, after WW1, held war crimes
trials and convicted the Young Turks leaders, and several others, of murder, noting that:
The genocide was carried out with as much secrecy as possible
A public facade was maintained of relocating the Armenians
The Young Turks organised the killing using a secret network
The decision to eradicate the Armenians was a result of extensive, profound deliberations
Ismail Enver [Pasha], Ahmed Djemal [Pasha] and Memhed Talt [Bey] were convicted and
sentenced to death for the Extermination and destruction of the Armenians (in absentia, since they
had fled after the First World War).
Intermittent massacres continued even after WW1 (which ended formally in 1918), until
1923, largely as a result of the re-defining of borders and land exchanging hands during further
armed conflict.
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 148
The Turkish Republic led by Mustapha Kemal Atatrk (who overthrew the Ottoman Sultans
dynasty to form the new Republic of Turkey) seized Kars and Alexandropol by November 1920.
Atatrk repudiated the treaties made with Armenia earlier in the year by the Otoman Sultan
(Armenia had become a free and independent State on 10
August 1920, under the Treaty of Svres).
In the Treaty of Alexandropol on 2
December 1920, Armenia renounced all pre-1914
Turkish territories, Kars and Ardahan, recognised that there were no Armenian minorities in Turkey
and accepted that the region of Nakhichevan should form an autonomous Turkish State.
Atatrk (Turkish, meaning Father of Turks) was Turkeys first President and he thoroughly
broke with the past to modernise the state by:
Sending the last Ottoman Sultan into exile
Taking several Turkish territories back from foreign occupation
Securing Turkeys sovereignty in a peace treaty signed at Lausanne in July 1923
Dismantling the Ummah (strict Islamic identity) and establishing a secular nation by:
Abolishing the caliphate (rule by the Sultans)
Exiling all males of the royal family
Secularising education
Banning institutions run by religious sects (including the whirling dervishes)
Changing the Arabic alphabet for the Roman alphabet
Banning the turban and the fez (the head dress signifying officialdom)
Permitting and encouraging women to enter the professions
Making the adoption of surnames obligatory
There are a variety of contemporary Armenian terrorist groups, which very occasionally
attack Turkish and NATO targets, including diplomats.
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 149
ASALA, a contemporary Armenian
terrorist group seeking vengeance
and justice for the terror and genocide
of nearly 90 years ago
Many are dedicated communist -nationalists
who seek Turkish acknowledgement and
compensation for the Armenian genocide and are
anti-Turkish, anti-imperialist (and variously anti-
NATO and anti-Zionist). They also sought an
Armenian homeland prior to post Cold War
independence and are now largely dormant, but not
entirely. These splinters are from the same overall
group. They are located in the Middle East, several
European countries and the US.
The names are variously:
Orly Group
ASALA (Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia)
Asal Militant and Revolutionary Movement
The political background to the terror of the Armenian genocide is well illustrated by the
following quotations and communications, both modern and contemporary to the genocide:
You are greatly mistaken. We have this country absolutely under our control. I have no desire to
shift the blame onto our underlings and I am entirely willing to accept the responsibility myself for
everything that has taken place
Enver Pasha in a reply to US Ambassador Morgenthau who attributed the massacres to irresponsible
Ottoman subalterns and underlings in distant provinces
Turkey is taking advantage of the war in order to thoroughly liquidate (grundlich aufzaumen) its
internal foes, i.e., the indigenous Christians, without being thereby disturbed by foreign
Talt Pasha, in a conversation with a Dr. Mordtmann of the German Embassy in June 1915
The massacres are the result of a policy which, as far as can be ascertained, has been entertained
for some considerable time by the gang of unscrupulous adventurers who are now in possession of
the Government of the Turkish Empire. They hesitated to put it in practice until they thought the
favorable moment had come, and that moment seems to have arrived about the month of April
British Viscount James Bryce in a speech on 6
October 1915
I am ashamed of my nation (Ich schame mich fur meine Nation)
Djemal Pasha, to a German officer upon seeing the deportations in Mamure
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 150
Deportation of and excesses against peaceful Armenians is increasing and from harrowing reports
of eye witnesses, it appears that a campaign of race extermination is in progress under a pretext of
reprisal against rebellion
Henry Morgenthau, American Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in 1915, in a cable to the US
State Department
The Ottoman Empire should be cleaned up of the Armenians and the Lebanese. We have destroyed
the former by the sword, we shall destroy the latter through starvation
Enver Pasha, triumvirate ruler of the Ottoman Empire in a public declaration on 19
May 1916
I refer to those awful massacres. They are the greatest stain that has ever disgraced our nation and
race. They were entirely the work of Talt and Enver. I asked him [Enver] if it was true that they
intended to recommence the massacres which had been our shame and disgrace under Abdul Hamid.
The only reply I could get from him was It is decided. It is the program
Prince Abdul Mecid, heir-apparent to the Ottoman throne in an interview following the massacres
In its attempt to carry out its purpose to resolve the Armenian question by the destruction of the
Armenian race, the Turkish government has refused to be deterred neither by our representations,
nor by those of the American Embassy, nor by the delegate of the Pope, nor by the threats of the
Allied Powers, nor in deference to the public opinion of the West representing one-half of the world
Count Wolff-Metternich, German Ambassador, cabling the German Chancellor on 10
July 1916
The Young Turks are continuing an unchecked policy of extermination through starvation,
exhaustion, and brutality of treatment hardly surpassed even in Turkish history
Abram Elkus, US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in 1916, in a cable to the U.S. State Dept.

What on earth do you want? The question is settled. There are no more Armenians
Talt Pasha to the German Ambassador, persistently bringing up the Armenian question in 1918
800,000* Armenian deportees were actually holding the guilty accountable, the
government is intent on cleansing the bloody past
Turkish Minister of the Interior Cemal Pasha, in a public declaration on 15
March 1918
[*computations by Turkish Ministry experts]
Surely a few Armenians aided and abetted our enemy, and a few Armenian Deputies committed
crimes against the Turkish nation... it is incumbent upon a government to pursue the guilty ones.
Unfortunately, our wartime leaders, imbued with a spirit of brigandage, carried out the law of
deportation in a manner that could surpass the proclivities of the most bloodthirsty bandits. They
decided to exterminate the Armenians, and they did exterminate them
Turkish Minister of the Interior, Mustafa Arif on 13
December 1918
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 151
. . . the Armenian massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and the failure to act against Turkey
is to condone it . . . the failure to deal radically with the Turkish horror means that all talk of
guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense
Theodore Roosevelt in a letter to Cleveland H. Dodge on 11
May 1918
A crime that drew the revulsion of the entire humankind
Turkish Grand Vezir (Chef de Cabinet) Damad Ferid Pasha
Whereas the people of the United States are deeply impressed by the deplorable conditions of
insecurity, starvation, and misery now prevalent in Armenia
US President Woodrow Wilson, 14th May 1920, addressing the US Congress
These left-overs from the former Young Turk Party, who should have been made to account for the
millions of our Christian subjects who were ruthlessly driven en masse, from their homes and
massacred, have been restive under the Republican rule
Turkish President Atatrk, during an interview on 1st August 1923, with the Los Angeles Examiner
Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?
Adolf Hitler, during WWII, persuading the Nazi hierarchy that a Jewish genocide would be tolerated
by the west
The association of Mount Ararat and Noah, the staunch Christians who were massacred
periodically by the Mohammedan Turks, and the Sunday School collections over fifty years for
alleviating their miseries-all cumulate to impress the name Armenia on the front of the American
Herbert Hoover Memoirs, 1952
It is generally not known in the world that, in the years preceding 1916, there was a concerted
effort made to eliminate all the Armenian people, probably one of the greatest tragedies that ever
befell any group. And there werent any Nuremberg trials
Jimmy Carter, in a White House ceremony on 16
May 1978
Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed
it, . . . the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten
Ronald Reagan, in a proclamation on 22
April 1981
It was not war. It was most certainly massacre and genocide, something the world must
remember....We will always reject any attempt to erase its record, even for some political
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin in the Knesset on 27
April 1994, in response to claims
that it was war, by the Turkish Ambassador to Israel during a TV interview
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 152
Extracts from the Treaty of Svres, of 10
August 1920
These Powers being described in the present Treaty as the Principal Allied Powers;
These Powers constituting, with the Principal Powers mentioned above, the Allied Powers, of the one
of the other part;
EXTRACTS: view of the terrorist regime which has existed in Turkey since November 1, 1914...
In order to repair so far as possible the wrongs inflicted on individuals in the course of the massacres
perpetrated in Turkey during the war, the Turkish Government undertakes to afford all the assistance
in its power or in that of the Turkish authorities in the search for and deliverance of all persons, of
whatever race or religion, who have disappeared, been carried off, interned or placed in captivity
since November 1, 1914.
The Turkish Government undertakes to hand over to the Allied Powers the persons whose surrender
may be required by the latter as being responsible for the massacres committed during the
continuance of the state of war on territory which formed part of the Turkish Empire on August 1,
Courtesy: UK Foreign Office
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 153
Armenian National Institute, US
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 154
The 1920 Treaty of Svres appointed US President Wilson to determine boundaries of Armenia:
Courtesy: US Department of State
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 155
Christianity Monotheistic religion of those following Jesus Christ
Insanity Mental instability to the point of not being legally responsible for actions
Judaism Monotheistic Jewish religion and way of life. Succeeded Hebraism
Opportunism Acting for selfish personal gain over moral or legal principles
Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder
Mental disorder resulting from significant trauma or accumulated negative
stress. Also known as Shell Shock, Battle Fatigue and Burn Out
Racism Rivalry or discrimination between races. Belief in racial superiority
Religion Belief in an unseen creative higher power, controlling destiny
Xenophobia Fear or hatred of foreigners or foreign cultures
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 156
Bomb Attack in Omagh, Northern Ireland, UK
Facts of the Case: On 15th
August 1998, a car bomb
was detonated in busy street
of Omagh in Northern
Ireland, UK, killing 29 people,
including 13 women (one
pregnant with twins) and 11
children, and wounding over 300 other people.
Investigation: During the investigation, 385 forensic
evidence exhibits, 40 tons of rubble and 237 video film
clips were collected, in addition to 6,500 interviews and
3500 homes and businesses visited. Over 80 arrests
were made since the crime (most were subsequently
released without charge), with 15,200 other investigative
The UK's Northern Ireland Police (Royal Ulster
Constabulary), the Republic of Ireland Police (Garda
Sochna) and the UK's New Scotland Yard established
responsibility for the attacks upon the Real IRA (Irish
Republican Army).
In January 2002, one of the suspects arrested was
convicted for the crime and received 14 years in prison.
Further suspects are sought.
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 157
1. Some terrorists are opportunists who commit terrorism for
a) Publicity
b) Political or religious reasons
c) Wealth or power
2. Terrorism for motives of religious hatred only occurs in the Middle East.
a) True
b) False
3. Xenophobia is fear or hatred of foreigners or foreign customs while racial hatred may be hatred
towards a single race.
a) True
b) False
4. Class resentment is a hidden motive for terrorism found amongst which terrorist groups?
a) Religious groups
b) Animal rights groups
c) Independence groups
5. PTSD has also been known as
a) Shell shock
b) Battle fatigue
c) both a and b
6. Non-negotiating terrorists generally carry out terrorist acts
a) For money
b) To punish or enact vengeance
c) For political reasons
7. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is
a) A justification for terrorism
b) A medical condition explaining some acts of terrorism
c) Fear created by terrorism
8. Insincere negotiations means that terrorists
a) Achieve concessions
b) Break agreements
c) Will only negotiate officially
9. Terrorism is often rooted in the hopelessness and resentment caused by extreme economic
hardship or poverty.
a) True
b) False
10. The 1994 Rwandan genocide and subsequent massacres were caused by
a) Suspension of democracy and ethnic hatred
b) Religious intolerance
c) Economic hardship
Lesson 4/ Other Motivations for Terrorism, Catalysts, and Negotiations 158
11. Terrorists often prefer committing acts in liberal democracies, because
a) Terrorist weapons are more easily available
b) There is more publicity, easier penalties and less chance of apprehension
c) Liberal democracies oppose all terrorists
12. Europe was a popular venue in the 1980s and 1990s for terrorist attacks related to the Middle
East and north African conflicts.
a) True
b) False
13. Terrorist groups who are prepared to negotiate either make their demands directly known or
indirectly by issuing an agenda of their grievances.
a) True
b) False
14. Terrorists who will not negotiate are called
a) Pro-conflict
b) Sub-conflict
c) Insincere negotiators
15. Serial killers or mass murderers are often terrorists who are insane.
a) True
b) False
16. A false-flag operation is an act calculated to falsely incriminate an opponent.
a) True
b) False
17. Following the suspension of democracy in Rwanda, in 1994, the genocide was carried out by
a) Hutus
b) Watutsis
c) Neither
18. Terrorism experts think what will be the greatest underlying cause of terrorism in this century?
a) Religion
b) Economic Hardship
c) Politics
19. One motive for de-population or ethnic cleansing is the acquisition of land.
a) True
b) False
20. Interahamwe means
a) Religious fighters
b) Revolutionaries
c) Those who kill without mercy
ANSWERS: 1-c, 2-b, 3-a, 4-b, 5-c, 6-b, 7-b, 8-b, 9-a, 10-a, 11-b, 12-a, 13-a, 14-b, 15-a, 16-a,
17-a,18-b,19-a, 20-c.
Lesson 5
A Profile of Terrorists and Their Organisations
Section 5.1: A Profile of Terrorists
Section 5.2: Structure and Practice of Terrorist Organizations
Leadership, Operational, Political and Spiritual
Intelligence and Reconnaissance
Security and Counter-Intelligence
Organising Terrorist Acts
Recruitment, Training and Support
The Terrorist Cell Format
Keywords to Note
Terrorist Attack Brief: Bombing; US Air Base, Frankfurt, W. Germany
Lesson 5/ A Profile of Terrorists and Their Organisations 160
Lesson 5 Scope and Objectives
Section 5.1: A Profile of Terrorists
This section reproduces data which profiles guerrilla-terrorists engaged in the ongoing
conflict within the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. It includes their personal
circumstances, recruitment motivations, guerrilla-terrorist level of training, as well as personal
details such as age, education and normal employment or trade. This lesson refers the student to
Annex C (a list of groups accused of terrorism by governments and media) and Annex K (lists of
terrorist organisations according to the US, UK and EU). The Terrorist Attack Brief for this Lesson
is the bombing of the US Air Base at Frankfurt in 1985.
After this lesson, the student should be able to:
Describe the profile of a typical guerrilla-terrorist in the Jammu and Kashmir conflict
Recite the various motivations for becoming a guerrilla-terrorist
Broadly describe characteristics of contemporary terrorist groups
Section 5.2: Structure and Practice of Terrorist Organisations
This section illustrates the structure of terrorist organisations, explaining the different types
of leadership positions and describes several functions such as counter-intelligence, security and
logistics. It also describes how a terrorist act is organised and explains recruitment, training, support
and finally, the terrorist cell-format.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to:
Differentiate between operational, political and spiritual leaders of terrorist groups
Describe the basic intelligence gathering and reconnaissance methods of terrorist groups
Explain some terrorist security and counter-intelligence practices
Segregate organisation and execution of terrorist acts into planning and control functions
Understand the importance of terrorist logistics and their vulnerability
Explain different purposes of terrorist camps and why remote locations are often selected
State the principle advantage of the guerrilla-warfare cell-format adopted by terrorists
Recall the meaning of the words contained in the Lessons Keywords to Note table
Recall the basic facts concerning the bombing of the US Air Base, Frankfurt, W.
Lesson 5/ A Profile of Terrorists and Their Organisations 161
Lesson 5. A Profile of Terrorists and their Organisations
Section 5.1: A Profile of Terrorists
A profile of terrorists and guerrillas is a difficult undertaking, not only because much of the
required information is unavailable or unknown, but owing to the fact that definition of what a
terrorist is has not yet been universally agreed upon.
Moreover, people, including terrorists, differ so much from country to country and between
The value of a profile of a single terrorist group for the purposes of this course is important
but should not be considered as the universal norm for either terrorists or guerrillas.
Some terrorists act alone as individuals (sometimes the case with transnational terrorists, and
invariably so with insane terrorists), or in loose temporary collaborations, while others belong to
groups that are engaged in terrorism.
Yet others belong to guerrilla groups whose majority of members do not engage in terrorism.
The following information charts portray authentic profiles of actual guerrilla-terrorists
(known as Militants) engaged in the war in the former princely State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Age: Below 20 yrs 21-25 yrs 26-35 yrs Over 35 yrs
Fully -Trained 40% 47% 12% 1%
Partly-Trained 28% 31% 27% 14%
Education: Illiterate High School Und.Graduate Graduate
Fully - Trained 21% 44% 29% 6%
Partly - Trained 22% 40% 25% 13%
Background: Labourers Traders Students Peasants Civil Servants
Fully-Trained 42% 14% 19% 22% 3%
Partly-Trained 25% 18% 17% 21% 19%
Lesson 5/ A Profile of Terrorists and Their Organisations 162
Three Jammu & Kashmir Militant Leaders
Left to right: Shahid ul Islam (Hizbullah [captured]), Syed
Salahuddin (Hizb ul Mujahideen), Nayem ul Haq (Al Umar
These men know very well how to prey upon the anxieties
of inexperienced and unemployed young men, and recruit
them to fight vastly superior government troops. The life
span of an active young Militant is not very long
Peer /
Attraction Religious /
15% 10% 12% 10% 20% 0.25% 8.75% 24%
It can be concluded from the statistics shown that the most common profile of a fully-trained
guerrilla / terrorist in the Jammu and Kashmir conflict is that of a 21 to 25 year old; of high school
education; a labourer by occupation; and who became a guerrilla-terrorist as a result of being
unemployed. This type of information is useful to security forces as a guide to what type of suspects
to look for. It is also useful to the government, who can analyse that unemployment causes
significant recruitment; they can take steps to
reduce unemployment, as an anti-terrorism
Profiles of terrorists and groups will
vary greatly according to region, circumstance
and campaign.
[A list of groups, including those in
Kashmir, that stand accused of terrorism by
governments and media, may be found in
Annex C. Lists of terrorist groups according to
the US, UK and EU may be found in Annex
There are several other aspects
concerning the profiling of terrorists:
In the case of terrorists, especially
insane terrorists, such as serial killers or so-
called mad bombers, it is sometimes possible
to profile them, if they send demands or other
types of written communication to the
authorities or media.
Two such examples are shown on the
next page. One is from a bomber and one from
a serial killer. Both terrorised parts of New
York City during different periods in the last
century, and in both cases the police used
psychiatrists to try to provide a profile of the
suspects they were hunting.
Lesson 5/ A Profile of Terrorists and Their Organisations 163
Extremely useful profiles can be built from letters received from terrorists, like these shown above. The
first letter (left) was sent to police by bomber George Metesky, who was active in New York City in the
1940s, with a grudge against Con Edison (the electricity, gas and steam utility company). It indicates: a
degree of patriotism (stopping his bombing campaign for the wars duration); intelligence, as pasted
letters provide no sample of handwriting to compare or to analyse; reasonably well educated (good quality
English grammar and vocabulary). The second letter (right) was sent by David Berkowitz (the Son of
Sam) who terrorised New York from 1976 to 1977 by randomly killing women with a Colt .44" bulldog
revolver, including couples in parked cars. The letter indicates that Berkowitz is: of poor education,
probably with a mental age far less than his physical years; careless enough to provide police with a
sample of his handwriting, and very seriously disturbed. Handwriting analysts and psychiatrists would
have analysed these letters to a far greater, professional degree.
Courtesy (letters): FBI
Lesson 5/ A Profile of Terrorists and Their Organisations 164
Section 5.2: Structure and Practice of Terrorist Organizations
Leadership; Operational, Political and Spiritual
An apes an ape and a varlets a varlet, though they be clad in silk or scarlet
Old English proverb
There is always a clearly recognised operational leader of a terrorist group. This operational
leader sometimes takes part in operations, or has a past record of participating, which is an important
motivating influence for the other terrorists. The following explain the roles of different types of
terrorist group leaders, with examples:
Operational Leadership. Operational leaders are rarely independent. Frequently there are
organisers, sponsors and financiers behind the operational leader that he alone is aware of,
with the exception of a trusted lieutenant who will know how to clandestinely make contact
with them in the event of the operational leader being killed or captured.
Political Leadership. In terrorist groups there is often one terrorist, not necessarily the
operational leader, who is responsible for political indoctrination and re-enforcement of the
groups cause. The political doctrine of the group may be that of a sponsoring government.
Spiritual Leadership. A spiritual leader is found in those groups whose cause involves
religion. They have a specific religious cleric who indoctrinates and instills religious
legitimacy into the terrorists as a motivating factor. The spiritual dogma may be that of a
religion, a sect, an individual cleric or that of a specific government that sponsors the
terrorists. An example of a spiritual leader is that of Hizbollah in Lebanon; Sheikh
Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah (who also functions as the Head Arbiter or Mujtahid of Shiite
Islamic law in Lebanon) serves as Spiritual leader or guide for the Hizbollah group.
Co-Leadership. The Taliban and Al Qaida can be viewed as a coalition between a regular
military force (although hardly approaching developed standards) and a transnational terrorist
group, sharing common aims. To all appearances, Sheikh Omar led the Taliban and Osama
bin Ladin led Al Qaida. In reality, Osama bin Ladin was de facto commander of both.
Although Sheikh Omar was nominally in charge of the Taliban, issuing orders and taking
decisions, he was in effect a figurehead, practically subservient to bin Ladins approval. This
was not widely known amongst the Taliban, as the rank and file rallied more readily under
a religious leader, besides which, the Taliban Government had publicly to be led by an
Afghan. In effect, bin Ladin was the operational leader and Sheikh Omar was the spiritual
Spiritual Inspiration. Another example of a terrorist spiritual leader is religious cleric Omar
Abdel Rahman. In the early 1990s, inspired terrorists that it was a religious duty to blow up
the World Trade Centre, the United Nations building in New York, the FBI headquarters,
two New York traffic tunnels and a bridge, besides trying to assassinate the Egyptian
Lesson 5/ A Profile of Terrorists and their Organisations 165
Sheep skeletons on land owned by Aum Shinri Kyo in
Australia, where they tested Sarin nerve gas on animals
Courtesy: Australian Federal Police
Spiritual Influence. An example of the
influence that spiritual leaders can
sometimes exert within a terrorist
group, is the case of Shoko Asahara,
the guru (spiritual leader) of the Aum
Shinri Kyo (Supreme Truth)
Armageddonist cult, based in Japan.
Aum Shinri Kyo terrorists killed 12
people in 1995 after discharging lethal
Sarin nerve gas on Tokyos
underground railway station. In this
case, Asahara organised the groups
attack by undermining and by-passing
some of its key leaders.
Splits in Leadership. When elements
within a terrorist group split to form a
new group, it can be for opportunistic
reasons as mentioned in Lesson 4
(Concealed and Other Motivations for Terrorism; Opportunism), but many splits are caused
through differences with the leadership of the group. Especially common are disputes over
how hard-line the group may or may not be.
An example of this occurred in Palestine with the Palestinian (Jewish) Haganah; from
Haganah, a splinter group called Haganah B emerged in 1931. From Haganah B, a splinter
group called Irgun Zwei Leumi emerged in 1936.
From Irgun Zwei Leumi, a splinter group called Lochamei Herut Israel (Lehi or the Stern
gang) emerged in 1940.
Each splinter group was more hard-line and fanatic than its predecessor. In this example, part
of an illegal guerrilla style group evolved into a notorious terrorist group.
Intelligence and Reconnaissance
Terrorist groups gather intelligence, usually by human means (known as HumInt) since they
usually lack the resources for the more sophisticated intelligence gathering methods such as
electronic intercept and satellite intelligence (SatInt). Terrorist groups sponsored by governments
however, are sometimes beneficiaries of superior-grade intelligence from the security and
intelligence gathering organs of those governments.
The human intelligence that terrorists gather may be from media, observation, bribery or
soliciting from those in strategic positions (such as low-grade government employees in sensitive
positions of trust) who covertly sympathise with the terrorist cause or can be profiled, then
persuaded, bribed or entrapped and blackmailed.
Reconnaissance is important and precedes many terrorist acts, especially where escape may
prove difficult or observation is likely. The site of the terrorist act is usually subject to careful
Lesson 5/ A Profile of Terrorists and their Organisations 166
Wonsan, Korea
UN Forces (B-26 Invador) bombing of a Church where intelligence
revealed that a large cache of terrorist explosives were hidden
US Army / Air Force
reconnaissance, to ensure a smoothly run operation with good chances of avoiding detection and
During the reconnaissance, the terrorists observe many aspects, including security forces,
obstacles, observation points, entry and exit points, road and pedestrian routes, secondary escape
routes and the precise location where they may intend to site any explosive devices.
Of the terrorist team that bombed the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998, two bomb makers
devoted themselves to constructing the bomb mechanisms for four days, while three other members
spent four days before the attack, making a reconnaissance of the Embassy and routes.
The reconnaissance element left Kenya before the attacks, in case they had been identified,
in which case they might have jeopardised the success of the attack, if they were suddenly recognised
or followed.
Security and Counter-Intelligence
Security is a major consideration of terrorists in all stages. Terrorists are well aware that
security forces regularly try to apprehend them with a variety of ingenious methods.
When terrorist organisations or cells have been penetrated by security forces and they are
aware of this, they sometimes deliberately spread dis-information inside the group, in order to
confuse or misdirect the efforts of security forces, to whom the information is reported.
This is one form of counter-intelligence or opposing the intelligence gathering resources
ranged against them. Another form of counter-intelligence engaged in by terrorists is covertly testing
each individual member of the group or cell, by a variety of methods until the deep cover agent or
leak is revealed.
An example is Al Qaida some of whose members regularly compete with one another in
feats of extreme loyalty, often
involving murder and violent action, in
order to preclude traitors or agents.
A counter-intelligence tactic
sometimes adopted in guerrilla warfare
and terrorist campaigns is to adopt a
variety of different group names. This
misleads security forces as to how
many groups there are and how large
the groups are.
This can hamper the security
forces intelligence machinery and result
in over-deployment and mis-direction
of forces.
Successful examples where this
strategy was used are in the war against
Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979
to 1989) and to a smaller extent, in the
Jammu and Kashmir conflict.
Lesson 5/ A Profile of Terrorists and their Organisations 167
Not an easy weapon to obtain
Courtesy: US Army, Medical Research & Development Unit
The Idiot Fool. From The Dance of Death
Organising Terrorist Acts.
Sophisticated terrorist acts do not occur
spontaneously. They are carefully planned and
executed. These stages are subject to clear division of
responsibilities, such as reconnaissance, logistics,
intelligence and weapons.
From a military point of view, they are
identifiable as two-fold; planning functions and
control functions. Some design the operation on the
planning side and some carry it out as operatives on
the control side. There are sub-divisions to planning
and control which include security, logistics
(weapons and supply), propaganda and other
No terrorist operation can take place without logistics. Obtaining illegal logistics is
complicated and dangerous as it generally includes the procurement or retrieval of illegal weapons
or other prohibited materials such as explosives, chemical or biological agents.
It is a dangerous stage of terrorist planning as security forces often monitor illicit arms
dealers and arms caches, which might lead to entrapment, ambush or capture of the terrorist group,
or sabotage of the weapons.
Recruitment, Training and Support
Ill company brings many a man to the gallows
Old English proverb
Recruitment is often artificially manipulated by
exploiting social, political and economic tensions in the
locale. Once recruited however, the terrorist may be
trained and deployed in an entirely different area from
where he was recruited.
Many guerrilla and terrorist training camps are
rural and in remote regions, which the national authorities
either sponsor, choose to ignore or cannot control.
Newly recruited guerillas and terrorists are
sometimes taken directly to such camps for formal
induction and training.
Some of these camps also carry out refresher and
specialist training.
Yet others serve as a terrorist base while some
serve also as staging points (pre-mission assembly areas)
for terrorist operations.
Lesson 5/ A Profile of Terrorists and their Organisations 168
Guerrilla / Terrorist training camp in Azad (liberated)
The Kashmir conflict is a case which illustrates the complexity and thoroughness of guerrilla
and terrorist training in that region: Training for terrorists and guerrillas destined for the Kashmir
conflict (with or without the respective governments knowledge) takes place and has taken place,
variously, in:
Afghanistan (suspended in 2002)
The Pakistan side of the cease-fire line, in Azad (liberated) Kashmir
The Indian side of the cease-fire line, in the Jammu and Kashmir State
Lebanon, west Beirut and in the Tyre pocket of the south
[In early 2002, media reported that in order to assist the anti-terrorism coalition, the Pakistan
Government ordered its Joint Intelligence North branch of the ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) to
cease operations and further training and support of guerrilla or terrorist warfare in the Kashmir
Training courses vary in duration from between 2 and 12 weeks. There are exceptions to this,
such as the complex communications course of 20 weeks, needed before operating the highly-
sensitive Bismullah radio-sets located in the Kashmir Valley.
Training courses varied in subject and included:
Subversive activities
The salary during this training period
was approxi mat el y 1000 Rupees
(approximately 25 US Dollars) per month,
while under training.
After training and some operations, a
successful guerrilla-terrorist received up to
15,000 Rupees (approximately 375 US
Dollars) per month.
An ISI guerrilla-terrorist training team
in Azad Kashmir or its environs, typically
Lesson 5/ A Profile of Terrorists and their Organisations 169
Militant killed during firefight in Kashmir
PIRA improvised mortar battery
Courtesy: WSMD/EMD
One officer
A JCO (junior commissioned officer)
An NCO (non-commissioned officer)
Visiting Army lecturers
Visiting Police lecturers
Visiting Special Forces lecturers
Former Prime Minister Benazir
Bhutto closed down approximately 50%
of the training camps in Pakistan and
Azad (liberated) Kashmir due to
international pressure, but some
continued to exist afterwards in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, with some very few on the Indian side
of the cease-fire line (termed the Line of Control, Line of Actual Control, or simply, the LoC).
Some were/are located in remote areas, some in jungle terrain and a few inside innocent
looking buildings such as town match factories.
Training varies considerably according to the continent, type of sponsoring, terrain and the
nature of the dispute. In the northern Ireland dispute, it was practically impossible for Provisional
Irish Republican Army (PIRA) terrorists to regularly and easily practice-fire sub machine guns,
rocket propelled grenades and assault rifles, or to train in detonating explosives, while located in the
Republic of Ireland, and especially in the UK provinces of Northern Ireland, without rapid detection
by security forces. Consequently, a number of PIRA terrorists underwent weapon training at remote
rural areas in foreign countries including Libya and Lebanon (during the civil war).
The following casualty figures of the internal security situation in Northern Ireland span from
1969 to 1999.
They do not include related casualties outside of the provinces:
Catholic civilians: 1233
Protestant civilians: 698
Republican terrorists: 392
Unionist terrorists: 144
British Armed Forces: 709
Police and Reservists: 303
Others: 158
Total killed: 3637
Total wounded: 29,198
Lesson 5/ A Profile of Terrorists and their Organisations 170
Member of an ETA (Basque
separatist) terrorist cell
Courtesy: Guardia Civile Madrid,Spain
The Terrorist Cell Format
Terrorists are well aware that security forces regularly try
to apprehend them with a variety of methods. Sometimes,
security and intelligence forces try to penetrate terrorist
organisations by inserting deep-cover agents.
This tends to be a short term strategy due to the inherent
suspicion attached to most new members of the group and the
dangers posed by terrorist counter-intelligence (painstaking
background vetting of new members).
Consequently, some terrorist groups adopt a range of
counter-measures including the cell-format.
This means that the organisation is divided into cells
whose members do not know the other cells members and
A captured agent or terrorist is therefore unable to list the
entire group, under interrogation, and the same applies for the
de-briefing of a security forces deep cover agent that has
managed to penetrate the group.
This is not a new method of irregular warfare security,
but was used to an extent, during World War II by the Allied-sponsored resistance groups in Axis-
occupied Europe.
The cell format is especially useful for terrorists of large groups (such as the Group Islamique
Arm or Armed Islamic Group in Algeria, or ETA in Spain), whose members are sometimes caught
and interrogated.
Lesson 5/ A Profile of Terrorists and their Organisations 171
Al Qaida Arabic. The Base (military connotation). The Foundation
Counter-Intelligence Frustration of efforts to gather intelligence or penetrate
HumInt Human Intelligence. Intelligence gathered in person
Intelligence Strategic information or the Organisation gathering it
Logistics Practicalities of moving and supplying soldiers or an enterprise
Reconnaissance A preliminary survey to discover enemy position and strength
Taliban Pushtoun. Students [of Islamic knowledge]
Terrorist Cell Group that for security, doesnt know other groups' members
Lesson 5/ A Profile of Terrorists and their Organisations 172
Bombing of US Air Base, Frankfurt, West Germany
Facts of the Case: On 8
August 1985, a car bomb was
exploded at a US Air Base at Rhein Main, Frankfurt, West
Germany. Two US nationals were killed and twenty-one others
Investigation: Two left wing terrorist groups claimed
responsibility as part of a war on imperialism:
Red Army Faction
(West Germany)
Direct Action
The groups also claimed responsibility for the murder of a US
soldier earlier in the year at Wiesbaden Germany. The groups
stole the soldiers identity papers, which facilitated their entry
into Rhein Main airbase.
Eva Haule-Frimpong and Birgit Hogefeld (Red Army Faction)
were subsequently convicted of murder and sentenced to life
imprisonment for the Rhein Main airbase bombing, a NATO
training school bombing and the murder of the US soldier.
Lesson 5/ A Profile of Terrorists and their Organisations 173
1. No terrorists or guerrillas have post-secondary education.
a) True
b) False
2. In the Jammu and Kashmir conflict, the most common single reason for becoming a guerrilla
or a terrorist is
a) Religious convictions
b) Peer pressure
c) Unemployment
3. Terrorists are always members of guerrilla groups.
a) True
b) False
4. Some guerrillas are not terrorists.
a) True
b) False
5. The most common age group of guerrillas and terrorists in the Jammu and Kashmir conflict is
a) 21 to 25 yrs
b) 26 to 35 yrs
c) Over 35 yrs
6. Some terrorist groups not only have operational leaders, but also political and sometimes
spiritual leaders.
a) True
b) False
7. Terrorists who are not sponsored by governments, mostly gather intelligence by
a) Signals intelligence
b) Electronic interception
c) Human intelligence methods (HumInt)
8. An important objective of reconnaissance before a terrorist attack is
a) To identify any other terrorists in the locality
b) To select additional targets
c) To ensure a smooth operation and minimise chances of apprehension
9. Terrorist groups sometimes use many names in order to
a) Recruit more terrorists
b) Over-burden security forces intelligence machinery
c) Avoid responsibility
10. Terrorist and guerrilla training camps may serve for recruit and refresher training and as a
base for operations and support.
a) True
b) False
Lesson 5/ A Profile of Terrorists and their Organisations 174
11. Terrorist groups sometimes form cells because
a) It is more economical
b) It minimises internal conflicts within the group
c) A captured terrorist or deep-cover agent can only reveal the members of his cell
12. Spiritual leaders belong to terrorist groups in which capacity?
a) Ethnic
b) Political
c) Religious
13. Which of the following is not a consideration in reconnaissance by terrorists?
a) Security forces
b) Political agenda
c) Secondary escape routes
14. There is always a clearly recognised operational leader of a terrorist group.
a) True
b) False
15. Omar Abdel Rahman inspired terrorists that it was a religious duty to blow up
a) United Nations Headquarters
b) The Eiffel Tower
c) The Sydney Opera House
16. Training for fighting in the Kashmir conflict has taken place in how many countries?
a) 2-5
b) 6-8
c) 8 or more
17. Nayem ul Haq is associated with
a) Hizullah
b) Al Umar Mujahideen
c) Hizb ul Mujahideen
18. A number of PIRA terrorists underwent weapon training in London.
a) True
b) False
19. From a military point of view, terrorist acts are
a) Planning functions
b) Control functions
c) Planning functions and control functions
20. Many guerrilla and terrorist training camps are rural and in remote regions.
a) True
b) False
ANSWERS: 1-b, 2-c, 3-b, 4-a, 5-a, 6-a, 7-c, 8-c, 9-b, 10-a, 11-c, 12-c, 13-b, 14-a, 15-a,16-c,
Lesson 6
Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment
Section 6.1: The Terrorist Armoury
Small Arms, Light and Medium-Sized Infantry Weapons
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Assassination Devices
Military and Improvised Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons
Volunteer Suicide-Terrorists
Compelled Suicide-Terrorists
Computer Viruses and Logic Bombs
Other Weapons
Section 6.2: Other Resources, Services and Equipment
Illicit Arms Sources
Support from Other Terrorist Groups and Sympathisers
Diplomatic, Ideological, Political and Spiritual Support
Commercially Available Equipment
Commercially Available Communications Facilities
Funding; Illegally-Generated and Sponsored
Negotiating Options
Diplomatic Immunity
Individual Sponsorship
Sponsorship by Governments
Rogue Intelligence and Security Personnel
Keywords to Note
Terrorist Attack Brief: Attacks on Cafs, San Salvador, El Salvador
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 176
Lesson 6 Scope and Objectives
Section 6.1: The Terrorist Armoury
This section describes the terrorist armoury; the full range of weapons that terrorists use;
military, purpose-made, improvised and human (suicide bombers). It explains types of bomb
including improvised explosive devices (IED), their content and tactical use. Also mentioned are
nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons, known as weapons of mass destruction (WMD)
together with Radiological Dispersal Devices (RDD). Computer-viruses and other weapons are
The Terrorist Attack Brief for this Lesson concerns the Attacks on Cafs, San Salvador, El Salvador.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to:
Describe an improvised explosive device (IED) and the most common explosives used
Explain the different types of detonating triggers used in IEDs
State the purpose of an incendiary device
Understand the different purposes of primary and secondary bombs
Describe the two types of suicide terrorist; compelled and volunteer
Understand nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons in the context of terrorism
Explain radiological dispersal devices (RDD) and weapons of mass destruction (WMD)
Section 6.2: Other Resources, Services, and Equipment
This section explains the general resources, services, equipment and other support utilised
by terrorist groups. Illicit arms sources are discussed with a chart of several authentic illicit arms
bazaars which exist on the Indian sub-continent. Support from other terrorist groups, diplomatic,
ideological, political and spiritual support is also mentioned. Equipment and services which are
available through ordinary commercial channels is explained, and also the types of illegal funding
for terrorism. Negotiating options and diplomatic immunity are described, as resources by those
terrorists that have access to them. Finally, sponsorship of terrorism by governments and individuals
is discussed and also support rendered by rogue intelligence and security personnel.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to:
Understand different illegal weapon sources, price variations and preferred weapons
Describe the nature of contemporary support between terrorist groups
List the type of commercially available equipment and services used by terrorists
State terrorist methods for obtaining illegal funding and describe sponsored funding
Understand the option of negotiation, including secret negotiations
Appreciate terrorist use of diplomatic immunity and understand government sponsorship
Understand the meaning of support by rogue intelligence and security personnel
Recall the meaning of the words contained in the Lessons Keywords to Note table
Recall basic details concerning the attacks on cafs in San Salvador, El Salvador
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 177
Assault Rifle
A sub machine gun, capable of either fully or semi automatic fire, which uses
rifle-size ammunition (about same calibres as pistols, but longer cartridges)
Lesson 6. Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment

Section 6.1: The Terrorist Armoury
Small Arms, Light and Medium-Sized Infantry Weapons
Political power grows from the barrel of a gun
Mao Tse-Tung. Chinese premier and guerrilla warfare strategist
Terrorists use a wide range of military weapons, limited to what they can steal, illegally
purchase, smuggle or otherwise obtain. Amongst the most common military weapons are pistols,
revolvers, rifles and submachine guns.
Terrorists also use light machine guns, hand-grenades, time-bombs, mortars, rocket
artillery, rocket propelled grenades and mines (land mines [anti-personnel, group or anti-tank]
and water mines [sea and river]).
Devices known as silencers are sometimes used. Silencers suppress sound when a pistol
and certain types of rifle or sub-machine gun are fired. Masking the sound with a silencer assists
the terrorist to escape, because there is no loud report to alert persons in the vicinity. Using
silencers can also prolong the element of surprise during a terrorist attack.
There are a massive amount of small arms in the world, many of them illegally owned.
Terrorists use a wide variety of weapons, often depending on the state of development of the
society and the availability of illegal arms.
It is not unusual in some parts of the world to find terrorists using weapons which date
from the Second and even the First World Wars, especially rifles, as some are well made,
particularly durable, accurate and still effective if the right ammunition is available.
Following are some random illustrations of terrorist weapons which are used in various
parts of the world. Two of the most popular terrorist weapons are included:
Hand grenade
Rocket Launcher
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 178
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 179
An IED (Improvised Explosive Device)
Washington State Military Dept EMD
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Assassination Devices
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)
Most Terrorists bombs are improvised.
They are termed as Improvised Explosive Devices or IEDs. That is to say they are not
standardly produced for military purposes.
IEDs vary in quality and effect according to the expertise of the assembler.
Many are complicated and utilise
sophisticated integrated circuitry.
Between 1993 and 1997, there were
13,710 bomb incident attacks in the USA, in
which 478 people were killed and 3,485
wounded. This cost US$ 681 million in damage.
Terrorists utilise a variety of High
Explosives (HE) and sometimes Low
Explosives (LE).
The main characteristics of explosives
are as follows:
HE decomposes very rapidly (known as
HE burns at between 1000 to 10,000 yards
per second (914 and 9140 metres per
LE does not technically cause explosions, but decomposes rapidly (known as deflagration)
LE burns at the rate of only inches (or centimetres) per second
There are Explosive Compounds and Explosive Elements, each with a different constitution
Some HE is unstable and is mixed with an inert desensitiser for safe handling and practical use
There are different types of Explosives (known as charges) with different functions as follows:
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 180
The majority of terrorist IEDs utilise disrupting or bursting explosives. These are normally used
in the following military ordnance:
Besides the main charge, some common components, additives and ingredients of IEDs are as
Practical compounds to bind explosive charges and make them malleable
Small, highly volatile charges, triggered to detonate main explosive charges
Small, high brisance charges, in between detonators and main explosive charges
Compounds containing oxygenised propellant, which enhances combustion
Well-known IED main charge explosives and ingredients are:
Trade name for a Czech manufactured plastic explosive
Cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine; aka cyclonite or hexogen
Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate
C4 (See Composition C)
Mixture: RDX, other explosives and plasticisers.
Hexamethylenetetramine or HMT
Ethylene Glycol Dinitrate
Home-made explosive
Fertilizer based. e.g. ammonium nitrate + fuel oil [ANFO]
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 181
Site of US Marine Barracks bombing, Beirut, Lebanon 1983
US Dept. of State
Other explosives, of a common military nature are as follows:
A more comprehensive list of explosive materials may be viewed on an Internet page of the
US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF):
It is sometimes difficult for forensic scientists to determine the source of the explosive, but
Semtex is now marked in order to assist security forces in forensic investigations.
The company producing Semtex was taken over by the Czech Government, following the
terrorism of 11
September 2001.
However, considerable quantities of unmarked Semtex are still at large, especially from the
time of the Cold War.
Older consignments of Semtex
are unmarked.
It is therefore almost impossible
to determine the batch origin of the
Semtex, and by extension, the country
to which the Semtex was sold or passed
The plasticising agent in
Semtex begins to degenerate after 20
years, but it is still highly dangerous.
Tagging of explosives (unique
chemical marking characteristics
carried out in the manufacturing
process in order to trace the origin of an
explosive) is already a practice adopted
by a number of explosives
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 182
Detonating IEDs is not as hazardous a practice as constructing and then transporting them to another
Assembling IEDs is a dangerous activity and accidents occur in which the IED assembler is
accidentally blown up and killed while constructing it. IEDs have also accidentally exploded while
being transported by terrorists.
Several methods of detonating bombs use the following triggers:
Activated at dawn, with daylight, or by electric light
Used for some roadside bombs and car bombs
e.g. Triggered by use of security forces comms.
Detects physical movement and generates signal
Activated by temperature change
Activated by pressure change
e.g. Activated when a victim opens a mail bomb
e.g. Alarm clock: hands close circuit at certain time
Other characteristics of IEDs are as follows:
Some IEDs have anti-handling devices of which there are many types; they cause
detonation if the bomb is moved or attempts are made to de-fuse it
If the IED is an incendiary device, it is constructed from a volatile, highly inflammable
charge, its primary purpose being to cause destruction by fire
The primary purpose of conventional IEDs is to kill and maim by the blast and shock
waves, or to kill and maim by hurling projectiles such as nails, ball bearings, scrap iron,
or debris
The bomb is a weapon attractive to both guerrilla and terrorist, owing to:
Controlled delay in detonation, which permits the terrorists to escape
Element of surprise. With no warning or evacuation, more casualties are generated
Terrorists using large IEDs variously adopt the following tactics:
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 183
British Army Bomb Disposal expert
disassembling an IED
Explosion: Just under 1 lb (half kilogram) of Semtex / PE4 plastic
Detonation of a single large IED, usually to
destroy a cultural site or structure of political,
governmental or financial/commercial
Announcement of a bomb-warning by telephone,
permitting an evacuation, in order to reduce
casualties and concentrate on non-human site and
structural damage
Warning in order to cause an evacuation so that
victims will assemble in a concentrated fashion
outside a building, then detonate an IED
concealed close by; the effect is more deadly as
the victims are assembled, with no blast
Detonation of a small IED, then after a short
while, detonation of a secondary IED, in order to
kill and injure as many evacuees, curious
bystanders and emergency response personnel as
possible. In cities among high rise buildings, the
victims deliberately include up to hundreds of
people who are looking at the bomb site from
their office / apartment windows. They suffer
eye and face injuries from glass, when the second larger IED detonates, blowing window
glass inwards
An example of a terrorist tactical
bombing occurred in 1995 at the
Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad,
Pakistan. It was carried out by members
of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Al
Gamaat al Islamiya terrorist groups,
supported by terrorists from the region.
The first IED detonation was
intended to demolish the Embassy gate
in order that a suicide car-bomber could
drive inside with a second, larger IED.
The first detonation caused many
occupants of the Embassy to
immediately evacuate the building and
assemble outside in the car park.
The suicide car bomber tried to
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 184
The Alfred P. Murrah Federal building, Oklahoma City, US. A T r
uck bomb killed 168 people and wounded hundreds more.
Courtesy: FBI / US State Dept
drive in, past the wreckage caused by the gate IED. After getting halfway through the gate, he
detonated the secondary, larger IED to deadly and devastating effect.
According to the US CIA, the IED detonated at the US Marine barracks in Beirut,
Lebanon in 1983 was, at that time, the largest non-nuclear blast ever detonated on the face of the
The charge consisted of 12,000 lbs (5454 kg) of high explosive integrated with canisters
of flammable gasses.
The deadliest terrorist IED (a truck bomb) in United States domestic history was
detonated at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. It killed 168
people and wounded over 500. It was detonated by domestic terrorists citing a political cause,
but which was rooted in religious doctrine.
IED / Explosive charge delivery modes can be categorised as follows:
COURIER DELIVERED Physically delivered to asset (human or structural) zone or vicinity
MAIL DELIVERED Dispatched by post: via unattended mailbox, or over-the-counter
ANTI-VEHICLE Deployed inside, under or beside the vehicle, or on the vehicle route
PROJECTILE Rocket propelled grenade or mortar, aimed and manually fired
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 185
Hollow point ammunition
(expands causing much
damage) of the type used
during the failed attempt
to assassi nate the
Commissioner of the
Japanese National Police
Agency on 30
1995, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo
Assassination Devices
One type of uncommon terrorist weapon is an assassination device. This is any
unconventional device which can quickly and very effectively kill a victim, but does not generally
refer to ordinarily manufactured weapons.
It is often a hand-held close range device using a single projectile which guarantees the
victims instant death.
An example is an improvised single-shot silenced pistol, which fires a soft, very large calibre
projectile (specially designed to cause devastating internal damage) at very low velocity, used for
close range assassination.
Another example of an
assassination device is an umbrella
which injects a lethal poison pellet
from its pointed tip. One such
umbrella was used during the Cold
War assassination of a Bulgarian
dissident, Georgi Markov, in
The umbrella injected a tiny
pellet filled with Ricin. It was
manuf act ured wi t h Sovi et
technology and utilised by the Bulgarian DS (Drazven Sigurnost; Bulgarian Intelligence Service).
Another example of assassination devices are the gas-guns developed by the former Soviet
Unions KGB.
Resembling something along the proportions of a bicycle pump, they would fit inside a
rolled-up newspaper or up a sleeve, running along an arm. The weapons release a dose of cyanide
gas [usually], lethal if delivered at close range.
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 186
Letter Bomb
(suspicious address and origin details)
IED Incendiary (gasoline)
Atlanta Pipe Bomb components
Animal Liberation Front IED
Indicators of possible mail IED
Letter Bomb
(suspicious address and origin details)
IED Photo Gallery
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 187
Military and Improvised Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons
It is hard to imagine how the tragedy of 11
September could have been worse. Yet, the truth is that
a single attack involving a nuclear or biological weapon could have killed millions
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Speech to UN General Assembly on 1 October 2001
The purposes of terrorists specifically using nuclear, biological, radiological and chemical
weapons are (for reasons of coercion or vengeance), to generate:
Extreme public terror (to disrupt society; political and social infrastructure)
Mass casualties - killed (large numbers, calculated to shock) and wounded (large numbers,
calculated to overwhelm emergency response services, hospital emergency & in-patient
facilities). An MCI is a:
Nuclear, biological and chemical weapons are known in some military and emergency
services simply as NBC, meaning:
Nuclear, biological and chemical weapons are sometimes called WMD, meaning:
Some military and emergency services in the world subdivide Weapons of Mass
Destruction into further categories than just NBC, and are known as B NICE:
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 188
Destruction of Sarin Rockets, Iraq
In some emergency and military services, the categories of harm caused by WMD and
terrorist weapons are known as TRACEM:
Thermal (extreme heat/cold, from radiation [light], conduction, convection, and flame
Radiation (absorption or ingestion of Alpha and Beta particles and Gamma rays)
Asphyxiation (by simple [inert] gases or chemical asphyxiants [blood poisons])
Chemical (toxic or corrosive)
Etiological (living organisms or their toxins, such as bio-toxins or bacteria)
Mechanical (explosive projectiles, blast, falling debris and incident site accidents)
Chemical Weapons
Military chemical weapons are produced and
Sometimes they are used, as in the case of
the mustard gas used by both sides during the 1980 -
1988 Iran-Iraq war.
Mustard gas was also used widely in the first
world war.
It was also reported as used in Morocco in
1925, Ethiopia in 1935 and in China between 1934
and 1944. Iraq was widely reported as again
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 189
Jerricans of nerve Agent Ingredient
Mustard Bombs in Iraq
using poison gas against Kurdish guerrillas,
terrorists and civilians in 1988.
In 1990 however, a report published
by the US Army War College entitled Iraqi
power & US security in the Middle East,
contradicted the media reports by asserting
that the Kurds living in Halabja died as a
result of a Phosgene gas attack by Iran.
Such weapons can be in the form of
chemical hand-grenades, artillery shells,
rockets or dispersal canisters (of many
types) for spraying into the atmosphere.
Improvised chemical weapons were
used in Japan in 1994 in central Japan and
again in 1995 on the Tokyo underground
train system by Aum Shinri Kyo (Supreme
Truth) terrorists, who had manufactured Sarin nerve gas from commercially available ingredients.
Twelve people died in the 1995 Aum Shinri Kyo attack and over 5000 were wounded.
In February 2001, the London Metropolitan Police found plans for a sarin attack in a
suspects apartment.
The plot was linked to four arms
caches found by German police in 2000.
Four men with links to Osama bin
Laden were subsequently arrested in
connection with these arms caches.
The 1993 New York World Trade
Centre bomb was attached to a chemical
weapon - a quantity of cyanide gas.
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 190
Aum Shinri Kyo suspect
Japanese National Police Agency
This failed to have the desired effect of complicating the
devastation and injuries, as it became combustible in the intense heat of
the explosion and burnt.
If intended doses of chemical weapons, especially nerve agents,
are delivered to victims, they are often lethal, while lesser doses cause
permanent injury, temporary incapacitation or a combination of both,
depending upon the agent and its purpose.
Refer to Annex G for a full explanation of chemical weapons
characteristics and effects.
Biological Weapons
If the intended doses of lethal Biological weapons are delivered
to victims, most result in death. Most of those cases in which victims
receive lethal doses but survive, are due solely to medical treatment. Biological weapons are divided
into the following three main categories:
Examples are as follows:

Bacterial & Rickettsia Bacterial & Rickettsia Bacterial & Rickettsia Bacterial & Rickettsia Viral Viral Viral Viral Bio-Toxins Bio-Toxins Bio-Toxins Bio-Toxins
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 191
US 2
Infantry Div. 4
Chemical Company
in NBC kit
Courtesy: US Dept. of Defense
Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil
Support Team (WMDCST) in training
Courtesy: US Department of Defense
Refer to Annex H for a full explanation of
biological weapons characteristics and effects.
Biological weapons are banned by international
treaties, but have been covertly developed by many
Biological weapons were occasionally used for
attempted assassinations by the former Apartheid
(segregation) South African government, and the former
Soviet armed forces are accused of having used fungal
toxins called yellow rain in Afghanistan, Vietnam, Laos
and Kampuchea.
Terrorists encounter difficulties in procuring
biological weapons. They are difficult to produce, even for
governments. Their use is specific and limited to certain
difficult conditions, and most biological agents are not
effective, persistent or versatile enough for popular terrorist
Examples of Biological weapons use in the last
century are as follows:
After vivisection and so called medical experiments on
prisoners (Chinese nationals) to enhance biological
warfare capability, Imperial Japanese Army General Ishii
Shiro, led Unit 731 in 1940 and 1941 to make biological
attacks in Chechiang and other provinces in China. In one
attack, thousands of rats were infected with bubonic
plague and deliberately released in 22 counties of
Heilungchiang and Kirin provinces, killing 22,000
Chinese nationals

Between 1990 and 1993, the Japanese Aum Shinri Kyo
Armageddonist group cultured anthrax and botulism,
unsuccessfully spraying a number of targets from a
In 1985, members of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
religious esoteric cult engineered a salmonella epidemic
in Oregon, US
An unconventional example of biological terrorism
occurred in Bangkok in the early 1990s.
Terrorists (political activists) randomly injected members
of the public, in the street, with HIV-AIDS infected
hypodermic syringes in order to protest lack of
government care for AIDS victims
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 192
Anthrax Letter
Courtesy: FBI
On 18
September and 9
October 2001, as yet unrelated
to the terrorist acts of 11
September 2001, four letters
containing Anthrax spores were posted inside the United
States from Trenton, New Jersey. The letters were
addressed to several different people and organisations.
Subsequently, 22 cases of Anthrax infection were
reported in New York, New Jersey, Florida and
Washington. Five victims died as a result, since 3
October 2001. Those infected included a Senator, postal
workers, media personnel, a Police detective, health
laboratory workers, a photo editor and others
Between October 2001 and March 2002, there were more
than 15,000 Anthrax hoaxes in the US, forcing 571 postal
facilities to close temporarily. These events resulted in 71 arrests.
The US FBI responded to over 8000 cases of use or
threatened use of Anthrax and other hazardous materials during
that same period.
Anthrax hoaxes are not a new concept however, and date
back to at least 1997. Between September 1998 and January
1999, there were 16 Anthrax hoax incidents in Los Angeles, US, involving response and
decontamination procedures, costing in excess of US$ 4 million.
Anthrax was used by the German Army in the First World War and in World War II, it was
used by the Japanese in so called experiments upon Chinese prisoners of war.
A 1972 International Treaty signed by 140 nations, banned production and stockpiling of
biological weapons. However, Anthrax is stored in 24 countries on every continent except Africa,
at research facilities.
Nuclear Weapons
The best defence against the Atom Bomb is not be there when it goes off
British Army Journal 1949
Terrorists attempt from time to time to procure nuclear bombs or the components with which
to construct them, usually from illicit arms dealers. Fortunately, this is very difficult, as is assembling
them and by-passing coded arming and fail-safe systems, without extremely advanced technical
knowledge and facilities, including access.
Some facts of interest, including proportion and effect of nuclear bombs are as follows:
A sphere of plutonium the size of an apple, can be used to produce a 20 kiloton atomic
explosion. That is equivalent to 20,000 tons of TNT (1 kiloton = equivalent 1000 tons TNT).
That was the size of the bomb (called fat man) dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in WWII. It
killed 39,000 and wounded 25,000 (approximately) people
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 193
Atomic Bomb Explosion
Courtesy: NASA
Contrastingly, a smaller bomb (called
little boy) dropped on Hiroshima, Japan
in WWII, was only up to 15 kilotons (an
equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNT), but
killed 66,000 and wounded 69,000 people
Contemporary nuclear weapons in national
military arsenals include some of several
megatons in power (1 megaton is
equivalent to 1 million tons of TNT and
therefore 1000 KT). A 1 megaton (1000
KT) bomb is 50 times more powerful than
that dropped on Nagasaki
Nuclear bombs are detonated above the
ground to yield more casualties and
destruction. The blast, energy and fireball
in a bomb detonated at ground level will be partially absorbed by the ground and the lateral
blast hindered to an extent, by buildings and natural obstacles
The sequence of events (figures are close approximates) of a nuclear bomb (1 megaton),
detonated at about 1000 metres above a city would be as follows:
Intense flash of light (1000 times brighter than a lightning flash, which in clear
conditions could permanently blind some people up to 37 miles [60 km])
Heat radiation pulse (which can ignite combustibles up to 4.3 miles [7 km] away)
Intense X-ray pulse (lethal up to 1.86 miles [3 km] away)
Blast wave (destroys reinforced buildings up to 1.2 miles [2 km] away / ordinary
buildings up to 4.9 miles [8 km] away)
Hurricane force winds (tornado level force of about 372 mph [600km/hr])
Radioactive fallout (capable of causing deaths between weeks and decades)

Refer to Annex I for the Characteristics and Effects of Nuclear Weapons.
Since 1992, approximately 18 incidents occurred in which weapons-grade radioactive material
(plutonium and enriched Uranium) was smuggled out of Russia, although not of sufficient quantity
for a nuclear weapon (approx. 100 to 200 kilograms of highly enriched Uranium would be needed).
In total, since 1993, a reported 400 cases of trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive
materials has occurred, mostly from the area of the former Soviet Union (which during the Cold War
possessed 10,000 nuclear weapons in its arsenal).
Of concern to the worlds counter-terrorist organisations since the conclusion of the Cold War,
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 194
US and Russian officers cooperate to prevent theft of
nuclear weapons from the former USSR
Courtesy: US Dept. of Defense
is the fact that at Russian nuclear facilities, security
conditions are still not up to standard.
The US Department of Energy has ongoing
programmes of cooperation (the US Nunn-Lugar
anti-weapons programme for material production,
accountability and control), with Russian
authorities in all of the 53 former secret nuclear
sites, of which 30 are in Russia. The US spends
about US$ 400 million per annum on the
cooperative threat reduction programme which
began in 1992.
Russian - US cooperation has resulted in all
of the Russian navys nuclear fuel being stored at a
single well protected site. This programme has cost
the US Pentagon over US$ 1 billion in financial
and technological security aid and includes
destruction of nuclear and chemical weapons and protecting Russian nuclear material from being
stolen. The programme was reportedly not fully funded at one point, and as a consequence, was not
100% effective.
Over 25,000 Russian scientists are working in approximately 1000 projects at a cost of over
US$ 500 million, in order to keep them employed and their expertise away from terrorists and rogue
Although the nuclear arms race cost an estimated US$ 10 trillion (at todays value), it is
estimated that US$ 10 billion would be needed to effectively secure its products from terrorism and
According to media there were three significant cases of theft from Russian nuclear facilities:
In 1992, 1.5 kg of enriched Uranium was stolen from the Luch plant
Three kilograms of enriched uranium is reported missing from Moscow
Unspecified amounts of nuclear material were discovered missing from Chelyabinsk in 1998
According to a study carried out by Stanford University in the US: over the past 10 years, at
least 88 lbs (40 kg) of weapons-grade plutonium and uranium has been stolen from poorly secured
facilities in the former Soviet Union. Most, but not all, of the material was recovered.
Russian and former Soviet Union nuclear site security conditions have improved in the past
few years, especially after the events of 11
September 2001, but are still far from perfect. Past and
contemporary problems variously include the following:
Strikes and criminality occurred
Guards refused to patrol for lack of winter clothing. Morale is low for all nuclear weapon staff
Salaries of guards (US$ 150 a month), workers and scientists were not paid for months at a time
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 195
Some security systems were broken down

Incidents of guards going on a killing rampage, hostage taking and attempted aircraft hi-jacking

Some security systems were cut off from electricity (in one case due to unpaid electricity bills)

A guard pried the top off a missile, removed two nuclear warheads, stored them in his garage
and was caught trying to sell them in a local bar

Attempts by the responsible authorities to investigate irregularities at nuclear missile sites have
been resented by many Army officers at those sites. Death threats have resulted, also a bombing
in which one person was killed

In 1998, a Murmansk sailor took control of a nuclear submarine for eight hours before his
suicide (Russian submarines have autonomous nuclear missile launch capability, unlike the
Russian leadership which requires the three key figures [President, Minister of Defence and
Army Chief of Staff] to feed in their codes to their attach case launch systems, which rarely
leave their immediate vicinity)

The fail safe and arming systems at nuclear missile sites have been by-passed by bored missile
launch staff. The computer systems do not function correctly and have, by themselves at odd
times, brought nuclear ICBM (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile) systems up to arming and
launch modes (requiring only a code to be fed in, which itself is a matter of days or weeks to
crack, for anyone having access)

On 25
January 1995, the Russian advanced warning station on the Kola peninsular alerted
Moscow that an incoming ICBM was being tracked (from an area where NATO submarines are
known to patrol for some years now). Combat codes were fed into the launch attach cases, with
under 8 minutes before a counter strike would be launched. On radar, the missile was then seen
to spread into several, going off at different trajectories, as expected of a Trident missile
launched from submarines known to patrol the area of origin. After a short time the different
missiles, then went off of radar as they fell into the sea. They were subsequently linked to a
scientific research rocket launched from Norway. The Norwegian government had informed the
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs of this launch, about six weeks before, but the information
had not reached the appropriate Military staff. This was more serious than the Cuban missile
crisis and only minutes away from a nuclear strike, the closest, since WWII

Terrorists have noticed the flaws in this system, and that it may in fact be easier (in principle)
to provoke such a launch, rather than acquire the devices themselves. Moreover, terrorists have
evaluated the possibilities of bribing key launch site staff, specifically those with the ability to
bypass coded safety systems, in a number of scenarios. The Russian early warning system
(satellites, ships and radar stations) is obsolete, partially broken down, working at greatly
decreased efficiency, and since independence of the former Soviet Republics, incomplete. It is
now in a state capable of being triggered by a flight of birds. A Russian DUMA member,
charged with surveying the early warning system, spoke cynically of the degeneration of the
early warning ships when he said in a televised interview that it is more important to help
Hollywood (a Russian radar early warning ship was withdrawn from service for the making of
the film Titanic)
The FSB (Federal Security Service), responsible for protecting Russian nuclear facilities, has a B
Department, with its own SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Team called the Vympel. The 12
Directorate of the Defence Ministry has in each of its battalions, special mobile groups for dealing
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 196
Alexander Lebed
Courtesy: Funet
with attempts at seizing nuclear arsenals.
There are reportedly between 180 and 200 terrorist groups in the world that have expressed
interest and discussed the acquisition of nuclear weapons. Osama bin Ladens terrorist group has
reportedly been trying to procure a nuclear weapon since 1993. According to media, bin Ladens
purchasers tried to procure an illicit nuclear weapon in 1998, but were cheated in the transaction,
owing to their lack of scientific knowledge.
One of those buyers, Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, a Sudanese national of Iraqi descent, was
extradited from Germany to the US in December 1998, and charged with murder (in connection with
the 1988 US Embassy bombings in Africa) and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.
In 1998, Italian Police arrested members of a uranium-smuggling ring, which was conducting
operations under the cover of a Sicilian-based business.
In October 2001, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, two portable moisture density gauges
containing sealed sources of radioactive material were reported stolen off the back of a pickup truck
at a work site, despite being properly chained and locked.
Richard Meserve, Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) subsequently
issued a public statement that there are approximately 150,000 licensees for radioactive materials
in the US, and 2 million devices containing radioactive material in use in the US today. He added
that a number of sources or devices of all kinds are reported lost or stolen each year in the US:
roughly one per day.
Atomic Demolition Munitions (Suitcase Nuclear Weapons)
On 19
March 1998, former Soviet General and Russian Presidential candidate
Alexander Lebed testified before a US House of Representatives National Security Sub-Committee.
He stated that a number of suitcase-sized 1 kiloton nuclear bombs (Atomic Demolition
Munitions that can be armed and detonated in well under 30 minutes by a single person) were
missing from Russia. He mentioned that they used to be located within special military brigades in
some of the former Soviet empires remote regions, adding that President Yeltsin had dismissed him
in October 1996, during an investigation into this affair.
Alexander Lebed was subsequently under investigation by the Russian State prosecutor for
revealing state secrets. He was subsequently killed in a helicopter crash in Siberia in April 2002.
Vladimir Densisov, head of the Russian investigation team confirmed the dismissal to the
Interfax news Agency on 22 September 1998 and added that the
investigation was not complete when it was halted.
Later in September 1998, Russian government spokesman
Igor Shabdurasulov denied that they had ever existed and were
At around the same time, Igor Valnkin, a senior Russian
Defence Ministry official, stated that nuclear suitcases have never
been produced and are not now being produced.
On 3
October 1998, Professor Alexander Yablokov, former
environmental advisor to President Yeltsin, testified before the US
House of Representatives Military Research and Development Sub
Committee. He stated that he was sure that the weapons were
made, had seen them, and had talked to those who had constructed
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 197
them. He added that the weapons were Atomic Demolitions Munitions, of 1 Kiloton each (equivalent
of 1000 tons of TNT, which is about one eighteenth of the size of the atomic bomb dropped on
Professor Yablokov said that they were made for the KGB, and kept secret from the Defence
Ministry and therefore were not listed on Defence Ministry stockpile inventories. A model was
constructed based upon what he saw, showing that they are not suitcase size, but much smaller;
attach cases have been used to house them. They contain a Plutonium device (with explosives to
enhance the detonation), timing, detonation and wiring components. The weight is between 30 and
40 kg each.
Professor Yablokov stated in a 1995 televised interview that the Palestinians have several
[suitcase nuclear] bombs that they bought in the USSR.
US State Department spokesperson James Rubin subsequently stated that the US gives little
credence to hearsay and that there is no evidence to suggest that the weapons were ever developed
for or put under control of the KGB.
However, on 2
October 1998, US Department of Defense spokesperson Captain Mike
Doubleday observed: I think we are aware that the Russian nuclear arsenal contained Atomic
Demolition Munitions which some people define or characterize as suitcase bombs. They are not
really suitcase bombs since it requires two people to carry them, and they are not flat, so that they
dont fit in suitcases. Captain Doubleday added: We had munitions that were small like that, also.
They were Tactical Nuclear Weapons.
On a different, somewhat eccentric note, there is a so called Doomsday Clock, overseen by
Scientists at the University of Chicago, USA. It is supposed to be an indication of how close the
world comes to nuclear Armageddon; a sort of unofficial gauge of the nuclear threat. A short brief
on the events over the decades that have determined the position of the clocks hands may be found
at the following Internet website (Atomic Scientists):
In February 2002, Nobel prize-winning scientist Leon Lederman moved the clocks minute
hands to seven minutes before midnight, the same position it first had 55 years ago.

An RDD (Radiological Dispersal Device) falls loosely into the nuclear weapons category
(and is also considered as a Weapon of Mass Destruction) only because it utilises nuclear material.
Unlike a nuclear bomb or device, the nuclear material in an RDD is not subjected to fission or fusion
(splitting of the atom or fusing of atomic nuclei), but simply dispersed as radioactive material, by
a conventional bomb. For details of the different types of radiation - Alpha Particles, Beta Particles
and Gamma Rays, refer to Annex I: Characteristics and Effects of Nuclear Weapons.
In an unconfirmed 1999 media article, it was stated that an RDD was found in Chechnia in
December 1998. The characteristics of RDDs are as follows:
An RDD is a conventional explosive device (IED or bomb) with radioactive material
attached to it. The object of such a device is to spread radioactive contamination.

RDDs are capable of generating a high degree of terror or public anxiety, due to the lethal,
long term, painful and crippling effects of radiation.
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 198
RDDs are much more effective in spreading radioactive contamination than a comparable
conventional nuclear weapon using enriched Uranium, because the radioactive materials that
would be used to construct an RDD are higher in radioactive yield.

RDDs need a considerable amount of radioactive material to be highly lethal or effective and
are dangerous to construct and transport. Once an RDD has detonated, the radiation
dissipates at a logarithmic rate, diminishing by 90% following one hour after the blast, going
down to 1% of original strength after two days.

Biological and certain chemical attacks are feared because they may be invisible, silent and
odourless, and might not be recognised as attacks until some considerable time afterwards. Many
symptoms of these attacks however, may be treated for those who survive the immediate onslaught.
An RDD on the other hand, is probably the singlemost effective weapon for generating
This is because it may inflict the possibility of a slow death caused by invisible radiation,
or cause genetic mutation.
The symptoms of unnaturally high doses of radiation cause what is known as radiation
sickness or radiation syndrome. Unnaturally high doses of radiation from an RDD could variously
Devastating damage to immune systems and body tissue
Poorly understood genetic mutation
Development of cancer
Birth defects for offspring
A painful death within weeks
Development of illnesses between 10 to 15 years later
In general, an RDD is the antithesis of MRR (minimum residual radiation). MRR generally
means the lowest achievable radiation yield of a nuclear device. Low radiation yield is very
important in PNEs (peaceful nuclear explosions), such as are carried out in weapons and other
nuclear tests.
Examples of radioactive materials that would probably be used in a terrorist RDD are:
Caesium 137 (used in Hospitals)
Cobalt 60 (used in Hospitals)
Iodine 125 (used in Hospitals)
Strontium 90 (used in nuclear batteries, providing power in remote areas)
Spent Fuel Rods (units of fuel used in nuclear reactor power plants):
Uranium 235, Uranium 238, Deuterium and Tritium
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 199
Spent nuclear fuel is stored and at risk from theft by terrorists. An example of this was
mentioned in a press conference on 22
December 1999, by Vladimir Mikheev, head of the citizen
centre on nuclear non-proliferation.
His report mentioned that in a chemical plant at Zheleznogorsk (in the Krasnoyarsk region),
3000 tons of used nuclear fuel was found to be stored. It had radioactivity of over 1 billion curies
(the Chernobyl disaster involved 50 million curies).
Security was reported as practically non-existent and experts report that only several
kilograms of TNT would be necessary to destroy the storage plant. According to Professor Boris
Dubovskii, creator of the Soviet nuclear bomb, that might resemble the Chernobyl disaster.
RDD materials are widely used for industrial and medical purposes and therefore much easier
to obtain than enriched Uranium. When such less pure radioactive materials are used in atomic
bombs, they are sometimes called dirty bombs.
According to some experts, an RDD (of a conceivable or likely size) would probably produce
no more than 4 or 5 cases of cancer in a population of 100,000.
The main effects of a powerful RDD in a population centre would be:
Given public knowledge of wind-dispersed radioactive dust and other considerations
pertaining to the detonation of an RDD of unknown strength, the infrastructure of a major population
centre would most probably be affected as follows:
A Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) would overwhelm local and on-scene emergency and law
enforcement response personnel for many hours, perhaps even days. This could last until State
intervention fully took hold in controlling the scene, locating and evacuating the victims (most
of whom would immediately have fled the scene) and beginning decontamination activities

Fixed emergency facilities such as hospitals would be overwhelmed with anxious and often
aggressive patients (up to tens of thousands demanding prompt radiation-related medical tests)

Serious panic and civil disorder in the vicinity, on walkways and roads, possibly ranging for
several miles and feasibly resulting in the overwhelming of even State or Federal emergency
and law enforcement services. This could well necessitate localised imposition of martial law

More severe complications (especially for rescue and evacuation) could occur, depending upon
the site selected by terrorists for detonation of an RDD, e.g.
Near a major hospital, with up to thousands of patients in all stages of care including
critical condition, undergoing operations and immobile

Near a busy air traffic control tower (e.g. Chicago), that marshals up to approximately
40 or 50 aircraft stacked up in the vicinity and waiting to land, at peak periods
In a packed sports stadium containing tens of thousands of spectators, with exits of
limited number and size, that only permit a fairly slow and orderly evacuation
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 200
A Luxury ocean liner in which thousands of potential victims could effectively be
beyond possibility of rescue

To try to combat the transport and import of a nuclear device and materials, the US Customs
Service has 4000 radiation detection devices in use by Inspectors along its borders and is deploying
more sophisticated X-Ray, Gamma Ray and Neutron Flux detectors, following the terrorist attacks
of 11
September 2001. Other sensors are located at overseas facilities and around Washington.
On 4
April 2002, ABC news reported that an inventory of US licence holders of nuclear
material, revealed that since 1997, over 1500 nuclear devices were found to have been lost, stolen
or abandoned, of which only 660 have been subsequently accounted for.
In June 2002, Abdullah Al Muhajir (born Jose Padilla, a former Chicago street gang member
who converted to Islam while in jail) was arrested in the US on suspicion of planning to detonate a
radioactive bomb. He is associated with Al Qaida, and is classified as a combatant, rather than an
ordinary criminal prisoner.
The closest incident to an act of radiological terrorism occurred in 1972 in Oak Ridge,
Tennessee, USA, when two escaped convicts and an accomplice hijacked an aeroplane. They
threatened to crash the aeroplane into a nuclear power research centre, unless they were given US$10
million. When their demand was not met, they flew to Cuba where they were arrested.
Refer to Annex I for Characteristics & Effects of Nuclear Weapons (including radiation).
Volunteer Suicide-Terrorists
I condemn the attacks carried out by terrorist groups against Israeli civilians. These groups do
not represent the Palestinian people or their legitimate aspirations for freedom. They are terrorist
organisations, and I am determined to put an end to their activities
Yasser Arafat, President, Palestinian National Authority, March 2002
To terrorist leaders, suicide bombers are just another weapon in their armoury. There is little
protection from suicide terrorists equipped with bombs, except for guarded installations that are
expecting and prepared for such attacks.
This type of terrorist is very dangerous and is able to strike where terrorists who seek escape
would not normally venture. They are usually extremists motivated by fanatic interpretations of
religion or ideology, those on the edge of despair, or a combination of both.
At several cities in Israel from 1994 to 1997, there were 10 suicide-terrorist bomb attacks,
followed by another ongoing series of periodic suicide attacks, since the breakdown of peace
negotiations in 2000 and onwards.
The airliners used on 11
September 2001, were used as weapons by suicide terrorists.
Compelled Suicide-Terrorists
This method of terrorism is discussed in Lesson 7 (Types of Terrorist Acts). It is also
mentioned here to illustrate the callousness of certain types of terrorists who evaluate a victim they
force to commit suicide and kill others, as merely another type of disposable weapon to be used.
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 201
Electro Magnetic Pulse (Spike)
A dangerous weapon, once developed,
especially in the hands of terrorists
Computer Viruses and Logic Bombs
Computer viruses are discussed later in Lesson 7 (Types of Terrorist Acts: Destruction and
Disruption of Information and Networks).
Viruses, logic bombs and malicious codes are relatively easy to design or obtain. Introducing
them into a protected system is difficult and requires an expert in such matters, sometimes known
as a hacker.
It is a fairly low-risk act to the terrorist, whose chances of escape and evading detection are
reasonably good, since the terrorist may be at a great distance away, in a different country from the
victim or target.
However, in recent times, as increasing amounts of law enforcement resources are devoted
to the apprehension of hackers, the risks of being detected are becoming greater.
Hackers all over the world have attacked government sites. A few of those attacked and
disabled in the US, are those run by the US Department of Energy, the FBI, the Senate, the White
House and the Department of Defense.
In several national legislations, hacking is now included in criminal law, and in some as a
terrorist offence. One US national legislation hacking law under evaluation carries a penalty of life
imprisonment without parole.
Other Weapons
Besides the weapons already mentioned, any other
imaginable device of any size, description or type, whether
professionally manufactured or improvised, is suitable and
desirable to terrorists, providing that it can kill, maim or
cause terror. If it is commercially available, it is safer for
terrorists to acquire than trying to manufacture it themselves
or purchase it illegally.
e.g. If the Japanese Aum Shinri Kyo terrorist group
had tried to illegally procure Sarin nerve gas, they would
have faced a high risk of detection.
In purchasing the ingredients from ordinary
commercial outlets, they aroused little suspicion and the
procurement of the ingredients did not by itself constitute a
An example of another type of weapon known to have been evaluated by terrorists is an
electro-magnetic pulse device.
This type of device works by discharging a large electro-magnetic pulse to a target area,
which has the effect of destroying electronic equipment inside that area, immediately shutting down
machinery that is operating by virtue of electronics.
If used as a weapon it could be disastrous; For example, if deployed against moving vehicles
or aircraft.
Fortunately, electro-magnetic pulse devices require a high degree of scientific expertise to
construct, besides considerable skill, good fortune and circumstances to operate with success.
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 202
Section 6.2: Other Resources, Services and Equipment
Illicit Arms Sources
Arms dealers provide the grease that makes foreign policy work. If you're going to have a covert
war somewhere, somebody has to provide the bullets
John Miley, former weapons dealer for the CIA
Many illicit arms sources exist on all continents of the world with varying degrees of
openness. While many terrorist groups procure stolen or illegally sold or smuggled weapons, other
weapons are supplied directly by donors or sponsors.
An example of this was an arms supply worth US$ 30 million, shipped by Libya in 1987 to
the PIRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army), but which was intercepted before reaching its
destination. Sometimes weapons are stolen directly from armed forces weapons stores.
Guerrillas and terrorists often share illicit weapon sources. Some regular and established
illicit arms outlets are known as arms bazaars.
An alleged example of such arms bazaars, according to Indian media sources, appears on the
next page.
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 203
Stolen from Bihar police Hand-made firearms & bombs For self-protection (gang-wars) 800-1500
Trained gun-runners through
Kutch/Banaskanta border
Rocket-launchers, AK-47/56,
Machine-guns, Chinese pistols
In transit for Punjab State. Used
in gang wars
Tamil Tigers (LTTE, IPKF) AK-47, automatic pistols For buyers in Bangalore, Kerala
and Andhra Pradesh
North (country-made), externally
controlled: mafia
AK-47 / 56, RDX, 9mm Pistols
For drug, gold & silver smugglers
and Punjab terrorists
Cross-border from Punjab
Province (Pakistan)
AK-47, AK-56, explosives For guerrillas and terrorists in
Uttar Pradesh/other areas
450 (local), 1500
(Chinese /French)
Smuggled from China, Thailand
(via Myanmar), Bangladesh
(Tripura), storming police arsenals
AK-47/56, LMGs, Chinese
M-22 automatic weapons
For insurgency, separatism
(Assam) and criminal commerce
Smuggled across Pakistan border,
LoC & Azad Kashmir
AK-47/56, Rocket-launchers,
RDX, other explosives
For JK State and Punjab
insurgency and terrorism
From Punjab Ultra insurgents AK-47, Chinese rifles For Dhanbad mafia 500-700
Smuggled across Nepal border AK-47/56, grenade-launchers For the heroin trade 400-700
Internal AK-47/56, crude bombs,
gelatine sticks
For self-protection 450-650
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 204
A number of international terrorists received aid
from embassy diplomats in the past, including
the provision of weapons, smuggled into
countries inside diplomatic bags
Support from Other Terrorist Groups and Sympathisers
An example of support by exchange terrorists was the 1972 Lod Airport massacre in Israel
by Japanese Red Army (JRA) terrorists, carried out on behalf of Palestinian terrorists (see Lesson
1: Geography of Terrorism and Lesson 2: Co-operation between Terrorist Groups).
Exchange terrorist actions are no longer that common, but support is still rendered between
some terrorist groups and especially between transnational terrorists. Conventional terrorist groups
mostly confine exchange activities to intelligence, training or weapons transactions.
Sometimes this support extends to the use of havens and safe houses; terrorists would make
their way to such a refuge immediately following extraction or escape from the scene of a terrorist
They may stay a very short while, or for a longer period, until it is safe to move. Such havens
are sometimes maintained by a terrorist group, but more often sympathisers or sometimes
governments who sponsor terrorists.
Transnational terrorists are similar in several ways to those terrorists that were known as
exchange terrorists, since they:
Are not bound by geographical constraints
Cooperate internationally with each other, regardless of origin and affiliations
Are not sponsored by governments
Are highly fanatic and prepared to commit terrorist acts of above average brutality
Take above average risks
Diplomatic Ideological, Political and Spiritual Support
Some governments who sponsor terrorism admit
to indirect and harmless forms of support for terrorists;
usually spiritual, ideological, diplomatic or political
In theory, this support stops short of direct
participation in terrorism. In practice, this support is
usually a subterfuge to conceal tangible sponsorship of
These forms of state support give terrorists
notions of legitimacy and this is a motivating factor in the recruitment, running and control of
Commercially Available Equipment
Most terrorists need commercially available supplies and equipment in addition to illegal
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 205
Fingerprints (and DNA) are
something that terrorists,
like serious criminals, have
to take great care to avoid
leaving in their wake
weapons, in order to carry out terrorist acts. This often includes transportation.
The vehicles that terrorists use are often stolen a short while before, or are sometimes fitted
with false licence plates. Sometimes they also carry false documents that match the false licence
plates, so that they are able to proceed if routinely stopped and checked by security forces.
Similar to the modus operandi (method of operation) of professional elite-car thieves, a
vehicle may be observed, and from there the owner is followed and identified (this sometimes
includes obtaining covert entry into the car to examine documents).
Duplicate forged documents (drivers licence, vehicle registration, etc.) are then prepared in
the owners name, prior to the theft.
If stopped by security forces or police who run a radio check of the licence number (which
reveals the name and address of the owner), the terrorist driver will be able give all the expected and
correct answers, posing as the real owner, with documents in support.
Other equipment used by terrorists is commonly available in commercial outlets, such as
military surplus stores.
Some contemporary terrorists utilise a variety of electronic equipment required to carry out
a given terrorist act.
This equipment may include computers, software, video and audio recorders, fax machines
and ordinary cameras. Use of the Internet and computers with fax modems are an important part of
some terrorist acts.
There are methods to avoid identification and detection of the computer user, origin and
location, such as using another persons electronic address, although this is becoming increasingly
difficult with advances in communications technology.
Software exists to identify other computer network users passwords; a terrorist can send a
message after breaking in, thereby using another persons electronic address.
There are methods to conceal the origin of a fax number, making it possible to fax terrorist
threats. Yet other terrorist threats are delivered on audio cassette or video cassette, sometimes with
sound or film of a hostage or victim.
Commercially Available Communications Facilities
Some terrorist threats are despatched through conventional postal
services. Other terrorist threats are delivered using ordinary telephones,
usually public pay-phones.
This can be dangerous for the terrorist if the police are able to
quickly trace the call and intercept them or find witnesses who can give
a description of the caller (the latter method is more successful than is
widely imagined).
Moreover, even if terrorists take precautions not to leave
fingerprints, there are other personal signatures including DNA and
clothing fibres that may be left behind in public call boxes.
If the call is to the police or other security forces, it is usually
recorded automatically, providing a voice print of the terrorist.
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 206
PKK crest
Funding; Illegally-Generated and Sponsored
The primary resource in the terrorist armoury is funding. Any
terrorist act involving personnel and supplies requires a budget.
Funding is the very first concern of terrorists.
Besides funds already in the possession of a few terrorist
groups, such as those of Osama bin Laden, not many terrorist groups
are affluent enough to begin a sustained campaign of terror.
Unless they are sponsored by a government, they tend to
generate funds by theft, robbery, extortion, blackmail, burglary, other
crimes such as illegal narcotics trafficking, and occasionally by
engaging in criminal vice activities (See Lesson 2: Anomalies of
Terrorism; Financing terrorism through Crime).
The PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) terrorist group generates funds in Europe to finance
terrorism as follows:
Sales of PKK publications
Aid campaigns organised by PKK officials
Grants and subscriptions to the PKK
Funds stolen in robberies by PKK members
Funds generated from PKK-owned commercial enterprises
Funds collected at special nights organised amongst European PKK cells
Funds resulting from PKK narcotics trafficking and illegal arms smuggling and sales
Extortion by PKK from Kurdish businesses and other regional commercial targets
In those cases where governments sponsor terrorism, funding is usually extensive and can
amount to tens of millions of US Dollars. The terrorist and guerrilla warfare in Jammu and Kashmir
is reported to cost over US$ 1.5 million per day, paid for by its various sponsors.
An example of fund-raising for the terrorist slaughter taking place in Algeria, occurred in
2001 as follows:
Video cassette films postured as Jihad were circulated in a Mosque at Finsbury Park, London
and sold for 10 each (about US$ 16), just prior to the attacks on the US on 11
September 2001.
Algerian Security Service Investigators later described the videos as an appalling
pornographic catalogue of violence.
One cassette, made and distributed by the bin Laden-founded Salafist Group or Preaching
and Combat in Algeria, showed live film of an ambush of security forces (driving over landmines),
survivors throats being cut, other survivors being shot in the head, followed by footage of the
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 207
Finsbury Park Mosque, London
Perfect cover for terrorist fund-raisers and recruiters - hiding out in
the open, doing their work among the congregations (AK-47 training
conducted in the basement). Fortunately, the UKs domestic
security service is highly sophisticated, and honest citizens
(Muslims) informed the police and media
murderers (terrorists) congratulating
themselves and offering prayers.
Pictures of skulls shot away and
brains exposed were shown.
The second film showed
Taliban soldiers decapitating
captured Nort hern Al l i ance
opposition troops in Afghanistan.
The sound track calls for
Holy War until Judgement Day and
urges viewers to kill in the name of
Allah (God) until you are killed...
then you will win your place forever
in paradise... the war against the Jews
and Christians is being won.
Law abiding and balanced
Muslims reported the distribution to
police and media.
Two suspects who had
attended sermons at the Finsbury Park Mosque in the past, were captured by US security forces:
Richard Reid (found with a shoe bomb on a Miami flight) and Feroz Abbasi (a captured Taliban
Negotiating Options
The wind does not break a tree that bends
Sukuma proverb (Tanzania)
One useful resource in the terrorist armoury is the option to negotiate. Most governments
persistently deny that they negotiate with terrorists. This is in order not to alarm the public and give
the impression that the government is controlled by terrorists and thus unstable.
In fact, the vast majority of governments engage terrorists in dialogue, wherever possible.
This is done usually between intelligence officers and terrorist intermediaries, in the hope of
negotiating a bloodless settlement or compromise; the objectives of a responsible government must
always include minimising loss of life and destruction, whatever non-violent action might be
required to achieve that.
A notable case in which all parties denied that any negotiation with terrorists or
accommodation took place, was the 1985 hi-jacking of TWA flight 847 at Beirut airport.
The Hizbollah (Party of God) guerilla and terrorist group hijacked the aircraft and took 44
hostages. The Shiite Amal (Hope) guerrilla-terrorist group, (led by Nabi Berri, Lebanese Minister
of Justice, noted for his considerable US business interests), temporarily suspended its rivalry with
Hizbollah and assisted them in deploying the hostages at different locations around the city of Beirut.
This effectively ended any plans for a rescue operation. Amals leader openly acted as an
intermediary and helped negotiate the release of the 44 hostages after 17 days. What took place and
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 208
Memorial at murder scene of
WPC Fletcher
London Met. Police
was secretly negotiated in exchange for the hostages, was the release in Israel of several batches of
Hizbollah fighters captured in south Lebanon. All governments later denied that any such
arrangement had been reached.
In certain cases, terrorists might seek to negotiate a full amnesty (or partial immunity from
prosecution) or release of held terrorists in exchange for a cessation of terrorist hostility or a peaceful
An example of such a negotiation took place during a hi-jacking of several airliners at
Dawsons Field in Jordan in 1970, which Palestinian hijackers (the word terrorist was not in
common usage at that time) subsequently blew up and destroyed.
In an arrangement both extraordinary and unthinkable by todays standards, the hostages
were released unharmed outside of Jordan, following which, the terrorists were released by British,
West German and Swiss authorities.
Another example of a negotiation not publicised was the case of Abu(l) Abbas, leader of the
Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF).
He was convicted in absentia by a court in Genoa, Italy, for various terrorist offences, mostly
concerning the hijacking of the Achile Lauro cruise ship and callous murder of an invalid Jewish-
American passenger.
Abbas received a life sentence from the Italian court, but managed to enter Gaza in 1988,
after Israeli authorities granted him entry permission.
Diplomatic Immunity
Diplomatic immunity is a facility for those terrorists who use diplomatic cover, functioning
as officials of an Embassy or other diplomatic mission while also carrying out clandestine terrorist
Using diplomatic protection as a defence and means of evading prosecution depends much
upon where the terrorism takes place.
If a terrorist under diplomatic immunity committed a political murder in a country under an
authoritarian regime, it is very unlikely that diplomatic immunity
would be honoured. It is sometimes the opposite in democratic
An example of this allegedly took place in 1984, outside the
London office of the Libyan peoples bureau (Embassy).
An anti-Ghadaffi demonstration and march by Libyan
dissidents took place. It was routinely accompanied by Police in order
to preserve law and order.
Woman Police Constable Yvonne Fletcher was murdered
allegedly by 9mm shots fired from the Libyan bureau. Ten other
persons were wounded.
Diplomatic relations were broken off, and the alleged terrorists
and other officials of the Libyan bureau were ordered out of the
country without interrogation, trial or penalty, on grounds of
diplomatic immunity under International Law.
The facts of the case are in dispute allegedly owing to several
aspects of forensic scientific, forensic medical and audio visual
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 209
New evidence contradicts the account of events at the time.
Individual Sponsorship
Not all terrorism is sponsored, but
when it is, it is mostly by governments. A
fraction of terrorism is, however, sponsored by
wealthy individuals, such as Osama bin Laden,
the former Saudi citizen who inherited his
wealth from his father. Bin Ladens wealth is
estimated at US$ 300 million. Initial and
small scale costs of guerrillas and terrorists are
sometimes met by individuals or Muslim
religious clerics who sponsor individuals to go
and fight under the banner of Jihad (Holy
struggle or war).
This was especially popular during the
era of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Individuals were encouraged all over the
Muslim world by some of their religious
clerics and sometimes governments, to support what was described as a holy war (Jehad) in
To process the volunteer fighters (Mujahideen or Holy Warriors), special logistics offices
were set up in Peshawar in Pakistan to coordinate arrival, recruiting and training deployment. There
were five major Mujahideen groups, and one such logistic office was known as the Maktaba al
Khidmat (Services Office). It was run by the head of the Palestinian Ikhwan ul Muslimeen (Muslim
Brotherhood) - Abdullah Azzam, also author of a Jihad text called Al Qaida al Sulbah (the Firm
Foundation). He was mentor to bin Laden, who changed the name of his guest-house (related to the
Maktab al Khidmat) from Beit ul Ansar (House of Companions) to Al Qaida.
A typical and common sequence of events in the sponsor (Kafil) system is that a guerrilla or
terrorist is given by a sponsor in his own country, a free or subsidised air ticket to travel to the area
of conflict. After arriving at his destination, another sponsor provides free or subsidised food and
accommodation. That or another sponsor takes care of all of his other needs. This sometimes
includes taking care of the guerrilla-terrorists family while he undertakes training and operations.
An illustration of how widespread this sponsor system was at the time of the Soviet
occupation of Afghanistan, is that reduced price air tickets were openly advertised in a Saudi Arabian
newspaper for those wishing to proceed on Jihad to Afghanistan.

Sponsorship by Governments
As discussed in other lessons, certain countries support terrorism. Some countries support
terrorism and guerrilla warfare simply by transfer of funding.
A few states sponsor terrorism by providing a full range of recruitment, training and
operational services, although after the international crackdown after 11
September 2001, much
state support has declined, and what remains has gone very much underground or dispensed through
deniable middle men and private organisations. Existing (disbursed) funds are being almost
frantically re-located and re-invested.
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 210
Sponsorship may include the provision of false identity documents such as passports which
are authentic but reflect false identities (stolen blanks which are then filled in). The cover used in
the target country might (very rarely) include employment with an Embassy under diplomatic cover,
or assistance from Embassy-based security or intelligence officers who also function as the terrorists
support staff.
Some governments who engage in sponsoring terrorism believe that the sought result justifies
the terrorist act. Yet other governments are unable or choose not to differentiate between possible
legitimate struggle and terrorism. They believe certain causes to be legitimate struggles for freedom
from oppression, whatever the nature of the acts that they sponsor.
Some governments go further than sponsoring and engage their security and intelligence
personnel directly in committing terrorism. Following World War II, government intelligence and
security officers in several countries of the world have been directly responsible for planning and
carrying out attempts to assassinate leaders such as Egypts President Nasser, Cubas Chief of State
Fidel Castro (with the assistance of organised criminal gangs), Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, the
Vaticans Pope John Paul II and Libyas President Qadaffi.
Several governments continue to periodically field intelligence or security officers who target
and wherever possible, assassinate expatriate dissidents and certain intelligence-security officials
from opposing countries regimes. Such actions are on-going; they invariably provoke a response,
which is met by a counter-response and so forth. It is therefore in the interests of the protagonists not
to seek publicity; hence (usually) the absence of media coverage.
An example of this type of covert action are the teams that, according to media, were fielded
by the Iraqi government against selected Syrian diplomats at their embassies around the world, and
also the Iranian teams that media reported allegedly were sent out to kill Iranian dissidents in the
Rogue Intelligence and Security Personnel
Terrorists are sometimes controlled by intelligence or security officials on government
service. In rare cases, an official of an intelligence or security organisation acts outside of his
authority, against the directives and laws of his government, in organising or supporting terrorists.
Motives may vary; it may be for vengeance, a refusal to cease
hostilities, simply some form of misguided patriotic zeal, frustration with
their employers system or simply cash remuneration.
Such persons are sometimes termed as rogue officials. By the nature
of their clandestine work, which is subject to great secrecy, there is much
opportunity for unaccountable activity.
An example of rogue officials acting without authority, against their
governments policy occurred in 1985, when some officials of the US
National Security Council (NSC), acting upon an initiative by Israel to secure
the release of American hostages in Lebanon and also to improve Israeli-
Iranian relations, sold arms and spare parts to Iran, in violation of US laws.
In contravention of the Boland amendment to US laws passed by Congress between 1982 and
1984, which precluded any further direct or indirect aid to Nicaraguan Contra rebels, the NSC
officials subsequently channelled US$ 30 Million from the Iran weapons sales to the Contra rebels
(See Lesson 10: Terrorism During the Cold War; Sponsorship).
Another case of a rogue intelligence official was that of Edwin Wilson. Wilson worked at
one time for the US CIA and in Task Force 157, a naval operation. He later began to work for
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 211
Libyas leader, Colonel Qadaffi, allegedly assisting in terrorism training. His accumulated wealth
reportedly amounts to approximately 15 Million US Dollars. His motive was probably financial,
since he was not independently wealthy and his government salary was modest.
Anthrax Deadly disease caused by bacillus, mostly in animals, but also fatal to humans
Weapon utilising a natural bacterium, virus or bio-toxin
B-NICE Acronym for types of WMD: Biological, Nuclear, Incendiary, Chemical, Explosive
Weapon utilising manufactured chemicals, producing the following types of agent:
Nerve, Blood, Choking, Blister and Irritating
Explosives Common terrorist explosives are: Semtex, RDX, PETN and C4
HE / LE High Explosive and Low Explosive. The two main categories of explosive
IED Improvised Explosive Device. A non-government manufactured bomb
NBC Nuclear Biological Chemical [Weapons]
Fission device (splits atoms); Fusion device (fuses or joins atoms); Radiological Dispersal
Device (conventional bomb with radioactive waste attached). Fission / Fusion devices
release tremendous destructive energy. All nuclear weapons release radiation
Radiation Emission and diffusion of rays from nuclear device. In ascending order of Strength: Alpha
Particles, Beta Particles, Gamma Rays
RDD Radiological Dispersal Device. Nuclear waste attached to an IED (bomb)
Rogue Outlaw. Rogue Intelligence Officer; unlawfully using position, official resources and
tradecraft for own purposes
TRACEM Acronym for types of harm caused by WMD and other terrorist weapons:
Thermal, Radiation, Asphyxiation, Chemical, Etiological and Mechanical
WMD Weapons of Mass Destruction. Usually Nuclear (including Radiological), Biological,
Chemical, but can sometimes also include incendiary and explosive weapons
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 212
Attacks on Cafs, San Salvador, El Salvador
Facts of the Case: On 19th June 1985, terrorists
disguised as El Salvador soldiers opened fire at two
crowded cafs in the Zona Rosa nightclub strip.
Four US Marines and two US businessmen were
Nine were wounded in the attacks, including one
Investigation: A left wing splinter
group of the FMLN, Urban Guerrilla
Commandos Mardoqueo Cruz,
claimed responsibility, in violent
protest against US support for El
Salvadors government.
Following the offering of a reward programme, four out
of 11 suspects were arrested, of which three admitted
the crimes.
They were convicted but later ordered released under
an amnesty programme calculated to stimulate peace
in El Salvador.
In 1988 their release was overruled by the El Salvador
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 213
1. Terrorist weapons are mostly
a) Hunting and sporting weapons
b) Military weapons
c) Home-made weapons
2. Contemporary terrorists use mostly military bombs, not improvised bombs.
a) True
b) False
3. The most preferred bomb explosives for terrorist use are
a) C4, Semtex, RDX and fertiliser-based
b) Semtex, P4, RDX, RDD and fertiliser-based
c) C4, Semtex, RDX and RDD
4. Anti-handling devices
a) Prevent weapons being fired accidentally
b) Are devices to lock and secure weapons
c) Trigger bombs if they are moved or handled
5. A secondary bomb is sometimes used by terrorists
a) If the first bomb fails to detonate
b) To create more fear
c) To target vulnerable personnel who have grouped because of the first bomb
6. Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) generally refer to
a) Nuclear, biological and chemical weapons
b) Nuclear, radiological, explosive, and biological weapons
c) Nuclear, chemical and radiological weapons
7. Occasionally, a terrorist victim is compelled to carry out a terrorist act as a suicide bomber.
a) True
b) False
8. A radiological dispersal device (RDD) produces more radioactive contamination than the
equivalent radioactive content of a conventional nuclear weapon.
a) True
b) False
9. Support between terrorist groups is limited and confined mainly to
a) Donations of weapons
b) Exchange terrorist acts
c) Exchange of intelligence and training, and weapons transactions
10. Some governments ideologically, politically and spiritually support terrorists they sponsor, which
a) Motivates and legitimises terrorists, especially recruits
b) Legalises terrorism in some countries
c) Is for religious reasons
Lesson 6/ Terrorist Weapons, Resources, and Equipment 214
11. Terrorists sometimes use ordinary fax machines, computers, pay-phones, video cameras, cassette
recorders and the Internet to deliver terrorist threats.
a) True
b) False
12. Every terrorist act requires
a) A trained terrorist
b) Funding or assets
c) Transport
13. Governments sometimes secretly negotiate arrangements with terrorists.
a) True
b) False
14. Diplomatic immunity always permits diplomats who commit terrorism to avoid arrest and
provides them with freedom from prosecution.
a) True
b) False
15. All terrorists need financial sponsoring.
a) True
b) False
16. Some governments security and intelligence officers periodically carry out terrorist
a) True
b) False
17. To terrorists, negotiation
a) Is considered as a resource
b) Should be avoided
c) Is only partially successful
18. Bacterial, Rickettsia, Viral and Biotoxins are all forms of which weapons?
a) Chemical
b) Biological
c) Bio-Chemical
19. Iodine 125 could be used in a
a) Biological weapon
b) Nuclear bomb
c) Radiological Dispersal Device
20. MCI stands for
a) Military-Civilian Intelligence
b) Mass Casualty Incident
c) Multi Cluster Incendiary
1-b, 2-b, 3-a, 4-c, 5-c, 6-a, 7-a, 8-a, 9-c, 10-a, 11-a, 12-b, 13-a, 14-b, 15-b, 16-a, 17-a , 18-b, 19-c, 20-b.
Lesson 7
Types of Terrorist Acts
Section 7.1: Extreme Violence
Terrorist Preferences
Systematic Genocide and Spontaneous Massacre
Random Murder and Wounding
Selective Murder, Wounding and Torture
Forced Suicide of Victims Compelled to Engage in Terrorist Acts
De-population or Ethnic Cleansing
Political Purges
Section 7.2: Other Crimes
Destruction or Damage of Structures, Resources, Craft and other
Hijacking, Kidnapping, Siege-and-Hostage Situations
Racketeering, Extortion, Drug Trafficking and other Crimes
Destruction or Disruption of Information and Networks
Poisoning of Consumer Food Products
Brainwashing and Psychological Warfare
Threats and Hoax Threats of Terrorist Action
Case Study of Terrorism: US Embassy Bombing, Nairobi, 7th August
Keywords to Note
Terrorist Attack Brief: Murder of UK Defence Attach, Athens, Greece
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 216
Lesson 7 Scope and Objectives
Section 7.1: Extreme Violence
This section explains terrorist preferences and terrorist acts that are extremely violent, including
genocide, massacre, murder, wounding, mutilation, purges, ethnic cleansing and compelling victims
to commit suicide in the execution of a terrorist act. Case-examples are mentioned. The Terrorist
Attack Brief for this Lesson is the murder of the UK Defence Attach in Athens, Greece.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to:
Explain contemporary terrorist act preferences
Differentiate between selective and random terrorist violence
Comprehend forced-suicide of victims compelled to engage in terrorist acts
Understand de-population (ethnic cleansing)
Section 7.2: Other Crimes
This section examines terrorist acts and other crimes of lesser violence, such as kidnapping,
hijacking, siege and hostage situations, damage and destruction of craft, structures and resources,
and goes on to mention psychological warfare, IT terrorism and hoax terrorist threats. The Lesson
concludes with an important case study of the US Embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar as Salaam
in 1998. In this case study, political matters, technical security, communications, information,
intelligence and logistics issues are examined in the context of terrorism.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to:
Describe the different types of terrorist destruction and damage to property
Explain terrorist hijacking, kidnapping and siege-and-hostage situations
Describe conventional crimes engaged in by terrorists
Describe consumer terrorism, other types of terrorist acts and terrorist threats and hoaxes
Understand security strengths and weaknesses at the Nairobi US Embassy prior to the attack
Recall the meaning of the words contained in the Lessons Keywords to Note table
Recall the basic facts concerning the murder of the UK Defence Attach in Athens, Greece
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 217
This innocent child was deliberately
shot in the face at close range and
murdered by Serbian armed forces
ethnically cleansing Prekaz
Drenice, Kosovo, Feb. 1999
E. Bardhi / Kosovo Crisis Centre
Lesson 7. Types of Terrorist Acts
Section 7.1: Extreme Violence
What have you done? Hark, thy brothers blood cries out to me from the ground!
The Bible, Genesis 4:10
Terrorist Preferences
The zenith of all types of terrorist attacks occurred in the
1970s, but international terrorist attacks were at their height
during the 1980s.
All main categories of terrorism have decreased in
quantity, but they tend now to be more lethal when they do occur.
Terrorist attacks from around the middle of the 1990s to
the end of the 20
Century (compared to previous years) caused
an approximate 75% increase in fatalities, a 119% increase in acts
that caused five or more deaths and a 128% increase in acts that
caused 10 deaths or more.
Statistics show that terrorists still prefer the bomb (IED),
detonated without warning, as first choice, against random
Collectively, explosives are used in one form or another
(including grenades), in approximately 70% of attacks (this figure
An example of such a stereotype terrorist attack occurred
in Islamabad, Pakistan in March 2002, when a terrorist threw
several hand grenades into a Protestant Church during worship.
Five were killed including three foreigners, and approximately 40
other people were wounded. An unheard of group (probably re-
named or ex-Afghanistan) claimed responsibility: Lashkar e Omar (the Army of Omar).
Terrorists incline towards the following acts, in order of preference (descending order, left to right):
Bombing attacks
Arson, sabotage, grenade
and sniping attacks
Machine gun and pistol
Mortar, missile, drive-by
shooting attacks
Kidnapping Hijacking craft and vessels Siege with hostage-taking
These patterns suggest that the primary consideration of contemporary terrorists is to evade
apprehension; reconciled with the next most important concern of causing the maximum loss of life
and damage to property. Bombing (IEDs, excluding grenades) is the most favoured act, accounting
for approximately 40% of terrorist acts (this figure fluctuates).
Refer to Annex J: Significant Terrorist Incidents 1961-2001 (US State Department), for a
comprehensive list of terrorist incidents, as noted by the US State Department.
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 218
Systematic Genocide and Spontaneous Massacre

Even in our defeat we had succeeded. We welcomed Lucifer with joyous and open arms, and went
to our deaths knowing we had succeeded in opening the very gates of Hell here on this planet. And
for that we would be well rewarded, oh well rewarded
Former Nazi General in South American exile, on the phenomenon of Nazi-style genocide
Genocide generates an enormous amount of terror, especially among the victim populations.
Genocide is the planned murder (the pre-meditated form of unlawful killing) of a large number of
The victims of genocide are from a specific religious, ethnic, national or racial group.
As discussed in Lesson 1, genocide is the worst form of terrorism and it is generally
systematic, not spontaneous, in that it is sanctioned openly or subtly by a government or a state or
defacto leader.
Genocide is illegal under the 1948 Genocide Convention and is tried as a crime against
humanity. Genocide mostly begins without warning, and is often difficult to prevent or to arrest, as
it is perpetrated by powerful military forces. Evidence of Genocide is often discovered after the event
and mostly, but not always (as in the case of the Stalinist purges), occurs during wartime.
Examples of genocide have occurred throughout history. Some examples are:
The former Ottoman Empire, 1890 to 1921 Sudan from 1985 to date
WWII Germany & Nazi occupied territories Former Yugoslavia from 1991 (intermittently)
Cambodia between 1975 and 1978 Rwanda in 1994 (and thereafter intermittently)
In the same fashion as systematic genocide, massacres (also slaughter with cruelty, but on
a far smaller scale than genocide) can be subject to pre-planning.
A few examples (of many hundreds) of pre-planned massacres are as follows:
The massacre of 9,439 Russian citizens by the Soviet NKVD, between 1937 and 1938, with
their subsequent burial in 95 unmarked pits
The massacres at Katyn wood near Smolensk, Russia where 4,253 unarmed Polish Army
Officers were massacred. Soviet authorities blamed the massacre upon the Nazis, attributing
the date of the massacre as after 1941 (Operation Barbarossa; the Nazi invasion of Russia)
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 219
British Paratroopers await helicopter airlift over the border into Kosovo
to restore order and help to hunt down war criminals
British Paratroopers arrest three Serbian gunmen in Pristina,

and produced items of German
military equipment from the burial pits
as evidence. The massacre was in fact
pre-planned by the Soviet government
and carried out by Soviet NKVD
troops in 1939; misleading forensic
evidence was planted in order to lay
blame upon the Nazis. In 1991, it was
publicly revealed in Russia that the
former Soviet NKVD had committed
this massacre.
The massacres at Bykovniya,
near Kiev, where 6,329 people
were massacred by Soviet VV
(Vnutrenniye Voyska or
Internal troops) in 1937 and
thrown into a burial pit. In 1988, the VV erected a memorial monument over the burial pit
falsely attributing the massacre to the fascist (Nazi) occupiers during 1941 to 1943
The massacres in the Kuropaty forest, near Minsk, Byelorussia, where an estimated 200,000
Russian bodies were found in 500 communal graves; all were victims of the former Soviet
Another World War II pre-planned
massacre was carried out in 1944 by
SS and Gestapo officials. Upon re-
capture, following their escape from
Sagen prisoner of war camp in
Germany, 50 Brit i sh and
Commonwealth Royal Air Force
Officers were murdered and
cremated (to destroy forensic

Not all massacres are pre-planned;
some are spontaneous. Spontaneous
terrorist massacres (or atrocities) are
sometimes committed by military or
security forces, against victims or prisoners
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 220
Murder victims killed by Serbian armed forces ethnically
cleansing Rogove village, Kosovo, 1999
E. Bardhi/Albania Net
US FBI forensic specialists uncover war crime mass
graves in Kosovo, 1999
Courtesy: FBI
that they have at their mercy, mostly during
wartime in rural areas, and most frequently,
immediately following the heat of combat, or
related to recently sustained losses.
Reasons vary and may be for vengeance,
deterrent by reprisal, ethnic cleansing or Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder.
A variety of well known wartime
examples of spontaneous massacre are:
The 1944 massacre of 86 US Prisoners
of War at Malmedy, France by Waffen
SS soldiers
The 1944 massacre of 648 unarmed
men, women and children at Oradour sur Glane, France by Waffen SS soldiers
The 1945 massacre of 43 surrendered Waffen SS soldiers in Webling, Germany by US
The frequent spontaneous massacres of civilians by south and north Vietnamese troops and
Vietmin Viet Nam Cong San (south Vietnamese communist guerrillas known as Vietcong),
during the Vietnam War of 1959 to 1975
The sometimes spontaneous massacres
of Cambodians murdered by Khmer
Rouge terrorists between 1975 and 1978,
in both cities and the countryside
A different type of spontaneous terrorist
massacre occurred at the 1972 Munich (West
Germany) Olympic Games. Palestinian terrorists
from the Black September group took 11 Israeli
athletes hostage, demanding release of 200
Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, in exchange
for releasing the hostages.
As the terrorists and hostages were about
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorists Acts 221
US Prisoners of War in the snows of
Malmedy, murdered by Waffen SS who
were later tried and punished for war
Courtesy: US Army
An elderly victim of terrorism in Kashmir
to board a jet airliner, demanded as part of the escape plan,
German police snipers opened fire upon the terrorists at
Furstenfeldbruck airfield.
The terrorists spontaneously threw hand-grenades at
the hostages and opened fire. At the end of the fire-fight, 11
hostages, five terrorists and a west German police officer
were dead.
Random Murder, Wounding and Mutilation
Its not the bullet with my name on it that worries me.
Its the one that says To whom it may concern
Anonymous Belfast resident, Northern Ireland, 1991
All deaths caused by terrorists are murders as they
are premeditated, even if the victims are selected at random.
Some terrorist attacks are upon victims who are
selected for their affiliation.
(i.e. a military group of soldiers, Embassy staff or
Government officials).
In other attacks, victims are loosely selected at, in or
around a given attack-site, with little or no effort to
Random murder or wounding of victims unknown to the terrorists, especially by bombing,
accounts for the majority of contemporary terrorism.
The fact that many terrorists murder and wound at random and without warning, adds to the
terror (or extreme anxiety) generated amongst populations.
Terrorists commonly place bombs in population centres, detonating them without warning,
after a delay permitting the terrorists to escape.
This results in the indiscriminate murder
and wounding of random civilians and
destruction and damage of buildings.
It is the type of terrorist action much
favoured in the Middle East.
Different examples of terrorist acts
involving selection of random, unknown victims
both in and around main targeted areas are:
The pipe-bomb detonated at the 1996
Atlanta (US) Olympic Games, which
killed a spectator
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorists Acts 222
An innocent truck driver delivering supplies to
a village that RUF terrorists were attacking in
Sierra Leone. RUF cut his hands off.
British Troops restoring order in Sierra Leone
The almost simultaneous terrorist massacres in
1985 at Rome and Vienna international airports,
targeting Israeli El Al check-in counters and their
environs, with hand-grenades and machine guns
(also used on the escape route), which killed 18
people and wounded over 100. It was carried out by
Palestinian terrorists of the Abu Nidal (Father of
the Struggle) group, headed by Sabri al Banna
The Al Qaida terrorist bombings of the US
embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi,
Kenya, on 7th August 1998. In these attacks, the
victims killed and thousands of wounded included
many Muslims and other civilians, outside of the
embassies, and entirely unrelated to the terrorists
and their cause

If campaigns in which civilians are killed and
wounded are sustained over long periods, it tends to
further alienate civilian populations against the
This trend was most probably a motivation
for some terrorist factions in the Northern Ireland
dispute; they began to give warnings of bombs to
security forces, permitting a part or whole civilian
The terrorists would have pre-arranged
secret code-words known only to them and the
security forces (and sometimes media), in order to
discount hoax bomb threats.
Excluding hoaxes by use of code words, is
to the mutual benefit of both security forces and the
In wartime or combat, the ratio of killed to wounded varies, but is approximately:
1 killed to 3 (or more) wounded
In cases of terrorist bombings, the number of wounded is also several times greater than the
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 223
US Marine on the USS Kearsarge comforts a small boy refugee
that he airlifted out of Freetown, Sierra Leone
Courtesy: US Dept. of Defense
number killed. However, in the
bombing of the US Embassy in
Nairobi on 7th August 1998, the ratio
was far from normal proportions, due
to the characteristics of the bomb,
location, timing and environment: 213
were killed to 4000+ wounded.
Bes i des i n Rwanda,
widespread examples of mutilation
took place in the territory controlled
by a terrorist bandit leader, Foday
Sankoh, in Sierra Leone.
Despite a July 1999 peace
agreement between government
President Kabbah and RUF
(Revolutionary United Front) leader
Foday Sankoh, the RUF engaged in
fighting against UN peacekeeping forces. By 2001, 12,000 UN peacekeeping troops were present
to restore order.
Sankohs RUF committed many barbaric acts of terrorism and mutilation of those captured,
whether innocent civilians or combatants. Mutilation was commonplace and isolated cases of
cannibalism were reported.
Selective Murder, Wounding and Torture
When there is a person, there is a problem. No person, no problem
Joseph Stalin
While many terrorists kill unknown persons at random, some terrorists identify, target and
take hostage, specific victims whose identity is known to them and whom they sometimes mutilate,
torture or murder.
It is held in some security circles that on terrorist-targeted international flights, passenger
manifests (supplied by corrupt airline staff or others) are scrutinised by terrorists or their agents, prior
to the terrorist act.
This is presumably done as a precaution to ensure that there are no friendly forces or parties
on board. e.g. in the case of Pan Am Flight 103, to ensure that no Libyan officials, trade delegations,
diplomats or their families are on board. Due to cancellations however, this cannot be very effective.
A notorious example of selective (non spontaneous or random) murder was the painstakingly
planned bombing of US Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland, UK in 1988. A bomb was
concealed on board the flight, which detonated, causing 259 passengers and aircrew to be killed, in
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 224
Abdel Baset Ali al Megrahi
addition to a further 11 persons on the ground, killed by
falling wreckage.
In 1999, the Libyan government submitted to
persistent demands that the two government-employed
suspects be handed over for trial in the Hague, Netherlands,
under Scottish Law.
One of two indicted suspects was found guilty and
convicted. Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi was sentenced to life
imprisonment (in effect, 20 years), and lost his appeal in
March 2002.
The initial trial cost over US$ 75 million, with basic
trial facilities alone costing in excess of US$ 15 million, and
running costs of US$ 2 million per month.
Another example of selective terrorist murders
occurred in 1998 at the Iranian Consulate at Mazar e Sharif,
Afghanistan after the Taliban (Students) militia took over
the city.
Nine Iranian (Shiite Muslim) diplomats and support
staff were murdered by unknown terrorists. The Taliban militia (Sunni Muslims) subsequently
denied any knowledge of those responsible.
The dead only count when they leave a testimony
Joel Filartiga, Father of a son tortured to death
In Kashmir, members of the Al Faran (the Mountain Fighters) terrorist group, linked to the
Harkat ul Ansar (Companions [of the prophet Mohammed] Movement) terrorist group, kidnapped
a group of western tourists in July 1995.
They eventually beheaded a Norwegian tourist who was one of their hostages, and eluded
security forces indefinitely.
The terrorists and their other victims never came to light, despite deployment in Kashmir of
officers from the US FBI, the UKs New Scotland Yard and Germanys GSG-9.
It is thought that the objective was to draw western attention to the Kashmir dispute, and that
to make sure the fate and graves of the tourists never came to light (to minimise adverse publicity),
the terrorists themselves were later killed by their masters.
Mercy is not generally shown by terrorists. A historical catalogue of horrific crimes testifies
that murder, mutilation and torture are methods to which terrorists resort to without hesitation, if it
serves their purpose.
Khiam jail in south Lebanon, inside the former Israeli Security Zone area, had a notorious
history of savage torture (and on occasions, murder) when under the control of the South Lebanese
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 225
The notorious Khiam Jail, south Lebanon
Al Hayat
Army (SLA) who were loyal to Israel during
the conflict in Lebanon.
Grievous bodily harm, mutilation,
electrocution, bone-softening, rape and
mental torture were commonplace in Khiam.
Several former prisoners from Khiam
stated (to the author, living in South Lebanon
at the time) that during the SLA reign, it was
standard treatment when leaving Khiam to be
The penalty (carried out on some
occasions) for talking of what went on in
Khiam would result in relatives being taken
there to be beaten and tortured, including the
possible rape of their female family members.
In the 1980s, eighteen US and a
number of European nationals were
kidnapped, mainly in Beirut, Lebanon, and
dispersed in different parts of west Beirut to
deter rescue attempts and bombing reprisals.
Two of the more notorious cases were
that of:
US Embassy Diplomat and CIA Station Chief William Buckley, kidnapped in March 1984
Col. William Higgins, US Army, seconded as Chief of UN (UNTSO) Observer Group
Lebanon, kidnapped in February 1988
They were both, according to media, subjected to cruel and long-term physical maltreatment
accompanied by professional psychological torture, inflicted by a Dr. Aziz Al Abub (also known as
Ibrahim al Nadhir), a former Pasdoran* leader at the Teheran University Medical School. He was
also trained at the [KGB-controlled] Patrice Lumumba Peoples Friendship University in Moscow.
The victims were later murdered, according to media, by terrorists within the Hizbollah guerrilla
[*Pasdaran e Inqilab is the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, technically a military unit, but with
a large number of personnel covertly deployed on domestic political intelligence and security
functions, observing their own population and protecting the revolution.
According to media, on 17
April 1995, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Hassan
Firuzabadi (a civilian veterinary surgeon) to the military rank of full General and placed him above
Brigadier-General Rezai, Commander-in-Chief of Pasdaran, and Brigadier-General Shahbazi of
the regular Iranian Armed Forces.]
Another example of torture and terrorism occurred in the early 20
century in Afghanistan
during Shah Amanullahs reign. Pasha Sikao, an Afghan warlord, was widely known and terrorised
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 226
Basha Sikao
Courlesy: lav. V. Karr (rel)
Urban Anti-Terrorist patrol: British Internal Security Forces, Northern Ireland
his enemies on account of his habit of personally torturing each of his
In Peru during April 2002, at a Government Truth and
Reconciliation Commission, officials heard evidence from witnesses
concerning the [Maoist] Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) terrorist
activities in Ayacucho, a jungle and mountainous region.
Shining Path terrorists, in an effort to force rural peasants to
help them overthrow the government, committed many massacres
involving torture.
An example is as follows:
On one occasion, 23 random peasants (men) from a village in
Ayacucho were rounded up, hands tied behind their backs, following
which, the hooded Sendero Luminoso terrorists crushed their heads
with rocks and cut their throats, so that they died in protracted agony.
Forced Suicide of Victims Compelled to Engage in Terrorist Acts
There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or with a gun and destroy those who
are weaker than he is
Isaac Bashevis Singer, Polish-born American writer
From time to time during the Northern Ireland dispute, terrorists from the PIRA (Provisional
Irish Republican Army) would kidnap a male victim with his wife and / or children and hold them
hostage, sometimes at
gunpoint in their own
The male victim
would then be forced to
dr i ve a vehi c l e
(sometimes trapped or
handcuffed inside)
filled with explosives
or another type of
bomb, to a target such
as a security forces
Th e b o mb
wo u l d t h e n b e
detonated, killing the
mal e vi ct i m and
members of the security
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 227
UN Int. Criminal
Tribunal at the Hague
Evidence of ethnic cleansing: Mass graves in Kosovo, May 1999
Photo courtesy of NATO
forces and damaging or destroying the checkpoint. If the male victim refused to drive the vehicle,
he was offered the alternative of his family members being killed instead.
De-population or Ethnic Cleansing
You take my life when you take the means whereby I live
The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare
Deportation (de-population) of civilians is a war crime under the
Fourth Geneva Convention.
Some of the most violent post World War II cases of de-
population occurred in Rwanda from 1994 onwards.
In July 1995 during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, Serbian
forces overran a UN Protected Area (UNPA) in Srebrenica, an old mining
town in eastern Bosnia.
They ejected the Muslim population, but detained a reported 5000
men, women and children. Most were massacred and the rest simply
disappeared while in Serbian hands.
Later in the month at Val dAosta in Italy, Pope John Paul II spoke
out at the genocide and publicly invoked God to strengthen the Martyred
people of Bosnia-Herzogovina.
According to media, during the first few months of the conflict in Bosnia in 1992, Serbian
forces had ethnically cleansed Bosnia by killing approximately 100,000 people and by forcing
about 3 million to flee their homes (the
war crime of depopulation).
These cases were carried out by
military, police and para-military
forces, partly aided by civilians, upon
orders and sanction of the highest
The trial of the former President
of Yugoslavia (and later Serbia),
Slobodan Miloevi, began at the UNs
International Criminal Tribunal in
February 2002.
He unleashed a savage reign of
terror in the Balkans for a decade
following the Cold War.
He was indicted with three
major charges relating to Kosovo,
Croatia and Bosnia, of which there
were 57 counts. Some are as follows:
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 228
The Expulsion, from The Dance of Death by
Hans Holbein, Lyons, 1538
Depopulation of 800,000 Albanian civilians from Kosovo (1
Jan. to 20
Massacres and attacks on refugees fleeing Kosovo
Genocide in Bosnia (two counts)
Depopulation of 170,000 civilians in Croatia (Aug.1991 to Jun.1992)
Atrocities in Croatia including massacre of civilian refugees
Establishment of [Nazi style] concentration camps in Croatia
In August 2001, A Bosnian Serb General, Radislav Krstic was convicted at the Hague
International Criminal Tribunal and sentenced to 46 years imprisonment, for genocide committed
at Srebrenica.
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and
General Radko Mladic are also wanted at the Hague
for genocide at Srebrenica.
Media reported on a subsequent French
Government enquiry to investigate why the General
commanding the UN forces in Bosnia at the time did
not intervene to stop the genocide at Srebrenica.
The former Dutch Defence Minister, Joris
Voorhoeve, gave evidence at the enquiry and later
went on record saying that:
We [the Netherlands UN contingent] did not
stop requesting intervention [air strikes], but General
Janvier refused to offer it for reasons that have
remained unclear until this day.
In April 2002, the entire Dutch Government
Cabinet resigned over a newly released official
report, commissioned five years ago, that condemned
its failure to prevent the massacres at Srebrenica.
In 1994 to 1995, Serbian troops first
blockaded the town, a UN protected area, and then
moved in without a shot being fired.
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 229
On film evidence, women are shown being corralled into a barbed wire enclosure, and the
men separated, while Serb troops laughed and jeered.
The UN international criminal tribunal heard that some of the men committed suicide rather
than have their genitals, lips, noses and ears cut off and then be shot.
Film evidence shows that numbers of people lost control of their bodily functions, realising
the terror to come.
Allegations were also made of women having hand grenades forced into them and detonated
and that parents were made to kill their own children or watch Serb troops do it for them. Some who
escaped said that they were made to wait in line and watch while their friends were shot and killed
in turn.
When international investigators entered the cultural centre, they found human remains
spread about, traces of explosives, and body parts, even on the theatre stage.
The harshest criticism in the report by the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation
report was for the Dutch political and military leadership that sent lightly armed troops to Srebrenica
with ill-defined goals and a weak mandate.
Another case of depopulation or ethnic cleansing occurred in the late 1980s when Iraqi
authorities enacted a forced re-location of 500,000 ethnic Kurds and Syrians, in direct contravention
of the 1948 Genocide Convention.
Since 1967, 2500 Palestinians were deported from Israeli occupied territories, most being
accused (but not charged or convicted) of membership of terrorist groups. Several hundreds were
allowed back in 1993 after intense international pressure.
Depopulation or ethnic cleansing is a type of terrorism calculated to satisfy ethnic, political
or religious hatred, enact vengeance or to acquire land.
It is carried out upon the direct command or sanction of the highest national or defacto
authorities. De-population or ethnic cleansing, is tried as a war crime, while genocide is tried as a
crime against humanity.
Political Purges
There are times when lunacy takes over and then it is the best heads that are axed....
Albrecht Haushofer, anti-Nazi resistance fighter, executed in Moabit, Berlin in April 1945
Political purges occurred quite frequently throughout the Soviet era, but especially during the
Stalin era, in which millions of victims were despatched to the Gulag Archipelago: a grouping of
concentration camps filled with dissidents and other victims of the Soviet regimes.
Imprisonment in the Gulag was characterised variously by the following:
Release from captivity was not automatic afer time-serving
Deliberate confinement of mentally healthy dissidents in lunatic asylums
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 230
Former British colonial army Sergeant, President, and mass murderer
Sentences of detention with forced labour for
unspecified periods were common
Commonplace malnutrition deaths, untreated ailments
and execution-style murder
During Stalins political purges of the Soviet Military
from 1935 to 1940, he had over 600 General Officers and
Navy Flag Officers murdered, in addition to more than 20,000
other Soviet officers.
This seriously weakened the Soviet military leadership
capability, especially after Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet
Union in 1941 (Operation Barbarossa), in breach of a non
aggression pact.
Pol Pots Khmer Rouge purged Cambodia from 1975
to 1978, in a collectivisation programme, forcing millions
from to work in the countryside; between two and four million died.
Another example of a
campaign of terror through purges
was carried out by Ugandas
dictator Idi Amin, who illegally
seized power from President Obote.
Amin then carried out a
campaign of terror from 1971 to
1979 in which more than 300,000
Ugandan citizens were murdered.
Rooms in several selected
villas (where Amin would
occasionally take visitors) were
filled with dead bodies, stacked
from floor to ceiling.
The Amin reign of terror
ended with his overthrow in 1979
when Tanzanian troops invaded,
whereupon he fled and took refuge
in Saudi Arabia.
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 231
Wreckage of flight UTA 772. Bomb exploded in mid-air
over the Tenere dessert, Niger, in 1989.
Section 7.2 Other Crimes
Destruction or Damage of Structures, Resources, Craft and other Property
Any victim or physical target is
acceptable to terrorists, if they consider it
worthwhile and have the resources to
commit the act.
Records of terrorist acts show that
terrorists carry out almost every imaginable
type of destruction and damage under the
broad categories of:
Bombing (IED)
Arson (Incendiary)
This type of damage and destruction can
be further sub-categorised as either:
Target Specific
The physical targets include:
Religious or Political centres Installations (e.g. oil rigs) The environment Aircraft
Cultural sites, incl. monuments Structures (buildings) Population centres Vessels
Commercial or Financial centres Natural resources Resource supplies Vehicles
The more valuable or costly the target, the more attractive the target is to the terrorists, as the
publicity, terror (extreme anxiety) and asset harm will be correspondingly greater.
An example of this is the terrorist bombing of the US World Trade Centre (New York) in
1993, where besides the six persons killed and many injured, the structural damage amounted to
US$ 600 million.
In the attacks of 11
September 2001, the shock, effects and costs were infinitely greater,
with thousands killed and enormous financial costs as yet inestimable.
An example of inspiring terrorist acts on structures and landmarks came from US convicted
Egyptian religious cleric, Omar Abdel Rahman.
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 232
The Face of Despair: Refugees outside
their burnt-out house in the Jammu and
Kashmir state (one of 8000+ cases of
terrorist arson since 1991)
Rahman stated that it was a duty to blow up the
United Nations building, the FBI headquarters, two New
York traffic tunnels and a bridge, and also to assassinate the
Egyptian President.
This illustrates that demolition of significant
structures and landmarks is a deliberate, well thought out
modus operandi (method of operation) and preference of this
particular type of terrorist, as opposed to other types of
terrorist act.
Hijacking, Kidnapping, Siege-and-Hostage Situations
Less fears he who is near the thing he fears
Samuel Daniel; Cleopatra. Act iv, sc. 1
Although popular in the 1960s and 1970s, hi-jacking
has decreased in popularity amongst terrorists.
This is due to the low chances of escape and the fact
that they may leave evidence at the scene of the hijacking
that later helps in identifying and apprehending them.
Furthermore, terrorists fear the now highly refined
counter-terrorist operations carried out by special military
formations, in which terrorists who have taken hostages are
likely to be killed when buildings, aircraft or boats are assaulted.
An exception to this are the unique, unprecedented terrorist attacks of 11
September 2001.
Kidnapping and its characteristics for the purposes of this course, means the following:
Abduction, usually of one but sometimes multiple individuals
The victim is carefully selected and targeted by terrorists before being abducted
The victim is held at a location unknown to the security forces
A demand is usually made by the terrorists in exchange for release of the victim
The terrorist demand is usually for release of other terrorists or payment of a ransom
The victim is usually released unharmed once the demand is met
Sometimes the victim is murdered in order to prevent later identification of the terrorists
Sometimes the victim is murdered with no terrorist demand, the objective being publicity
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 233
Ayatollah Khomenei
Several businessmen were kidnapped but later murdered in the 1970s and 1980s for
vengeance, notably Hanns-Martin Schleyer, by the Red Army Faction (Baader-Meinhof Gang).
Hostage taking and its characteristics, for the purposes of this course, means:
The spontaneous seizing of hostages by terrorists
The identity of the hostages was not known by the terrorists, prior to the attack
The hostages are seized and held at weapon point, under threat of harm
The hostages are used to deter immediate action or pursuit by security forces
Hostage taking often occurs simultaneously with a hijacking or a siege situation
If escaping a siege, terrorists often take hostages with them, to deter security forces action
As a result of the deposed Shah of Iran receiving medical
treatment in the US, a notorious case of hostage-taking occurred:
Iranian revolutionaries of the post-Shah regime, stormed the
US Embassy in Teheran, Iran taking 53 US Embassy staff
hostage for 444 days from November 1979 to January 1981
Eventually, after a new President was elected in the US,
Algerian mediators were able to negotiate the release of the
Another example of a siege-and-hostage situation occurred in
1980 at Princes Gate, London:
Six ethnic-Arab Iranian terrorists took 24 men and women hostage inside the Iranian
They demanded the release of 91 political prisoners held by the Khomenei government
After five days, a hostage was shot by the terrorists
As a result, the Armys Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment assaulted the Embassy
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 234
During the assault, the terrorists managed to kill one hostage and wound two more
Five out of six of the terrorists were killed and one was taken prisoner
A historical (and somewhat unusual) siege case occurred as follows:
On 23
January 1909, two Latvian refugees of London's East End assaulted a wages
messenger and fired shots while robbing him.
This was heard at a local Police station and police gave chase after rapidly arming themselves
(use of firearms by criminals was unheard of at that time and police were unarmed). In the six mile
chase that followed, 2 persons were killed and 27 wounded.
The Robbers were Asylum seekers who came from the Latvian refugee society in London's
East End.
Many Latvians had fled and been allowed into Great Britain to settle in London following
the suppression of the Latvian revolt of 1905.
In London however, they abused the sanctuary given them and continued revolutionary
activities, extorting funds from other refugees, under the leadership of a man known variously as
Peter the Painter, Peter Piaktow or Peters.
The Home Secretary (Interior Minister) Winston Churchill described Peter the Painter as
one of those wild beasts who in later years, amid the convulsions of the Great War, were to devour
and ravage the Russian State and people.
On the evening of 16
December 1910, a neighbour heard hammering caused by tunnelling
and called the police.
Several unarmed constables responded. Police Constable (PC) Bentley entered the building
rented by the Piaktow gang, and was shot dead. In a subsequent battle on the street, PCs Strongman,
Choat and Tucker were also murdered by gunfire, and a gang member named Gardstein was
accidentally shot and mortally wounded by the other members of the Latvian gang.
Peters, Vassilleva, and Dubof made their escape, dragging Gardstein along, ending up in the
room of Svaars (another Latvian anarchist). There, Gardstein, tended by a supporter of the gang, Sara
Trasslonsky, was left to die.
The murders of the policemen sparked outrage throughout Great Britain. Discovering
evidence in Gardsteins room and in receipt of information from informants, the Metropolitan Police
arrested several gang members during the subsequent weeks.
On New Years Day 1911, Charles Perelman, the gangs former landlord, informed the police
that two members of the gang were hiding at 100 Sidney Street.
By 0200 hrs on the morning of 3
January 1911, 200 police officers had sealed off the block
in which Sidney Street was located. Armed police officers were posted in shops and buildings
surrounding the gangs house.
The battle started at dawn, but the gang seemed to have superior firepower and plentiful
Army troops were called in from the Tower of London and the Home Secretary, Winston
Churchill attended the scene.
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 235
Col. William Higgins, Chief of UNTSO OGL
Photo: Courtesy of Mrs. Robin Higgins (Lt. Col. USMC retired)
A company of the Army's Scots Guards
saturated the upper floors of No. 100 with
The fire brigade tried to pass the police
barricade lines to get into No. 100 in order to
extinguish the flames of the fire that had started.
The police refused to let them through
and a heated dispute continued until Churchill
forbade the fire brigade to approach the house.
He did retain them on standby however,
in case adjacent houses became threatened by
the fire.
By this time, the fire consumed the house
and the floors collapsed. The charred bodies of
Svaars and Joseph were recovered.
The trial of the remaining gang members
was grossly mishandled, the prosecution fell to
pieces, and those on trial were released.
Peters (the most likely murderer of the
Policemen), returned to Russia and during the
Russian revolution rose high in the Bolshevik
regime, no doubt by possessing the required
character traits.
As was the later fate of so many
Bolshevik revolutionaries, Peters himself was murdered by the regime during a Soviet political purge
in the late 1930s.
An example of a hijacking where terrorists spontaneously seized hostages was the Achile
Lauro ocean liner hi-jacking in 1985. The terrorist act was planned as a terrorist mission on land,
inside Israel, but went wrong and ended in a chase onto an ocean liner, where hostages were seized
and one was subsequently murdered.
During the 1980s, different terrorist groups in Lebanon, including the Iranian-supported
Hezbollah according to media, kidnapped westerners and held them hostage, some for many years.
Victims were sometimes kept chained in darkness, poorly fed and denied medical attention
for years: One such case was that of William Buckley, US CIA station chief in Beirut, taken in 1984
and who was murdered by systematic neglect and psychological torture in 1985.
Another case was that of US Colonel William Higgins, Chief of the United Nations Truce
Supervision Organisation (Observer Group Lebanon).
He was taken hostage in 1988, murdered and hung on a makeshift gallows in 1989, and his
remains callously dumped onto a Beirut street over a year later.
For further information on the Buckley and Higgins cases, see earlier in this Lesson, under
Murder, Wounding and Torture.
A British church envoy, Terry Waite, was one of those westerners taken hostage in Lebanon.
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 236
UN Assistant Secretary General
(Political Affairs)
Mr. Giandomenico Picco
He was trying to mediate, having had some previous success
in this type of endeavour.
Following his release, he described the apology of one
of the terrorist kidnappers:
We apologise for having captured you. We recognise
now that it was the wrong thing to do, that holding hostages
achieves no useful, constructive purpose.
Terry Waite was released owing to the efforts at that
time, of the young and well known UN Assistant Secretary
General for Political Affairs and hostage negotiator,
Giandomenico Picco of Italy, who risked his life contacting
the abductors and being taken to their base.
Three western hostages were murdered but the others
were subsequently released in Lebanon, around the time that
covert (concealed from Congress) weapons and spare parts
sales and transfers to Iran took place from the US and Israel,
A case of a siege-and-hostage situation by 14 Tupac
Amaru terrorists took place in Lima, Peru in December 1996.
It occurred at the residence of the Japanese Ambassador to Peru, as follows:
The terrorists burst into the residence at a cocktail party for 200 guests
They took 72 hostages
In exchange for release of the hostages unharmed, they demanded:
Release of several hundred of their jailed comrades
Transportation to a central jungle
A government commitment to change its free-market policy
Payment of an unspecified war-tax
After four months of siege, 140 Peruvian commandos stormed the residence
All hostages were rescued, but one died later
All 14 terrorists and two government commandos were killed in the operation
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 237
The Robber, from The Dance of Death by Hans
Holbein, Lyons 1538
Pre-selected installations or buildings are sometimes broken into by protest groups who
subsequently threaten to destroy the building if attempts to eject them are made.
These types of terrorist are not usually hard core terrorists using military weapons, but usually
seek publicity for their cause, which might be humanitarian, animal rights or similar.
After illegally occupying buildings, they sometimes destroy or damage them for publicity,
if their demands are not met.
Sometimes a siege situation can develop, which in most cases ends either in a negotiated
settlement with security forces, or very rarely, a counter-terrorist assault.
It is worthy of note that a strange phenomenon called Stockholm Syndrome sometimes occurs
in hostage cases, whereby after a period of time, the hostages illogically develop positive or
sympathetic feelings towards their captors.
The term derives from a 1973 bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden, where hostages were
taken and the phenomenon was identified by psychologists.

Racketeering, Extortion, Drug Trafficking and other Crimes
Terrorists engage in many conventional criminal activities such as blackmail of individuals;
a threat to divulge incriminating or embarrassing information or evidence, unless a demand is met.
Demands vary from cash to information or any other resource useful to the terrorists.
Extortion is another method terrorists use to collect funds, sometimes known as protection
Extortion of protection money first occurred on the large scale during the era of the US
Prohibition (1920 to 1933). The US Prohibition meant that manufacture and sale of intoxicating
liquor was illegal. It was however carried on illicitly
and known as bootlegging.
During that era, many gangsters such as the
notorious Al Scarface Capone, made colossal
amounts of illicit money from bootlegging and a
variety of constant criminal activities, including the
extortion of so called protection money, enforced by
In extortion of protection money cases, the
victims, usually community shop and business
owners, must pay a regular sum to the gangsters (or
terrorists), or suffer personal injury or damage to
their businesses.
Gangsters or terrorists extort this money,
telling their victims that it is in exchange for
protecting them from criminals.
The criminals do not exist in reality - but if
the victims do not pay protection money, the
gangsters or terrorists will inflict damage, injury or
In some areas of the dispute in Northern
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 238
Ireland, PIRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army) terrorists regularly extorted money from as many
businesses and shops as they could, to the point where for some of the terrorists, this criminal
activity had became their primary occupation.
Robbery and theft are other crimes committed by terrorists, usually to obtain funding.
Burglary is sometimes carried out to steal information, for blackmail or intelligence purposes. Some
terrorists traffic in illegal narcotics.
An example of a terrorist group heavily involved in narcotics trafficking is the PKK (Kurdish
Workers Party) who are responsible for large amounts of heroin smuggled into Europe, especially
Germany (See Lesson 2: Financing Terrorism through Crime and Lesson 6: Funding: Illegally
Generated and Sponsored).
Destruction or Disruption of Information and Networks
Computer information terrorism is a fairly new form of terrorism. It requires gaining
electronic access to a victims computer or computer network and inserting malicious data to change
existing data in the computer which affects either the information stored or the operating system
within which it is stored.
These types of inserted information have the purposes to either destroy, damage or disrupt
data systems. They are generally termed as viruses, malicious codes or logic bombs, amongst other
names. There are many thousands of purpose-designed viruses, all with different names. Trojan
Horse is one such type.
This type of terrorism is of great concern to those charged with securing national computer
systems. The following areas are generally recognised as being particularly vulnerable to information
Defence weapon systems
Water supply
Oil and gas production
Banking and finance
Electrical generation
Emergency services
Essential government functions
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 239
Animal Liberation Front
Poisoning of Consumer Food Products
Poisoning consumer food products is a potent but not very
common form of terrorism. It has occurred in the form of poisoning
reservoirs and food products.
This form of terrorism is committed for deterring selected
companies from certain business or marketing practices, animal
rights or simply for extortion of cash. It usually has the effect of the
consumer product being withdrawn from up to thousands of
retailers; avoiding public fear of the product can be very costly.
An example occurred in 1984, when the ALF or Animal
Liberation Front claimed to have poisoned some Mars Bars
(chocolate bars) in the UK. As a result, every Mars Bar in the UK
was withdrawn from retailers at a cost of over 3 million (approx.
US$ 4.5 million).
In 1998, ALF terrorists forced a Swiss chocolate company to halt production by
contaminating some of the companys confectionary products with rat poison and sending them to
media. The subsequent halt in production, loss in sales, and related logistical and legal activities, cost
the Swiss company US$ 30 million.
Brainwashing and Psychological Warfare
Terror closes the ears of the mind
Sallust; Catilina. Ch. 58, sec. 3
Brainwashing and psychological warfare is a very rare type of terrorism. However,
brainwashing was occasionally carried out during the Vietnam War by the north Vietnamese against
US prisoners of war. They were later filmed and televised in a disinformation campaign calculated
to portray that the war was morally wrong and that the combatants were guilt-ridden.
Another objective was to spread terror amongst US troops that if captured, they would be
subjected to brainwashing.
Psychological warfare techniques are sometimes used on captured prisoners of war and
guerrillas, in order to break their will during interrogation. Contemporary special forces training
often simulates psychological interrogation techniques, which includes periods hooded in total
darkness, submerged in water and being subjected to white sound. This form of Psychological
terrorism was also carried out on the long-term victims taken hostage between the 1980s and early
1990s in Lebanon, some of whom were kept mal-fed for years in darkness, without knowledge of
time, date or situation and with poor or no medical care.
Some were subjected to sensory deprivation (wearing of hoods, ear muffs and gloves,
subjected to white noise) and placed in very uncomfortable positions in order to enhance the effects
of pain and disorientation. More aggressive forms of mental torture were used on a few hostages,
known by a variety of names, such as psychic driving and de-patterning.
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 240
Threats and Hoax Threats of Terrorist Action
The terror we fear is often empty, but nevertheless it causes real misery
Schiller; Piccolomini. Act v, sc. 1, l. 105
A threat of terrorist action in this context, means a threat by a terrorist group capable of
carrying out a terrorist act, or believed by security forces as having that capability.
Sometimes, terrorists make a threat, which they are capable of carrying out, but have no
intention of so doing. Terrorists do this in order to waste the time and resources of security forces,
sometimes to cause a diversion to occupy security forces elsewhere, and sometimes to heighten terror
of an existing threat.
In achieving widespread fear, threats of terrorist action are often as effective as an actual
terrorist act. A threat moreover, does not alienate sectors of the population who might react strongly
against the bloodshed of an actual terrorist act. It is far easier in many ways to threaten than to mount
a real terrorist act.
In order to be convincing, it is crucial that the security forces believe in the ability and
inclination of the terrorists to carry out the act. Without this, the entire strategy fails. It therefore
generally works only if carried out by established and known terrorist groups.
Some established terrorist groups have an identification code word or phrase with which they
identify themselves to security forces or media, when in contact.
By this, the security forces know that it is an authentic terrorist group and not a hoax, and the
terrorist group knows that the security forces will take them seriously.
Some persons make hoax threats of terrorist action. These threats are carried out by persons
who are not known terrorists and do not possess the ability or resources to carry out the acts, such
as juveniles and students. Hoax bomb threats however, are also terrorist acts and punishable as such
in many countries.
Below are a list of characteristics and sounds that [ideally] are noted when receiving a bomb
threat, hoax or otherwise, by telephone. From the information noted, investigators can analyse many
things concerning the threat and its origin:
rnicoL-, =ccnceeivc
cn ccoceccoic
enc=+iic =nceLcme, ccLciic,
cLc=nic +inc=+
r=miLi=n cn Lcw e+L++cn, Lie=, n=e=, iieeic
c=v- enc=+iic c=Lm, cnm=L cn cxci+co mLeco, cnm=L, L=ec+, =cn-
=nei, cnm=L, ecv+ n==io, cnm=L cn eLcw LcLo, mcoiLm, cLic+, wiie=cnic
e=c cn n=+ic=L cLc=n, cnm=L cn v=oco ccco mcoiLm, =ccn L=cL=cc
1==c ncccnoco 1icic ciec c Lic ccc=, cnm=L. iici cn =e=L
cevicLeL- oiecLieco &cic cn mc+=LLic +cc nccccieco oi=Lcc+
ccc+ rcLL L=cL=cc rcncic / e+n=cc wcnoe
cvvicc ecLoe
BACKGROUND SOUND cnc=L=ce cn 1n=ie
MLeic ecLLe/+cLc=icce nicic eLece, +n=me cn +n=vvic
r=in/e=cn+e cncLoe ciiLonc cn =im=Le L=Lci+cn cn nccnc=+ic=L ciec
LcLoe=c=cn e-e+cm ccmce+ic ecLoe M=ciic eic=/cce+nLc+ic wcn
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorists Acts 241
US Embassy Nairobi, Kenya, after
bombing on 7
August 1988
Courtesy: FBI
US Embassy Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
following 7
August 1998 bombing
Courtesy FBI
A Case Study of Terrorism: The US Bombing, Nairobi, 7th
August 1998
At approximately 1030am on Friday 7th August
1998, at the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, terrorists drove
into the rear parking area, near a ramp to the basement
garage and detonated a bomb, killing a total of 213 people.
Of these, 12 were US Citizens and 32 were Foreign Service
National employees (FSNEs). Additionally, 10 Americans
and 11 FSNEs were seriously injured. An estimated 200
Kenyan civilians were killed and 4,000 were injured by the
blast in the vicinity of the building. The building suffered
severe damage, especially inside.
The locally-contracted guards at the rear of the
Embassy saw the terrorist truck pull into the uncontrolled
exit lane of the rear parking lot just as they closed the fence
gate and the barrier after a mail van had exited the
Embassys garage. The truck proceeded to the Embassys
rear access control area but was blocked by an automobile
coming out of the Co-op Banks underground garage. The
blocking auto was forced to back up allowing the truck to
come up to the Embassy barrier.
One of the two terrorists in the truck demanded that
the guards open the gates. The guards refused. One of the
terrorists began shooting at the chancery and the other tossed a flash grenade at one of the guards.
The unarmed guards ran for cover in the guard booth and tried to contact the Marine Security Guard
(MSG) at their command post by radio and telephone, but
the single radio frequency and the telephone were both
The gunshots and grenade detonation caused many
employees to go to the windows to observe what was
happening. They were either killed or seriously wounded
as a result; neither the posts Emergency Action Plan nor
any relevant drills had prepared employees for actions to
take in the event of a vehicle bomb or firearms being
discharged in the immediate vicinity of the Embassy.
The Embassy had only one radio frequency and no
alert alarms for use by perimeter guards. There was a time
lapse between the time the guards saw the truck enter the
rear parking lot and the detonation of the bomb. The
inability of the perimeter guards to alert those inside the
chancery of a suspected truck bomb explosion could have
been remedied in two ways. Had the Kenyan Government
granted the Embassys long-standing request to have more
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorists Acts 242
Passers-by rescue the wounded at the US Embassy, Nairobi, Kenya, just after the
Al Qaida attack on 7
August 1998, which killed 213 and wounded approximately
4000, many of them innocent Muslims
Courtesy: US Dept. of State
than one radio frequency,
the perimeter guards
would have had a
reserved frequency to
communicate with the
MSG at the command
The MSG could
then have triggered the
Embassys internal alarm
system, giving personnel
time to take cover.
Secondly, either a
r a d i o e l e c t r o n i c
emergency alarm for the
perimeter guards or an
alarm button in the rear
guard booth to activate
the Embassys internal
alarm system could have
permitted the guards
there to trigger the system directly, warning employees of an impending blast. In either scenario, a
special alarm signal for taking cover does not exist at any US Embassys Selectone alarm system.
The 1980 Embassy building was constructed under pre-Inman standards (security-
construction criteria). It was located at the intersection of two of the busiest streets in Nairobi, near
two mass transit centres. It lacked sufficient distance from the streets and from adjacent buildings.
To compensate for its close proximity to the streets, the Embassy was surrounded by a 2.6
metre high steel picket vertical bar fence. An outer perimeter was established beyond the fence with
a line of steel bollards, ranging 5 metres to 18 metres in distance from the outer walls of the
chancery. The window frames were not anchored into the core structure, but the windows were
covered by 4mm Mylar protective film.
Before 7th August 1998, Nairobi was designated as a medium-threat post in the political
violence and terrorism category, and the Embassy was in compliance with that threat levels
physical security standards, except for the lack of a 100ft. clear ground distance requirement.
However, the bombing revealed that the system for determining terrorism threat levels, which in turn
determine physical security standards and procedures, was seriously flawed. Additional criteria are
now being applied to achieve a more realistic threat profile.
There were no intelligence reports immediately before the bombing to have warned the
Embassy of the attack. However, a number of earlier intelligence reports cited alleged threats against
several US diplomatic and other targets including the US Embassy in Nairobi. While all of these
reports were disseminated to the intelligence community and to appropriate posts abroad, they were
largely discounted because of doubts about the sources. Other reporting was imprecise, changing and
non-specific as to dates, diminishing its usefulness.
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorists Acts 243
Embassy bombing victim is brought home to US Andrews
Air Base on 13
August 1998
Additionally, actions taken by
intelligence and law enforcement authorities
to confront suspect terrorist groups in
Nairobi, including the Al-Haramayn
non-governmental organization and the
Osama Bin Laden organization, were
believed to have dissipated the threats.
The Embassy responded to these
reported threats by increasing the number of
patrolling guards around the perimeter of
the chancery, closer monitoring of the visa
line, and additional vehicle and perimeter
searches. The Regional Security Officer
(RSO) advised personnel on security
precautions and the importance of reporting
incidents of surveillance.
She and the Marine Security Guards
(MSGs) conducted numerous emergency
react drills (with only MSG participation), and the RSO requested the Kenyan Government to
enhance security around the Embassy, to engage in counter-surveillance activities and met with the
Kenyan police to discuss their bomb reaction procedures.
The also requested and received a team from Washington to further familiarize the MSGs
and the local guards about explosive devices.
The Emergency Action Committee met frequently to review security procedures and upgrade
The Ambassador cabled Washington on 24th December 1997, reviewing the threats and the
response to them by the Embassy and the Kenyan government. She pointed to certain reports about
terrorist threats aimed at the mission, as well as threats of crime and political violence, emphasising
the Embassys extreme vulnerability due to lack of distance from the streets and adjacent buildings.
She requested Washingtons support for a new chancery.
The response to the Ambassadors cable in January 1998, stated that after a review of the
threat, the posts current security rating of medium for political violence and terrorism was
appropriate, and that no new office building was contemplated.
The Department offered to send a security assessment team to assist in identifying areas
where security could be upgraded, and they found ways to reduce the number of personnel, through
re-assignments to Pretoria.
The security assessment team (SAT) arrived in March 1998. An offer by the militarys US
Central Command (CENTCOM) was also made. The SAT conducted a review of the Embassys
needs, but no report was filed by the team.
Subsequent cables from the Embassy and an interview with one of the SAT engineers
indicated that Washington was prepared to support all the posts requests for upgrades, even beyond
the normal standards required for a medium threat post.
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorists Acts 244
A Tomahawk Cruise Missile is launched from a US
warship at an Al Qaida terrorist training camp in
Afghanistan in 1998
Courtesy: US Department of Defense
The Embassy senior management, the
RSO, and the visiting team did not particularly
focus on upgrades in the rear of the Embassy or
possible vehicle bomb attacks, but instead
concentrated on ways to reduce the danger from
crime and political violence. They approved a
fence for the parking lot in front of the Embassy,
as well as roll-down doors for the chancerys
front entrance and the rear basement garage
door. (The latter door, broken for several
months, had been replaced by a temporary two
panel swing door which remained open during
the day).
These improvements were in process and
had not been completed by the time of the 7th
August bombing. As it turned out, they would
have made no difference in mitigating the blast,
given its size. Nor would they have deterred the
terrorists from getting as close to the chancery as
they did.
In March 1998, the Department of State
issued a world-wide alert drawing attention to
an Osama bin Laden threat against American
military and civilians.
However, this alert was not accompanied
by any special warning or analysis that
embassies in East Africa might be targeted by
Bin Ladens group.
Ambassador Bushnell, in letters to the
Secretary in April 1998, and to Under Secretary Cohen a month later, restated her concern regarding
the vulnerability of the Embassy, repeating the need to have a new chancery that would meet Inman
standards. Ms. Cohen responded in June 1998 stating that, because of Nairobis designation as a
medium security threat post for political violence and terrorism and the general soundness of the
building, its replacement ranked relatively low among the chancery replacement priorities. She drew
attention to the plan to extend the chancerys useful life and improve its security, including US$ 4.1
million for the replacement of the windows.
Periodic efforts by the to gain control over the back parking lot, and thus to expand the clear
zone, met with limited success.
Efforts were made several years earlier to obtain control of all parking spaces in that area
from the Co-op Bank, this proved unsuccessful.
In late 1997, they increased the number of patrolling guards in the rear area to ensure that
unauthorized persons would not park in those spaces leased to the Embassy.
In May 1998, the Bank wrote a letter to the Embassy inviting it to share costs of installing
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 245
US Defense Secretary Cohen and General Shelton conduct a briefing on
response strikes in Afghanistan and Sudan
US Dept. of State
a fence along side the parking
lot and a barrier at the exit to
the street which the terrorists
entered through on 7
The letter was never
formally answered as the
Embassy did not consider this
its responsibility, since the
fence and the barrier were not
on Embassy property and were
being installed in any case.
Also, the Embassy had
experienced difficulty obtaining
permission from the Kenyan
government for building a fence
around the front parking lot.
There was a concern
that the Bank had not received
p e r mi s s i o n f r o m t h e
government for the construction
in the back, and if US funds had been used, the government might condemn the move, bring a
lawsuit, and generate adverse publicity against the Embassy.
The Co-op Banks fence had been completed by August 1998, but the barrier intended for
the exit was lying on the ground ready for installation at the time of the bombing.
While it is uncertain whether the Embassys participation in the Co-op Banks project might
have expedited the installation of the barrier, its presence could have provided an additional hurdle
the terrorists would have had to overcome to enter the Embassys rear parking lot area.
However, even if the barrier had discouraged the terrorists from entering the rear lot, they still
could have proceeded up the street (from which they entered).
They would only need to have proceeded for another 50 feet and detonated the bomb at a
point even closer to the chancery than the back gate barrier, thereby causing as much if not more
damage to the Embassy.
That the Embassy did not seek more actively to gain control of the back lot reflected the
prevailing view in the Embassy and in Washington at that time that the crime threat was far more
serious than the terrorist threat.
This conclusion was based in part on the judgment of intelligence officials in Washington
and in Nairobi that the potential terrorist threats had dissipated by the latter part of 1997 and that no
new threat had been uncovered specifically aimed at the Embassy.
Terrorism was seen as a serious but non-specific potential threat, whereas crime, including
robbery and murder in the immediate vicinity of the Embassy, was a daily reality that posed a
continual threat to every member of the family.
The Embassys local guard program, under contract with the United International
Investigative Service (UIIS) since 1997, is one of the largest in the world. Many of the guards
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 246
Zhawar Kili al Badr camp west (one of three), Afghanistan. This is an Al Qaida
terrorist training camp which was targeted by US Forces after the attacks on the
US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar as Salaam
Courtesy: US Depts. of State & Defense
serving around the
chancerys perimeter
had worked for UIIS's
Training levels
called for in the UIIS
contract fell well short
of the specifications,
both in quality and
Of particular
note was the absence of
training and procedures
on vehicular bombs.
Wh i l e t h e
guards were trained on
s e a r c h a n d
identification of parcel
bombs concealed on
vehicles, they were not
given any direction on
t h r e a t , s e a r c h ,
r e c o g n i t i o n a n d
reaction to suspect
vehicle bombs.
No procedures or guidelines were established that would cause guards to raise an alarm if a
strange truck pulled into the parking lot and/or up to the gate of the Embassy.
Another anomaly was that guards at Embassy residences possessed radio electronic duress
or panic alarms to activate in times of emergency while those at the chancery did not.
The local guards did not participate in emergency drills or have much interchange with the
MSG detachment.
In spite of these deficiencies, however, the guards in the rear parking lot on 7th August
performed well in refusing to permit the terrorists access to the Embassys garage. This prevented
an even greater disaster.
After the bombing, all personnel from the Ambassador on down quickly responded to care
for the wounded, account for properly, handle those who died and coordinate the myriad details of
reestablishing operations while dealing with the crisis.
In Washington, the Task Force formed in the State Departments operations centre
established immediate contact with personnel who had transferred operations from the bombed out
chancery to the USAID building across Nairobi.
The Task Force began to ascertain the extent of the damage and the casualties, and mobilized
resources to dispatch to Nairobi.
A special response team departed within about six hours of its alert time. Its aircraft broke
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 247
down in Rota, Spain, causing a 15-hour delay before a backup plane could arrive and be loaded.
Though the team arrived in Nairobi nearly 40 hours after the blast, its contingent brought
relief to the Embassy, assisting the Ambassador and her staff to restoring functions, restoring
communications, and aiding rescue and other emergency relief efforts.
On 9th August, another US Air Force plane with additional support personnel from
Washington broke down in Sicily and was delayed by about 8 hours before the group could proceed
to Kenya.
When the US Air Forces Nightingale medical evacuation (medivac) aircraft arrived in
Nairobi from Germany on 8th August, its load capacity prevented it from bringing needed medical
supplies already palletized and pre-positioned in Germany.
Differing reasons from medical personnel and from the US Air Force were given as to why
the medivac aircraft did not return immediately to Germany with some of the most seriously
wounded Americans.
What was clear was that there was a misunderstanding about aircrew rest requirements and
the need for pre-flight stabilization of patients by Air Force medical personnel before departure.
Kenyan medical professionals at the Nairobi Hospital where the wounded Americans were
receiving care claimed that US Air Force medical personnel were insensitive.
The first military medical evacuation did not take place until 40 hours after the bombing. A
second medical evacuation 70 hours after the bombing went much more smoothly.
A special unit of US Marines was dispatched to Nairobi from Bahrain to help provide
security for the Embassy. Their aircraft experienced delays as well.
The FBI sent 200 agents to the scene to find and detain the perpetrators of the bombing.
These groups performed well in important aspects of the crisis.
With the large influx of people from Washington and elsewhere into Nairobi, inevitable
coordinating problems with some personnel occurred; they had to be reminded more than once that
the Ambassador was ultimately in charge. Logistical facilities were overloaded.
The special response team, which normally deals with evolving terrorist crises like hostage
taking, realised that its standard personnel formation was not quite appropriate for the situation faced
in Nairobi.
In Washington, shift changes in personnel on the Task Force bought confusion and
unnecessary repetition of requests to the field. Because of the massive damage to operations and the
high number of Embassy casualties, operations were at times chaotic.
Given the extensive damage to Embassy operations and the large number of casualties, the
Task Force had to call on offices seldom used in normal evacuations and other emergencies.
Some of the logistical and coordination problems with the US Air Force could have been
alleviated if clear instructions had been provided and better liaison established in advance through
designated points of contact.
The Department of States Bureau of African Affairs has completed an after action report
from which valuable lessons learned should be instructive for the future.
Better crisis management training and contingency planning was identified as an imperative
if the Department of State is to handle mass casualties and destruction emergencies in a more
expeditious and professional manner.
It was proposed that Department of State should also explore the cost effectiveness of
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 248
chartering commercial aircraft in times of emergency to provide more reliable airlift.
Media attention following the bombing was immense, since Nairobi is a regional hub for the
international media.
The Embassys public affairs (USIS) officers were overwhelmed. They concentrated on
answering the queries of the international press and ignored the local press.
By the second day after the explosion, the local media focused their anger on the Embassy
in particular and the US in general.
The local press reported that the Americans were concerned only with their own people,
ignoring the plight and suffering of the many Kenyans who were killed or injured.
Had additional public affairs personnel been dispatched to Nairobi immediately following
the bombing, this media problem might have been better anticipated and lessened.
Also, the Department of State insisted on clearing in advance whether the Ambassador could
appear at press conferences and what she could say during those conferences.
These limits on the Ambassadors discretion to speak publicly, unnecessarily limited her
ability to counter the criticism in the local media.
The US board of enquiry (Accountability Review Board) made the following findings:
1. The bomb that exploded in the rear parking lot of the US Embassy in Nairobi on August 7, 1998
was detonated by terrorists who intended to cause loss of lives and destruction of property. The
incident was thus security related.
2. No recent tactical intelligence information existed to alert the Embassy to the bombing.
Intelligence received in 1997 about plans for vehicle bomb attacks or assassinations was carefully
vetted, but by early 1998 these alleged threats had been discredited. In retrospect, the Department
and the intelligence community relied too heavily on warning intelligence to measure the threat of
terrorism and failed to take other factors into account in determining and confirming in 1998 that the
threat of terrorism was only medium. Also, the Embassy was heavily preoccupied with the critical
crime level.
3. In the fall of 1997, the Embassys management, upon receiving intelligence information regarding
a potential terrorist bomb, took additional steps to upgrade security at the post. The Ambassador
alerted Washington to the Embassys extreme vulnerability and called for and received assistance
in 1998 from the Department of State for a few physical security upgrades beyond those required for
a medium threat post for political violence and terrorism. In her messages to Washington, the
Ambassador also requested that the chancery be relocated elsewhere. Officials throughout the
Department of State rejected this, citing lack of funds and the designation of Nairobi, as a medium
threat post, as an unlikely terrorist target.
4. Security systems and procedures at the Embassy were implemented well within, and even beyond,
the medium threat level established by the Department of State, although the building had virtually
no setback, having been built before the standard was established and therefore was exempted.
5. Local security guards performed as they had been instructed and refused the terrorists access to
the perimeter.
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 249
6. But a number of security shortcomings existed. The most critical was that no attention was paid
to vehicle bomb attacks in the Departments Emergency Alert Procedures guidance or the Embassys
security procedures and systems.
The security guards were not trained for such a contingency. They did not have alarm mechanisms
to give warning of such an attack.
There was no internal alarm signal to warn of a car bomb attack. And Embassy personnel were not
informed about what to do in case of a car bomb warning.
7. The Embassy did not have a radio frequency dedicated to security communications, which would
have enhanced security, because the Kenyan government had consistently rejected this request.
8. More rigorous efforts by the Embassy could possibly have been made to secure more control over
the rear parking lot.
But legal impediments and public relations concerns served as constraints. It is uncertain whether
additional control would have deterred the terrorists or lessened the damage from the blast, given
the lack of setback at other points around the chancery.
9. In the aftermath of the bombing, the special response teams, the medical teams, US Air Force
crews and aircraft, and others from Washington provided invaluable support to the Embassy. But
logistical problems caused delays in the arrival of people and resources.
And the massive influx of personnel from numerous US agencies into Kenya brought problems of
coordination and logistical overload in Nairobi.
Heavy media criticism in Nairobi could have been alleviated by more public affairs officers on the
scene and by giving the Ambassador more flexibility in dealing with the press.
The Departments Task Force performed valiantly under extremely difficult circumstances, but there
were problems of discontinuity of leadership and organization.
The Departments ability to handle emergencies involving mass casualties and heavy damage to
Embassy operations needs to be improved through crisis management training and better contingency

10. The Board found that no employee of the US government or member of the uniformed services,
breached his or her duty.
11. The Board found a possible breach of responsibility in the contractors administration of the
contract for the training of the Embassy guards.
But even if this training had been carried out, it would not have affected what happened in the
12. In the review of systems and procedures required by the law, the Board found that systemic and
institutional failures in Washington were responsible for: a) a flawed process for assessing threat
levels worldwide which underestimated the threat of terrorism in Nairobi, notwithstanding the
Ambassadors repeated pleas, b) a chronic major lack of funds for building new, safer embassies,
to replace buildings like the Nairobi chancery, which, even had there been no terrorist threat, was
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 250
in a dangerous location and extremely vulnerable to crime and mob violence, and c) failing to
prepare for vehicle bombs by providing guidance in Emergency Action Plans to deal with such
attacks, and the warning alarm signals and systems to alert personnel to imminent bomb attacks.
13. The Board commended the Embassy personnel for their professionalism and courage in their
performance both during and after the disaster.

Osama bin Laden, Muhammed Atef (bin Ladins military commander, killed by bombing in
November 2001 in Afghanistan), Wadih el Hage, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, Mohammed Sadeek
Odeh and Mohamed Rashed Daoud al Owhali (all of the Al Qaida terrorist network) and Mamdouh
Mahmud Salim were indicted on 4th November 1998 in the US Court for the Southern District of
New York, U.S., in connection with the 7th August 1998 US Embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya
and in Dar as Salaam, Tanzania.
Majority of this report: Courtesy of the US Department of State.
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Act 251
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The suspects below were sought by the US FBI after the 1998 Embassy attacks in Nairobi and Dar as Salaam
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Act 252
Abduction In the context of terrorism, a pre-planned kidnapping. The victim is specifically selected
Deportation Depopulation (aka ethnic cleansing). A War Crime under the 4
Geneva Convention.
Forced removal of a person who has a legal and widely recognised right of abode or
residency, especially a citizen or a person born in the country or land from which he is
being forcibly deported. Legal exceptions are governments lawful deportation of
foreigners who have entered a nation illegally, or dispatch to origin of registered aliens
who have their residency rights withdrawn, following conviction for a criminal offence or
similar misconduct
Genocide Willful extermination of a religious, ethnic, national or racial group
Gulags Soviet political prisons / forced labour camps. The Gulag archipelago (a grouping of
similar camps) is located in Siberia
In the context of terrorism, captives spontaneously seized by terrorists during a siege or
pursuit, to deter attack by security forces, or to use as a human shield during escape
Form of mental torture. Destabilises and disorientates captive in order to break mental
resistance, by denying sensation of sound, vision, touch, smell and taste. Includes
covering eyes and ears; wearing gloves; denying food and drink. This torture is
sometimes used in conjunction with exposure to white noise
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 253
Murder of UK Defence Attach Brig. Saunders, Athens, Greece
Facts of the Case: On 8th June 2000,
Brigadier Saunders was driving to work in
Athens, Greece when he stopped in traffic. A
motorcycle carrying two men drew alongside his
car and stopped. The motorcycle passenger
drew out a semi-automatic rifle and began firing.
It jammed after one shot, whereupon the
terrorist killed Brigadier Saunders with four
shots from a Colt .45 pistol.
Investigation: It was soon established that the group responsible was
the Revolutionary Organization 17 November. This is a left wing group,
formed in 1975, named to commemorate an uprising by Greek Students
who protested rule by the Military Junta in Greece during the same year.
Revolutionary Organization 17 November is anti-NATO, anti-Turkish and
anti-US. It demands: Removal of Turkish forces from Cyprus; removal of
US bases from Greece, and installation of a radical government in
The group carried out several bombings and attacked US military bases
in 1987.
US personnel murdered by this group include:
An Army Sergeant (1990)
Defence Attach Capt. William Nordeen (1988)
Navy Captain George Tsantes (1983)
CIA Station Chief for Greece, Richard Welch (1975)
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 254
1. Contemporary terrorist bombers prefer killing few victims and causing more structural damage.
a) True
b) False
2. Contemporary terrorists mostly prefer
a) Grenade attacks
b) Sniping
c) Bombing
3. Genocide is mass killing whether deliberate or accidental.
a) True
b) False
4. Terrorist massacres are
a) Pre-planned
b) Pre-planned or spontaneous
c) Spontaneous
5. Terrorists murder and wound
a) Victims that they do not know
b) Victims that are known to them
c) Both known and unknown victims
6. The 1948 Genocide Convention includes legislation about depopulation or forced re-location.
a) True
b) False
7. Hi-jacking in the 1990s
a) Decreased
b) Increased
c) Was at the same level as the 1970s
8. Poisoning of consumer food goods is usually carried out by
a) Animal rights terrorists
b) Ethnic or political terrorists
c) Religious terrorists
9. A hoax threat to carry out a terrorist act is in some countries punishable in the same way as an
authentic terrorist threat.
a) True
b) False
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 255
10. In combat, the average ratio of killed to wounded is
a) 1 : 1
b) 1 : 2
c) 1 : 3
11. Which terrorist group kidnapped western tourists in July 1995 and later beheaded a Norwegian?
a) Harkat ul Ansar
b) Al Faran
c) Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front
12. Stockholm Syndrome describes hostages
a) Hatred or aggression towards their captors
b) Traumatic Stress syndrome
c) Positive or sympathetic feelings towards their captors
13. The Gulag Archipelago is a
a) Grouping of political prisons / forced labour camps
b) Grouping of Pacific islands
c) Chain of terrorist training camps
14. Which Group carried out terrorist massacres in 1985 at Rome and Vienna international airports?
a) Fatah
b) Black September
c) Abu Nidal
15. Who murdered 9,439 Russian citizens from 1937 to 1938, burying them in 95 unmarked pits?
a) Cheka
c) VV
16. Hi-jacking was popular in the 1960s and 1970s.
a) True
b) False
17. From 1971 to 1979, more than 300,000 Ugandans were murdered on the orders of
a) Jonas Savimbi
b) Idi Amin
c) Robert Mugabe
Lesson 7/ Types of Terrorist Acts 256
18. Which hostage was released through great personal risk and efforts on the ground in Beirut, by
UN Assistant Secretary General and hostage negotiator, Giandomenico Picco?
a) William Buckley
b) Terry Waite
c) William Higgins
19. Explosives (all types including grenades) are used in approximately how many terrorist attacks?
a) 20%
b) 70%
c) 98%
20. Depopulation is ordered or sanctioned at the highest level of national or defacto authorities.
a) True
b) False
1-b, 2-c, 3-b, 4-b, 5-c, 6-a, 7-a, 8-a, 9-a, 10-c, 11-b, 12-c, 13-a, 14-c, 15-b, 16-a, 17-b, 18-b, 19-b,
Lesson 8
Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism
Section 8.1: Terrorist Tactics
Pursuit of Political Status
Blackmail and Corruption of Officials
Covert Penetration of Security Forces and Target Circles
Provision of Clandestine Interviews with Media
Dissemination of Inflammatory Material, Disinformation and Propaganda
Breaking of Agreements
Section 8.2: Targets of Terrorism
Evaluation and Selection of Targets
Government Institutions
International and Non-Governmental (NGO) Organisations
Commercial Enterprises
Ethnic, Political and Religious Groups
Rival Criminal Groups
Keywords to Note
Terrorist Attack Brief: Attack on US Officer's Club, Rome, Italy
Lesson 8/ Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism 258
Lesson 8 Scope and Objectives
Section 8.1: Terrorist Tactics
This section explains some of the tactics that terrorists use in order to enhance their acts or
objectives, such as: pursuing political status; blackmailing officials, penetrating security forces and
target circles for intelligence purposes; manipulating media for publicity, disseminating
inflammatory material, disinformation, propaganda, and breaking of agreements. The Terrorist
Attack Brief for this Lesson concerns the attack on the US Officers Club in Rome, Italy
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to:
Explain why many terrorists pursue political status
Know why terrorists try blackmailing officials and penetrate security forces and target circles
Comprehend the purpose of a clandestine media interview of a terrorist
Realise the dual terrorist objectives in disseminating inflammatory material
Understand the tactic of breaking an agreement at a point too late for the target to withdraw
Section 8.2: Targets of Terrorism
This section explains the subject of terrorist targets, including governments, international
organisations, non-government organisations, commercial enterprise, different social groups,
individuals and rival criminals.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to:
Explain how terrorists evaluate and select a target
Cite some examples of terrorist objectives and some examples of terrorist targets
Describe current attack trends against international and non-governmental organisations
State which types of commercial enterprise are most frequently targeted and why and how
Describe examples of ethnic, religious and political disputes in which terrorism is used
Explain why rival criminal groups sometimes target each other
Describe the reasons for terrorist targeting of individuals
Recall the meaning of the words contained in the Lessons Keywords to Note table
Recall the basic facts concerning the attack on the US Officers Club in Rome, Italy
Lesson 8/ Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism 259
Lesson 8. Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism
Section 8.1: Terrorist Tactics
Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemys strategy
Sun Tzu, Chinese philosopher. The Art of War. c 400 BC
Pursuit of Political Status
Most terrorists with demands against governments, seek special political status and
recognition. These types of terrorists experience credibility problems, as they seek special political
status from governments they mostly profess not to recognise.
The order of events that some of the more optimistic terrorist groups seek is:
Formal recognition by the government
Conferral of special political status upon the terrorist group
Government concession to terrorist demands
An amnesty for all of the terrorists
If a government begins to negotiate with terrorists, that government has afforded a degree of
political recognition to the terrorists. That is why governments strive to avoid negotiation with
terrorists or making any concessions to them.
In this context, negotiation means engaging in formal discussions to negotiate a lasting
settlement. It does not refer to siege or hostage situations whereby security forces at the scene initiate
dialogue to achieve release of hostages (sometimes known as hostage negotiation).

Blackmail and Corruption of Officials
Another tactic used to achieve terrorist goals is blackmail. Terrorists occasionally engage in
ordinary blackmail just as conventional criminals do, in order to raise funds; but sometimes also
bribery, in order to corrupt an official they have targeted or find useful for intelligence purposes.
Terrorists exploit any weaknesses that they are able to identify: They sometimes target
dissatisfied intellectuals, lonely individuals and those with financial, marital, alcohol or drug
problems, amongst other problems or weaknesses that can be exploited.
Covert Penetration of Security Forces and Target Circles
A tactic some terrorists are very occasionally able to use is the covert introduction of a
sympathetic supporter of their cause into the security forces, in order to gain intelligence on the
forces ranged against them.
Lesson 8/ Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism 260
This is progressively more difficult in proportion to the stage of development and integrity
of the security force. In fully developed countries, careful vetting and other types of screening and
observation practically make it impossible to infiltrate a sympathiser except perhaps at the lowest
levels of regular armed forces or police, but not into those special units dealing with anti and counter
In some theatres of conflict, it is not uncommon for terrorists to have previously served in
the regular armed forces now ranged against them. An example of this was the few members of the
PIRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army) that had in previous years, served in the British Army.
Such intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the security forces can be of some limited
benefit to terrorists.
In cases of terrorism in which a specific human target (who is also the victim) is selected,
infiltration of the circles of friends and acquaintances of the victim is often a terrorist objective, in
order to gain intelligence such as habits, movements and other details, which helps them plan and
execute the terrorist act.
Provision of Clandestine Interviews with Media
One relatively effective tactic used by terrorists is giving clandestine interviews to media, in
order to publicise their cause. It is an effective way of widely transmitting a terrorist agenda or
demands, and reminding the target audience. Once the interview is given, it may be passed or sold
to a wide variety of international media networks.
Carlos the Jackal (Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) conducted a clandestine filmed interview with
media during the late 1970s, in order to boost his reputation.
Providing such interviews is hazardous for the terrorist because of the risk of betrayal to
security forces, but it can achieve valuable publicity for the terrorist cause. Bin Laden is making full
use of media, periodically releasing video cassettes of interviews, re-enforcing his message.
Governments who sponsor terrorism often provide or indirectly make possible, televised
interviews for members of the terrorist groups that they sponsor.
Dissemination of Inflammatory Material, Disinformation and Propaganda
The great mass of the people...will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
Terrorists routinely disseminate distorted information and propaganda in order to further their
cause. This is called disinformation, which is defined as knowingly passing false information to
specific bodies or areas in order to achieve a strategic effect (misinformation is innocent or negligent
passing of false information).
Terrorists sometimes disseminate inflammatory material not only to provoke a response from
groups they oppose, but also to incite hatred against them. This material can take the form of hate
messages against religious, racial or social groups.
Since the advent of the Internet, terrorists have used its easy anonymity to propagate
disinformation, propaganda and inflammatory material. It is a very effective tool due to the low
Lesson 8/ Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism 261
Propaganda in Northern Ireland (UK): PIRA Republican
Separatist (above) and UFF Unionist / Loyalist (right)
chances of detection and remote delivery capability, although it is becoming less secure and
anonymous with advances in security technology.
Breaking of Agreements
Terrorists frequently lie in negotiations with governments and other targets, even in everyday
dealings with members of their own group, sometimes to achieve their objective, sometimes to
inspire members of the group and sometimes for security reasons.
Terrorists cannot reasonably be expected to adhere to any form of agreement and they
frequently break them.
It would not be realistic to trust persons who are prepared to terrorise, murder and maim
innocent people, but governments and their forces, when faced with terrorists, often have little option
but to trust them in order to keep negotiations open. It is a tactic that terrorists do not hesitate to
Lesson 8/ Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism 262
Lord Walter Moyne, UK Minister
Resident in the Middle East,
assassinated in Cairo on 6
November 1944 by terrorists from
the Stern Gang
IPS Washington
Indian Army in Kashmir; anti-terrorist bunker
Section 8.2: The Targets of Terrorism
Evaluation and Selection of Targets
There will be no justice as long as man will
stand with a knife or with a gun and destroy
those who are weaker than he is
Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-91), Polish-born
American Yiddish writer, Nobel prize winner
Targets (entities to be coerced) are
carefully evaluated and selected according to
the projected terrorist ability to coerce them.
The terrorist objectives which
determine the particular choice of target may
vary considerably.
Some widely differing examples of
these objectives are as follows:
Political change Deterrent
Extortion Demographic change
Vengeance Social change
Before terrorist acts are commissioned, terrorists engage in
separate phases of selecting the target and then the type of asset harm
(Human and/or non human), in that sequence.
Government Institutions
Governments and their institutions are the most common
targets for terrorists as they possess the power to bring about political
They are also empowered to make concessions.
What many terrorists fail to grasp is the fact that most
terrorist demands are so radical and unreasonable, governments
cannot accede to them.
Should they do so, they risk loss of public confidence,
political failure and possible collapse of the government.
Lesson 8/ Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism 263
Ecological Action Group logo
International and Non-Government (NGO) Organisations
International Organisations such the United Nations (UN) are infrequently targeted as
organisations by terrorists, in comparison to national governments.
This is because organisations such as the UN have little or no practical authority in any
sovereign state to make and enforce political concessions or accede to terrorist demands. They exist
and function by consent and funding of the member states, whose representatives (Ambassadors)
comprise their decision-making bodies. The UN and other international organisations are therefore
not generally attractive targets for terrorists pursuing coercion as it is not possible to exploit them
to any great extent. The UN is on Al Qaidas potential attack list, but is not the highest priority.
NGO employees and their organisations are sometimes targeted by terrorists, especially those
engaged on relief, humanitarian or development projects located in remote regions of developing
countries, where terrorists kidnap and extort to grow rich from sometimes well-funded NGO
Commercial Enterprises
Commercial enterprises are sometimes targeted by terrorists,
especially with social belief or humanitarian causes. Examples of
such companies are those engaged in production of consumer goods
or medical research, in which animals are used for experimentation,
or those which for commercial reasons, are accused of over-
exploiting the ecosphere.
Such companies or enterprises are usually targeted until
either terrorist demands are met or security forces eliminate the
threat. An example of commercial concerns targeted in the US are
medical enterprises, or clinics involved in abortion, which have
been subjected to considerable attacks during the past few years. In
general, these attacks have been unsuccessful in coercing the clinics
to close and cease business.
Another example of targeting commercial enterprise, which
is growing in popularity, is that of oil exploration. Due to the often remote areas of operation, oil
companies tend to encounter security problems, where local government security forces are thin on
the ground. These companies or corporations are consequently vulnerable to sectors of local
communities who seek to extort resources or cash from them.
Terrorists engaged in this type of targeting, commonly cause asset harm in the form of
sabotage, kidnapping and extortion, in order to coerce their demands through.
Ethnic, Political and Religious Groups
The Armenian massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and the failure to act against Turkey
is to condone it . . . the failure to deal radically with the Turkish horror means that all talk of
guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense
Former US President Theodore Roosevelt, May 11, 1918
Lesson 8/ Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism 264
Aryan Nations crest
Ethnic, political or religious groups or sects are
sometimes the targets and victims of terrorism motivated
by intolerance.
The objective in targeting such groups is to either
suppress and minimise their activity or to drive them out
to a different location and seize their assets. Inflicted asset
harm aimed at achieving this is often select murder,
random massacre, rape and torture of members of the
victim group.
Many terrorist campaigns are currently conducted
in the world for motives of religious intolerance,
sometimes by members of the same religion but from a
different sect. These campaigns can be extremely violent.
An example of such a campaign took place in
Pakistan, where some majority-Sunni Muslim groups
engaged in targeting minority-Shiite Muslim groups.
The Shiite groups in turn countered the attacks
until 1995, when the conflict escalated from infrequent sectarian style murders to low intensity
terrorism; acts became more violent and frequent.
Another example is the former Yugoslavia, where occasional religious terrorism occurred,
but escalated for several additional reasons into genocide and depopulation with the outbreak of war
in 1991.
Several continuing political conflicts in the world are aggravated by religious intolerance:
Examples are the Middle East conflict and the Kashmir conflict, where from time to time, members
of all sides target religious sites and shrines.
Ethnic groups, especially if in a minority, are sometimes subjected to terrorist attacks for
reasons of ethnic intolerance.
In the case of Rwanda in 1994, following suspension of democracy, full scale genocide was
provoked, a motivating factor being historic reasons of political and ethnic hatred of one ethnic
group by another.
The conflicts in Sri Lanka and East Timor (until independence) are other examples of
conflicts involving ethnicity.
Rival Criminal Groups
Rival criminal groups sometimes target each other in power-seeking or expansionist
initiatives whereby members of different criminal groups fall victim to each others terrorist acts,
such as assassination or bombing.
Usually, police action halts such campaigns, or a settlement is negotiated between the
criminal groups.
Examples during the past decades have occurred between organised criminal gangs in the US,
UK, Italy (especially Sicily), Japan and Russia.
Lesson 8/ Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism 265
Remnants of the Baader Meinhof Gang {Red Remnants of the Baader Meinhof Gang {Red Remnants of the Baader Meinhof Gang {Red Remnants of the Baader Meinhof Gang {Red
Army Faction}, sought by Police Army Faction}, sought by Police Army Faction}, sought by Police Army Faction}, sought by Police after the after the after the after the
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October 1977 October 1977 October 1977 October 1977
Individuals are not usually targeted
by terrorists unless they happen to be
powerful or wealthy. In those cases, they
tend to become victims as well as targets.
Individuals targeted by terrorists,
such as wealthy industrialists or
businessmen, are sometimes kidnapped
and later released after the objective is
achieved: the payment of a ransom in
exchange for the release of the hostage.
This is not always the case; in
1977, the Baader-Meinhof terrorist group
(Rote Armee Faktion or Red Army
Faction) kidnapped and held a German
businessman, Hanns-Martin Schleyer.
Baader committed suicide inside
his prison cell, in the wake of a Lufthansa
airliner hi-jacking at Mogadishu, after the
airliner was stormed by German anti-
terrorist troops.
In vengeance, other members of the terrorist group murdered their captive, Hanns-Martin
On the following page are police photographs of various convicted terrorists, who were
involved in terrorist bombings (explosives offences), as a tactic to try and coerce or achieve their
Lesson 8/ Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism 266
George Metesky. New York City Bomber, 1940s
Theodore Kaczynski
The Unabomber
Eric Rudolph
Atlanta pipe bomber
David Copeland
Neo Nazi nail-bomber, UK
Timothy McVeigh
Oklahoma bomber
David Gilbert
Weather Underground
Terrorists who committed bombing and explosives offences involving various targets
Courtesy: US: FBI, NYPD (1). UK: New Scotland Yard (6)
Lesson 8/ Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism 267
Blackmail Extortion of money / services in exchange for not disclosing discreditable facts
Clandestine Concealed, private, stealthy, covert, hidden or sly
Demographic Related to population, especially density and distribution
Disinformation Deliberate passing of information known to be false
Ethnic A member of a racial or cultural minority group
Misinformation Innocent or negligent passing of false information
NGO Non Governmental Organisation
Lesson 8/ Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism 268
Attack on US Officers Club, Rome, Italy
Facts of the Case: On 14th April 1988, a car
bomb was detonated
outside of the front of the
US Officers Club in
Naples, Italy.
The bomb killed five
people, including a US
servi cewoman, and
injured 15 others, of
which four were US
Investigation: Inquiries revealed that the
Japanese Red Army (JRA) were responsible for
the attack.
JRA member Junzo Okudaira was subsequently
indicted, but remains at large.
Substantial rewards, identity protection and
relocation are offered for information leading to
his arrest.
Lesson 8/ Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism 269
1. Many terrorists seek
a) Political status
b) No compromise in negotiation
c) Defeat of governments
2. Terrorists penetrate security forces with a terrorist or a terrorist sympathiser
a) Frequently
b) Never
c) Very infrequently
3. Distributing inflammatory material is sometimes calculated to
a) Avoid personal contact with the victims
b) Provoke a response not only from the victims, but also to incite others to hate the victims
c) Commit terrorist acts that require only very limited funds
4. Terrorists use tactics of blackmail, bribery and covert media interviews if it suits their purpose.
a) True
b) False
5. To a terrorist, when a target and victims are not the same, the target is
a) Of the same importance as the victims
b) Of less importance than the victims
c) Of more importance than the victims
6. A government can be
a) A target and a victim of terrorism
b) Only a target of terrorism
c) Only a victim of terrorism
7. The UN as an organisation (not individual staff members) is infrequently targeted by terrorists.
a) True
b) False
8. Examples of conflicts involving terrorism and ethnicity are
a) Rwanda and East Timor
b) Northern Ireland and Angola
c) Algeria and Egypt
9. Terrorism is committed by sects of the same religion against each other
a) Never
b) Always
c) Sometimes
10. Rival criminal gangs who sometimes target each other with terrorist attacks exist in
a) Japan, Malta, Jordan, Mali
b) US, Italy, Japan, Russia
c) UK, France, Cyprus, Liechtenstein
Lesson 8/ Terrorist Tactics and the Targets of Terrorism 270
11. Rival criminal groups sometimes target each other in power-seeking or expansionist initiatives.
a) True
b) False
12. What do terrorists coerce?
a) Victims
b) Targets
c) Neither
13. Terrorist objectives which determine terrorist targets, may vary considerably.
a) True
b) False
14. The Baader Meinhof Gang murdered Hanns-Martin Schleyer
a) For non-payment of Ransom
b) To coerce the German government
c) For vengeance
15. Terrorists are frequently honest in negotiations with governments and other targets.
a) True
b) False
16. If victim and target are an individual, terrorists never infiltrate circles of friends and
a) True
b) False
17. Most terrorist demands are so radical and unreasonable, governments cannot accede to them.
a) True
b) False
18. Which commercial enterprise is increasingly targeted by terrorists?
a) Sporting events
b) Oil exploration
c) Confectionary industry
19. Knowingly passing false information is known as
a) Intelligence
b) Misinformation
c) Disinformation
20. Providing clandestine media interviews is not hazardous for terrorists.
a) True
b) False
ANSWERS: 1-a, 2-c, 3-b, 4-a, 5-c, 6-a, 7-a, 8-a, 9-c, 10-b, 11-a, 12-b, 13-a, 14-c, 15-b, 16-b, 17-a,
18-b, 19-c, 20-b.
Lesson 9
The Victims of Terrorism
Innocent Individuals
Military, Police, Security and Intelligence Services Personnel
Governmental, International and NGO Civil Servants
Leaders in Society
Commercial Enterprises
Global, Regional and National Security
Societies and Environment
Rival Criminals
A Case Study: Jammu and Kashmir
Keywords to Note
Terrorist Attack Brief: Attack on CIA Officers, Langley, Virginia, USA
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 272
Lesson 9 Scope and Objectives
This lesson explains the different types of victims of terrorism; both intended and randomly selected.
The categories of victims are explained; individuals, security, police, military and intelligence
services personnel, national leaders, government officials and criminals. The lesson also mentions
with examples, how entities and institutions such as democracy, global, regional and national
security, societies and the environment are victims of terrorism. Finally, a case study of the conflict
in the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir illustrates in close detail exactly how victims and
society, institutions and the environment have fallen victim to terrorism and guerrilla warfare.
The Terrorist Attack Brief for this lesson is the attack on CIA Officers at Langley, Virginia, USA.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to:
Explain why a terrorist victim may be different from the target of terrorism
Describe the different types of victims of terrorism
Name at least six national premiers or monarchs who have been assassinated by terrorists
Give reasons why security, democracy, society and the environment are victims of terrorism
Broadly describe terrorist murder and destruction of the society in Jammu and Kashmir
Recall the meaning of the words contained in the Lessons Keywords to Note table
Recall the basic facts concerning the attack on CIA Officers at Langley, Virginia, USA
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 273
Jerusalem February 1948
Palestine Police Officers shelter family from Irgun sniper
Courtesy: IPS Washington DC
Rifle and blood-soaked field-dressings. The murder scene of a
UN soldier of the Irish Battalion in Lebanon
Lesson 9 The Victims of Terrorism
A humane and just society is not built on violence and the force of arms
Pope John Paul II
Innocent Individuals
Most victims of terrorism throughout the world continue to be innocent individuals
(especially those who are caught up in
armed conflict and subjected to
genocide and so called ethnic
Terrorists plan deliberately
and often kill their victims in surprise
attacks. The result is wide-scale fear by
the public, in that anywhere and at
anytime, anyone unrelated to the
terrorist or conflict may be killed or
If members of security forces or
governments were the only victims of
terrorism, or only buildings and not
people were blown up, wide-scale fear
by the public would not be achieved.
Military, Police, Security and
Intelligence Services Personnel
The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger
alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out
to meet it"
Greek historian, 460 to 400 BC
Being the front-line opponents
of terrorism in many parts of the world,
these forces naturally sustain casualties
who fall victim to terrorism of many
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 274
Pte. Hugh Murphy, UN Interim Force in
Lebanon (UNIFIL). Ambushed at UN
Checkpoint 6-22 Delta, then abucted
and murdered in south Lebanon on 27
April 1981. His murderers, either from
de Facto Forces or the SLA, are still
Courtesy: Litani (UNIFIL)
The Soldier, from The Dance of Death, by
Hans Holbein, Lyons, 1538
The most hazardous of these duties is in the counter-
terrorism units that engage in sophisticated military
operations, such as hostage rescue attempts and ambushes.
The next most hazardous duty is in the military
intelligence and police anti-terrorist units, whose officers are
sometimes targets and victims of terrorists, either to
interrogate and gain intelligence from, take hostage or
An example of such a case occurred in the UK in
1977. Captain Robert Nairac was seconded from the Brigade
of Guards to 14 Intelligence Company, a group which works
in conjunction with the Special Air Service in Northern
Ireland in combatting terrorism.
He lost his sidearm during a struggle with several
PIRA (Provisional
Iri sh Republ i can
Ar my) t er r or i s t s
outside an Armagh inn. He was subsequently taken to a
remote area and tied to a fence for a brutal interrogation,
which apparently failed. While tied to a fence, he was then
beaten unconscious with a fence post and shot dead.
Another more recent victim was a Police Officer who
was shot and wounded in Vienna in September 1999, during
a routine police stop-check in daylight.
He was shot by Horst Ludwig Meyer, a member of
the Baader-Meinhof gang (Red Army faction) hiding in
Vienna. Meyer then made off, shortly to be intercepted and
shot dead by another police officer when he again began
On 28
February 2002, a bomb was detonated outside
the counter-terrorism branch of Jordans state security
organisation, killing two people.
Governmental, International and NGO Civil Servants
As media reports from time to time, Government Officials are victims of terrorism,
sometimes high level officials. An example is British defence attach Stephen Saunders.
On his way to the British in Athens on 8
June 2000, Brigadier Saunders was shot and
murdered in his car at a traffic halt, by two terrorists on a motorcycle.
A US Navy officer was murdered by the same group in Athens, in the same circumstances,
some years before.
Besides several other murders in addition, the same terrorist group murdered the US CIA
Station Chief, Richard Welch, in Athens in 1975. The only suspect of this group was caught in June
2002. They are probably the most successful terrorist group in history, if success is measured by
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 275
UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)
UN Peacekeeping forces are lightly armed for self defence
Litani (UNIFIL)
UN Observation Posts are vulnerable to attacks
and abductions
Courtesy: J. Macmillan-Murphy
killing victims and indefinitely evading
identification and justice.
Their agenda is anti western, anti
Turkey and anti NATO. The groups name is
Epanastaiki Organosi 17 Noemvri
(Revolutionary Organisation 17
International and NGO (Non
Governmental Organisation) civil servants are
also periodically the victims of terrorism.
Individual United Nations officials are
victims of terrorism more frequently since the
conclusion of the Cold War, from a variety of
terrorist acts including murder, hostage-taking
and bombing, generally in areas where
military conflicts are taking place.
This is because since the conclusion
of the Cold War, the superpowers relaxed
control over their client or satellite nations;
consequently many semi-official, para-
military and irregular armed forces all over the world have emerged.
Most are ill-disciplined, loosely controlled and do not hesitate to engage in terrorism and
A notorious example occurred at Atambua in
East Timor on 6
September 2000 when three
unarmed and innocent staff of the UN High
Commission for Refugees (Ethiopian, Croatian and
US nationals) were murdered in a night of violence.
They were beaten and hacked to death with
machetes, clubs and knives, and then their bodies
dragged into the street and burnt.
These crimes were perpetrated by between 50
and 100 militia gang members, professing loyalty to
the Indonesian Government, that terrorised Refugee
camps, especially after future independence for East
Timor became a certainty.
Subsequently, six of these terrorists were
arrested, confessed their crimes, were charged and
appeared in an Indonesian court, potentially facing a
34 year jail sentence.
Surprisingly, the Judge handed down jail
sentences of between 10 and 20 months each. One of
the convicted told the court that he accepted the
sentence with pride because he did what he did to
defend Indonesias flag.
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 276
US President Kennedy in Dallas
Leaders in Society
You never know whats hit you. A gunshot is the perfect way
US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, when once asked about dying
Religious and political leaders throughout history have been victims of terrorism. Terrorists
kill leaders for personal vengeance, reasons of insanity, because they consider them dangerous to
their interests, or because they seek to introduce anarchy and revolution to replace an existing system
with a different one, by assassinating its leader.
An assassination can sometimes cause the victim to become a martyr figure and rallying point
for a movement.
Sometimes the assassination of a leader takes place after a revolution, in order to eliminate
a possible rallying figure for dissidents.
This was one of the major reasons behind the murder in captivity of Czar Nicolas and his
family in 1918 at Ekaterinburg, by Bolshevik terrorists.
Some of the more well-known cases of terrorist assassination and murder of leaders and other
prominent people during the last 150 years are as follows:
US President Abraham Lincoln, 1865
US President James Garfield, 1881
Czar Alexander II of Russia, 1881
Chief Secretary of Ireland Lord Frederick
Cavendish, 1882
President Sadi Carnot of France, 1894
Prime Minister Antonio Cnovas del Castillo
of Spain, 1897
Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary, 1898
King Umberto I of Italy, 1900
US President William McKinley, 1901
Prime Minister Jose Mendez of Spain, 1912
Arch-Duke Franz Ferdinand of Austria &
Hungary, 1914
King Aleksandar I of Yugoslavia, 1934
Mohandas Gandhi, spiritual leader of India,
King Abdullah of Jordan, 1951
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 277
The King, from The Dance of Death by
Hans Holbein, Lyons, 1538
US President John F. Kennedy, 1963
King Faisal 1
of Saudi Arabia, 1975
President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, 1981
President Mohammad Rajai of Iran, 1981
President (Elect) of Lebanon Bashir Gemayel,
Prime Minister Indira Ghandi of India, 1984
Prime Minister Olof Palme of Sweden, 1986
President Rene Moawad of Lebanon, 1989
Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandi of India, 1991
President Mohammed Boudiaff of Algeria, 1992
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel, 1995
President Ibrahim Bar of Niger, 1999
King Birendra Sahadev of Nepal, 2001
President Laurent Kabila of DR Congo, 2001

Commercial Enterprises
Commercial enterprises are quite frequently targeted. In most cases they are both targets and
victims of terrorism, since some are forced to close or are driven out of business. This type of
terrorism is common against those enterprises that conduct experiments upon animals, use by-
products of animals; against those clinics that provide abortion services, and those that allegedly
over-exploit the ecosphere.
In the case of other commercial enterprises, many avoid becoming victims by acceding to
terrorist demands, which are sometimes to pay off a monetary demand, or occasionally a ransom for
a hostage. Commercial companies do not always inform police authorities of pay-offs.
As mentioned in Lesson 8 (The Tactics and Targets of Terrorism), oil corporations are
increasingly targeted and are often victims. Cases of this have occurred in Libya and Nigeria,
frequently involving blown up and damaged pipe lines, in cases where the companies would not
Media representatives are sometimes victims of terrorism. In many countries, especially
developing countries, media that portray terrorists unfavourably are often subject to reprisal terrorist
action, such as murder and injury of their employees, arson, bombings and threats.
An example occurred in Pakistan when US Wall Street Journalist David Pearl was abducted
in Karachi in January 2002 and savagely murdered, for expressed reasons of religious and political
hatred, while conducting a journalistic investigation into terrorism.
Another way in which media is a victim (and also an unwilling accomplice of terrorism), is
as follows: The ideal of the media is to impartially disseminate news, from a neutral and apolitical
standpoint. Much terrorism depends upon media exposure, which the media must provide for ethical
and commercial reasons.
Therefore, the media is in effect involuntarily compelled to contribute to the spread of terror
(fear or extreme anxiety), partly by terrorists and partly by its own commercial objectives.
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 278
Militia Political Poster Lebanon
Democracy has become a victim of terrorism. Certain freedoms have been curtailed during
the past decades, but especially since the terrorist events of 11
September 2001, because of
increased security precautions, which prevent many terrorist threats, but have not entirely eliminated
Air travel throughout the world, with its attendant delays owing to security precautions, is
an example of a democratic casualty. Democracy is a victim because it is a soft target. Totalitarian
regimes are rarely victims or targets of terrorism, because they will simply not tolerate it. Personal
freedoms are subordinated to public safety and justice priorities.
Many governments in the developing world are authoritarian to varying degrees, but most
lack the capability to significantly suppress internal terrorism.
There are often a combination of reasons for this such as:
Terrain and infrastructure of the country
External sponsorship of the terrorists
Public terror and sometimes a degree of public sympathy for the terrorist cause
However, not all such governments are unable to suppress or eliminate terrorism. Egypt is
an example where firm and skillful measures have resulted in a 66% reduction in those killed by
terrorists from 1997 to 1999.
Another example of such a government is Syria. It is noteworthy that Syria stood accused by
the US of actively sponsoring terrorism for many years, up until 1986. Syria is still accused by the
US of harbouring terrorist groups, despite passing intelligence (gathered through surveillance of Al
Qaida associates) to Washington, which saved US lives.
Syria provides sanctuary to several exiled Palestinian groups accused of terrorism (and some
other regional dissident groups), pending implementation of
UN Resolutions to return their land.
Domestically, the Syrian government refuses to
tolerate terrorism and especially expression of prejudice
towards any religion. This is reflected by the fact that the Vice
President, in a predominantly Muslim country, is a Christian.
In 1982, Muslim Brotherhood (Iqhwan ul Muslimeen)
terrorists, with a measure of foreign manipulation, staged a
full scale uprising in the west Syrian province of Hama; it was
forcefully suppressed by the Syrian army and air force.
Reportedly, between 5000 and 10,000 people died as
a result; a heavy human price to pay for counter-terrorism.
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 279
Domestically however, it was painfully viewed as the only alternative to Syria becoming a
sequel to the tragedy of neighbouring Lebanon, which was covertly manipulated into civil war (to
an extent by foreign powers) for reasons of political, economic and commercial exploitation.
The facts of Lebanons civil war are as follows:
It lasted for 15 years from 1975 to 1990
Between 130,000 and 150,000 people were killed
Resulting war damage was estimated at between US$ 25 billion and US$ 30 billion
Over 100 identifiable factions, militias, guerrilla and terrorist groups took part
National peacekeepers came from France, Iran, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UK and US
The UN stationed approximately 6000 soldiers there in an Interim force (UNIFIL)
Lebanon was subjected to underhand political manipulation and intrigue by several countries
The war was artificially stimulated and prolonged by unscrupulous politicians both from
without and within, also by drug traffickers and those exercising control over illicit
At times, the Lebanese civil war was used as a testing ground for weapons, by unscrupulous
arms dealers in league with some foreign and domestic politicians
At a news conference on 21
June 2002, the President of the UN Security Council (and
Syrian Foreign Minister), Farouk al-Sharaa, was asked about media reports concerning Syrian aid
in preventing an Al Qaida attack on US troops. He would not confirm security details, but
acknowledged that Syria had helped in saving American lives, adding We have done that because
this is a matter of principle. We are against terrorism, and at the same time the Americans know that
we differentiate between terrorism, which we condemn, by Al Qaida, and the resistance, which we
support, in the occupied (Palestinian) territories against (Israeli) occupation.
He went on to strongly deny that Syria supported terrorist organizations like Islamic Jihad
and Hezbollah, adding that, Syria has taken in about 400,000 Palestinian refugees who have the
right to express their political opinion.
He said, Palestinian organizations dont operate from Syria although they have press
offices there. They dont cross the border and dont have to do that because ... all operations by the
Palestinians are engineered, planned and executed inside the occupied territories. Syria has nothing
to do with all these steps.
In the region, uprisings staged by terrorist groups are currently occurring in Egypt and
Algeria, despite sometimes quite effective, repressive anti-terrorist measures.
The terrorists receive covert aid and sponsorship from dissidents, networks like Al Qaida
and certain foreign governments.
The Egyptian government is currently having some measure of success in containing
domestic terrorism, but the Algerian government is struggling very hard against a similar but more
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 280
virulent terrorist campaign, with far less assistance than it deserves from the International
Global, Regional and National Security
Except for some very short but extremely tense moments during the Cold War, global
security has never faced such serious threats as this time.
This is due to many different and sometimes seemingly unrelated factors, but including:
Widespread human rights abuses
Widespread and extreme global poverty
Genocide occurring more frequently and not necessarily subject to intervention
Member States unevenly implementing internationally agreed UN Resolutions
A global greed for domination and wealth, dwarfing even the colonial period in comparison
An increasing acceptance / acquiescence towards states acting outside of international law
International inability or unwillingness to adequately fund and support UN activities
Weapons of Mass Destruction in the hands of so called pariah states
Successful attacks by highly covert, ruthless and sophisticated transnational terrorists
Unprecedented new levels of destruction and sophistication in transnational terrorist attacks
Perceptions amongst sizable amounts of the global population, of instability, greed,
domination, double standards, an absence of justice and integrity, and of being
Ruthless use of some sectors of the media, for political disinformation purposes
Significant symptoms which illustrate the threat to global security are as follows:
For several years, ruthless terrorists (Al Qaida) openly established themselves in
Al Qaida was hosted by the illegal (internationally refuted) defacto Taliban government
Through religious bigotry and callousness, the population was decimated and oppressed
Al Qaida dominated Taliban, forming in effect, the first state governed by a terrorist group
National security has steadily declined in many countries over the past forty years, partly
owing to the new and potent type of terrorism which emerged in the 1960s, with the removal of the
constraints of the colonial era, but also on account of the withdrawal of superpower support and
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 281
1920s Chicago cartoon
Chicago Historical Society
control of satellite nations following the conclusion of the Cold War.
This situation became worse in the 1990s, with the firm emergence of transnational terrorists
such as Al Qaida (founded in 1988) - a new, loose, and ever-evolving network coalition of terrorists
(many transitory), characterised as follows:
Fanatically dedicated:-
non-negotiable and
practically incorruptible
Intelligent Cunning Resourceful
Practically impenetrable
circles and associations
Imaginative Wealthy Ruthless Savage No fixed base
They have no conventional terrorist group affiliation and very few, if any, tangible activity patterns. They
are very conscious of security (avoiding covert communications monitoring) and capture
Many are overtly sanctimonious and display great piousness. They freely project that killing innocent victims
(including co-Muslims) is part of a Holy duty, in order to achieve their goals
They are informally and spontaneously supported when need be, by global networks of sleeper type
agents and trusted members of disenfranchised or alienated communities
Terrorism is sometimes a cause of bi-lateral and regional tensions, which occasionally erupt
into conventional conflicts. National security in certain regions, such as the Middle East and the
Indian sub-continent, is seriously compromised as a result of terrorism, especially as it is sponsored
and supported by governments, India and Pakistan being a recent example, mentioned in the media.
Rival Criminals
You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone
Al Capone (1899-1947), U.S. Gangster
Criminal groups have been mentioned
in Lesson 8 as targets of terrorism;
specifically from rival criminal gangs.
Usually the victims are the lowest
members in the criminal group, who are killed
in a cycle of alternating murders, known as
gang warfare, which often involves bombing,
assassinations, abductions and drive-by
Sometimes, however, competition for
territory results in one group assassinating (or
trying to assassinate) the leader of a rival
group in order to take over his territory and
illicit profits.
This type of terrorism characterised
the organised criminal gangsters who
terrorised several US cities during the
prohibition era.
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 282
Al Capone
Courtesy: Chicago Police Dept.
Eliot Ness. The Treasury Department (Bureau of Prohibition)
Agent that brought Al Capone to justice, signalling the beginning
of the end for the kind of terrorism that involved using machine
guns and bombs in the streets of Chicago
Courtesy: US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Prohibition was a period in the US when intoxicating
liquor, except limited amounts of beer brewed domestically
and consumed there, was banned, between 1919 and 1933.
Notable gangsters who periodically terrorised some of
the major US cities, especially Chicago, with bombings, car
chases when exchanging automatic fire, murders and machine
gunnings on the streets, included:
Al and Ralph Capone, John Dillinger, Legs Diamond, Hymie
Weiss, Bugs Moran, Franky Yale, Tony Arccardo, Jack
McGurn, Dutch Schultz, Tony Lombardo, Meyer Lansky,
Johnny Torio, Jack Guzick, John Scalise, Dion OBanion,
Paul Ricca, Joe Masseria, Sam DeStefano, Albert Anselmi,
Pretty Boy Floyd, Lucky Luciano, Frank Nitti and Jackie
Bootlegging made the financial foundations of
contemporary US organised crime and can be compared to the
criminal wealth and power generated in later decades by
narcotics trafficking.
i.e. The criminal income of Alphonse Capone in 1930, was estimated at US $100,000,000 (one
hundred million dollars) per year.
Al Capone was eventually brought to justice by a Treasury Agent named Eliot Ness, who,
with his hand picked team, convicted Al Capone for tax evasion.
Bootlegging in Chicago, USA was characterised by repeated rival gang shootings, car chases
with police and rivals through the city streets and mobile shooting exchanges using military sub
machine guns and pistols, leaving a trail of dead and wounded.
This intermittent terror
culminated in the notorious slaughter
of seven rival criminals on 14
February 1929 in Chicago.
The slaughter is known as the
St. Valentines Day Massacre.
Gangsters dressed in uniforms and
posing as police, raided a rival
bootlegging factory of the Chicago
North Side Gang.
The bootleggers dropped their
guns, believing that police were
conducting a raid, only to be lined up
against a wall and shot to death with
machine guns and a shotgun.
Contemporary organised
criminal gangs, most notably in Italy,
Japan, Russia, some South
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 283
St. Valentines Day Massacre, Chicago. 14
February 1929
Chicago Historical Society
Near Muzaffarabad in Azad Kashmir: The Old Domel
Bridge, next to the Police Station where Militants
would go to hand over their green Jihad card and
collect their weapons. They would then be
transported to a staging area, from which they would
depart on an infiltration mission, crossing the cease-
fire line (Line of Control) into the Indian side of
G. Hanif
American countries and the US, target
each other from time to time, but on a
less frequent and publicised scale, and
without causing the degree of public
terror generated by the prohibition era

A Case Study: Jammu and Kashmir
Many conflicts in the world are
characterised by both guerrilla warfare
a n d t e r r o r i s m, o c c u r r i n g
It is sometimes difficult to
segregate terrorist acts from those of
the guerrilla.
Some guerrillas adhere to
military warfare principles, while other guerrillas sometimes also commit terrorist acts.
Yet others involved in such conflicts commit only terrorist acts. All of these categories are
found in the conflict in Jammu and Kashmir (disputed by India, Pakistan, Militants and Counter-
Militants who desire either full independence or
accession to either India or Pakistan).
Jammu and Kashmir has been an ongoing
conflict since 1947; the harm to the populations
and damage to the infrastructure is beyond
In that a solution has not been found, it is
a notable example of political intransigence, and to
an extent, obstinacy and callousness, for which the
populations have paid and continue to pay a very
high price.
Jammu and Kashmir (often termed in an
abbreviated form as Kashmir) is one of 560
former Princely States which mostly chose
accession to either India or Pakistan in 1947 under
the Independence Act, upon the lapse of the
British Crown and paramountcy.
Kashmir is disputed by three main parties;
India, Pakistan, and a segment of the several
Kashmiri populations that demands total
independence from both India and Pakistan, under
pre-independence pledges and legislation.
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 284
Kashmiris in the ruins of their burnt out home - political arson
Courtesy: KLC
Pakistani President Musharraf with US Defence Secretary
Rumsfeld at the Pentagon in February 2002
Courtesy: US Dept. of Defense
The remaining segments of
the Kashmiri populations support
and seek accession to either India or
Pakistan and support those
governments positions on Kashmir.
A very small number of
intelligentsia, known as Pandits
(Panun Kashmir), seek their own
independent country within the
confines of Jammu and Kashmir,
whatever its eventual fate may be.
Jammu and Kashmir is
divided by a cease-fire line (called
the Line of Control, Line of Actual
Control or LoC), arising from the
several wars between India and
Pakistan. The cease-fire line divides
Pakistani and Indian administered
or controlled sectors of Kashmir; roughly speaking, Pakistan controls the western part and India
controls the eastern part of Jammu and Kashmir.
Some guerrillas and terrorists originate and fight from inside the Indian controlled part of
Kashmir (known as the JK State) against Indian security forces, which at times number half a million
men of many different types of unit.
Many guerrillas and terrorists however, cross the cease-fire line from the Pakistan controlled
part of Kashmir (known as Azad or liberated Kashmir, that has its own semi-autonomous
government) and into the Indian side to fight. The number of guerrillas and terrorists (there are both,
all called Militants) present at any one
time on the Indian side of the cease-fire
line fluctuates between an estimated
4000 and 8000.
The Jammu and Kashmir state
has been disputed since 1947; the conflict
has fluctuated in intensity ever since. The
last major escalation of guerrilla warfare
and terrorist activity occurred in 1989
and continues until today, with a slight
lessening of activity during the winter
The two (now nuclear) nations
have fought three conventional wars over
this former princely state since 1948,
between which, several protracted
artillery duels have occurred.
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 285
During the summer of 1999, tensions rose (as they tend to, after the winter thaw) and an
artillery duel took place. The episode culminated in the shooting down of a Pakistani Air Force
(PAF) Fighter aircraft. Prior to the events of 11
September 2001, tensions again rose to a near war-
footing and again in May 2002, during which time Pakistan test-fired a missile.
In early 2002, President Musharraf of Pakistan ordered the ISI (Pakistans Inter Services
Intelligence) to cease all training and aid to Kashmir militants, to assist US anti-terrorism coalition
That alone is unlikely to halt the conflict as, despite an informal control over the Azad
Kashmir Government (Azad Kashmirs western perimeter is the ceasefire line), it is a large
continent, the ceasefire line is 800 kilometres of mostly unfenced rough terrain and the militant
movement is popular and widespread.
Moreover, Pakistan now has less influence over the Militants on the Indian side of the
ceasefire line. The results of shutting down aid to militants on the Pakistan side of the ceasefire line
remain to be seen.
The scale of the damage to the population, environment and social structures is apparent from
the statistics which follow.
Many of the killed are victims of terrorism, committed upon occasion, by all of the sides in
the conflict.
The figures are very close approximates and span the latest ten-year period of resurgence in
guerrilla warfare and terrorism, from 1989 to 1999, with some statistics reaching up to 2000. This
resurgence is also known under its military name of Operation Topac.
Operation Topac is the plan conceived by a former President of Pakistan, General Zia ul Huq,
assisted by some religious clerics, especially Maulana Abdul Bari of the Jamaat i Islami (Islamic
Operation Topac has marginally changed over the decade since it was implemented, in order
to adjust to new challenges, but remains essentially unchanged, except for media reports in early
2002 to the effect that Pakistan had ordered a cessation of further training of insurgents in the
Kashmir conflict. This follows talks with the US, concerning terrorism and the conflict in Jammu
& Kashmir.
Operation Topac is (according to media):
A five-phased plan with the overall objective of ejecting / separating India from all parts of
Kashmir. The final phase is to deploy nuclear weapons, should all the other phases fail. Phases one
and two are currently in operation. The main two phases are as follows:
Phase 1 is to launch a political campaign, internationalising the dispute and Islamicising it.
Phase 2 is to wage Jihad, promoting militancy (local term for guerrilla warfare and terrorism)
This includes recruiting (some Internationally), training, arming, deploying and remunerating
militants (guerrillas and terrorists).
Phase 2 is (or was) effected by the Inter Services Intelligence with assistance from the Army,
Special Service Group, the Police and other agencies (as mentioned, according to media reports in
early 2002, the Pakistani Government ordered ISI to cease operations, so this phase may be frozen).
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 286
Overall, the intolerable price paid in this conflict, during a ten year period, is as follows:
Casualties: Killed
7,124 Civilians were killed. Of these, 4,050 were killed by guerrillas and terrorists. Of the
remainder, the majority were killed in cross-fire, 353 adults and 200 schoolchildren were burnt to
death, 354 persons were tortured to death and 265 persons were forcibly drowned.
Guerrillas and Terrorists
7,932 guerrillas and terrorists were killed, the vast majority in armed combat against Indian
security forces, but also some allegedly from torture and killing in over 100 interrogation centres,
located in seven main cities / towns, in the west of the Jammu and Kashmir State where the
insurgency is most intense. The interrogation centres are run and operated by the Border Security
Force (BSF), Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and some by
units of the two Indian Army Corps deployed in the JK state.
Indian Security Forces
11,625 members of the Indian Security Forces were killed, belonging to a large variety of
Indian Army units, Police formations, Border Security Force units, Special Forces and Counter
Militant forces (former guerrillas and terrorists who have changed sides). Of the 11,625 killed, 134
were Army Officers, 150 were Army non-commissioned Officers and 1872 were Army Privates.
Total Killed in the Conflict
In 1998, media reported 34,000 (approximately) killed during the period 1989 to 2000 in the
Jammu and Kashmir conflict (BBC media, 1998). In May 2002, media (CNN) reported with an
updated figure that at least 60,000 people had been killed during this period.
Casualties: Wounded, Maimed, Raped, Tortured and Injured
12,220 were wounded, of which 8065 were civilians and 4155 were members of the Indian
Security Forces.
Serious Injuries
15,311 persons from all parties and sides suffered serious injuries.
Juvenile Torture Victims
11,729 juveniles suffered physical torture during interrogation.
Children with Broken Limbs
2,038 children suffered broken limbs.
Women Raped
2,837 women were raped.
Persons Deliberately Crippled
766 persons were deliberately crippled.
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 287
Missing and Displaced Persons
2,503 persons were abducted.
Missing Persons
68,000 cases of missing persons were reported.
29,035 extended families (407,670 members) were forced to flee on account of violence from
various parties to the dispute and became refugees.
Persons Underground
95,000 suspects were listed as wanted, but went underground to evade arrest.
Suspects held without Trial
43,390 persons were held without being charged or brought before a judge.
Captured Guerrillas and Terrorists
Guerrilla and Terrorist Suspects Arrested
30,000 actual and suspected guerrillas and terrorists were captured or arrested.
Guerrillas and Terrorists in Prison
Between 1000 and 1500 guerrillas and terrorists were sentenced to imprisonment.
Guerrillas and Terrorist Surrenders
2,217 guerrillas and terrorists surrendered to Indian security forces.
Guerrillas and Terrorists Turned
Between 3000 and 5000 guerrillas and terrorists changed sides after apprehension by Indian
security forces. They are called Counter-Militants.
Guerrilla and Terrorist Attacks
Guerrilla and Terrorist Attacks
12,000 (approximately) guerrilla and terrorist attacks took place against Indian security
forces, civilians, buildings and resources.
6,551 explosions occurred as a result of guerrilla and terrorist bombs, rockets, mortar rounds,
mines and hand-grenades.
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 288
Rocket Attacks
547 attacks were made by guerrillas and terrorists using hand-launched military rockets and
rocket-propelled grenades.
Damage Caused to Buildings
Public Property
Property damage caused by all sides in the conflict amounted to the value of US$103 million.
Schools and Hospitals
189 schools and hospitals were damaged.

194 buildings were damaged by guerrilla and terrorist bombs.
Private Dwelling houses
8,093 houses were destroyed by fire and 16,129 were damaged.
4,831 shops were damaged and destroyed by fire.
Religious Temples
132 religious temples were damaged.
Damage to Livestock and the Environment
1,361 cattle were burnt to death both deliberately and as a result of combat.
Food and crops
Crops valued at US$ 1.22 million were destroyed by fire, deliberately and as a result of
combat and armed exchanges.
Forested trees to the value of US$ 1.1 million were destroyed by fire, deliberately and as a
result of combat.
Missionary Schools
490 missionary schools were banned (closed by force).
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 289
Daily Newspapers
3 daily newspapers were banned.
Funding of Guerrilla Warfare and Terrorism in the Jammu and Kashmir Conflict
It is reported by media that over US$ 1.5 million per day is spent sponsoring guerrillas and
terrorists in the Jammu and Kashmir conflict. A proportion of these funds originates from profits
arising from cultivation and sale of illegal narcotics, generated by countries bordering and near to
India. Other financial support allegedly comes from government and private sponsors from several
countries in the region of Kashmir, middle-east, the Arabian gulf and the north of Africa.
Indian Security Commitments in the Jammu and Kashmir Conflict
Approximately 400,000 Indian security force members are on duty in the Jammu and
Kashmir State, on the Indian side of the cease-fire line (LoC). They increase to 600,000 during local
election periods.
Security Forces consist of members of the police, border security, specialist and para-military
forces. In addition, two Army Corps are deployed in the state, partly engaged in counter-terrorism,
but mainly to face the Pakistan Army on the other side of the cease-fire line in Azad (liberated)
Kashmir. From 1989 to 1998, 174 personnel of the Indian security forces were indicted in India for
human rights violations in Kashmir, of which 32 were Army Officers.
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)
To assist the international anti-terrorist coalition after 11
September 2001, Pakistans President
Musharraf announced that he stood down ISIs Joint Intelligence North to a passive Intelligence role.
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 290
Assassination Murder by surprise assault, often publically, politically or with treachery
Human Rights Rights of each human being to freedom and justice, according to the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. All nations have ratified this at the UN
Intolerance Inability or unwillingness to tolerate, treat fairly or accept
Militant An irregular combatant or one who supports irregular armed struggle
Militia A domestic military force made up of civilians, usually raised in emergencies
Tyranny Unjustly controlling, restraining or banishing of people, freedoms, or beliefs
Victim A being subjected to death, suffering or ill treatment
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 291
Attack on CIA Officers, Langley (McLean), Virginia, USA
Facts of the Case: On the morning of
25th January 1993, a terrorist got out
of his car near the CIA Headquarters
entrance at Langley.
He approached a number of cars of
CIA officers waiting to enter the
Headquarters complex for the
workday, and fired an AK 47 assault
rifle (sub machine gun) at them.
The attack killed two CIA officers and wounded three others
The terrorist then fled the scene.
Investigation: Subsequent enquiries and operations involving
CIA, FBI and Afghans led to the arrest of Mir Aimal Kasi in
Pakistan, near the boarder with Afghanistan.
Kasi was extradited to face trial in the US.
Admitting the crime, he claimed it was retaliation for the US
position on Muslims in the Middle East and Iraq.
He was convicted and sentenced to death for capital murder in
November 1997.
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 292
1. Most victims of terrorism are
a) Innocent random civilians
b) Members of security, intelligence, police and armed forces
c) Politicians and diplomats
2. The most hazardous duties are undertaken by
a) Police anti-terrorist squads
b) Intelligence organisations
c) Counter-terrorist special forces
3. Counter-terrorist operations include
a) Hostage-siege assaults, ambushes and sabotage of terrorist weapons caches
b) Legal prosecution of terrorists
c) Propaganda activities against terrorists
4. UN staff are victims of terrorism far more frequently, since the conclusion of the Cold War.
a) True
b) False
5. Societies political or religious leaders are sometimes assassinated by terrorists
a) To elicit widespread public fear and coerce goals
b) Who are mostly personal opponents of the victim
c) Because they are considered dangerous, or to provoke anarchy
6. The following commercial enterprises are increasingly victims of terrorism
a) Airlines
b) Oil corporations
c) Stock markets
7. One reason why democracy is a victim of terrorism is because
a) Terrorists cannot attack authoritarian regimes
b) Penalties for terrorism are mild in democracies
c) Of institutionalised travel and shipping delays for anti-terrorist checks
8. In Kashmir, how much is spent fighting against how many Indian Security Force members?
a) Half a million US dollars per day again 150,000 members of the Indian security forces
b) 1 million US dollars per day against 250,000 members of the Indian security forces
c) 1.5 million US dollars per day against 400,000 members of the Indian security forces
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 293
9. US Wall Street Journalist David Pearl was abducted in January 2002 and savagely murdered in
a) Kabul
b) Karachi
c) Kandahar
10. The most successful terrorists in history (only one suspect caught in 30 years) are
a) Euzkadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA or Basque Fatherland and Liberty)
b) Epanastaiki Organosi 17 Noemvri (Revolutionary Organization 17th November)
c) Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston (EOKA or National Organization of Cypriot Fighters)
11. In September 1999, a Viennese policeman shot dead Horst Ludwig Meyer of which group?
a) Committee for the Liberation of South Tyrol (Befreiungs Ausschuss Sudtirols)
b) Bavarian Liberation Army (Bayouwarische Befreiungs Armee / BBA)
c) Baader Meinhof Gang (Rote Armee Fraction / Red Army Faction / RAF)
12. Operation Topac concerns
a) Liberation movements in Iraq
b) Militancy in Kashmir
c) Libyan training camps for terrorism
13. Al Qaida dominated Taliban, forming in effect, the first state governed by a terrorist group.
a) True
b) False
14. How many identifiable factions, guerrilla and terrorist groups fought in the Lebanese civil war?
a) Between 20 and 50
b) Between 50 and 100
c) Over 100
15. Terrorists from which group murdered UK Captain Robert Nairac of 14 Intelligence Company?
a) UDA (Ulster Defence Association)
b) PIRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army)
c) UFF (Ulster Freedom Fighters)
16. Since the Cold War, the superpowers relaxed control over their client or satellite nations.
a) True
b) False
17. Between 1865 and 2001, how many Kings, Presidents and Prime Ministers were assassinated?
a) Between 8 and 12
b) Between 13 and 20
c) At least 23
Lesson 9/ The Victims of Terrorism 294
18. On East Timor in September 2000, three unarmed UNHCR staff were brutally murdered by
a) Militia gang members, loyal to the Indonesian Government
b) The Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN)
c) Ordinary criminals
19. Anti-terrorism measures in Egypt resulted in what reduction of those killed from 1997-1999?
a) 23 %
b) 66 %
c) 95 %
20. Unscrupulous foreign and domestic politicians artificially stimulated the war in Lebanon.
a) True
b) False
ANSWERS: 1-a, 2-c, 3-a, 4-a, 5-c, 6-b, 7-c, 8-c, 9-b, 10-b, 11-c, 12-b, 13-a, 14-c, 15-b, 16-a, 17-c,
18-a, 19-b, 20-a.
Lesson 10
Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media
Section 10.1: Terrorism During the Cold War
Organisation and Training
Section 10.2: Terrorism Since the Cold War
Resumption and Re-alignment
Loss of Control
The Intelligence and Security Communities
Nuclear Terrorism
New Forms of Terrorism
The New Wave of Transnational Terrorism
Section 10.3: The Media and Terrorism
Media: A Two-Edged Sword
Excessive Publicity
Media Complicity
Professional Ethics of the Media
Condemnation of Terrorism
Keywords to Note
Terrorist Attack Brief: Attack on MI 6 Headquarters, London, UK
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 296
Lesson 10 Scope and Objectives
Section 10.1: Terrorism During the Cold War
This section describes terrorism during the Cold War, explaining sponsorship of terrorists and
guerrillas by the protagonists and the political reasons behind it. To fully appreciate this, a very basic
political explanation of the Cold War is first given. Several authentic cases of sponsorship are
outlined. A notable case-study is provided concerning the coalition raged against soviet forces in
Afghanistan. The Terrorist Attack Brief for this Lesson is the attack on MI 6 Headquarters, London.
After studying this section, the student should be able to:
Understand the reasons why the Cold War occurred
Describe how superpower coalitions emerged to sponsor terrorism and guerrilla warfare
State what the primary objectives for superpower were, during the Cold War
Understand how religion was artificially manipulated to motivate terrorists and guerrillas
Explain how protagonists tried to distance themselves from overt sponsorship of terrorism
Discuss a case of government sponsorship of guerrilla-terrorism in the Cold War
Section 10.2: Terrorism Following the Cold War
This section explains the period after the Cold War, the disengagement of the superpowers and their
withdrawal of war-footing support for client nations. It discusses how the superpowers surrogate
guerrilla-terrorist forces of the Cold War were not effectively de-mobilised, and how they and their
training camps were re-aligned to fight different campaigns. The original motivating element of
religion is reiterated and the concept of handling guerrillas and terrorists by security and intelligence
officials is discussed. This section also explains the principles of biological and chemical terrorism,
and the rationale behind threats of nuclear terrorism. This section describes new forms of post-Cold
War terrorism and studies the new wave of transnational terrorism carried out misusing the name
of Islam.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to:
Describe the post-Cold war resumption of terrorist and guerrilla training camps
Explain how Cold War intelligence communities lost control of veteran guerrillas/terrorists
Comprehend the global threat of guerrillas and terrorists that have not been de-mobilised
Understand the current rationale and likelihood of terrorists obtaining nuclear weapons
List forms of post-Cold War terrorism and the new transnational terrorism, distorting Islam
Section 10.3: The Media and Terrorism
This section describes how the media can work for or against terrorism. The section explains the
differences between sensationalising and minimising terrorist publicity and also influencing public
opinion against terrorists. This section goes on to examine media ethics and condemnation of
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to:
Describe the degrees of publicity afforded terrorism by media
Explain the meaning of an agent of influence
Discuss media ethics and the defence, often cited by media, to sensationalising terrorism
Describe widespread condemnation of terrorism
Recall the meaning of the words contained in the Lessons Keywords to Note table
Recall the basic facts concerning the attack on MI 6 Headquarters, London, UK
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 297
Lesson 10 Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media
Section 10.1: Terrorism During the Cold War
To understand the issue of state-sponsored terrorism and guerrilla warfare during the Cold
War, it is first necessary to briefly clarify what the Cold War was.
It began on account of forced expansionism into Europe, by the Soviet Union, in the wake
of the Second World War. This expansionism was opposed by the western democracies and it
became a conflict for global domination of doctrines and client nations.
The Cold War was intensified by arms races, at an eventual cost of over US$ one trillion (a
million million), which occurred as a result of the mutual belief that the opposing side would
eventually preemptively strike the other, utilising multiple nuclear weapons.
Eastern and western superpower coalitions opposed each other and these blocs supported
armed conflicts around the world in a competition to wean as many nations to their sides as they
were able to. Especially targeted were those developing nations that were strategically or politically
important, or rich in natural resources.
In the simplest possible terms it can be said that:
The Soviet Union and other members of the Warsaw Pact, sponsored any armed struggle
against western, capitalist, fascist or right-wing governments or forces. An example of this
is the Soviet and surrogate-Cuban aid given to the Marxist MPLA Angolan Government,
with which to fight UNITA rebels and South African forces
In response, US and some other NATO members, sponsored any armed struggle against the
Soviet Union, Soviet-supported socialist, communist or left-wing governments or forces. The
most notable example of this occurred in Afghanistan where some western nations supported
and helped create Mujahideen units to eject Soviet forces. According to media reports and
televised interviews with former CIA officers who organised the training in Pakistan and
Afghanistan, the US CIA spent US$ 500 million per year to arm and train Mujahideen
(Religious fighters) in this successful campaign to end the illegal Soviet occupation of
Afghanistan. The total sum expended to eventually win the war was more than US$ 3 billion.
The campaign initially involved the fielding of 10,000 Mujahideen from 14 countries
A whole range of allied countries, sympathetic or surrogate to either western or eastern
power-doctrines, also helped to support armed conflicts, in the interests of the superpowers.
An example was the communist (non-aligned) Yugoslavian aid given to Angolan
communists in order to fight Portuguese colonialism up to 1975. Following this, in
pendulum fashion, an Angolan Communist government came to power, only to be fought by
Angolan UNITA rebels, supported by the US and South Africa
East and western government sponsorship in the Cold War occasionally involved setting up
camps and providing instructors for training guerillas and terrorists. Sometimes, sponsoring
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 298
guerrilla and terrorist warfare was effected not by practical and visible aid, but solely by
covert funding. This type of sponsoring provided deniability, a tactic by which governments
politically disassociated themselves from, and denied linkage with, terrorists and guerrillas
Further deniability, or distancing from guerrillas and terrorists by their sponsoring
governments, was achieved by using retired military personnel, natives of the conflict theatre,
other foreigners and intelligence and security operatives posing as businessmen, under the
cover of specially set-up businesses, sometimes called front-businesses or covers
A notable case of government sponsorship for guerrillas and terrorists in the Cold War was
that of the US support for right-wing Nicaraguan Contra rebels (Contras).
The Contras were engaged in armed struggle against the Sandanista government whom the
US (and other NATO governments) viewed as pro-communist (and therefore Soviet).
Viewed by political necessity as freedom fighters by most of the west, the Contras were in
fact the brutal hard core of the deposed Somoza dictatorship whose national guards had engaged in
murder, terrorising and raping of civilians near the Honduran border.
Nicaragua was devastated by the Somoza government in the longest dictatorship in South
American history.
Congress severed US support to the Contras by law in the 1984 Boland amendment, but aid
continued to be covertly channelled by rogue intelligence officials of the National Security Council
(See Lesson 6 under Rogue Intelligence and Security Personnel).
Such paradoxical support for brutal dictatorships characterised the Cold War, in which the
primary and overriding criterion of the superpowers in supporting armed conflicts, was political
leaning; all part of efforts to block and defeat the opponent.
Organisation and Training
During the Cold War, the sponsored training and organisation of guerillas and terrorists was
of a high standard; powerful and well organised governments provided adequate funding and
professional training.
The results of subsequent campaigns reflect this; hit-and-run military defeats of conventional
forces by guerrillas and terrorists were commonplace in several African, Central American and Asian
On some occasions, governments provided more than instructors, training, weapons and
funding. They sometimes covertly encouraged and permitted their domestic guerrilla groups to
engage in combat, but not wearing national uniform.
Training during the Cold War period was also carried out by a number of non-superpower
countries and organisations.
During the Cold War, prior to its recognition of Israel, renunciation of terrorism and
declaration of peace, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) was mainly funded by Saudi
Arabia and Kuwait (according to media).
According to further media reports, the PLO was also funded and sponsored by the former
Soviet Union and in turn the PLO supported and trained other guerrillas and terrorists in four-month
courses conducted in Lebanon and South Yemen.
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 299
Guerrilla-terrorists involved in insurgency campaigns in their own national and neighbouring
conflicts attended these PLO-run training courses, during the Cold War, from the following
Argentina Iran Niger Sri Lanka
Bangladesh Iraq Nigeria Togo
Brazil Ireland Pakistan Tunisia
Chile Italy Phillippines Turkey
Egypt Japan Somalia Uruguay
El Salvador Mali South Africa West Germany
Ghana Mexico Soviet Union (Armenia) Zimbabwe
During the Cold War there were occasional instances of coalitions of nations normally
unaligned or opposed to each other, but allied against commonly perceived enemies. The following
is the most notable example.
On 28
December 1979, one day after Soviet Forces blew up the central communications
centre and seized control of Kabul, US National Security Advisor (1977-1981) Zbigniew Brzezinsky,
wrote a memorandum to President Carter informing him that the US now has the opportunity to
give the Soviet Union its Vietnam, meaning in essence that the Soviet Union could now be bogged
down in an inconclusive guerrilla war.
The US, opposing the Soviets on political grounds, was subsequently able to ally with
Afghan and other Muslim resistance forces, who opposed communism on religious grounds, to co-
fight the Soviets and the Afghan Soviet puppet regime.
On the practical side, this meant a massive expansion of the forces to form a guerrilla army.
This was achieved by a US-Chinese coalition which established guerrilla warfare training
camps at Peshawar in Pakistans North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and along the border with
The US led Sino-American coalition necessary for this strategy, was a delicate and unlikely
union, achieved through a complicated arrangement brokered by the Shah of Iran (shortly before the
Iranian revolution), and Israel.
The operational task was to train Mujahideen units to defeat and eject Soviet forces from
Afghanistan through a large scale guerrilla warfare campaign, greatly expanding upon the marginal
resistance that had already begun, but not to any significance.
The war was to last ten years from 1979 to 1989, but a decisive turning point, with very far
reaching consequences, occurred in 1986 when the hand-held US Stinger (FIM 92-A) Missile was
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 300
The Stinger Missile
Courtesy: US Army
deployed against the Soviets.
It was an extraordinary
example of a coalition in which
vastly differing political, religious
and religious sect affiliations were
put aside in order to fight the
commonly perceived enemy.
US (and Saudi Arabian) funding
amounted to US$ 3 billion, while
coordination and logistics were
taken care of by Pakistans ISI (Inter
Services Intelligence).
In order to motivate a large
number of volunteers to form for
this irregular army, the strategy
adopted was the widespread
stimulation of militant Islam. It
resulted eventually in 14,000
recruits from 22 Muslim countries
going to fight.
These volunteers went out (mainly from and via Middle Eastern countries) to train and
become Mujahideen, fighting the Soviets under the western-stimulated banner of Jihad.
Mujahideen recruiting traffic became so intense at some periods that logistics offices (a type
of MoveCon or Movement Control) were set up in the Gulf and in Peshawar to handle the traffic.
They were variously called the Maktuba e Khidmat (Services Office) and Maktaba el
Khidmat lel Mujahideen el Arab (Office for the Services of Arabic Holy Fighters).
Associating with western intelligence agencies, Osama bin Ladin helped set up these offices
(with Abdullah Azzam, head of the Palestinian branch of the Ikhwan ul Muslimeen or Muslim
Brotherhood), and also fought in combat the Soviets, in addition to becoming an instructor for a
period, in one of the training camps.
At the beginning of the campaign, Warsaw Pact weapons were supplied to the Mujahideen
in order to maintain a degree of political deniability.
A milestone came however, later in the campaign when US Stinger missiles were issued to
the Mujahideen. This highly effective weapon changed the course of the conflict and played a
decisive role in achieving victory.
The ten year campaign resulted in the ejection of the Soviets from Afghanistan. This defeat
did not pass unnoticed in the Warsaw Pact Countries, especially Poland, that the might of the Soviet
Union, a superpower, had been defeated by a much smaller guerilla army, poorly equipped in
comparison. This was the single most reason that triggered the chain reaction subsequently leading
to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Soviets had not merely the Vietnam that Brzezinsky envisaged, so much as a
Stalingrad. This protracted defeat not only cost them the entire Cold War, and practically their
superpower status, but subsequently destroyed the 70 year old Soviet police state system, triggering
wide reform, independence, and events that turned the course of world history.
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 301
Section 10.2: Terrorism Since the Cold War
Resumption and Re-alignment
Following the conclusion of the Cold War, the superpowers dis-engaged most of the forces
and missiles which stood opposing each other. They also ceased to fund most of their irregular
warfare programmes, re-assigning, repatriating or dispersing the commanders, instructors and
Guerrilla and terrorist training camps in several countries however, were taken over by many
of the governments in whose regions they were sited.
This is the case with those camps sited in Afghanistan near to Pakistans North-West Frontier
Province, which was the hub of anti-Soviet efforts in Afghanistan during the Cold War. Several of
those camps resumed operations, having been re-aligned by various powers to train guerrillas and
terrorists for other conflicts, notably post-Soviet Afghanistan and Kashmir.
Some camps, however, were closed since the end of the Cold War. An example of this
occurred around 1994, when owing to international pressure, Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir
Bhutto closed half of the camps located in the North-West Frontier Province and many in Azad
Kashmir, co-run by a department of Pakistans ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) known as Joint
Intelligence North.
ISIs Joint Intelligence North, responsible solely for Jammu & Kashmir, were ordered by the
Pakistan Government to cease operations in 2002, and to only monitor intelligence.
Loss of Control
Following the withdrawal of support, organisation and control of guerrillas and terrorists by
the superpowers, especially in the case of Afghanistan, many governments have been unable to solve
the problem of what to do with these small armies of highly-trained, fanatically motivated and war-
experienced guerrilla-terrorists.
Clearing up the debris of war and rebuilding Afghanistan after the Soviet-Afghan war ended
in 1989, were tasks left to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. They neither demobilised all of the
Mujahideen left in Afghanistan nor dismantled all of the training camps.
The consequences of this directly resulted in:
A resurgence of guerilla warfare and terrorism in neighbouring Kashmir (in less than a year after
the Soviet-Afghan war ended)
The emergence of transnational terrorists such as belong to the Al Qaida coalition, responsible
for the new strain of terrorism including the 1998 US bombings in Africa and the events of 11
September 2001
The emergence of the Afghani, highly mobile veteran Mujahideen from the Soviet-Afghan war,
who travel to fight in any conflict in the world where Muslims oppose non Muslims (e.g
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 302
Afghan Liberation Organisation
One of dozens of armed groups that
sprang up in the last 30 years
Just after the Soviet-Afghan war, several of the Middle-East and
North African governments who permitted, and in many cases
indirectly encouraged their citizens to go and fight the Soviet
forces in Afghanistan, did not permit numbers of Mujahideen to
return home.
This is because militant Islam, under the banner of Jihad
(holy war) was used extensively as a rallying factor to encourage,
motivate and recruit volunteers. A fanatic (and to an extent)
religious doctrine was subsequently instilled into many of the
Mujahideen of that campaign.
The very same governments who assisted to indirectly
dispatch them to Afghanistan, feared and still fear their
repatriation and capability to sow domestic dissent.
After the Soviet-Afghan war, some Mujahideen were
able to obtain favourable relocation. There are up an estimated
200 living in New Jersey, USA. Of those who did return to their
home countries after the Soviet-Afghan War, numbers of them
were refused entry and were forced to live in exile back in Afghanistan or elsewhere, while others
were executed and jailed by their Governments, immediately upon return.
These Mujahideen were fully trained guerrillas and terrorists, with combat experience, many
with no other trade or vocation, or indeed interest in life, except to continue fighting for Militant
Islam, as they had been manipulated and trained to do.
Many of these veteran Mujahideen, although semi-literate and under-educated, hold
sophisticated and fanatical religious convictions which include the overthrow of most existing
Arabic governments whom they consider corrupt. Prior to the US entry into Afghanistan in late 2001,
in order to eject the Taliban, several thousand Arabic Mujahideen from the Soviet-Afghan war were
still exiled (and most fighting) in Afghanistan, with nowhere to go.
A sizeable amount of these veterans of the Soviet war in Afghanistan are sometimes called
Afghanis. Few are Afghan nationals; most are Arabic. Osama bin Ladin is an Afghani. Many
Afghanis will engage in any conflict where Muslims oppose non-Muslims, as a principle, whether
right or wrong.
This illustrates the degree to which religious fanaticism has been instilled in them. Sightings
of Afghanis have been reported as far afield as Bosnia, Chechnya, China, Kashmir, Nigeria,
Phillippines, Sudan and Tajikistan. In Uzbekistan, bin Ladin, according to Boris Mylnikov, head of
the CIS member states Counter-Terrorism centre, is reported to have funded US$ 20 million to rebels
of the Islamic movement.
Afghanistan is the best but not the only example of a country in which guerrillas and
terrorists, professionally trained by the superpowers during the Cold War but not de-mobilised,
continue their activities as a result of unemployment, no opportunity to return home, fanatical
religious or political convictions, or an inability to re-adjust to ordinary civilian life.
[Refer to Annex M for a map showing the present locations in the world of Militants who
have trained or fought in either Afghanistan or Kashmir].
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 303
A Nuclear Explosion
Courtesy: US Dept. of Energy
The Intelligence and Security Communities
In those countries where guerrilla warfare and terrorism are sponsored, government
intelligence and security officials are often engaged in the role of practical organisers, trainers and
field handlers of guerrillas and terrorists. This was the case in Pakistan until early 2002 when the
government ordered its ISI to halt further assistance and training of Militants destined for the Indian
side of Kashmir. This is easier said than done, and some Militants are in defiance of this order.
This form of sponsoring entails inherent long-term dangers, as can be noted by the
Afghanistan episode; it is one concept to train and field guerrillas and terrorists, but when the time
for demobilisation arrives, it can result in an uncontrollable and persistent threat if not handled
Historically, the greatest problems posed by failure to properly demobilise combatants after
war have occurred following the Napoleonic and Soviet-Afghan wars.
Nuclear Terrorism
It is believed that no terrorist group
has ever managed to obtain a nuclear device
or all of its components. Several have
attempted to and continue to do so, from a
variety of sources including illicit arms
dealers. Osama Bin Ladins associates are
reported to have been engaged in trying to
obtain a nuclear device since 1993.
Should terrorists in the future
eventually succeed in obtaining or
constructing a nuclear weapon, it is likely
that sooner or later they would detonate it,
probably in a major population centre, in
the United States or Europe.
Naturally, they will also have to
acquire the expertise to bypass fail-safe,
security and arming systems.
Safeguarding the movement and production of nuclear materials is monitored by several
international and inter-governmental organisations, but following the conclusion of the Cold War,
some nuclear materials are unaccounted for, notably in the former Soviet Union.
Certainly a few governments who have nuclear capability also sponsor (or sponsored in the
past) terrorism. It is extremely unlikely, however, that they would supply the terrorists they sponsor
with such weapons, as the governments themselves would then become vulnerable.
Furthermore, such governments are deterred in general by other nations who closely monitor
nuclear capabilities and the sponsorship of terrorism. A transfer of a nuclear weapon to a terrorist
group would most probably be detected, and through intelligence work.
To understand the threat of nuclear terrorism, it is necessary to examine the nuclear deterrent
of the Cold War, maintained by a status quo, and to examine the possible scenario of a launch and
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 304

delivery, or siting and detonation of a nuclear device by terrorists.

The protagonists of the Cold War perceived it as a period
in which a nuclear war and a struggle for their very survival and
perhaps that of the planet, was at times a grave and awful
Consequently, they often resorted to any course of action,
regardless of International Law or UN Resolutions, which gave a
short or long term strategic advantage, for their very survival and
that of the planet.
At times this included sponsoring terrorism, assassination
and articulating separatism. Given this, it is not beyond reasonable
supposition that one or more of these nations may have breached
the nuclear protocols and smuggled the portable components of
nuclear devices (perhaps even nuclear suitcase bombs of the type
allegedly developed for the KGB in the 1970s) into opponent
countries, then assembled and armed them in buildings or ground
beneath strategic targets, such as capital cities.
From a tactical point of view, covert deployment and
detonation of nuclear devices beneath an opponents population
centres is very advantageous as there would be no satellite
detection of launch and delivery.
The devices could be detonated at will, with the element of surprise. Tracking satellites
would reveal no information as to the origin of the strikes and there might well be no time for
retaliatory nuclear strikes, even were the origin known.
This scenario, whether realistic or not, is necessary to understand the future possibility of a
terrorist nuclear attack.
Were terrorists to eventually obtain a nuclear device, the target and victim (if not one and the
same) would find themselves in a similarly powerless position to that just described.
The formal mutual nuclear deterrent posed by the status quo of the Cold War would not relate
to the situation. A response by the target or victim for retaliatory purposes would be meaningless as
transnational terrorists have no sovereign state to protect; they usually have no base or camp that
cannot be abandoned within minutes and without care or consequence.
New Forms of Terrorism
Although information terrorism existed during the Cold War, it has increased in quantity,
corresponding with advances in computer technology and new forms of computer virus. Extensive
measures are taken to protect military, defence, intelligence, security, police, hospital, bank and
school computers, but commercial corporations remain at particular risk from attacks on data-banks
by dissatisfied employees and competitor companies.
Since the Millennium, hacking into information systems has become a terrorist offence in
the laws of the US, UK and some other nations.
It is an established military tactic to destroy the information flow of the enemy. This is known
as command and control warfare (C2W). Terrorists are aware of this system. Consequently, national
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 305
security risks to society exist from information terrorists (or terrorists using malicious IT codes).
Another form of information terrorism is disseminating inflammatory and hate material
through the post or on the Internet.
An example occurred in 1995, when Zapista National Liberation Army (EZLN) terrorists
very effectively disseminated false news on the Internet concerning alleged atrocities committed by
the Mexican army. Since the advent of the Internet, this form of disinformation terrorism has
increased. Some forms of terrorism originate from cults or groups concerned with mystical,
doomsday and messianic beliefs. The change of the millennium was perceived by some of these cults
as the end of the world or a day of divine judgement. Messianic groups believed that the change of
the millennium was the day when their messiah or saviour would arrive on earth. They were a cause
for serious concern at the time, to many security organisations.
Most messianic groups normally seek isolation, but this is not always the case; groups similar
to the US Branch Davidians raise ongoing concerns for security organisations.
The New Wave of Religious Terrorism
The world is divided into two sects:
Those with religion but no brains
And those with brains but no religion
Abu lala al Maarri, 11
century Syrian poet
Following the 1992 cancellation of elections in Algeria, a terrorist group, called the Groupe
Islamique Arm (GIA or Armed Islamic Group) began to carry out some of the most violent and
barbaric terrorist attacks in history.
According to BBC media, by 2002, 120,000 people, mostly Algerians but also including
soldiers and policemen, foreign tourists, visitors, and even priests, women and children, had been
savagely killed by fanatic Algerian terrorists, misusing the name of Islam.
Brutal atrocities committed by these terrorists are commonplace; entire families and groups
of unrelated innocent strangers, have been killed in a variety of ways, including being bound and
having their throats cut, or being bound and then burned alive. Decapitated human heads, placed on
roadways in a pattern, were a trend of these terrorist outrages at one point.
In 1992 in Egypt, fanatic religious terrorists, misusing the name of Islam, mainly from the
Gamaa al Islamiya (Islamic Group or GAI) began murdering, wounding and terrorising government
officials, Coptic Christians, tourists and unveiled women. By the close of the 20
century, this group
began to move sizeable amounts of its terrorists and equipment abroad (some into Europe) due to
the success of Egyptian intelligence and security forces.
A closely related group, El Jihad el Islam el Musri (Egyptian Islamic holy war) targets
Egyptian embassies and civil servants outside of Egypt. In 1993, the Egyptian Government tried,
found guilty and executed 29 of these terrorists.
The Gamaa al Islamiya (and its cohort organisation Egyptian Islamic Jihad) and the Group
Islamique Arm are terrorist groups which are now liaising and collaborating with the transnational
terrorist coalition Al Qaida (the Base or Foundation), led by Osama bin Ladin. Bin Ladin set up a
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 306
Osama bin Ladin
further group in Algeria named Groupe Salafiste pour la
Predication et le Combat (GSPC / Salafist Group for
Preaching and Combat). It is equally as ruthless and savage as
the other groups.
These groups are arguably the most dangerous of
contemporary terrorist groups. They represent a new, more
virulent wave of religious fanaticism and intolerance,
distorting and misusing the name of Islam. They are certainly
the most savage of terrorist groups.
Through Osama bin Ladins Al Qaida terrorist
coalition, these groups would be associated with the new and
equally dangerous association (or group) that bin Ladin helped
form: Al Jabhah al Islamiyah al Alamiyah li Quital al Yahud
wal Salibiyyin (International Islamic Front for Fighting Jews
and Crusaders). Al Qaida is said to be its executive arm.
This group is the first terrorist group whose name
openly incites religious hatred and terrorist attacks on the basis of religion.
Bin Ladin helped form this group and is its chairman of the higher council.
Its stand is generally anti-US, anti-western, anti-Israeli, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish and for
many Muslim countries, anti-government and anti-monarchist.
Bin Ladin has stated that he admires several virtues of the western worlds social system, but
states that the following points (below) are unacceptable to Muslims.
[He has appointed himself to represent 900 million Muslims in the world, but obviously
without consulting them, leading many to conclude that his stated desire for democracy may not be
as sincere as it sounds]:
US sanctions policies have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children
US forces being based in the general region of Islams 1
holiest site (Mecca)
US forces being based in the general region of Islams 2
holiest Islamic site (Medina)
US aiding Israels control of Islams 3
holiest site (Dome of the Rock in East Jerusalem)
Double standards: Democracy for the west and dictatorships for the rest of the world
Bin Ladin has issued a so called Fatwa (authentic Fatwas are Muslim religious edicts or
opinions of Islamic law) that he has signed with four others, mainly against the US and its citizens,
but which is widely held as illegal, in terms of the Islamic religion.
According to the legal notions of Islamic religious science (known as Usul al Fiqh or rules
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 307
Mohammad Ahmad
If bin Ladin has compared himself to
Salah ul Din, he almost certainly aspires
to being the Mahdi. There have been
several in history claiming this title.
Mohammad Ahmad (above) rose up in
the Sudan in the early 1880s and
declared himself to be the Mahdi
(meaning the divinely guided one). In
Islam, the Mahdi is an Islamic saviour
type figure (especially in Shia Islam),
expected to appear in the future, and who
is most significant for being absolutely
guided by God. Mohammad Ahmad
fought against Ottoman rule and Anglo-
Egyptian condominium in the Sudan, and
is the most significant politician (and
warrior) in Sudans history. His national
revolution and Islamic revival led to the
fall of Khartoum and the assassination of
Gordon Pasha (a British General, noted
for his forceful anti-slavery measures),
contracted by the Egyptian Government
to save the Sudan, or failing which,
evacuate the Egyptian population.
Mohammad Ahmad died not long after
of jurisprudence), a Fatwa is legally binding upon Muslims only when it:
Reflects legal proofs derived from the Koran and other Islamic holy documents
Is issued by an individual or committee having due knowledge or sincerity of heart
Is free of individual opportunism and not politically motivated
Is adequate for the needs of the contemporary world
The Fatwa is therefore completely invalid (illegal) as:
The random killing and wounding of thousands at
the 1998 US bombings in Kenya (including many innocent
Muslims) and Tanzania, and in the US in New York,
Washington and Pennsylvania on 11
September 2001, is
the antithesis of the pious ideals required to validate a
According to Muslim Scholars, in issuing a Fatwa to
kill all Americans, he has exposed the concept of Fatwa to
Bin Ladin must, according to Islamic scholars, first
be a qualified mufti (religious scholar) and a mujtahid (a
jurist qualified to evaluate legal problems) before he is
permitted to issue a legal or recognised Fatwa.
Media has reported that bin Ladin has assumed or
been conferred with the title of Sheik (Arabian headman)
and that he has compared himself with Salah ul Din.
Salah ul Din was a 12
century Kurdish Muslim
military leader, revered among Muslims for re-capturing the
city of Jerusalem.
Since Jerusalem (together with Mecca) is at the core
of bin Ladins published demands, the history of the city is
briefly touched upon as follows:
Jerusalem (a city destroyed 17 times in violent
sieges, and ruled by 25 different peoples during its 3,800
years of existence), was a Canaanite and then Jebusite town
(the Jebusite deity was called Salem and the town, Ur-
Salem or city of Salem), details of this being recorded in
surviving diplomatic correspondence dating from around
1400 BC.
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 308
Beginning about 800 years later, two Jewish tribes successively moved to Jerusalem and
settled (Abraham, from Ur, and Moses from Egypt). Around 1000 BC, David, a shepherd-warrior,
united the Jewish tribes, displaced Jebusite rule, and imposed Jewish control of Jerusalem. In 587
BC, Jerusalem was conquered by neo-Babylonians and the entire population (about 20,000)
By the 4
century AD, the city was under Roman and Byzantine Christian rule until 614 AD,
when Jerusalem was conquered by Persians, who killed a sizable amount of the population and
invited the Jews to re-settle the city.
The Muslim Empire conquered Jerusalem in 638 AD and ruled the city with several
dynasties (Ummayads, Abbasyds, Tulunids [from Cairo] and their successors, Fatamids). One of
the Fatamid Pashas, El Hakim (history records him to have been deranged), persecuted the
Christian part of the population and had all the churches destroyed, including the Holy Sepulchre,
at the beginning of the 11
Within 90 years, the Crusader armies (of which many of the leaders were French feudal
knights) invaded the city killing most of its inhabitants (approximately 30,000), and forbade Jews
and Muslims to re-enter the city.
Almost 100 years later in 1187, Jerusalem fell to Salah ul Din. After a brief period in the
early 13
century, when it reverted to Crusader rule, control fell to the Muslim Mameluke (Cyrene
Lords) dynasty.
In the 16
century, the Mameluke dynasty was absorbed by the Ottoman Empire, which was
in turn driven from Jerusalem in WWI. The British Empire occupied Jerusalem until 1923 when it
accepted the League of Nations Mandate, destined to end in independence for the State of Palestine.
In 1948, a minority of Jewish Zionists declared the Jewish State of Israel, upon premature
departure of British Mandate forces from Palestine. At the armistice of 1949, following the 1948
war, the historic part of Jerusalem was left under Jordanian sovereignty.
During the 1967 war, this part of the city fell from Jordanian control, to Israeli occupation.
The Middle East conflict has continued ever since.
Section 10.3: The Media and Terrorism
Media; A Two-Edged Sword
Fighting terrorism is like being a goalkeeper. You can make a hundred brilliant saves but the only
shot that people remember is the one that gets past you
Paul Wilkinson, contemporary British author on terrorism
While media frequently gives publicity which is in principle, favourable to the majority of
terrorists who wish to instill widespread fear, some media sources strongly condemn terrorism for
what it is. Some media sources intentionally minimise the publicity afforded to terrorist groups and
highlight successes and prowess of security forces. This was the case following the 1980 Siege of
the Iranian Embassy in London, following which, SAS (Special Air Service) almost became a
household name.
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 309
Many media newspapers however, portray terrorism in a sensational light, with few reporting
it from a neutral standpoint. As explained in earlier lessons, media functions as a commercial
enterprise and must market its product in order to remain a viable commercial entity.
Partial or incomplete information provided by media results in widespread misunderstanding
of many conflicts, including those involving terrorism. This is occasionally the intent, when
intelligence services are able to influence media, in the supposed interests of national security.
Intelligence services sometimes cultivate or deploy what are called agents of influence; these
are persons who are used knowingly or unknowingly by intelligence officers. They share the same
doctrine as the intelligence controller and are in positions where they can substantially influence
common opinion or beliefs, or influence trends or events. Agents of influence exist inside media
An example of the effects of incomplete media information is the 1980 siege of the Iranian
in London by Iranian dissidents opposing the Ayatolla Khomeini Government. It is to this day
believed by considerable numbers of Europeans, that the terrorists were civil servants (or diplomats)
of the then new and unpopular Iranian revolutionary government and not dissident counter-
Excessive Publicity
Even within the confines of commercial objectives, enough flexibility remains for media to
report terrorism in a responsible fashion, especially given the common knowledge that most terrorists
seek publicity.
A commonly cited defence by some sectors of the media in defending excessive publicity or
sensationalism, is that to do otherwise would compromise the democratic safeguard of reporting
uncensored information to the public. This is a response which does not correspond to the question.
Moreover, no constitutions in the democratic world provide the media with any role in
protecting democracy.
Free press, however, does deter (increasingly less, as contemporary moral norms are
consistently deteriorating) a certain amount of political corruption and abuse in democracies.
Media Complicity
In those few countries where terrorism is sponsored, terrorist groups are postured as freedom
fighters by government-controlled media.
Another example of media complicity is whereby terrorists are clandestinely interviewed by
media representatives, who could subsequently aid security forces in apprehending the terrorists,
thereby preventing further bloodshed. The media usually choose not to do so, for so-called reasons
of professional ethics.
Professional Ethics of the Media
There are codes of ethics rigorously applied upon their staff by certain professional media
companies. However, apart from the legal constraints imposed by such laws concerning libel,
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 310
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rne 0eao, oy lars lo|oe|r, Lyors, 1538
slander, pornography and criminal conspiracy, the codes of ethics for the majority of media
personnel are largely those that are self-imposed.
There is a clear need in democratic societies, on grounds of national security, to address the
question of media ethics in relation to sensationalising terrorism, although the media coverage of the
terrorist events of 11
September 2001 was fair, unsensational, thorough and effectively patriotic.
Condemnation of Terrorism
Terrorism is widely condemned from a legal point of view. It is indictable and punishable
under a variety of national laws, either by ordinary criminal legislation or as special terrorist
Moralists and philosophers through the ages have, in literary form, condemned terrorism
since it is morally indefensible to kill, maim and terrorise innocent people for personal and selfish
objectives, passed off as common concerns.
Terrorism is widely condemned in political circles, except for those which have a vested
interest and defend it as freedom fighting or legitimate resistance. Populations widely condemn
terrorism for its random savagery, the anxiety it creates, and the restrictions in liberty that it
generates for security reasons. It is resented by ordinary people.
The vast majority of recognised religious faiths condemn terrorism as against their teachings.
It is clear however that a small fraction of their representatives, from various religions, practice
duplicity in this regard and in fact support terrorism, in the name of religion.
Scientific condemnation of terrorism is almost absolute. However, some unscrupulous
scientists continue to knowingly develop terrorist weapons, especially biological weapons (which
are banned) and other weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 311
Arms Race Competition between nations to accumulate arms and weaponry
Coalition Alliance, merger or combination, esp. political or military. e.g. Al Qaida coalition
Cold War Intense struggle between NATO and Warsaw Pact, by every method except open
warfare. 1945 - 1991
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. A main protagonist in the Cold War opposing the
Warsaw Pact (Soviet Union and its communist allies). This 1949 treaty-alliance
organisation between US, Canada and some Western European States, now contains
some nations who were formerly members of the (enemy) Warsaw Pact (1955 - 1991)
Sponsorship Support, surety or promise of funding for another
Warsaw Pact A main protagonist in the Cold War. The Pact was an agreement between the Soviet
Union and some Eastern European States (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany,
Hungary, Poland and Romania). 1955 - 1991, opposing NATO and non communist
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 312
Attack on MI 6 Headquarters, London, UK
Facts of the Case: On the
evening of 20th September 2000
in central London, two missiles
were fired at the headquarters of
the UK Secret Intelligence
Service (MI 6).
The missiles (capable of
penetrating one metre thick
concrete) were fired from 150
metres distance with a Soviet-made, hand-held
anti-tank weapon.
There were no casualties and minimal damage
was caused to the re-enforced building.
Investigation: Part of the weapon (Soviet-made
but stolen from the Croatian Army) was recovered
and responsibility for the attack attributed to the
Real IRA (Irish Republican Army).
Suspects continue to be questioned in an ongoing
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 313
1. Several NATO and Warsaw Pact members organised and funded guerrilla warfare in the Cold
a) True
b) False
2. During the Cold War, with external funding, the PLO trained guerrilla-terrorists from 27 countries.
a) True
b) False
3. NATO or Warsaw Pact support for guerrillas / terrorists in the Cold War, was determined
a) If the country observed human rights
b) If the country was a former colony
c) According to political leaning
4. How many foreign Mujahideen trained to fight Soviet forces in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989?
a) 2,500 from 8 countries
b) 4,500 from 9 countries
c) 14,000 from 22 countries
5. Guerrilla / terrorist training camps were generally closed at the end of the Cold War. Many
a) Remained closed
b) Were re-opened
c) Were re-opened and re-aligned

6. Governments banned many guerrillas/ terrorists who fought in the Soviet-Afghan war from return.
a) True
b) False
7. Abandoning or improper demobilisation of sizeable guerrilla-terrorist forces can result in
a) Military threats by neighbouring countries
b) Unemployment problems
c) An uncontrollable and persistent threat
8. Terrorists have pursued acquisition of a nuclear weapon since at least 1993.
a) True
b) False
9. Government intelligence officials sometimes influence media in the interests of national security.
a) True
b) False
10. The most fanatical and dangerous terrorist groups in the world are
a) Group Islamique Arm, Hizbollah, Hammas, Gamaa al Islamiya, Harkat ul Ansar,
b) Gamaa al Islamiya, Al Qaida, Hammas, Al Jabbah al Islamiya al Alamiya li Quital al Yahud wa Salibiyyin
c) Groupe Islamique Arm, Al Qa ida, El Jehad el Islami el Musri, Gamaa al Islamiya, Al Jabbah
al Islamiya al Alamiyah li Quital al Yahud wa Salibiyyin
Lesson 10/ Terrorism and the Cold War; Terrorism and the Media 314
11. A Fatwa is a
a) Religious edict or precedent opinion under Islamic Law
b) Death threat
c) Reward system for holy war
12. The name Al Jabbah al Islamiyah al Alamiyah li Quital al Yahud wa Salibiyyin, attacks a
a) True
b) False
13. Destroying the managerial information flow of an army is known as
a) Combatting planning and control or C2PC
b) Command and control warfare or C2W
c) Destruction of command and control or D2C
14. Agents of influence are used strategically, to influence opinions, beliefs, trends or events.
a) True
b) False
15. On terrorism, media often publish or announce
a) Complete information and facts
b) Partial or incomplete information
c) As little as possible
16. No media enterprise companies have a code of ethics.
a) True
b) False
17. Publicity helps the objectives of most terrorists.
a) Frequently
b) Never
c) Infrequently
18. Terrorism is condemned except by governments who sponsor it or defend it as freedom fighting.
a) True
b) False
19. A small minority of scientists continue to develop banned weapons and more effective WMD.
a) True
b) False
20. C2W is
a) Command Warfare
b) Control Warfare
c) Command and Control Warfare
1-a, 2-a, 3-c, 4-c, 5-c, 6-a, 7-c, 8-a, 9-a, 10-c, 11-a, 12-a, 13-b, 14-a, 15-b, 16-b, 17-a, 18-a, 19-a, 20-c.

Lesson 11
Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
Section 11.1: Institutions and Techniques
Law and Terrorism
Forces Opposing Terrorism
Anti-Terrorism and Special Police Formations
Notes on Anti-Terrorism Security
Counter-Terrorism and Military Special Forces
Assessing Terrorist Threats
Section 11.2: Tactics
Intelligence Security
Security Intelligence
Case Study: Al Qaida attacks on the US: 9 / 11 / 01
Keywords to Note
Terrorist Attack Brief: Achile Lauro Hijacking, near Port Said Egypt
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 316
Lesson 11 Scope and Objectives
Section 11.1: Institutions and Techniques
This section explains the meaning of anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism and describes the different
institutions responsible for them. Some notes concerning anti-terrorism security measures are
examined. The section also explains the drawbacks of law versus terrorism in a democracy.
An anti-terrorism measure is illustrated in the form of a reproduced US Department of State
terrorism warning to US citizens. Assessing terrorist threats is discussed with an example of a
security alertness plan. The Terrorist Attack Brief for this Lesson concerns the Achile Lauro
Hijacking, Egypt.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to:
Describe the differences between anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism
Illustrate a drawback of law versus terrorism in a democracy
Appreciate effective anti-terrorist measures, including terrorist warning bulletins
Understand the meaning of a choke point, a kill zone, and how to escape from a kill zone
Comprehend what is meant by target hardening and layered security zones
Reproduce a basic security alertness plan with its different stages
Section 11.2: Tactics
This section explains the critical importance of Security and Intelligence in order to gain a tactical
advantage over terrorists. Variants of security and intelligence are explained.
Negotiation, concession and deterrent are discussed in this section in the context of anti-terrorism
and counter-terrorism.
The lesson includes the most important of the case studies in this course: the Al Qaida terrorist
attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on 11
September 2001.
After studying this lesson, the student should be able to:
Describe the meanings of security and intelligence in the context of terrorism
Define security intelligence and intelligence security, in the context of terrorism
Understand negotiation, concession and deterrent in contexts of anti and counter-terrorism
Understand the facts of the Al Qaida terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and
Pennsylvania on 11
September 2001; to interpret the future implications of these attacks
Recall the meaning of the words contained in the Lessons Keywords to Note table
Recall the basic facts concerning the Achile Lauro Hijacking, near Port Said, Egypt
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 317
Lesson 11: Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
Section 11.1: Institutions and Techniques
Law and Terrorism
The soul, mind and meaning of a State lies in its Laws
Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman philosopher, orator, lawyer and politician
In the past, perpetrators of genocide have selectively (in some few cases), passed into the
annals of history without ever being held accountable in law.
The Armenian genocide is such an example; many who carried the atrocities evaded trial.
In some other cases, those responsible for upholding the law and executing criminal justice
have either participated in terrorism or turned a blind eye.
Examples of this are the several South American death squads which lasted from the 1960s
to the 1990s.
In the 21
Century, with ever-continuing advances in communications and human rights, it
is increasingly difficult for any form of terrorism, especially acts involving large numbers of victims,
to pass unnoticed. Whether it is arrested is another issue.
With the revival of the practice of trying war criminals in the form of the UN International
Criminal Tribunals, not seen since Nuremberg and Tokyo (the latter concluded in 1948), even former
Heads of State and Army Commanders, that were involved, may be indicted by these courts.
There is generally little difficulty encountered by prosecutors engaged on convicting
terrorists, once enough evidence is assembled to justify an indictment and the suspect has been
However, as far as assembling the evidence is concerned, some police and security forces
tend to be hampered by the constraints of democracy.
In western democracies, it is insufficient that police and security agencies are trusted to
scrupulously conduct operations within the confines of freedom and democracy; they must
demonstrate that they are so doing, with judicial rules and regulations, beyond ordinary codes of
The protection of individual rights, including those of suspected terrorists is therefore
exaggerated, as a sort of social re-assurance and safeguard.
This is sometimes a great burden to law enforcement officials, and can hamper detection and
apprehension of terrorists.
Contrastingly, repressive anti-terrorism laws are occasionally passed with little or no
response from citizens rights groups.

Forces Opposing Terrorism
One beats the Bush and another catches the birds
Old English proverb
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 318
Since the late 1960s, an array of national police, military, security and intelligence personnel
have been increasingly engaged in the fight against terrorism, especially so in the western
Terrorism today is a fully acknowledged and evaluated threat, especially since the US
bombings in Nairobi and Dar as Salaam in August 1998 and the clear emergence of transnational
terrorism culminating in the events of 11
September 2001. Consequently, the sophisticated security
and other emergency forces opposing terrorism are now well-established.
They are mostly highly advanced in terms of equipment and ability, being able to respond
to, if not prevent, almost every type of conceivable terrorist threat or incident, including the use of
Weapons of Mass Destruction. It requires merely the political will to do so.
These services are more effective than ever before, in terms of human, logistical,
technological and legislative resources. This was illustrated well (from an emergency services
perspective) during the catastrophic-scale events of the Al Qaida terrorist attack on the World Trade
Centre at 8.45 am on Tuesday 11
September 2001.
Anti-Terrorism and Special Police Formations
Terror.... will always be successful unless opposed by equal terror
Hitler in Mein Kampf
Anti-terrorism (sometimes known as AT) generally refers to passive, defensive,
preparatory, protective or legal measures against terrorism.
Elite specialised police formations exist whose operational tasks can include:
Identification and protection of potential targets and victims
Intelligence Gathering
Preparation and response to terrorist incidents
Containment and Negotiation in siege and hostage situations
Seamless hand-over to military counter-terrorist forces if necessary
In some countries all functions involving terrorism are carried out by a single specialist force,
either police, paramilitary or army.
Anti-terrorism takes many forms: The Vienna-based UN organisation for Criminal Justice
and Crime Prevention has a unit (with two full time staff) for studying and advising on measures to
prevent terrorism, known as the Terrorism Prevention Branch or TPB. At different venues around
the world, seminars are frequently conducted on the subject of terrorism by academic and law
enforcement institutions.
Another example of anti-terrorism is the medical preparedness of the US Military.
Following the 1998 US Embassy attacks in Africa, the US Military formed and trained 12
special medical rapid response teams to handle casualties arising from terrorist attacks.
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 319
These US Air Force teams consist of:
Between eight and 20 doctors, nurses and technicians
Special medical equipment stored in lockers at airfields in:
Economic development of impoverished areas by governments can sometimes be an effective
anti-terrorism measure. This is especially so in campaigns where terrorists oppose the government
and deliberately try to base themselves in under-developed areas.
Terrorists sometimes select such under-developed areas as they know that much of the
population do not understand the economics of development, which dictate that most development
must be in uneven stages.
As a consequence, there usually exists a degree of resentment among populations in those
areas, towards their government, which they perceive as unevenly distributing resources.
Terrorists take advantage of this for three reasons:
Chances of betrayal to security forces are less in areas where the government is partly resented
Terrorists try to merge their anti-government sentiments with those of the local population
It is easier to recruit new members in a climate of resentment against the government
Some governments understand this strategy and take steps to deny the terrorists a refuge and
logistical source. Such a case occurred in Turkey:
The PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) operates in the region of Turkey that is least developed,
preying upon social tensions; a fact that the government astutely realises and is keenly trying to
reverse with the following anti-terrorism measures:
1. In 1994, the government allocated the equivalent of US$ 186 million for economic aid and
agricultural and housing development for ten south-east provinces
2. In 1995, the Turkish government allocated the equivalent of US$ 47 million for
infrastructure projects and the equivalent of US$ 4.8 million for food, medical aid and
consumer goods
3. Special Housing development included the construction of 6795 urban houses and also new
houses for villagers left homeless by PKK terrorist attacks
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 320
A further anti-terrorism measure is the warning of targets or potential victims. Here is an
example of an anti-terrorism worldwide warning to US citizens:
Office of the Spokesman
Worldwide Caution
February 1, 2002
The U.S. Government remains deeply concerned about the security of Americans overseas. As a result
of U.S. military actions in Afghanistan in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, there is a potential
for retaliatory actions to be taken against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world by terrorists and
those who harbor grievances against the United States. The Department urges Americans to review their
circumstances carefully and to take all appropriate measures to ensure their personal safety. Americans are
urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest American or Consulate. The
Department will continue to develop information about potential threats to Americans overseas and to share
with them credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents. These
documents are available on the Internet at

U.S. citizens and interests abroad remain at increased risk of terrorist attacks, including by groups with
links to Usama Bin Ladin's Al-Qaida organization. These individuals do not distinguish between official
and civilian targets. The Department of State has unconfirmed reports that American citizens may be
targeted for kidnapping or other terrorist actions. In late January 2002, an American journalist was taken
hostage in Pakistan.
In light of the above information, U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of
alert. U.S. Government facilities may from time to time temporarily close or suspend public services as
necessary to review their security posture and ensure its adequacy. In those instances, U.S. Embassies and
Consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to American citizens.
U.S. citizens planning to travel abroad should consult the Department of State's Public Announcements,
Travel Warnings, Consular Information Sheets, Fact Sheets, and regional travel brochures, all of which
are available at the Consular Affairs Internet web site at American citizens overseas
may contact the American Citizens Services unit of the nearest U.S. or Consulate by telephone or fax for
up-to-date information on security conditions. American citizens in need of emergency assistance should
telephone the nearest U.S. or Consulate before visiting there.
In addition to information on the Internet, U.S. travelers may hear recorded information by calling the
Department of State in Washington, D.C. at 202-647-5225 from their touch-tone telephone, or receive
information by automated telefax by dialing 202-647-3000 from their fax machine.
This Public Announcement supersedes the Public Announcement - Worldwide Caution of October 23, 2001
to note concern with regard to possible kidnappings and other terrorist actions.
Department of State travel information and publications are available at Internet address: U.S. travellers may hear recorded information by calling the Department of State
in Washington, D.C. at 202-647-5225 from their touchtone telephone, or receive information by
automated telefax by dialing 202-647-3000 from their fax machine.
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 321
Notes on Anti-Terrorism Security
The following short briefing notes explain in the context of anti-terrorism, the basics of:
Choke Points
Kill Zones
Escaping from a Kill Zone
Target Hardening
Layered Security Zones
Immediate Care [Medical]

One anti-terrorism or preventative measure taken by potential victims who must make regular
journeys by vehicle, is to vary the routes and timings of those journeys, in order to avoid Choke
It is always possible to vary the timings, but to vary the route is not always possible for all
parts of the journey.
A hypothetical example of a choke point would be as follows:
For the purposes of this example, Manhattan (Island) New York, has only one tunnel
connecting it with the neighbouring Borough of Queens. A potential victim resides in Queens and
works in Manhattan, commuting in a limousine with protective armoured plating.
The routes between the potential victims residence in Queens and his Manhattan office may
all be very much varied in route and timing. His vehicle however, is compelled to travel via the only
The tunnel, including the zones immediately before and after the tunnel, is the choke point
in this case.
A reasonable anti-terrorism working definition of a [vehicle] choke point is:
A passage which the victims vehicle is compelled to travel through, with a potentially high
risk of attack.
There may a single, several or no choke points on a given journey. When a threat assessment
is made by traveling over all possible routes and choke points are identified, they are sometimes
referred to as potential choke points (PCPs).
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 322
A kill zone (KZ) in anti-terrorism jargon, generally refers to an area where the terrorists
open fire or detonate a bomb in a tactically advantageous position, usually in the context of attacking
a vehicle. The Kill Zone is literally the precise area or environ where people are attacked and killed.
Terrorist attacks which occur against potential victims travelling inside vehicles, invariably
occur in areas between departure and destination points. This is because those two points, especially
in the case of high-risk potential victims, are usually well secured, under surveillance, very familiar
to the potential victim, but unfamiliar to the terrorists.
There are generally two types of kill zone:
a) A fixed (pre-determined) kill zone is selected where the terrorists know the potential
victims vehicle will pass through a choke point (see Choke Point). An example could be the
mouth of a tunnel-exit, where terrorists detonate a concealed roadside bomb (IED), when the vehicle
exits the tunnel and draws alongside or over the IED.
b) A fluid kill zone is where the terrorists make an ad hoc decision to stop and open fire
in one of several possible kill zones where the victims vehicle is halted. An example is at a red
traffic light or in a traffic jam, where terrorists on a motorcycle approach the halted vehicle of the
potential victim, stop alongside and open fire.
A trap is sometimes used in a kill zone by terrorists, in situations where they try not only
to bring the victims vehicle to a complete halt but also to block it in, in order to increase the chances
of killing the victim.
Natural traps can occur, such as traffic jams, but a trap is usually given to mean: forcing
a vehicle to come to a complete stop, trapped in a kill zone, with no possibility to move.
This might be achieved by driving a vehicle out in front of the victims vehicle, forcing it to
stop, and driving another vehicle behind it as well, preventing it from reversing.
It may also be achieved by reckless and offensive driving, in order to force the victims
vehicle into an environ from which it can no longer drive.
i.e. A dead-end street or cul-de-sac, or forcing the vehicle off of the road into a ditch, for
The objective is the same, in trying to bring the victims vehicle to a complete halt, with no
escape route or possibility to drive out.
A reasonable anti-terrorism working definition of a [vehicle] Kill Zone is:
A pre-determined zone at a choke point or an impromptu selected zone, under conditions
where the disposition of the victims vehicle provides the terrorists with optimal attack conditions.
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 323
In a kill zone, where the victims vehicle has been forced to halt for whatever reasons, there
are three certainties, based upon statistics concerning those murdered, and those who have survived
terrorist attacks mounted whilst they were inside their vehicles:
a) If the victim stays in the vehicle, he / she will almost certainly be killed.

b) If the victim is able to drive out of the situation (including recklessly, shunting obstacles
or other vehicles out of the way) or getting out of the vehicle and running away, the chances of
survival increase massively.
c) In a terrorist attack, people freeze in a shocked state of disbelief for several seconds or
longer. Those who are able immediately to control that shock-freeze, react and move immediately,
immensely increase their chances of survival.

Some of the more important but often-forgotten anti-terrorism security precautions (when
driving) are as follows (this list is not comprehensive):

When in traffic which is halting, always leave enough space between your vehicle and the
vehicle in front, so that if you have to extract yourself and wish suddenly to turn into the left
or right lanes, you are not obstructed or slowed down by colliding with the vehicle in front,
as you turn.
If forced off of the road, to a halt, or stopped in front (including by mobile authorities that
might be bogus), the vehicle should be halted not parallel with the road, but at an angle
pointing a little towards the centre line of the road.
This is so that if the suspect vehicle reverses hard to trap you or smash your radiator, it will
only damage one of the front body panels/lights, and you will already be at an angle helping
you to forcefully drive out, most importantly with the radiator intact.
If a pedestrian comes up very close to the car door, remember that it is quite easy to knock
the person off-balance, using relatively little force, by suddenly opening the door onto them,
using both hands and arms.
If the vehicle is jammed in, or stalled and will not start, you should get out immediately and
run in a zig-zag for cover, and repeat the process if you are pursued.

Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 324
Anti-Terrorism preventative measures taken to enhance the security of a potential victim are
sometimes called Target-Hardening.
Target-Hardening is carried out as a result of the following Threat Assessment conclusions:
The potential loss is a likelihood in existing circumstances
The potential loss cannot be sustained or is unacceptable
Target Hardening activities may include:
a) Increased Security Intelligence, from:
Human Intelligence (HumInt) e.g. Open Source collection and Covert Operations
Satellite Intelligence e.g. (SatInt) Imaging Intelligence
Signals Intelligence (SigInt) e.g. Electronic Intercept
Information Warfare (IW) e.g. Propaganda / disinformation and IT attack
b) Increased Resources, which may include:
Overall budget and financial expenditure
Human resources e.g. Close protection officers (CPOs)
Equipment resources e.g. Motion detectors, mat alarms, bomb detection devices, vehicles
More powerful and task-orientated weaponry e.g. Sniper rifles, sub machine guns (SMGs)
c) Enhanced Use of Resources:
Re-structuring/re-enforcement of existing measures. e.g. Increase in layered security zones
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 325
British Army Anti-Terrorist Observation Post Londonderry, Northern
Ireland, UK
Evolution from defence to
offence e.g. Fielding counter-
terrorist units
Penetration tests e.g. Exercises
in trying to infiltrate layered
zones of security
Intensive Security Surveys
e.g. An audit of every security
aspect of the operation
Vehicle route reconnaissance
e.g. Identifying alternate
routes, kill zones and choke

The majority of journeys undertaken by the average potential victim are between workplace
and residence.

Terrorists sometimes attack victims who have a high profile. The reason that they are often
attacked while in their vehicles, between departure and arrival points at workplace and residence,
is that workplace and residence are usually protected or under observation, part of security measures
for high profile persons, known as target-hardening.

These two points are either usually protected by armed personnel or provide cover for the
potential victim. i.e. He/she slips out of sight when entering the increased safety of an underground
garage, or a building entrance or driveway, where there are armed guards.
Alternatively, it may be that there are surveillance / observation alarm facilities that deter the
terrorists or diminish their chances of a successful escape or of eluding identification.

At a location where a high-risk potential victim spends considerable time, there can be
several layers of security, sometimes known as layered security zones.
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 326
A good example is an Embassy. The hypothetical security layers could be as follows:
Initial security layer is the entry / exit gate, armed guards, fencing and surveillance cameras
Following layer is the dead-ground between the fence and building, patrolled by armed
Next layer is the building-entry screening by armed guards and window / door alarms
Last layer is the type of strong-room that is found inside some embassies, for use in case of
attack, with large vault-like sealable doors to close off a re-enforced portion of the building

Ideally, from the terrorist point of view, the most desirable attacks against a high profile
potential victim are in order of preference:
a) Remote detonation of a roadside bomb when the potential victim drives over or alongside it
b) Direct confrontational attack with small or medium arms (machine guns, grenades and pistols):
When the potential victim is travelling in a vehicle
Preferably in a sub-urban area
Outside of layered security zones
At a pre-determined choke point
Where the potential victim is trapped in a kill zone
Anti-terrorist and counter-terrorist teams are trained in many skills including emergency
medical response to life-threatening injuries.
This is because they often enter into confrontations with terrorists in which terrorists use
military weapons, sometimes out of all proportion. Increasingly, some close protection officers who
are responsible for protecting high profile potential victims (sometimes called principals), are also
trained as Paramedics (Emergency Medical Technicians).
This permits (in the event of an attack in which the principal is wounded but alive) an
immediate skilled medical response to life-threatening injuries, instead of the alternative of waiting
for an ambulance, in which time the victim might likely die.
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 327
The Knight, from The Dance of Death, by
Hans Holbein, Lyons, 1538
The object is not only to remove the immediate
threat of loss of life, but prevent further deterioration by
stabilising the victim.
The victim must be stabilised until an equipped
ambulance arrives and can continue that stabilisation while
conveying the victim to a hospital operating theatre.
This is known as Immediate Care, indicating the
need, rather than the action.
Basic first aid is almost invariably insufficient for
treating the types of serious injuries that can be sustained
in a terrorist attack.
The most serious common life-threatening injuries
in these situations are:
Severe Bleeding (rapid, life-threatening
loss of blood)
No pulse
Stopped breathing
Shock (increasing suspension of bodily functions caused by trauma)
While basic elementary first aid training courses usually last two days (12 to 16 hours),
Paramedic (Emergency Medical Technician) training is usually over 100 hours.
Counter-Terrorism and Military Special Forces
Fear, not clemency, restrains the wicked
Publilius Syrus; Sententiae. No. 391
Counter-terrorism (known widely as CT) refers to those active and offensive measures
taken to deter and respond to terrorism. Offensive (CT) operations are conducted by:
Police (in some countries)
Paramilitary forces (in some countries)
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 328
Security organisations
Intelligence organisations
Examples of well known forces with a Counter Terrorist (CT) capability are:
UK: Special Air Service (SAS)
Germany: GSG-9 (Grenzschutzgruppe 9 or Border Force Group 9)
US: Delta Force
Republic of Ireland: Irish Defence Forces, Ranger Wing
Such units respond to terrorist incidents, such as hostage and siege situations, as well as
engage in hazardous preventative activities, examples of which are:
Deep-cover penetration operations
Sabotage of weapons caches
Counter-terrorist forces have improved dramatically in the past three decades as many armed
forces have formed and developed CT capability.
Consequently, contemporary terrorists prefer to avoid siege-and-hostage situations and hi-
jackings, because of their chances of escaping or surviving an assault by counter-terrorist forces are
now much reduced.
A new and notable development in counter-terrorism occurred in the US in November 1999.
The National Capital Domestic Response Squad (NCDRS) was established.
This counter-terrorist squad was set up by the FBI field office, due to Washington being a
target-rich environment for terrorists.
Law enforcement and security officials from 12 local and Federal agencies were drawn in to
form the squad, including the following:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms
Capitol Police
Federal Protective Service
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 329
A favourite weapon of counter-terrorist special forces:
The German MP53a Heckler & Koch 9mm sub machine
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Immigration and Naturalisation Service
Park Police
Secret Service
State Department
Washington Metro Transit Police
Washington Metropolitan Police Dept.
The National Capital Domestic Response Squad (NCDRS) includes:
50-member special weapons & tactics team
Bomb squad
20-member hazardous-materials team
Medical unit
It is the largest US city counter-terrorist force. Its task is to prevent and respond to terrorist
attacks in the Capitol, (some partly related to the change of millennium), to protect monuments,
government buildings, major social events and diplomatic missions in the Capitol area.
Import ant l y, i t developed
contingency plans to ensure that all agencies
involved in counter-terrorism remain linked,
in the event that normal channels of
communication fail.
The FBI field offices terrorism unit
also maintains an Infrastructure Protection
Squad (IPS), whose task is to prevent and
respond to terrorist attacks on data banks
and computers.
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 330
Since the events of 11
September 2001, there has been a tremendous amount of Federal
level anti- and counter-terrorism activity in the US, involving well known Agencies such as:
CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)
FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
Department of Justice
Department of Homeland Security
US Fire Administration (National Fire Academy)
Training, contingency plans and procedures for Mass Casualty Incidents, involving Weapons
of Mass Destruction (WMD), are at the forefront of US anti-terrorism efforts.
Assessing Terrorist Threats
A Threat Assessment is an evaluation of a situation in a security context. It is carried out
according to a variety of circumstances:
Following a breach of security
After a terrorist attack
Upon the emergence of a new potential threat
Most threat assessments occur as a result of the following preliminary conclusions when a
real or potential threat arises:
Potential loss is a possibility or likelihood in existing or future circumstances
The potential loss cannot be withstood, or is unacceptably high
A threat assessment is necessary to evaluate the potential losses in a threat situation, to
examine what action can be taken to prevent or minimise those losses and whether such action is
overall, an affordable option in financial and political terms.
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 331
Before that can be done, the threat assessment has to precisely identify the threat.
In almost any type of situation where there is a potential threat of loss, a threat assessment
may be applied to rationalise the situation and help arrive at a decision.
A typical threat assessment might include the following:
Detailed profile of potential or actual threat, hostile forces and likely outcome
Character, disposition and vulnerability of all human resources
Nature and disposition of fixed structures and moveable assets
Preliminary assessment of potential loss
Feasibility study: Prevention/diminishment action including costs, resources and ability
assessment: Potential cost of acquiescence versus cost of prevention / diminishment
Conclusions and recommended course of action, calculated to minimise overall loss
Threat assessments of terrorists or terrorist groups include an evaluation as follows:
Targeting History
Current Mode
Security Environment
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 332
The conclusion of a threat assessment often concludes with a change of level in a security
alertness plan. It may be higher, lower or be maintained at the same level.
There are several different levels or phases in such plans or systems.
A typical example of a security alertness plan is as follows:
CRITICAL A terrorist group has entered the country or is able to do so. It has
the capability to attack and is engaged in target selection (target in
this context meaning victims / sites). Its history and intentions may or
may not be known
HIGH A terrorist group exists, has capability, history + intention to attack
MEDIUM The same conditions as High, except that intentions are unknown
LOW A situation in which a terrorist group exists and has an attack
capability. Their history may or may not be known
NEGLIGIBLE A situation in which the existence or capability of terrorist groups
may or may not be present
Section 11.2: Tactics
Intelligence Security
Fear has many eyes and can see things underground
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, Pt.1, Ch.20
Intelligence is knowledge or information gathered about a person or subject, in this case,
terrorists. Intelligence security means protecting information that is known about the terrorists.
It also means protecting and concealing the methods by which the information is collected.
Simply put: Intelligence security is guarding what is known and how it was come by.
This involves a variety of shrewd strategies, including deliberately passing false information
Intelligence security may also include not only physical protection of installations, offices,
computers and persons, but also for example, delaying the apprehension of a terrorist in order to
protect a source or deep cover agent operating within the terrorist group.
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 333
Reward Poster
(US Dept. of State)
Security Intelligence
Early and provident fear is the mother of safety
Edmund Burke; Speech; Unitarian petition, 11 May, 1792
Security Intelligence means intelligence which enhances security.
e.g. Knowledge of an impending attack becomes known to security
forces from an Agent.
Security Intelligence sometimes has a secondary meaning: What
is known about security forces by opposition forces (terrorists).
In considering that the primary objective of security forces is the
protection of life and property, it is not, in principle, unreasonable to
negotiate with terrorists, even if it offends dignity and sense of decency.
Negotiation does not necessarily imply concession or surrender. Some governments posture
through media the position that they do not and will never negotiate with terrorists.
In reality, all governments communicate with terrorists, wherever possible, in order to
minimise loss of life and injury to their citizens, and in order to assist efforts to apprehend the
terrorists; any contact with terrorists can only generate further intelligence and thus aids security
forces efforts at detection and apprehension.
Professional psychologists and psychiatrists are routinely utilised by security forces against
terrorists, especially in negotiation and siege and hostage situations.
Concession to terrorists of a reasonable or politically acceptable nature, can be an option that
a government selects to solve a politically unpleasant or dangerous situation.
Concessions should be legal, but this is not always the case where matters of national security
are concerned.
In some political climates, concession to terrorists could easily destroy a governments
credibility or public trust and topple it.
Concessions to terrorists are sometimes concealed by governments from their populations,
usually in the interests of national security. This was the case in Lebanon in the 1980s concerning
release of western hostages.
Fear is maintained by a never failing dread of punishment
Niccolo Machiavelli; The Prince
Deterrent may take many forms. It might include: more severe penalties under laws for
terrorism; circulating descriptions or photographs of terrorists in the media; offering rewards for
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 334
Former West German Police Anti-Terrorism
Poster, 1980.
information, or it might be a naturally evolved deterrent.
Armed hi-jacking of hostages and spontaneous massacre in population centres by terrorists
on foot or in vehicles, does not now occur as frequently as it did before in western European
This is partly due to major improvements in intelligence gathering by anti- and counter-
terrorist forces, but mainly due to the lower chances of survival for the terrorist, who will almost
invariably face a dangerous, probably lethal rendezvous with counter-terrorist forces.
Out of this proficiency, a natural deterrent has evolved.
A highly effective but quite brutal deterrent occurred in a kidnapping case during the Cold
War, in Beirut, Lebanon.
According to local media reports, a small Lebanese militia unit kidnapped a Soviet Official.
Subsequently, agents of a Warsaw-pact intelligence-security organization arrived and
kidnapped a close relative of the militia leader.
The officers of the intelligence-security organization then severed an ear from their captive
and sent it to the militia leader; he promptly released the Soviet official unharmed and the hostage
held by the Warsaw-pact intelligence-security organization was then released.
A tactic applied during recent years in some countries, is to contact the family members
(parents, brothers and sisters) of known wanted terrorists
and inform them of what their son or brother (or daughter
/ sister in some cases) is engaged in.
This is done on the rationale that every little
pressure, upon already-stressed terrorists, helps.
It is often the case that the family members
thoroughly disapprove and apply some degree of
pressure, which no matter how slight, results in
discomfort and perhaps anxiety for the terrorist.
This might eventually result in deterrence or
disillusionment with terrorism, in a very small number of
The terrorists may also develop a subconscious
fear for the safety of their family members, which they
realise are known and monitored by security forces.
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 335
Case Study: Al Qaida attacks on the US: 9/11/01
We laughed when we heard the Americans asking
Mullah Omar to hand over bin Ladin...It is Osama bin Ladin
who can hand over Mullah Omar, not the other way round.
Basically any form of pleasure was outlawed...
watching videos, playing cards, keeping a caged bird,
owning a kite, men without long enough beards, women who
ventured outside their houses... and if we found people doing
any of these things, we would beat them with staves soaked
in water - like a knife cutting through meat, until the room
ran with their blood and their spines snapped.
Then we would leave them with no food or water in
rooms filled with insects until they died.
We always tried to do different things, put some on
their heads to sleep... hang others upside down with their
legs tied together...I crucified people...we would stretch the arms of others and nail them to posts
like crucifixions...a man beaten so much, such a pulp of skin and blood, that it was impossible to tell
whether he had clothes on or not. Every time he fell unconscious, we rubbed salt in his wounds to
make him scream...I would write the report to our commanding officer so he could see how
innovative we had been...the soldiers were given blank marriage certificates signed by a mullah and
were encouraged to take wives during battle...basically a licence to rape.
Hafiz Sadiqulla Hassani, former Taliban torturer, in an interview with Christina Lamb, Daily
Telegraph Reporter, in September 2001 (Reproduced by courtesy of Telegraph Group Ltd)
On the morning of Tuesday 11th September 2001, four inter-related terrorist attacks
(considered collectively as one terrorist event or strike, carried out by the same perpetrating terrorist
organisation) occurred in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania, USA.
The attacks were unprecedented in terms of casualties, destruction, boldness, scale,
sophistication, resources, political and social effect, international outrage, media coverage, and
They were carried out by a group of transnational terrorists of varying nationalities but of
common motive and religious faith, funded and organised by the Al Qaida terrorist coalition
network, headed by Osama bin Ladin, at that time based in Afghanistan.
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 336
World Trade Centre prior to 9 / 11
Four domestic US passenger airliners were hijacked after take-off by 19 transnational
terrorists divided into four teams, using improvised knives, box-cutting tools and razors.
Three aircraft were flown into populated buildings as suicide weapons, and the fourth crash
landed en route to a target, believed to be as a result of passengers and / or aircrew rising up to attack
the hijackers and thwart their plans.
Two aircraft crashed into the 110-story twin towers of the World Trade Centre (New York),
a third into the Pentagon (Washington DC) and a fourth did not make its intended target, but crashed
in a rural area (Pennsylvania).
The 2830 (approximately) victims killed were mostly US citizens, but the remainder included
nationals from at least 80 other countries located on all the continents of the world.
Damage clearing of the 1.3 million ton of debris and steel on the 16-acre site and rebuilding
costs were estimated at US$ 39 billion. Serious localised disruption occurred, with national
disruption for 48 hours in aviation, with security forces on national and worldwide alert.
Other consequences of the attacks were:
Rapid UN Resolutions, condemning the attacks
Establishment of UN Security Council and General Assembly Anti-Terrorism Committees
Establishment of the US Department of Homeland Security
US mobilisation of an international response to terrorism
Invasion of Afghanistan by US-led collation, to remove the [Al Qaida led] Taliban regime
Installation of a coalition democratic government in Afghanistan
A large emergency aid programme for the
long-suffering Afghan population
A US ultimatum that nations sponsoring or protecting
terrorists will be held accountable
(All times: US Eastern time or Zulu / GMT -5)
Tuesday 11th September 2001
8:45 am: American Airlines Flight 11 passenger jet, hijacked
after takeoff from Boston, Massachusetts, crashed into the
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 337
north tower of the World Trade Centre in New York and exploded, making a large hole in the
building and setting it alight.
9:03 am: United Airlines Flight 175 passenger jet, also hijacked after takeoff from Boston,
Massachusetts, crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Centre in New York and exploded,
making a large hole in the building and setting it alight.
9:17 am: FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) closed all New York City airports, diverting all
inbound flights.
9:21 am: PAs (Port Authorities) of New York and New Jersey closed all bridges and tunnels in the
New York Metropolitan area.
9:30 am: US President Bush, announced in Sarasota, Florida, that the country had suffered an
apparent terrorist attack.
9:40 am: FAA halted all flights at U.S. airports nationwide, for the first time in history.
9:43 am: American Airlines Flight 77 passenger jet, hijacked after takeoff from Washington (Dulles)
International Airport, crashed into the Pentagon (HQ of the US Department of Defence), causing
extensive damage to one wing.
9:45 am: The US White House was evacuated.
9:57 am: President Bush departed Florida.
10:05 am: The south tower of the World Trade Centre collapsed, falling into the streets below. A
large cloud of debris and dust enveloped the surrounding areas.
10:08 am: Armed Secret Service Agents were deployed opposite the White House.
10:10 am: One wing of the Pentagon collapsed.
10:10 am: United Airlines Flight 93, hijacked after take off from Newark, New Jersey, crashed in
Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
10:13 am: The United Nations evacuated 7000 people from its New York Headquarters and
10:22 am: The Department of State, Department of Justice and the World Bank evacuated their
Washington buildings.
10:24 am: FAA reported that all US-bound transatlantic aircraft were diverted to Canada.
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 338
10:28 am: The World Trade Centres north tower collapsed into the street below, generating a large
cloud of debris, dust and smoke into the surrounding areas.
10:45 am: All US Federal buildings in Washington were evacuated.
10.46 am: Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State, halted his visit to South America and returned to
the US.
10:54 am: Israel evacuated all of its diplomatic missions.
10:57 am: George Pataki, New York Governor, closed all state government offices.
11:02 am: Rudolph Giuliani, New York City Mayor, evacuated an area of south Manhattan.
11:18 am: American Airlines reported it had lost two aircraft. American Flight 11 (81 passengers
and 11 crew aboard) and Flight 77, (58 passengers and six crew members aboard).
11:26 am: United Airlines reported United Flight 93, as crashed in Pennsylvania.
11:59 am: United Airlines reported that Flight 175, had crashed (56 passengers and nine crew
members aboard).
12:04 pm: Los Angeles International Airport, the destination of three of the hijacked aircraft, was
12:15 pm: San Francisco International Airport, the destination of the remaining aircraft (United
Airlines Flight 93), was evacuated and shut down.
12:15 pm: INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) announced highest state of alert for borders
with Canada and Mexico.
1:04 pm: President Bush announced from a Louisiana Air Force base, that all appropriate security
measures were being taken, including putting the U.S. military on high alert worldwide. He urged
prayers for the killed and wounded and announced Make no mistake, the United States will hunt
down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.
1:27 pm: The City of Washington authorities declared a state of emergency.
1:44 pm: The Pentagon announced the departure of five warships and two aircraft carriers from
Norfolk Virginia in order to protect the East Coast and to reduce the number of ships in dock.
1:48 pm: President Bush departed Louisiana on Air Force One (Presidential jet) and flew to an Air
Force base in Nebraska.
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 339
2:30 pm: FAA announced that there would be no commercial traffic in the continental US until at
least 12 noon on the following day, Wednesday 12th September.
2:49 pm: Subway and bus services were partially restored in New York City.
3:55 pm: President Bush conducted a National Security Council meeting by telephone with Vice
President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (in a secure facility at the
White House) and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (at the Pentagon).
4 pm: Government officials reported good indications that Osama bin Laden is involved in the
attacks, based upon new intelligence received after the attacks.
4:06 pm: Gray Davis, Governor of California dispatched emergency search-and-rescue teams to New
York City.
4:10 pm: Building 7 (a 47-story building) of the World Trade Center complex caught fire.
4:25 pm: The American Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange announced
closure for the following day.
4:30 pm: President Bush departed Nebraska for Washington.
5:15 pm: Fires were reported as continuing in part of the Pentagon.
5:20 pm: Building 7 of the World Trade Center cluster collapsed. It was damaged when the twin
towers (across the street) had collapsed earlier in the day. Buildings in the vicinity remained on fire.
5:30 pm: Government officials announced that the plane crashed in Pennsylvania was headed for the
White House, Camp David, or the U.S. Capitol building.
6:40 pm: U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced in the Pentagon that the Headquarters
was fully operational.
6:54 pm: President Bush arrived at the White House on Marine One (Presidential helicopter) having
landed earlier at an Air Force base in Maryland with three fighter jets escorting his aircraft.
7:02 pm: New Yorks Marriott Hotel (near the World Trade Center) was reported as on the verge
of collapse. Some New York bridges were re-opened to outbound traffic.
7:45 pm: NYPD (New York Police Department) reported at least 78 police officers as missing and
the City authorities reported as many as 200 firemen (first responders) killed.
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 340
8:30 pm: President Bush addressed the nation and announced that Thousands of lives were suddenly
ended by evil.
He asked for prayers for families and friends of the victims, adding that These acts shattered steel,
but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.
President Bush said that the U.S. government would make no distinction between terrorists who
commit acts and those who harbour them.
He went on to mention that Washington government offices were reopening later in the evening for
essential staff and for all staff on the following day.
9:22 pm: The Pentagon fire was reported as still burning: contained, but not under control.
9:57 pm: New York Mayor Giuliani announced closure of New York City schools for the following
day. He announced that there was no electricity on the westside of Manhattan.
10:49 pm: Attorney General Ashcroft told members of Congress that there were three to five
hijackers on each plane armed with knives.
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 341
Osama bin Ladin
Courtesy: US State Dept.
Soviet Military Poster
Courtesy: Funet
On 11th September 2001, when Al Qaida
terrorists attacked the US critical infrastructure, terrorism
made a graduation. It escalated from the acts of horror we
are relatively accustomed to, up to clear acts of war, on a
scale normally confined to a wartime battle scenario, and
with corresponding carnage.
The events which led up to this outrage are rooted
as far back as the Afghan-Soviet war of 1979 to 1989.
Over twenty years ago now, the Soviet army began
invading Afghanistan on 24th December 1979. Four days
later, Zbigniew Brzezinsky (US National Security
Advisor from 1977 to 1981) wrote a memorandum to
President Carter informing him that the US now has the
opportunity to give the Soviet Union its Vietnam.
According to Dr. Charles Cogan, Chief of the CIA
South Asia Division (1979-1984), the first US arms sent
to the Afghan Mujahideen rapidly arrived only some few
days later on 10th January 1980. As this was a clandestine
operation and in order to maintain a degree of deniability,
the arms were Warsaw pact models and not US weapons.
The US opposed the Soviets on political grounds
and the Mujahideen opposed the Soviets on religious grounds as communism (specifically atheism,
an attribute of communism) is unacceptable to Islam.
A massive expansion of the Mujahideen was required. Guerrilla warfare training camps were
set up at Peshawar in Pakistans North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and along the border with
Afghanistan. The US was to fund the expansion with an eventual US$ 3 billion, with some financial
aid coming from Saudi Arabia. Pakistans
ISI coordinated this clandestine warfare
A total of around 250,000
Mujahideen (rotating) were to fight in the
10-year war at one time or another, and
14,000 came from 22 Muslim countries
outside of Afghanistan.
These volunteers went out (mainly
from and via Middle Eastern countries) to
train and become Mujahideen, fighting
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 342
FIM 92 A STINGER Missile
the Soviets under the banner of Jihad,
artificially stimulated and sanctioned by the
US, China, Saudi Arabia and several other
western and eastern countries.
An early arrival was 22 year-old
Osama bin Ladin from a Yemeni family
who had emigrated to Saudi Arabia. He
gained quite widespread popularity among
the other Mujahideen for two reasons:
He used his immense family wealth
(millions from the construction
industry) and technical knowledge to
construct roads, tunnels, orphanages
and hospitals for Afghans wounded
in the conflict
He took part in the fighting himself at one point, before becoming an instructor for a period
in one of the training camps, although he did not need even to go to Afghanistan. Being
wealthy and independent, he could have instead afforded to sponsor others and remain safely
at home, as most of his wealthy peers chose to do
Bin Ladin set up the services office (Maktaba el Khidmat) in Peshawar, Pakistan (near the
border with Afghanistan), with Abdulah Azzam, head of the Palestinian Iqwan ul Muslimeen
(Muslim Brotherhood). The office processed many of the Mujahideen bound for the training camps
and the fighting. It was at this point that bin Ladin began to build up a directory of religious
extremists, as thousands of them passed through the services (recruiting) office in Peshawar. This
directory become the database and directory of the Al Qaida (the base) network-coalition when it
was formed in 1988.
In 1986, the war was escalated when Milton Bearden, CIA Station Chief in Pakistan from
1986 to 1989, crossed the border into Afghanistan for operations involving supply and training with
superior US weaponry. He taught the Mujahideen how to operate the US Stinger missile and soon
after, they were used with great success to shoot down Soviet helicopters and aircraft. Milton
Bearden so rightly describes this as the turning point of the war.
The costly ten year campaign resulted in the ejection of the Soviets from Afghanistan, with
15,000 Soviets and 1 million Afghans killed, and half a million Soviets wounded. 66% of Afghans
had become refugees.
When US support was withdrawn following the conclusion of the war, it was left to Saudi
Arabia and Pakistan to re-establish civil order, rebuild the area and bring the region off of a war
footing. US Senator Dana Rohrbacker (California) recalled that That was a terrible mistake.
Little or nothing was done about the Mujahideen. No one seemed to have foreseen the
consequences of training a full-blooded guerrilla army, most of whom had little interest or skills
other than fighting a Jihad or Holy War, then literally abandoning them to their own devices, fully
Lesson 11/ Anti-Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism 343
Opium poppies (Papaver Somniferum)
Shown after the first stage of heroin
production - gum excretion after lancing
Courtesy: UK Home Office
armed with their weapons.
Significant numbers of the Mujahideen were
refused entry upon return to their own countries and some
were killed upon arrival, for fear of them fomenting violent
domestic Jihad. Overall, large numbers of Mujahideen felt
betrayed and abandoned. Consequently they shifted their
focus from anti-communism to the problems in the Muslim
They founded a new cause of armed Jihad
(legitimised for them by the west and their own
governments during the war) against their own
governments, which they considered corrupt and western
It was at this point in history that in the eyes of the
west, the Mujahideen ceased to be heroes, and became
villains, not only for political reasons, but also because
they began to run a lucrative narcotics trade, including
stockpiles, which apparently continues. As a result, 79% of
the worlds illegal opium is supplied from Afghanistan and
tons of Heroin are smuggled into Europe each year (6 tons
of illegal heroin were seized in Europe between October
2000 and March 2001). Illegal Opium production in
Afghanistan pre-dates the emergence of the Taliban in
1995. That same year, opium produced in Afghanistan was
estimated at 2,300 tons. In 2001, 185 metric tons of Opium was produced in Afghanistan, grossing
farmers approximately US$ 56 million.
The training camps which had not all closed after the war, religious schools (a religious
school is a Deenie Medresseh [Arabic]) and other facilities became training schools for terrorism and
guerrilla warfare. M