Compiled by Prof. Jeremy
revised 27 Oct. 2009 with notes for Units 6 & 9 (thanks).
Note-takers: please give full info: article #, author, "title" -- as well as your by-line, term, year.
UNIT 2. Tactics of Terrorism
UNIT 3: State-Sponsored Terrorism
UNIT 4. International Terrorism
UNIT 5. Terrorism in America
UNIT 7. Terrorism and Religion
UNIT 8. Women and Terrorism
UNIT 9. Government Response
UNIT 10. Future Threats
Unit 1: The Concept of Terrorism
- There is no commonly agreed upon definition of terrorism
- The former term “ I know it when I see it” has been replaced with definitional anarchy when applied to terrorism
- Terrorism involves 3 basic components: the perpetrator, the victim and the target of violence
- Fear is used as a catalyst to enhance the communication and elicit the desired response from the target
4. Myth of the Invincible Terrorist, Christopher C. Harmon, 2007
by Heath Woodruff, Fall 2009
-The “Global War on Terrorism” requires patience and perserverance, and yet notes of pessimism have become audible among our ranks as citizen-soldiers.
-This is not surprising being that we have still not caught up to Osama bin Laden after five years.
-There are good reasons to judge that we are winning this global war against terrorists.
-Not because we have killed two thirds of the middle and lower-level leader as well as superiors and commanders, but because terror groups all have vulnerabilities.
-They are all human organizations with human problems-al Queda is no exception.
-The history of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency is rich, and the last four or five decades offer good lessons in terrorism’s vulnerabilities and counsel on how to exploit them. What follows here is a review of some of those.
I.Human Factors and Personnel
1.Terrorist group leaders have large egos and the more famous and successful terrorist leaders become, the more these egos are likely to swell.
-The Kurdistan Worker’s Party Abdullah Ocalan, Shining Path’s Abimael Guzman, ect are examples of outsized and ferocious egos.
-This fact of character has disadvantages
1.Ego may prevent such leaders from mentoring successors, and when the leader and his cult of personality succumb to arrest or death, the entire organization may collapse.
-We can and have exploited this “terrorist trait.” In cases of a group leader’s demise or arrest most frequently leads to the group’s downfall due to it being built around this leader’s character.
-The cases support “decapitation” strategies by opponents of terrorism.
-Former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger states in an article: “Can We Assassinate the Leaders?” Yes we can and should.!
-if “the great leader” is the center of gravity, then when he is imprisoned, so is the movement.
-EX. The guerrilla and terrorist supergroup “Tamil Tigers,” LTTE of Sri Lanka. There leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, is the center of gravity and his army, navy, ect swear allegiance to him and not the group, so without him the group would dissapate.
-Decaitationg al Queda by removing bin Laden and al Zawahiri isn’t impossible, but it’s likely to be difficult.
-Shortly before 9/11 assaults al Queda merged with Afghans and others at “The Base,” controlled by Osama bin Laden with the Egyptians of Ayman al Zawahiri, himself already a practiced terrorist leader.
- This merging of powers makes it more difficult for a “decapitation strategy” We should continue to try this strategy, but it is likely al Qaeda will be defeated by other means.
2. A second problem in terror group personnel management goes through all the levels of an organization and is most intense at the lowest.
-Terrorism means years on the run, eating poor food, and enduing primitive medical care, with all the stresses of campaigning and doubts about on’s family back home. Also one’s human conscience may strain at all the horrific things done to innocent people. (strees and strain adds up)
Ex. German neo-Nazi Ingo Hasselback ( a rising star in the underground after 1988. He was a group dropout.
-Historian Michael Howard says terrorist groups end due to “fatigue”
-This means that counterterrorists must have well-evolved methods for encouraging defections.
-Dropouts like Hasselback can 1. Confess an become a media spectacle; 2. This makes a “body blow” to the particular political cause the terrorist once represented.
-These dropouts can also by “torture, or acts of kindness” towards them, give us insight into the life of a terrorist group that we have and can later use in defeating such adversaries.
-3. Internal strife is another human factor of undergrounds.
-the grounds for terror group strife may be political, financial, personal, or other.
-EX of this internal stife that destroys a group from the inside outward.
-EX. Saabri al Banna ran a group “Black June”- The Revolutionary Council. He was a demented paranoid and had concerns over defectors (people within the group leaking information) this group was wrecked internally by a self-destruction of 600 personnel- more than a third of its strength.
-Other groups that underwent large purges or defections/ insurgencies wracked yby internal pangs in the 1980’s were FARC,or Revolutionary Armed Forces, in Columbia, and the Filipino New People’s Army. Political pressures, police pressures, human isolation, ect can afflict a group.
-it is helpful to remember that terrorist groups are living breathing men and women using VILE but calculated means to make political gains. terror is ugly; making terrorist morally ugly
-this ugliness is weakness in the struggle for public opinion. Violent orgainizations have pressure points and it is our challenge to find and utilize them.
4. Atleast one further weakness haunts terror organizations: personal foibles and corruption.!
-in the case of the Abu Sayyaf Group in the Philippines, ransom money, once a source of ASG’s power, have become something over which members have had fights, at least once with guns.
-These personal foibles and corruption can be attacked, weather publicly or covertly, to destroy terrorists’ reputations, enhance illusions, spread dissension, create rivalries, and the like.
-if leaders’ have their reputation ruined they lose credibility and followers. Ex’s. Party gathering (media showing disapproved bahaviors) Cowardice by commanders shown publicly. Another example is “SEX” if a commander has sex slaves and problems with certain things of this source and it is released publicly it can kill a group.
II. Tactics and Technology
-A second area in which the vulnerabilities of terrorists are evident and may be exploited, is the TACTICAL and TECHNICAL.
-even though terrorist leaders may be well educated this does not mean they are good military planners or adept handlers of technology.
-ex. In war counterinsurgents sometimes sabotage arms and arrange to get them into terrorist hands. France did this systematically to the FLN by influencing arms factories in Spain and Switzerland where they knew the JLN was buying weapons.
-Technical failings can wreck tactical attacks, embarrass the users, lead to the exposure and capture of the gunmen. Or provoke internal dissent about the “idiots down in logistics.”
-other TACTICS such as a “STING” or having an agent inside a terror organization can foil operations.
-another tactical vulnerability attends the management of GUERRILLA ARMIES. Insurgents frequently use terrorism but also irregular combat forces. They always run the risk of fighting a more well equipt and trained government force (U.S.)
-New contemporary terrorism bring many challenges and problems for the groups.
-EX. Reconnaissance on targets used to entail surveillance as well as quiet work in libraries and cliiping newspapers- they are observed while the are observing most times leading to arrest if identified.
-record keeping by these groups are adventagous to us as we capture sources of terrorist’s workings on computers or documents.
-Terrorism is a sword with two cutting edges/ While it frightens it may frighten the wrong people. Terrorist acts may prove political potency, or they can appear nihilistic HARD TO RUN A TERRORIST GROUP.
- the terrorism weapon always comes with risks and governments may often exploit them publicly through well-aimed rhetoric. U.S. strategy for public diplomacy should combat the strategy of terrorism by throwin light (and statistics) on the realities of terrorism
-EX. 1 Muslim terrorists have usually killed more Muslims than Jews or Christians.2.The prime reason for Shiite deaths in Iraq tody is terrorism by Sunni minorities, not the U.S. occupation. ECT>
-Public pressures by adept political figures may create or enhance such internal disputes, increasing fissures. Terrorism morale has also been beaten by brilliant counter-terror operations
-State support for terrorism is another problem at the strategic level and it too can be countered.
-Military pressure can stop state sponsors as well as exposing grim truths about a group and revealing it can lead to a group being politically opposed.
4. Political Ideologies
-Terror groups may be vulnerable to political complexities and errant decisions. Certainly they are vulnerable to what communists criticize as “splittism”
-Splittism- the terrifying risk of ideological division, sometimes over rather minor matters. Small groups can be vulnerable to frustration in political obscurity as the minority of all minorities.
-in contrast to a totalitarian regime DEMOCRACY, does not have much to apologize for. TERRORISM DOES. So if we use the right arguments ABROAD we will have some political effect.
-an ex of this is RELIGION and the global war on terrorism. Pres. Bush and others are right to decry Muslim militancy that spills innocent blood as a repudiation of true religion.
-Specific vulnerabilities also lie within the heart of each terrorist ideology. Classical fascism, for example lacked the advantages of internationalism.
BIN LADEN should be ridiculed for his self-assumption of clerical authorities; he NEVER STUDIED AT A SEMINARY!!
-Al Queda’s internationalism is its most important characteristic, after is lethality. WE EXPLOIT THIS
Notes of readings carried forward from 07-08 edition
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Unit 2. Tactics of Terrorism
2/3 attacks use bombs
kidnapping, hostages, hijacking, arson, also used
increasingly funded by organized crime and drug trafficking
Potential shift from mass bombings to targeted assassination
JI has been targeting ambassadors, businesspeople and local leaders
difficult to characterize motivations of T groups
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6. Toy Soldiers: The Youth Factor in the War on Terror, Cheryl Barnard, 2007[+]
Heath Woodruff, Fall 2009
-“Membership in a clandestine terrorist cell; online linkages with glamorous, dangerous individuals; the opportunity to belong to a feared and seemingly heroic movement complete with martyrs-all of this is inherently appealing to young people.”
-In the Middle East fifty percent of the population is below age 19. Sixty-five percent below age 25. And no functioning economy to absorb them. It is clear even to a layperson that this spells trouble.
-In theory these percentages do have potential to be productive and to bless its society with a low dependency ratio. In reality, though, cultural, political, and economic factors can-and throughout much of the Islamic world do-stand in the way of productivity and prosperity.
-Many young people in the Middle East, especially the famously more volatile young males, are deprived of sensible activities, bereft of real hope for a happy and independent future, unschooled in practical modes of thinking, and sexually frustrated in their strict and puritanical societies.
-All of these things the young must cope with joined with a disturbing social contract passed down through Middle Eastern history allows the older people to deploy the volatile weapon of mentally no-yet-mature younger men.
The Immature Brain
-Increasingly sophisticated Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of brains, in combination with research in experimental psychology, indicates that maturation may take place more gradually and conclude later than formerly presumed.
-One is still maturing mentally at ages 22 and 24 and is inclined to show particular responses, behaviors, and mind-sets…
-The findings summed up as follows: young men are strongly inclined to seek out situations of risk, excitement, and danger; and they also are likely to make fallacious judgments about their own abilities, overestimating their capacities and underestimating objective obstacles and dangers.
-This natural development process to which all individuals are subject can be exploited.
-Adolescence is a time of particularly high change-
-the nucleus accumbens, amygdale, and prefrontal cortex have important implication for understanding adolescent behavior. If any of these are underdeveloped or “immature,” typical teen problems can occur. This explains why teens show poor judgment and too often act before they think.
-Better-adjusted male teens satisfy their craving for excitement with video games; those who belong to a disaffected minority may be drawn to the real thing.
-a second strand of research is a decision making simulator and can access that ways in which the young respond to certain scenarios.
-Changes that begin with adolescence and conclude at the end of young adulthood incline young people and young men in particular, to seek excitement, to misjudge situation, and to dismiss danger.
-for example: Roadside accidents are one arena in which this plays itself out.
-“key parts of the brain’s decision-making circuitry do not fully develop until the mid-20s. So, in actual driving situations, teens may weigh the consequences of unsafe driving quite differently than adults do.
-Males below the age of 24 have nearly three times as many accidents as their older counterparts
-The problem: lies in the propensity of young men to take risks, to misjudge or ignore danger, and to make erroneous split-second decisions on the basis of factually unwarranted optimism and overconfidence.
-Another example of how young adulthood differs from both childhood and full adulthood can be found in recent research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
-Soldiers below the age 25 are 3.4 times more likely to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder than older soldiers showing that they are more mentally vulnerable to stress.
-All of these findings do not mean that when a young person is pushed in a certain direction they are unable to overcome them; it just means it is more difficult.
-Nonetheless it is a telling fact that, within the Middle East and Muslim communities worldwide, young males constitute the most numerous participants in violent behavior and pose the greatest security threat to Western societies.
How Real is Real?
-When a young Muslim suicide bomber is reading his “last note” pay attention to his face, and take note of the momentary expression of surprise, even shock. Did this young person really think this time would come, but it is too late to back out?
-Certainly, political and ideological and cultural and ethnic and economic and perhaps religious reasons play a part. But we cannot ignore the very young minds that are involved acting on impulses and logic “they” understand to be true.
-The U.S. also employs in young recruitment with interactive online gaming but as cited above-they will not have changed enough by 17 or 18year of age to assure that their decision to join a war and risk death and dismemberment has been judicious, thoughtful, and taken in full understanding of what it can entail.
Notes of readings carried forward from 07-08 edition
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Unit 3: State-Sponsored Terrorism
7. Iran's Suicide Brigades, Ali Alfoneh, 2007 [+]
8. Hizballah and Syria, Emile El-Hokayem, 2007 [+]
notes needed, 2009
Notes of readings carried forward from 07-08 edition
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13. Peace at Last? Joshua Hammer, 2007 [+]
notes needed, 2009
of readings carried forward from 07-08 edition
-Radical environmentalists are caught between their love of the Earth, trespass of the law, and the U.S. government’s war on terror.
-A courtroom, too the author, is a diluter of passions. The passions of the perpetrators are poured into the laps of attorneys who feed it to judges, and they decide by The System. The passions are diluted.
-the author’s home town is where the following trial and convictions take place in Eugene, Oregon.
- (last summer) six young men and women entered guilty pleas in a string of environmentally motivated arsons-crimes that the federal government describes as the most egregious environmental terrorism in the nation’s history.
-Guidelines issued under counter-terrorism laws were employed when considering how much time each should serve. The crimes to which the six confessed included seventeen attacks. Examples: Sport utility vehicles were burned at a Eugene car dealership; meat-packing plant was burned in Redmond, Oregon; and federal facilities in Wyoming and California and Oregon, were burned and wild horses let loose. (No one was ever hurt)
-All of these attacks were issued under the banner “Earth Liberation Front.” (ELF)
-As the guilty members planned they discussed details such as computer security, target surveillance, and lock-picking.
-Terrorism is terrorism-no matter the motive
-FBI director Robert Mueller said, “The FBI is committed to protecting America from all crime and all terrorism, including acts of domestic terrorism on behalf of animal rights or the environment. This statement falls under the new “Operation Backfire.”
-Moral question- is burning an SUV in the dead of the night (and seeing that no one is hurt) different from ramming a 767 into a skyscraper?
-Chelsea Dawn Gerlach was one of the arsonists and she believed that Western culture was having a ruinous effect on the global environment, that the Earth faced environmental catastrophe.
-One example of her motivation for the Vail wildfire (ski resort) is that its expansion would hurt the lynx’s habitat or harm them directly.
-Gerlach and her ELF companions didn’t make a difference here as Vail got $12 million in insurance and expanded anyway.
-Upon being found guilty for nine of the seventeen attacks she said, “These acts were motivated by a deep sense of despair and anger at the deteriorating state of the global environment and the escalating inequities within society.” Let us understand that she and others did millions of dollars worth of damage for their cause.
-Eugene, Oregon is a slice of America, profoundly divided along fault lines of politics, values, and culture. On the south side of the Willamette River you will find the liberal Eugene of renown, full of University of Oregon faculty and tie-dyed hippies who attend the freewheeling Oregon Country Fair each July.
-On the river’s north you will find the exact opposite; a land full of satellite dishes and American flags.
-In 1999 the group, “Eugene anarchists,” helped foment the lawlessness at the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle, bring much media to Eugene.
-Eugene’s brand of anarchy is “green anarchy.” Their primarily concerned with the effects of civilization on the global environment; and that civilization needs not to be reconstructed, but overthrown in its entirety and never replaced.
-The ELF’s attacks on the SUV’s, animal slaughterhouses and plantations matched up quite will with the principle of the green anarchist philosophy.
-If any “new” green anarchist needs intellectual mentorship, John Zerzan, one of the foremost anti civilization thinker in the world lives in Eugene. He was a Marxist and Maoist and a Vietnam protester in the 60’s. The author interview him and he said “he hopes that the aniticivilization movement will prevail…”
-Jeffrey “Free” Luers is a kid from suburban Los Angeles who is serving his fifth year in a 23 year sentence for the arsons. He accepted no plea bargain and was made a martyr by activists.
-The government’s Operation Backfire investigations sere as “The Green Scare, seeing it as an all-out effort to discourage environmental activism and dissent.
-A sting operation was used in the arson attack. Jake Ferguson was the insider who relayed information about the happenings inside the ELF.
-Still protests continue against this Operation Backfire and people say “we know what real terrorism is.
-Many environmental activists built barricades, dug trenches, and fashioned makeshift structures to keep logging equipment out. The Federal Service had proposed a salvage logging project on the slopes (Vail) and this was their way of legal protest that was taking place before the illegal terrorist act of arson took place.
-from the mouth of an environmental activist not involved in ELF; “There are lots of reasons to hate Vail, but not enough to justify arson.
-Its hard to escape the conclusion that the main motivation of the Eugene arsonists was sincere, passionate conviction.
-Bill Rogers, the ringleader in the group of arsonists. He said, “I chose to fight on the side of bears, mountain lions, skunks, bats, saguaros, cliff rose and all things wild.” He and others believe we face a crisis of mass extinction, caused by civilization.
-a final note by the author- Years from now, when we have a clearer understanding of the full damage we have done to the Earth, is it possible the ELF arsonists will be remembered in similar fashion if they are compared to the “crazed visionary John Brown, who fought for abolitionism.?
-May I remind the class the definition of terrorism is “the use of violence and (or) threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes. If one understands this definition it is very clear if these acts were acts of terrorism or not, but that is for you to decide.
Notes of readings carried forward from 07-08 edition
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18. Echoes of the Future, Gartenstein-Ross and Dabruzzi, 2007 [+]
Heath Woodruff, Fall 2009
-What the criminal complaint for the JFK terror plot suggests about shifting terrorist tactics.
-The face of terror is constantly evolving as terrorist tactics, and even the foot soldiers trying to attack America, change.
-Authorities announced last weekend that they had foiled a plot designed to blow up NYC’s JFK International Airport, its fuel tanks, and a jet fuel artery, the conspiracy, on the surface, seemed like more of the same. But a look at the details contained in the 33-page criminal complaint suggests a change in the modes of operation of America’s enemies.
1.One significant aspect of the complaint is what it suggests about the threat of terrorist infiltration through our southern border.
-al Qaeda has had a long-term presence in Canada, and that attempted terrorist entry from the northern border will be aided by “a political climate far different from Mexico-one that actually defends accused terrorist.
-Miniter writes that “there are no known cases of al Qaeda terrorists sneaking across the Mexican border.” “…terrorists stealing across the Mexican border comes last, virtually nil.” But the JFK criminal case may challenge these conclusions.
2. All of the arrested plotters hail from South America and the Caribbean; Russell Defreitas is a U.S. citizen from Guyana; “Amir” Kareem Ibrahim is a citizen of Trinidad; and Abdul Kadir and Abdel Nur are citizens of Guyana.
-Besides the plotter’s geographic origins, their plan to move terrorists into the U.S. is significant.
-The fact that Adnan El Shukrijuman wanted to transport terrorists through Guyana into the U.S. may well cause analysts to rethink the terrorist threat emanating from the southern border.
-All of these implication for border security, the geographic origins of the JFK plotters, and soon have made analysts question assumptions about the strength of terrorist networks in Guyana and Trinidad
-Abdul Kadir, a successful politician in the Guyanese parliament made a codename for the plot: “the chicken hatchery” or the “chicken farm.”
-Abdul Kadir offered to help finance the plotters’ return to New York, helped the plotters avoid Guyanese security’s watchful eyes by meeting them at the airport, provided them with technical advice based on his background as an engineer, and set them up with contacts in Trinidad.
-The Trinidad connection is likewise significant.
-A terrorist group, Jamaat al-Muslimeen, (JAM) was thought of as little more than a glorified criminal gang whose thuggish activities are overlaid with radical Islamic rhetoric until the connection was found.
-According to the complaint JAM had clear interest in supporting “this” plot to strike a prominent U.S. target. By knowing this the U.S. has to reevaluate this group.
-In the complaint the name al Qaeda is not mention but according to a senior U.S. military intelligence officer, “it’s definitely there if you know what to look for.”
-This is significant because Ibrahim planned to “present the plan to “contacts” (possibly al Qaeda) overseas who may be interested in purchasing or funding it.”
-Some of the terrorist plots we have witnessed over the past few years that were initially thought to be the work of autonomous cells unconnected to the central al Qaeda network turned out to bear far more of the central leadership’s imprimatur than was originally suspected.
-So, in the JFK plot localized terror cells consistently reaching out to international terror networks for support, as opposed to going it alone.
must take notice of how terrorist networks are adapting and evolving if
they are to keep future plots from coming to fruition.
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19. Casting a Wider Net, Allan Lengel and Joby Warrick, 2006 [+]
Heath Woodruff, Fall 2009
-The FBI goes global to find the source of a common type of anthrax used in domestic attacks.
-In five years after the anthrax attacks that killed five people the FBI is now convinced that the lethal powder sent to the Senate was far less sophisticated than originally believed, widening the pool of possible suspects in a frustratingly slow investigation.
-Because of the belief that the anthrax used in the attacks had been sophisticated to other anthrax powders, it was believed that a government scientist or someone with access to a U.S. biodefense lab was responsible.
-As a result, after a very public focus on government scientists as the likely source of the attacks, the FBI is today casting a far wider net, as investigators face the daunting prospect of an almost endless list of suspects around the globe.
-Special Agent Ed Montooth was assigned to head the investigation with a force of 17 agents and 10 postal inspectors.
-As the investigation continued certain claims were refuted.
-1. The anthrax spores were not “weaponized”-specially treated or process to all them to disperse more easily.
2. The powder was not milled, or ground, to create finer particles that can penetrate deeply into the lungs.
-Whoever made the powder produced a deadly project of exceptional purity and quality-up to a trillion spores per gram-but used none of the tricks known to military bioweapons scientists to increase the lethality of the product.
-The Ames strain was first isolated in the U.S. and was the basis for the anthrax weapons formerly created by the U.S. This strain was used in the 2001 attacks and was thought to be a big clue due to its isolation in the U.S.
-This was refuted as the investigation went on and we found that it had made its way to other countries; one being the Soviet Union.
-More tradition tactics are still being used: The FBI has conducted 9,100 interviews and issued 6,000 subpoenas in one of the most exhaustive and expensive investigations in the bureau’s history.
-Steven J. Hatfill, a former Army scientist, has denied wrongdoing and has never been charged even though he is (was) suspected.
-Sen. Charles E. Grassley, a frequent critic of the FBI said “I’m concerned that the FBI may have spent too much time focusing [on] one theory of what happened and too little effort on the other possibilities.
-Efforts to solve the case continue but as the investigation drags on it seem less and less likely that we will find who was responsible for the five deaths.
from Dr. Lewis, Fall 2009, it now appears that the culprit was Hatfill's
boss in the research lab, who had fingered him in the investigation. Poor
Hatfill's reputation and life had been ruined by the constant surveillance.]
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by Aarendy Gomez, Fall 2009
- “ Terror and the UK- The media’s globalization of terror makes us feel part of a worldwide community facing a common problem, but this is a dangerous illusion.” – John Gray
- The media tends to show images of bloodied commuters that lived through the bombing, and tend to set it as an episode in the virtual world.
- The problem with the media in politics, it tends to blur the distinction between reality and appearance.
- Since human actions are indistinctively heard and the course of events are impossible to decipher, the main task of the media is to fabricate a narrative from this chaos.
- Ex. There may no longer be a terrorist network, but the media may illustrate the images of slaughter and panic resulting in them globalizing our perception of terror.
- al- Quaeda’s goal is to shift public mood. In doing so they want to transmit violence and fear worldwide by via television.
- “The type of terrorism that London suffered may well have evolved as a by-product of the global media.”
- In the communication world, Al- quaeda is now largely an “Artefact.” In reality, Al-quaeda is as real as when it comes to the capacity of its massive murdering. This is a good example of both the power of the media and the vulnerability of that power.
- Tony Blair and George Bush would use the media in order to show solidarity in the face or terror in order to hide the disagreements between the U.S government and other countries.
- In the global communications industry, the world is what it appears in the media. No difference between perception and reality.
- The reason of the bombing in London, many believed, was so that Britain can cut connections with the Bush Administration on the War, and withdraw its troops.
“We seem to have lost the
art of living in an intractable world, so we contrive an alternate reality
in which insoluble problems can be conjured away by displays of
23. A Violent Episode in the Virtual World, John Gray, New Statesman, July 18, 2005 [was also in '07-08 edition]
Through the media, how does each terrorist incident become a problem of the global community: a problem
notes by Aarendy Gomez, Fall 2009
- On October 12, 2002, two people died of suicide bombing in the city of Bali, Indonesia. The mastermind of the attack was Imam Samdura. He used a sophisticated crime of online credit fraud which helped Muslim extremist fund their activities.
- Evidence from Samdura’s laptop showed that he tried to finance the bombing by committing fraud over the internet.
- Suggested that online fraud might be the key weapon for terrorist arsenals.
- For the September 11 attacks to occur, the terrorist communicate internationally and gather information by using the internet.
- 2004, there was a video posted on the web that showed the beheading of hostages by followers of Abu Musabal- Zarqawi.
- “Research labs are developing new algorithms aimed at making it easier for investigation to comb through emails and chat-room dialogue to uncover criminal plots.” –David Talbot
The Rise of Internet Terror
- Internet is not only a tool for the terrorist organizations, but the central to their operations.
- Al- quaeda is globalized due to the fact of their use of the internet.
- The terror-related website expanded from 12 in 1997 to 4,300 today.
- These sites are meant to recruit members, solicit funds, and promote and spread ideology.
- The idea of terrorist being undereducated is false. Majority of terrorist members are well educated and have an understanding on how telecommunication and the internet works.
- The web gives jihad a public face.
- Terrorists can post images of atrocities on the web.
- A video of the beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
- There is a large market for materials of gruesome images.
Avoiding the Slippery Slope
- Passing laws that would implement tighter filters to block sexual or violent content is problematic. It is problematic due to the fact that it violates the First Amendment.
- The Federal Communications Commission enforces “decency” on the nations airwaves.
- Since internet content is to some extent not regulated, millions of people watch videos of beheadings on their personal computers.
- Criminal prosecution in suspected aid on terror- related websites has limited success and can be very difficult.
Technology and ISPs
- There are governmental and nonprofit groups that monitor jihadists and other terrorist sites so that they can be updated on public statements and internal communications.
- “ New technology may give intelligence agencies the tools to sift through online communications and discover terrorist plots.”
Too Little, Or Too Much
- Legal, policy, and security experts agree that taking these efforts to prevent online fraud or tightly regulating the internet, does not amount to a real solution.
- If there is no discovery between the connections of online fraud and terrorism, the acts of cyber terrorism will take place.
- The use of terrorism on the web can wage digital attacks against targets like city power grids, air traffic control, or communications systems.
An overreaction on tighter control can cause the internet to change in
a negative way, some predict.
24. Globe of Villages, David Talbot, 2005 [+}
Article 24: The Globe of Villages. Digital Media and the Rise of Homegrown Terrorism.
Notes by Aarendy Gomez, Fall 2009
- Many terror attacks comes from the people of that country.
· Royal Canadian Mounted Police prevented a homegrown Toronto cell in its attempt to blow up Parliament.
· The attacks on London’s buses and subways in July 7, 2005 were carried out by British citizens.
· The 2006 plot to attack several U.S.- bound flights departing from London’s Hearthrow Airport was from Muslim Britons.
- Many immigrant communities show little respect for assimilation. Though living in the West, they are culturally closer to the motherland rather than their adopted home.
- With some Muslims discomfort to the western ways, they use terrorism as a cover for their dislikes in foreign dress, beliefs, and manners.
- Isolation has always been a condition in immigrant life. Muslims today have fewer obstacles than those of different ethnicities.
- British Muslims get their ideas outside of the mosque. The underground meeting and the Website are the crucial setting of the radical subculture.
- The exchanges of ideas it the real issue rather than the exchange of people, due to the fact that the modern communication makes it possible.
- “Greater technological savvy seems to foster, rather than to diminish, the influence of Eastern delusion.” That is why Muslims born and raised in the western world are more radical in their religious faith rather than their parents.
- Based on Michael Dartnell, the internet has allowed non-state actors to achieve new levels of organization and this to exert the previously unimaginable political influence.
- Marshall McLuhan described that the ultimate wrong of media studies is that it focuses on content rather than on the medium itself.
“No civil society should tolerate a cleric who advocates its
destruction and incites his listeners to do the necessary work.”
25. Congress and the YouTube War, Cohen and Kupcu [+}
notes by Aarendy Gomez, Fall 2009
- United States is not fighting a rival nation, but a non- state actor ( Al-quaeda) whose motivation is based on ideology and not territorial reason.
The New Global Environment
- For 5 years, Congress has followed the White House’s lead in fighting terrorism with rather uncertain results.
- What happens in Iraq will not stop the jihadist from “waging their civilizational struggle against the United States.”
The Trap Called Iraq
- The U.S. Military very respected and well funded in American Society.
- Congress questioned the effectiveness of the military as a tool to fighting terrorism.
- “ America’s military has significant limitations when it comes to defeating a non-state actor enemy such as al –Quaeda.”
- No longer is America viewed as “invincible, benevolent power” since the war in Iraq. The war has shown the limitations of U.S. political will and military might.
Winning the War of Ideas
- Those who are curious to see videos of killings of American Soldiers and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks against coalition troops can log into Youtube.com and other viral video sites that allow and popularizes free content.
- “White House continues to blame public relations failure for undermining U.S. Effectiveness in the War on Terror.”
- Since 2003, the State Department has been faulted for its lack of overall strategy, qualified staff, and culturally sophisticated approach to public diplomacy.
- When fighting al-quaeda who are “media savvy”, Washington needs to take seriously the importance of public perception in the YouTube era.
Utilizing Non-State Actors
- “In an era of growing privatization in foreign affairs, the U.S needs to do more to use these influential non-state actors to further foreign policy objectives.
- Governmental agencies should be creating departmental liaisons whose role is to reach toward non-state actors and utilize their expertise.
Regulating Military Contractors
- Congress must create guidelines for non-state actors to develop relationships that are based on transparency, accountability, and oversight.
- 25,000 private security contractors (PSC) engaged in Iraq.
- If a contractor kills an Iraqi civilian, there is no legal resource for the victim’s family.
- PSC are outside the official chain of command and control.
Supporting Those “Supporting Democracy”
- Congress and Bush needs to improve the standing up for individuals and organizations that work to promote democracy overseas.
- For more than a decade, foreign funds have flowed freely into emerging democracies.
- Funds paid for political expertise, civic organizing, and public relations programs that help the democratic movement.
- “Restricting the work of NGO’s is a shot across the bow to the administration’s stated policy of encouraging the spread of democracy.”
- NGO’s play a role in bypassing diplomatic channels and promoting objectives fundamental to national interests.
Engaging the Business Community
- Collaboration between businesses and government to fight terrorism can be effective when implemented at the local and regional level.
“To successfully wage the War on Terror, it requires a fundamental
rethinking of the forces driving global affairs in the twenty-first century.”
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Unit 7: Terrorism and Religion
26. Qutbism: An Ideology of Islamic Fascism, Dale Eikmeier, 2007 [+]
notes needed, 2009
Unit 8: Women and Terrorism
29. Female Suicide Bombers: a Global Trend, Mia Bloom, 2007 [+]
32. Bomb Under the Abaya, Judith Miller, 2007 [+]
33. Picked Last: Women and Terrorism, Alisa Stack O'Connor, 2007 [+]
Unit 9: Government Response
34. Eye of the Storm, Kevin Whitelaw, 2006 [+]
Notes by Aarendy Gomez, Fall 2009
- Kevin Brock, the principle deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center, briefed some of the government’s senior officials on the latest threat information.
- The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was created after the September 11 attacks, to reduce the gulf between America’s spy agencies and domestic law enforcement.
- 30+ government networks that sends information to the NCTC.
- The role of the NCTC is to make sure that all operational agencies don’t “unwittingly” trip over one another in the field. “Are more like air traffic control rather than directing operations.”
- NCTC officials monitor on plots and investigations, giving updated reports called Threat Threads on dangerous cases.
- The place of NCTC is like “a film director’s version of a high-tech government command post.”
- In order for the NCTC to send out “raw intelligence” information to the community, officials must secure the permission of the agency that issued it.
- During the beginning run of the NCTC, many agencies were unsure whether to join it due to the fact that many didn’t know what the mission of the NCTC was and the NCTC’s low experience.
- “Critics have faulted the NCTC for weak analysis on longer-term strategic topics, such as which factor in Islamic societies help generate more terrorists.”
- “The NCTC maintains the intelligence community’s expanding central repository of suspected terrorist, called the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment.”
- The terrorist threat and the Al-quaeda network have become increasingly diffuse.
- Officials are worried about extremists, those that live within our country.
- Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri was accused for plotting heinous crimes against America. He was sent to the military brig at the Charleston Naval Weapons Station in South Carolina.
- Though al-Marri was a trophy capture during the Bush Administration on the War on Terror, we have little to no information about him.
- The only information that we know is that the brig that al-Marri was sent to was one that tortured its prisoners.
- “al-Marri could languish in this purgatory (the brig) for decades without facing any sort of trial.” They have created a black hole where he has no rights.
- Nicholas Zambeck, a special agent in the FBI, investigated al-Marri and alleged him for credit card fraud along with making false statements to the banks, and using phony ID to scam a bank.
- After strings of court hearings in the United States of America vs. Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, the bush administration labeled al-Marri as a enemy combantant and turned him over to the department of defense.
- The fundamental rights were denied to him and he was placed in the 9x6 concrete cell in the naval brig in Charleston.
- Al-Marri was isolated
from everything and everyone, where he cannot have any contact with his
family, friends, attorney, or anyone other than government personnel.
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Unit 10: Future Threats
38. From the War on Terror to Global Counterinsurgency, Bruce Hoffman, 2006 [+]