To critically examine the threat of modern terrorism to Western society.
Design/methodology: An assessment was made Of biblically available documentation. The paper is then divided into a number of sections. It initially deals with the difficulties of defining terrorism, followed by its symbiotic relationship with the media. The next section looks at the modern Islamic Fundamentalist threat and the primarily nosecone response since 9/1 1. Whilst the US has withdrawn combat forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, a bipartisan approach has been maintained to counterterrorism.The dangers f such an approach are examined along with emerging threats.
Table of Contents Abstract Introduction Define Role of the Media Psychology Modern Terrorism The Response Countervail – The Dangers Looking Ahead – The Next Potential Threats Another Approach Conclusion INTRODUCTION “Terrorism has become part of our daily news diet. Hardly a day goes by without news of an assassination, political kidnapping, hijacking or bombing somewhere in the world. As such, incidents of terrorism have increased in the past decade, the phenomenon of terrorism has become one of increasing concern to governments.
… 1 Introduction. With the recent high profile terrorist attacks in Sydney and Paris and the ongoing terrorist incidents in Nigeria, Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorism has been described as the biggest threat to 21st Century security. 2 However the opening quote was from a RAND paper written in 1980. Terrorism is not a modern phenomenon. Historic Precedence.
Terror as a tactic is not new. Some scholars date such actions to the Thugs; Assassins and Zealots. 3 But it is generally accepted that the origins of modern terrorism date from the Reign of Terror (1789-94) during the French Revolution.
The idea was later used to support the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, where it was termed “governance by terror’. 4 State terror has often been used to describe internal national violence, such as the Israeli military occupation Of Gaza, but the UN does not recognize such a concept. States by definition have a monopoly on power and any abuse of that power is regulated by international law. Modern non-state terrorism can trace its routes to anarchists such as Sergei Enchanted and the “propaganda by the deed” in ninetieth century Russia.
Rapport describes four waves of terror.Anarchists; Anti-colonialism Socialist and Islamic fundamentalist with each wave lasting some 40 years. Anti- colonial and socialist terrorism grew out of nationalist power struggles, which accompanied the European withdrawal from Empire and the ideological conflict of the Cold War (The Red Brigades, Stern Gang in Israel, and the FLAN in Algeria). 5 DEFINE Defining Terrorism: The difficulty in defining terrorism is that that there is no precise or widely accepted definition of the term. It is politically and emotionally charged – used liberally in the media to intensify perceptions of violence and used politically to delimiting opponents.The munching in the asses were referred to as “freedom fighters” whilst the Taliban are referred o as terrorists.
Terminology influences how the audience considers the message. Terrorism is a tactic to achieve an end. It is not the end in itself. The modern phenomenon of non-state actor violence for political ends is defined in a RAND paper as: 6 Violence, or threat of, against civilians motives are political or ideological carried out for maximum publicity to influence an audience beyond the immediate victim.
US officials add another distinction – one of ties to a larger strategy.This prevents the lone wolf violence such as the gunman who opened fire against the Pentagon on 4 Mar 201 0 being termed a terrorist attack. This is an important distinction, as the lone wolf attack would be investigated as a criminal offence, whilst a terrorist threat would fall under the remit of the FBI. It would also draw more publicity to the incident, playing into the terrorists’ hands. 7 A clear definition therefore gets frayed around the edges. Kopi Anna best Sums up the distinction: “Any deliberate attack On innocent civilians, regardless of one’s cause, is unacceptable and fits into the definition of terrorism”. Terrorism And Insurgency. Terrorism is a tool.
Therefore it is often used by insurgency groups when faced by stronger conventional forces. This “asymmetric” warfare found its modern roots during the Peninsular Wars (1807-14) when the term Guerrilla was used to denote a small band of fighters. In response, the strength of the state is diluted by having to assign disproportionate resources to secure the population. Marxist and Moist revolutionary theories promote such tactics and the Afghan Taliban are a modern example.Whilst the two can therefore be indistinguishable at times, the distinction has been used to frame policy in Washington – whether to pursue a counterterrorism (CT) or counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy in Afghanistan.
Many view ASS post 9/1 1 network as a global insurgency). 9 The contemporary view involving high profile acts for maximum publicity evolved out of the humiliating defeat of the Arabs and Palestinians in the Six- Day War (1967). Unable to compete on the battlefield, in 1968 the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PULP) hijacked an El AY airliner, demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners.
In 1972, the bungled rescue of Israeli hostages held by Black September initiated the growth of specialist counter terrorist forces in the West. Rise of Islamic fundamentalism. The Iranian revolution of 1 979 provided an ideological alternative to Western influence in the Middle East. The Anti-LOS message resonated in Islamic societies living under US backed autocracies from Saudi Arabia to Egypt. The fall of the Soviet Union weakened pro-soviet alternatives, (initiating the demise of left wing terror groups) whilst America’s support for Israel alienated many.Support for militant Islam grew (the PULP diverged from its Marxist origins and established links with Hams and Hezbollah).
The defeat of the Soviets in Afghanistan (1979-89) emboldened Psalmists and globalizes the phenomenon as foreign Munched fighters returned home. Increasingly Violent. With the limited success of hostage taking, mass casualty attacks became more widespread. Hezbollah success in influencing US foreign policy with its suicide truck bombing of US marines in Beirut in 1983 was noted by terrorist groups worldwide.
Other Palestinian groups adopted the tactic. Hams launched a suicide attack campaign in the 1 sass and the secular Tamil Tigers in Sir Lankan became renowned for such attacks. AY-Qaeda (AS) attempted to topple both Twin Towers in a truck bomb attack in 1993. Terrorist groups live off publicity and therefore need to escalate the level of violence to gain attention. Prisoners digging their own graves and reporters being beheaded is less newsworthy as time goes on.
The terrorist adapts and burns pilots alive instead. 10 THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA “The Oxygen of Publicity. Terrorism seeks to dramatist violence in order to exaggerate the importance of the organization. Sergei Enchanted “propaganda by the deed”. In 1970, the PULP hijacked 3 planes and staged a press conference in the Jordanian desert to demand the release of Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Pulp’s “revolutionary airport’ at Dawson’ Field. Source: Wisped. Notably, the terrorists were unsure how to treat the press and treated the stages very well! In 1985, Baroness Margaret Thatcher famously spoke of the need to “starve the terrorist of the oxygen of publicity” when referring to the AIR.
The subsequent Broadcasting Ban sought to limit the airtime given to political parties linked to violence, but media outlets soon found ways around the ban. AY-Charier, bin Alden’s successor, stated “We are in a war, and more than half that war is fought in the media. ” Terrorists need the media to spread their message.
The Charlie Hobo attacks in Paris in Jan 2015 gained worldwide press coverage. That same week, Book Harm militants in N Nigeria killed between 150 – 2,000 civilians. 11 It barely covered. Location matters. Medium Matters.Given the symbiotic relationship between terrorism and the media, it is no wonder that the information revolution has facilitated terror groups. Osama bin Alden’s videos and the hostage videos at the height of the Iraqi insurgency were of poor quality.
The introduction of social media platforms (U-tube 2005) allowed groups to post their message without the restriction of intermediaries. Islamic State (IS)12 now produces slick propaganda videos (Ames of War) with cinematic effects specifically Argentina young Western audiences and produces an English language magazine Dhabi. 3 It works, in 2014, recruits were traveling to Syria at the rate of 1 ,OHO per month! (As at Deck 2014, it is estimated that some 500 Britons had gone to fight). There is no longer a need to set up a press conference in the desert or rely on grainy footage from a cave to rally potential recruits. Seaman in Leaderless Jihad 14 has recognized that “top-down” messaging is less important that “bottom up” recruitment. People become radicalized less out Of an Organization’s direct efforts, but more due to established social networks.A review of al-Qaeda in Iraq (IQ) recruitment found that over 50% of foreign fighters were influenced by friends and family.
In one case a whole football team from Saudi Arabia was recruited! 15 In the K, such recruitment is taking place in people’s bedrooms rather than in mosques. 16 Social networking is therefore the new front line in the media wars. The UK has set up the Counterterrorism Internet Referral Unit and banned the glorification of terrorism. In Novo 2014 the Head of GOGH accused technology companies of being in denial into how they were being used to propagate and coordinate terrorist activities.But Google has errors of content uploaded every minute! ) The US confronts Shadiest online with counter messaging. 1 7 PSYCHOLOGY The Illusion of Risk. Terrorism matters not because of its death toll, but through the psychology of fear.
Psychologists have noted that people worry more about uncontrollable and the catastrophic events. In an era before logical deduction, such behavior may have given an evolutionary benefit to those that remained wary. 18 Due to the Regency Illusion, people have a tendency to view terrorism as a particularly 21 SST Century phenomenon.
In fact 1975 has been dubbed by historians as the year of terrorism.In 1975, there were kidnappings in the Middle East; two attempts to shoot down airliners in Paris; an AIR bombing campaign in London; assassinations of Turkish Ambassadors in Austria and France; hijacking of a train in the Netherlands and seizure of OPEC ministers in Vienna! 1 9 Its catastrophic nature; how recent it was and the level of media coverage therefore heavily influence the perception of the threat of terrorism. Hostage situations play out over days. Deaths only have a short news lifespan! The psychological impact of terrorism is intended to be greater than the physical threat. MODERN TERRORISMGrowth of Jihad Terrorism. According to Rapport, we are currently experiencing the fourth wave of terrorism, a religious wave with Islam at its heart.
20 The Iranian revolution precipitated the rise of Shih terrorist groups in the Middle East, whilst the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan attracted Sunnis Munched particularly from Egypt; Saudi Arabia and Algeria. Following the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda turned its attention to the US and conducted a series of attacks: the 1993 WTG truck bombing the 1998 US embassy strikes in East Africa and the attack on the US Cole in Aden in 2000.Ass’s initial objectives were to force the US out of the Arabian Peninsula, in particular Saudi Arabia, where it had established a presence after the 1 991 Gulf War.
AS was forced to adopt following the US led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Isolated in the Pakistan tribal areas, and no longer able to train and organize attacks, AS central became a propaganda hub, with affiliates particularly active in Iraq (IQ), the Arabian Peninsula (ASAP), N Africa (AS in the Islamic Manager) and SE Asia (Jammed Islamic). It is notable that these units were not new entities, but splinters from existing jihads groups. However, continued attrition including the death of Osama bin Laden (201 1) and inter- fundamentalist rivalry (particularly in Syria between AS/IS and Jubbah al- Nausea) have degraded the group.
It is assessed that there is no umbrella organization, but a label for a brand that is intent on targeting the West. 22 Terrorist Manifestations: There are three main levels of international terrorism-23 State Sponsored ; Such as the Libyan terrorists under the Godhead regime who conducted the Locker bombing, Iranian sponsored Hezbollah etc.Stateless Groups, the main grouping – such as PLOP and AS. Lone wolf -? individuals who are not being directed as part of a wider campaign: Examples include the London Underground attacks of 2005, the Norwegian Oslo attacks (2011) and the Boston Bombers (2013). David Killeen an Australian Army Advisor to General Petrels in Iraq has described another manifestation, the “Accidental Guerrilla” – someone who fights not to defeat the West, but because his space has been invaded-24 A defensive Jihad. THE RESPONSE The Rise of the Nosecones: The US response to 9/1 1 was as unique as the attack itself.
US post Cold War world strategy has been dubbed “assertive multilateral. 25 Military force was used, but within the framework of a multinational approach. The nosecones however felt that the victory of the Cold War was being wasted. They wanted to reshape global relations through military force if necessary. 26 Following 9/1 1, Secretary of State Colic Powell was increasingly marginal’s by the nosecones, led by Rumbled and Cheney.
Powell wanted retaliatory strikes against AS rather than a global war against Salamis terrorists.A traditional law enforcement approach to countering terrorism. But the Nosecones wanted preemptive wars as “the world is a battlefield” and wanted a free hand.
The result was the invasion of Afghanistan and then Iraq. A New Kind of War. In Novo 2002, ABA All al Harriet identified as the mastermind behind the attack on the US Cole – was killed by a drone strike in Yemen along with an American named Aimed Hijack.
This was a pivotal moment – a targeted assassination of a US citizen with no due process away from the battlefield.National Security Advisor Condolences Rice declared: ” The president has given broad authority to US officials to do what they need to do to protect the country. We are in a new kind of war. Afghanistan/Pakistan. After the initial success of Operation Enduring F-redeem n Afghanistan, US policy switched to Iraq. One result of the Iraq focus was a thinning out of strategic assets committed to hunting AS.
Instead the resulting counterterrorist policy became largely a drone war in Pakistanis ungoverned NW Frontier.The campaign successfully killed a number of AS operatives, but resulted in large numbers of civilian casualties and increased support for the Pakistan Taliban. Iraq. Although Iraq had a history of exporting state funded terrorism, its links to AS prior to 2003 were marginal. Despite regime change and capturing the Bath party leadership, Washington persisted in denying that there was an insurgency, believing opposition was purely coming from remnants of the old regime. Violence increased in the spring of 2004 following the ABA Garage prisoner abuse scandal and the siege of Fallfish.Foreign fighters including members of AS flocked to join the jihad.
AY-Gizzard, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq (IQ) grabbed the limelight, in May, with the beheading of the American Nicholas Berg in an orange jumpsuit. Although, this allowed Washington to change the narrative to a fight against IQ, it also brought Gizzard prestige and recognition to what had hitherto been an obscure network. 27 IQ attacks although spectacular formed a small percentage of those against US forces. 28 They did however serve to incite a savage civil war as Gizzard announced a war against Shiites and they in turn formed their own death squads.
AY-Gizzard. Source: Wisped/Getty. In 2005 Gizzard increased his campaign against the Iraqi Shiites. AS core warned him that sectarian violence should be secondary to driving the US out of Iraq. Gizzard paid no attention and in 2006 bombed the Assyria Mosque in Samara whilst at the same time threatening the Sunnis leadership in Unbar. The subsequent Sunnis “Awakening’ and US Surge saw the Sunnis leadership did with the US and by June SOC found, fixed and finished Gizzard! The Rise of SOC. After 9/1 1 Joint Special Ops Command (SOC) was expanded to conduct a “shadow war.
Rumbled sought an organization that would fit his view of the ‘Nimrod as a Battlefield” and which was not constrained by the checks and balances that had evolved around the CIA. 29 By 2004, SOC was firmly established in Iraq and led by General Stan Mystical. Mystical sought to fuse Task Forces operations with the Acacia’s Special Activities Division and Activity (SINGING wing). In doing so, Mystical increased the targeting cycle of Find, Fix, Finish, Exploit, Analyses, Disseminate, (FADED).
30 Source: Afghan War News. ZED.Intelligence gleaned from one night raid was immediately used to launch other raids – before the insurgents had had time to react.
Between 2003-7, the special ops budget grew by 60% and Rumbled gave it a global mandate under CAN Xerox, which allowed operatives to target AS beyond the battle zones of Afghanistan and Iraq. SOC developed into a paramilitary CIA, with an intelligence collection operation and an interrogation programmer. It has been compared to the Acacia’s Phoenix Programmer in the Vietnam War. But whilst the CIA was subject to congressional oversight, SOC was not.Despite a change in rhetoric and regime at the White House in 2009, Coo’s role was considerably expanded, with the Obama administration’s reliance on drones being dubbed “Obama doctrine”. Somalia. US planners assessed that AS operatives fleeing Afghanistan in 2001 would move to Somalia and Yemen and set up Task Force 1 50 in Outside to intercept them. But the Iraq War shifted focus and resources.
31 Instead the CIA ran a covert proxy war in Somalia, bypassing the Transitional National Government, and arming warlords, (namely Mohamed Quandary).Despite ground rules for only targeting AS, by 2004, warlord death squads held power and scores Of suspects were abducted in the hope that they WOUld be on the CIA wanted list. The I-JNI Monitoring Group noted that “the general population, increasingly riled by overt support of the US to the warlords, is rallying to the shadiest” . 32 (Radical Islam had not been widespread in Somalia prior to the War on Terror and the US Ambassador to Ethiopia, David Shin doubted an AS threat even The Islamic Courts Union (ICC) rose up against the US backed warlords and by June 2006, were in control of Mogadishu.Growth of Al-Shabby. The Bush administration biblically branded the ICC as a front for AS and the CIA backed an Ethiopians invasion at the end of 2006. By 2007, SOC was conducting strike and assassination operations.
34 As the ICC forces disintegrated, a group of young Islamic militants known as the Youth, or Al-Shabby, called upon Psalmists to come and wage Jihad. The occupation (2006-9) by a historic enemy, accompanied by heavy-handed SOC strikes (causing-130 gunship)35 resulted in large numbers of civilian casualties. Across the border in Northern Kenya, civilians were rendered to he Ethiopians military.AY Schwab with AS leadership emerged as the main jihad force controlling large swathes of southern Somalia. Yemen. AS launched a number of bomb attacks in Saudi Arabia in 2003, resulting in a crackdown that saw many of its members flee to Yemen. President Sales whilst fighting a nationalist Youth insurrection, used AS affiliation as an excuse to imprison hundreds. Sales played the AS card to get more money and training from the US whilst at the same time using AS in his fight against the Youth! A mass prison break in 2006, resulted in the birth of AS in the Arabian Peninsula (ASAP).