Ebook: Suicide as a Weapon
The topic of suicide terrorism takes us right to the heart of the dilemmas of the 21st century. This type of attack has become the weapon of choice of ‘globalized terror’. The scene is set by a historical review of suicide attacks in the first chapter. This wide-ranging analysis divides the phenomenon into three main headings: individual and psychological factors, the organization and its contribution, and the environments in which the terror is nurtured. Other topics covered include: what is new about terrorism, the mindset of the PLL terror organization, reactions of security forces, recruiting and training suicide bombers, the high profile of women suicide bombers, the focus area Iraq, the impact of suicide attacks on US public opinion, the London bombings, the international character of suicide attacks, how the police and/or private security personnel can provide on-site security against suicide terrorism and the financing of terrorism.
The present volume originated in an Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) which took place at the Cultural Centre of the Central Officers' Club, Ankara, 24–25 May 2007. This was a workshop hosted by the Centre of Excellence – Defence Against Terrorism (COE–DAT), which was opened in Ankara in 2005 with the purpose of supporting NATO on defence issues related to terrorism. Turkey is the framework nation, and at present six other nations also contribute with staff and funds, namely the United States, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Romania, the Netherlands and Germany. Each year, COE–DAT organizes numerous workshops and courses, bringing academic rigour and institutional expertise in terrorism to interested parties in NATO, Partnership for Peace (PfP), and Mediterranean Dialogue countries, Non-triple Nations and others.
The framework of the workshop is reflected in this book. The first session considered what is new about today's terrorism and the phenomenon of suicide attacks, while the second session, “Defining the Threat,” analyzed specific aspects of this terrorism. The third session looked at terrorism's impact on modern society. The fourth and fifth sessions addressed “Countering Suicide Terrorism” and “Organizing to Fight Suicide Terrorism,” respectively.
The topic of suicide terrorism takes us right to the heart of the dilemmas of the 21st century. This type of attack has become the weapon of choice of “globalized terror”, a term explored by Laila Bokhari (see her chapter on “Jihad in a Globalized World”), who highlights the interplay between the local and global contexts of al-Qaeda's associates, with an emphasis on extremism within Europe's immigrant communities.
The scene is set by a historical review of suicide attacks in the first paper (see Brig.-Gen. Stanciu's “Factors Involved in Terrorist Attacks”). This wide-ranging analysis divides the phenomenon into three main headings: individual and psychological factors, the organization and its contribution, and the environments (political, social, cultural/religious, etc) in which the terror is nurtured.
While beginning with the topic of what is new about modern terrorism, Capt (N) Altunbulak and Lt.-Col. Sarıca's consideration of “Religious Motivations and Suicide Bombings” concentrates on the error of glibly associating al-Qaeda-type terror with Islam, and identifies this error in some of the security methods of the US and Britain. On a more positive note, Turkey's history can provide material for an informed and constructive dialogue between western governments and their Muslim citizens.
Ch.-Supt. Ahmet Eren is an expert on the wide spectrum of terrorism in Turkey. His paper concentrates on the mindset of members of the PKK terror organization, showing how they are dominated by an autocratic leadership style which values only obedience. In contrast, the Iraqi suicide volunteer Mervan Ebu Ubeyde comes from a privileged background, but has chosen to sacrifice himself, expressing his motives in the broadest of terms. Ahmet Eren notes the danger of creating a vicious circle if security forces react randomly to terror, and he writes against misconceptions about Islam.
The methods used by terrorist organizations to recruit and train suicide bombers is the subject of a study by Supt. Süleyman Özeren. His paper also provides a useful survey of relevant literature, including references to discussions from a psychological viewpoint of what makes a terrorist.
Another aspect of terrorism considered in this book takes its starting point from the fact that women suicide bombers have a high profile in some terror organizations. Laila Bokhari's second paper suggests that women's past role as victim or supporter may be changing, and considers the significance of this development. In the last five years, since Wafa Idris blew herself up in Jerusalem, radical Islamists have accepted female volunteers for suicide attacks. The web magazine “al-Khansaa” is aimed at women in pro-al-Qaeda families, and generally sees its readership in traditional supportive roles, although some sections provide information on training for combat.
Brian Fishman brings a wealth of information about the area which is now the undisputed focus of suicide attacks, Iraq. Here we learn, for example, that in the overwhelming majority of suicide attacks in Iraq no responsibility is claimed. In another section we are introduced to the main arguments used by Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi to justify suicide attacks according to one view of Islamic Law. Fishman also looks at the impact of suicide attacks on US public opinion, and argues that they are not shaping public opinion to any great extent.
William Gawthrop requires a certain stretch of the imagination if we are to accept one assumption in his paper, namely that people interrogated in investigations of al-Qaeda-style terror base their responses on a detailed grasp of Islamic Law and what it says on such subjects as informing, picking apart a brother's words, and giving a misleading impression. The article takes as its one authority on Islamic Law the 'Umdat as-Salik of Ahmad ibn Naqib.
Anthony Richards analyzes the 7 July 2005 London Bombings and evaluates the “Emergency Response, Intelligence and Causes.” In his survey of the reports and reactions of the UK government, he points out that the attack was not unexpected, and already many important steps had been taken like the creation of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat and the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre. In terms of the British government's response, Dr Richards notes that the “Countering International Terrorism” document (2006) emphasized the need to tackle inequalities in British society, a need which has been recognised and acted on for years. There is, however, “very little acknowledgement of the foreign policy sphere a being a major source of the problem.”
In “The Role of Intelligence in Combating Suicide Terrorism; Sharing Intelligence amongst States,” Ely Karmon demonstrates the international character of suicide attacks, and reviews the performance of existing international cooperation frameworks. Some of the criticisms made of the current structures are presented, not least Turkey's dissatisfaction with European efforts against the PKK.
Rolf Tophoven answers the question of how the police and/or private security personnel can provide on-site security against suicide terrorism, especially in situations where rings of defence can be established around a possible target area.
“The Law and Rules of Engagement against Suicide Attacks” is a long article in which Jonathan Edwards reviews the laws relating to orders issued to military personnel on the use of force in situations where there is a threat of suicide attacks. Attacks on land, sea and from the air are considered. While the emphasis is on the difficulties faced by US troops in Iraq, the article compares the laws of other countries. Incidents in which the orders have been tested are presented, for example the London Metropolitan Police's shooting of an innocent Brazilian man mistaken for a suicide bomber. There is a detailed account of the case concerning the shooting of the Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena and two intelligence officers in Baghdad in 2005.
Nick Ridley's article looks at many aspects of terrorism before touching on some financial aspects of various suicide attacks. He points out that “the financial outlay to a terrorist organisation… is comparatively small compared to other forms of terrorist attack,” and “these financial advantages are enhanced by the mobility and adaptability of the suicide terrorist.”
We are taken into the world of donors, charities and the “hawala”, the simple bank transfer widely used by extremist groups in financing terrorism, by Katharina von Knop's article. Dr von Knop analyzes the Safa Group, in which businessmen and others including Sami al-Arian had a complex network of connections and a strong interest in funding various extremist organizations.
Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Kibaroğlu's closing remarks reflect on some of the discussions which took place at the Ankara workshop.
Lt.-Col. Halil Sarıca, ARW Director
Traditionally viewed as a problem affecting the Middle East and South Asia, the threat posed by suicide terrorism is spreading around the globe. The past three years have seen more attacks than the last quarter century. The 9/11 as well as the London attacks have emphasized how acts of suicide terrorism have the potential to cause considerable losses of human lives and damage to physical infrastructure, while influencing the course of the global environment. Thus, in order to develop policies vital to national and international security that will meet the challenges of suicide attacks, the need to understand the causes and the factors involved in this phenomenon appears evident. On the basis of my own experience, and according to the conclusions drawn by well known experts in this field, I have realized that this phenomenon has to be analysed taking three main factors into account: individual, organizational and environmental.
Suicide attacks are not new. There are strategic and psychological reasons for this method, which is also used by secular terror organizations. The last fifteen years have seen the unprecedented world-wide rise of a 'brand' of suicide terrorist who gives religion as his motivation. Religion can offer various rewards to an attacker, and in the history of Turkey opponents from the West and Middle East have used religion to motivate their combatants. A progression can be seen in al-Qaeda's interpretation of Islam. These views do not represent Islam. Again, Turkey's experience is important: The Ottoman State based itself on Sharia Law, but interpreted Koran and Hadiths in a very different way, and religious tolerance was the norm. Muslims object when Westerners associate Islam with terror. Government institutions like the CIA may fail to understand the distinctions and take actions which are rightly condemned as racist. So how are suicide attacks to be stopped? The intelligence community should be more aware of the religious issues. In order to gain more information, some civil liberties may have to be set aside, especially in the area of non-intrusive intelligence-gathering. In order to undermine religious motivations, governments should engage more positively in the inner-Islamic debate.
The following brief paper will aim to address the following questions: What do we mean by a local or global Jihad? What is the terminology used? What are possible causes of extremism and terrorism, the role played by social, economic and political deprivation in a globalized world? What are local forms of violent extremism seen in Europe in particular relating to Islamic minorities – what links to global/foreign terrorist groups? What other local contexts/conflicts play a role on a global stage – what role can armed conflicts play in creating global movements? Characteristics of the “Global Jihad”. A possible dissuasion strategy – local and global, short and long-term.
The lecture aims to scrutinize the concepts of terrorists, who either voluntarily commit suicide attacks or are forced to do so, with various motivational factors. The presentation focuses on the mindset of terrorists mainly from Turkey, however, it touches on the psychology of other terrorists across the world. It is a known fact that terrorist organizations are capable of using some “social” and “psychological” methods as a means of propaganda to influence these individuals. The lecture explains the militants' point of view in interpreting the events taking place around them as the effects of group psychology and dynamics. The lecture emphasizes how this ideology turns into a belief system in the world of the militants a certain period after joining a terrorist organization. It also highlights the importance of ideological publications, which are read continuously during organizational training. It finally reflects the effects of all these factors in becoming a suicide bomber.
Suicide attack is one of the most effective tactics of terrorism. While it is important to identify the tactics of suicide terrorism in terms of how it is carried out, it is also more important to know the recruitment and training process of suicide terrorism. Identifying the methods of recruitment and training of suicide terrorism will enable the law enforcement personnel to develop new tactics to counter suicide terrorism. Such an attempt will also enable policy-makers to develop new strategies and policies to undermine recruitment methods. Countering terrorism strategies are applicable to suicide terrorism because literature shows us that recruitment methods of suicide terrorism share similar features with terrorism in general. The purpose of this paper is to analyze both the recruitment and training methods of suicide terrorism.
This paper looks at women's role and the perception of their role in one particular form of violence, namely terrorism. The questions raised in this paper are based on discussions and research in the context of sessions with the titles of the sub-sections below. The paper aims to look at the motivations of both the women who have become activists and the organisations that recruit them. We will also be looking at what areas and what roles women have played in a number of radical movements. Finally we will conclude with a few reflections on what consequences a possible increasing acceptance of female terrorism might have for the development of terrorism.
This paper is divided into four major sections: an introduction to the academic study of suicide bombings by both Western scholars and jihadi-salafis, a discussion of the dynamics of suicide bombings in Iraq, and an analysis of the impact of suicide bombings on U.S. domestic opinion on the war. Finally, the paper will offer some conclusions and recommendations for policy makers who may face suicide campaigns in the future.
This paper presents a broad view of various considerations confronting intelligence and law enforcement personnel involved with investigations in which some or all of the principal players (subject, victims, witnesses, investigators, translators or analysts) may be subject to the obligations of two competing legal disciplines; the sharia and the protocols of secular, state sponsored, legally sufficient criminal investigations. Little has been written or openly discussed about these issues. Reasons include unawareness of the provisions of Islamic Law and its attending religious and political sensitivities. The application of doctrinally sound investigative procedures and analytical art may no longer be sufficient when addressing issues involving the sharia.
The 7th July attacks in London were not wholly unexpected. Much progress has been made in recent years in the UK's emergency preparedness and its ability to pre-empt terrorist attacks through, for example, the Civil Contingencies legislation and the formation of JTAC respectively. There are, however, many hurdles to be overcome. But another key part of counter-terrorism strategy, and arguably the most important, is to demotivate, to reverse the motivation and recruitment potential, of those 1,600 or so individuals that MI5 sees as a threat and, equally importantly, to prevent the radicalisation of many more. The British government has been reluctant to acknowledge the impact that the international realm and some foreign policies have had on domestic radicalisation in the UK. This may be partly why it is looking within for solutions to the problem of radicalisation, through the emphasis on integration, societal cohesion and equality. As laudable as these aspirations appear to be, one should not deceive oneself into believing that these initiatives will solve the problem of home-grown terrorism. The problems of societal cohesion and lack of integration of minority communities into mainstream society have been with us for decades, a long time before any serious threat of terrorism emerged from within the UK's Muslim community. If the government is to engage with the Muslim community in its response to terrorism then an acknowledgement of the impact of UK foreign policy on domestic radicalisation would at least better inform that engagement.
International cooperation in the fight against terrorism, including suicide terrorism, is a sine qua non, and various international structures exist in which the cooperation can take place. Suicide terrorism has become a main strategy, not only of Islamist terrorist organizations, but of secular or nationalist organizations like the Tamil LTTE or the Kurdish PKK. The question is what differentiates or characterizes cooperation against suicide terrorism from cooperation between law enforcement and intelligence services in all other fields of terrorism. This paper will try to prove that, because suicide terrorism is a strategic weapon which can produce tremendous human losses and psychological and political consequences, the need to counter it becomes an imperative in the international cooperation between law enforcement agencies, intelligence services and the military. This cooperation includes the fields of legal measures, continuing monitoring and neutralization of the operational infrastructure used by organizers of suicide operations (recruitment, training, targeting, financing), the need to develop educational tools to prevent the proliferation of the concept of istishhad (martyrdom), the exchange of information about counter-terrorist methods and technologies developed by the individual agencies or by academic and private entities.
There is no 100% safe strategy to stop suicide missions. There are many security measures which can be implemented to reduce considerably the possibility of such attacks. We can also learn from the experience of countries with long experience of fighting suicide terrorism. One thing we should keep in mind is that a suicide attack is not the act of a lone lunatic. Each suicide operation is well planned with a clear intention by the suicide and his or her organization. As Boaz Ganor put it, countering this wave of terrorism requires a combination of effective intelligence, operational activity, security, and psychological measures, combined with international cooperation in the fight against the organizations responsible.
Rules of Engagement (ROE) are a critical command and control tool to guide military and police personnel in defending against suicide attacks. ROE must comply with domestic and international law, which will vary depending upon the context in which the suicide attacks are taking place. This paper provides ROE and related considerations for defending against suicide attacks on land, on the sea and from the air.
Suicide terrorism epitomises the fanaticism of various terrorist groups in the extreme lengths to which they will go in their attempts to achieve their ultimate objectives. It is also an effective tactic and one which groups are using in order to counter the advantages of the security forces and government in terms of having vastly superior resources. This paper will examine the interaction between the tactic of suicide terrorism, in the context of developments in the post-9/11 era, the role of intelligence in countering terrorism, and the element of finances in terrorist attacks.
Putting together the puzzle how terrorism financing works is a mingle of proven cases, know how, experiences, analysis, institutional and international cooperation, imagination, instinct and drawing the right conclusions. As such working on terrorism financing and how it can be countered is an art not science it is an art. The purpose of the article is to give a general overview of terrorism financing and to emphasize the most recent trends. The terrorism funding resources like the Banking System, Hawala, Money Laundering, Charities, Phenomenon Rich Bankers, States, Criminality and highly important the Internet will explained. The Safa Group Case has been chosen to give deeper insights because this is a textbook case of the most common patterns of terrorism financing and because Nick Ridley will focusing in his presentation on how terrorism financing can be countered in the Middle East. Following the concept of NATO ARW the paper will close with identified future scientific research questions: 1. Evaluation of Refining Anti-Terrorism-Financing Policies, 2. Comparatistic Analysis of Functional Categories, 3. Development of a combined undercover Security System of Human Behavior Patters, Web and Financial Activities, 4. Planting of electronic “agents” within IT Systems, 5. Improving the interoperability of the Software and Analyses of OSINT between governmental institutions and between countries. Finally and most important might be the creation of a relationship of trust and transparency with Sharia banks and charities.