DEFINITION OF TERRORISM
- The word terrorism is used today to define almost all acts of violence committed by individual or clandestine groups for ideological, religious, political and sometimes personal purposes.
- Using force and fear rather than debate and reason
- Using threat and violence to intimidate and challenge any social contract, government, individual or group to change or modify their behavior or policies
- Using violence for effect… not primarily and sometimes not at all for the physical effect on the actual target, but for its dramatic impact on the audience.
CATEGORIES OF TERRORISTS
- Political terrorist, insurgents, or multinational guerillas – seek to seize political power, establish their legitimate right to lead.
- Anarchists – seek simply to disrupt the function of government or society.
- Criminal terrorists or bandits – engage in illegal activities for profit, employing terror when necessary.
- Insane terrorist – engage in acts of terrorism as the result of a serious personal, psychological disorder.
- Counter terror terrorist, or establishment terrorist – members use terror tactics to secure their bases of power and manage the society.
- Middle-class terrorist – reject peaceful strikes and use violence to express their rage and dramatized their demands. This group may include many who have never suffered economically, but suddenly find themselves unemployed in a period of recession, inflation or excess profits.
GROUP BY BELIEF SYSTEM
- Political groups: … revolution begins with a physical action or bloody uprising.
- Ethnic and nationalist groups: … to regain or to establish a homeland or to make their needs known.
- Religious groups: …ecclesiastical or religious motive is a factor.
- Environmental groups: Using terrorist tactics to change environmental or ecological situations.
- Mercenary groups: Mercenary groups or individual mercenaries operate primarily for money.
- Pathological need groups: Mentally disturbed persons.
GROUP AREAS OF OPERATION
- Transnational groups: 1.basically autonomous; 2.not controlled by a specific government although they may receive assistance from one or more government; 3.Operating in more than one state or region; 4.their allegiance is to “the cause” and to their group.
- International groups: 1.operate without regard to national boundaries; 2.controlled or directed by specific sovereign governments; 3.They may be used as surrogate armies by governments wanting supremacy without legal accountability.
- National groups: 1.basically autonomous; 2.operate strictly within one country; 3. may or may not be in control of any other state.
“… no apparent conspiracy, a trend toward silent cooperation has developed among terrorist groups.”
“… sharing of resources, expertise, and safe havens.
“…this cooperation for mutual assistance is stimulated by the need to survive. “
GOALS OF TERRORISM
- Obtain worldwide, national, or local recognition for “the cause”.
- “ … for any demand/s”
- Harass, weaken or embarrass government, military or other security forces.
- Show a government's inability to protect its citizens.
- Disrupt or destroy means of mobility or communications.
- Demonstrate power or threat credibility.
- Prevent or delay executive decisions or legislation
- Cause strikes or work slowdowns.
- Discourage impending foreign investment or foreign government assistance program.
- for vengeance.
- Cause dramatic changes in government – such as revolution, civil war or war between nations.
- Turn the tide favorably for their side during guerilla warfare.
- Influence local, national or international policy decision-making.
- Gain political recognition as the legal body representing an ethnic or national group.
COMMON CHARACTERISTICS OF A TERRORIST OR TERRORIST GROUP
Those who practice terrorism share common features. They promote fear and violence.
- Are usually militarily weaker than the opposing police security forces.
- Do not necessarily equate tactical success with mission success.
- Publicity may be the main terrorist objective.
- Are highly mobile.
- Exploit the fact that terror is cheap. A few perpetrators with inexpensive small arms can create disruptions affecting whole nations.
- Posses limited resources.
- conducts covert operation
- Believe small groups mean security and efficiency.
ORGANIZATION OF A TERRORIST GROUP
The way a terrorist group is organized is determined by the degree of its security and the number of its personnel. Personnel strength must be well managed or group size becomes a liability.
- Organizational growth creates administrative and support burdens.
- Growth can work against operational ability.
- Getting, storing and using resources, communicating and maintaining security become more difficult as the size of the group increases.
- Large groups are expose sooner or later.
- To avoid government counter terror tactics, terrorist groups must be extremely covert.
- Terrorism do not succeed without some degree of popular support.
a. Popular support aids terrorists in moving personal and
c. Reliable popular support is a buffer between the terrorists and
d. the government.
e. It allows them to move more freely.
f. It provide network of safe houses
g. It helps identify targets (& barriers), and helps lock the target.
The extent of internal communication ability determines the security and strength requirements of the cells. Secure equipment does away with the need for excessive message drops, meetings and telephone cutouts. Good communication allows groups function without having to create separate cells or subcells. In any underground operation, communication affects time, manpower, resources, location of cells/safe houses, operational targets and tactics.
Thus, the structure of a covert terrorist group must take into account communication abilities. Today, few terrorist organizations operate where they can act freely at all times. Most must be covert continuously. That is, they operate in secrete ways – through cells whose members do not know the whereabouts of members of other cells.
Terrorist groups most often use basic arms and explosives during operations. Normally they use handguns, rifles, light automatic weapons, hand grenades and improvised explosives devices.
Advanced weaponry, however, is also in reach of terrorist groups. Supporters can be persuaded to obtain non-nuclear manned portable weapons for terrorist operations. Terrorists will continue to find access to such weapons.
Smallest weapon with the biggest impact would certainly keep the world from developing a casual attitude about terrorists.
Terrorists often receive training away from their homeland in countries known to be sympathetic to terrorist activities.
Generally, these specially trained terrorist are of above average intelligence.
They are between the ages of 23 and 30.
They speak more than one language (often English).
They adopt readily to changes in an operational environment and are able to hide easily among the populace by going underground or assuming new covers.
Terrorists can be successful even if they have been killed, wounded, or captured; that is, tactical success and mission success need not be related. Although terrorists may have been killed during an operation, if they have gained worldwide attention, the terrorist group command element may consider the operation highly successful.
Movement to the target is cover. Perpetrators leave for the target singly or in pairs along separate circuitous routes. When necessary, they leave with false passports and names. Weapons and other items are sent separately to prearranged locations. Here they are given to the perpetrators. Countries sympathetic to terrorist causes have allowed these items to be carried in diplomatic pouches, with agents taking from the embassies to the pre-arranged sites. In many cases, these agents have been members of cooperating terrorist groups.
THE LOCAL THREAT
Having looked at this background, you are now ready to consider the threat at your installation or activity. To gain specific knowledge of the threat with which you are concerned, you must start with a good intelligence system, the first element of our counter terrorism model.