Friday, July 31, 2009

Democracy and Domestic Terrorism

The relationship between domestic terrorism and democracy is very complex. Such terrorism is most common in nations with intermediate political freedom and that the nations with the least terrorism are the most democratic nations.However, one study suggests that suicide terrorism may be an exception to this general rule. Evidence regarding this particular method of terrorism reveals that every modern suicide campaign has targeted a democracy- a state with a considerable degree of political freedom. The study suggests that concessions awarded to terrorists during the 1980s and 1990s for suicide attacks increased their frequency.

Some examples of "terrorism" in non-democracies include ETA in Spain under Francisco Franco, the Shining Path in Peru under Alberto Fujimori, the Kurdistan Workers Party when Turkey was ruled by military leaders and the ANC in South Africa. Democracies, such as the United States, Israel, and the Philippines, also have experienced domestic terrorism.

While a democratic nation espousing civil liberties may claim a sense of higher moral ground than other regimes, an act of terrorism within such a state may cause a perceived dilemma: whether to maintain its civil liberties and thus risk being perceived as ineffective in dealing with the problem; or alternatively to restrict its civil liberties and thus risk delegitimizing its claim of supporting civil liberties. This dilemma, some social theorists would conclude, may very well play into the initial plans of the acting terrorist(s); namely, to delegitimize the state.

Religious terrorism

Main article: Religious terrorism
Religious terrorism is terrorism performed by groups or individuals, the motivation of which is typically rooted in the faith based tenets. Terrorist acts throughout the centuries have been performed on religious grounds with the hope to either spread or enforce a system of belief, viewpoint or opinion. Religious terrorism does not in itself necessarily define a specific religious standpoint or view, but instead usually defines an individual or a group view or interpretation of that belief system's teachings.


The perpetrators of acts of terrorism can be individuals, groups, or states. According to some definitions, clandestine or semi-clandestine state actors may also carry out terrorist acts outside the framework of a state of war. However, the most common image of terrorism is that it is carried out by small and secretive cells, highly motivated to serve a particular cause and many of the most deadly operations in recent times, such as the September 11 attacks, the London underground bombing, and the 2002 Bali bombing were planned and carried out by a close clique, composed of close friends, family members and other strong social networks. These groups benefited from the free flow of information and efficient telecommunications to succeed where others had failed. Over the years, many people have attempted to come up with a terrorist profile to attempt to explain these individuals' actions through their psychology and social circumstances. Others, like Roderick Hindery, have sought to discern profiles in the propaganda tactics used by terrorists. Some security organizations designate these groups as violent non-state actors.

It has been found that a "terrorist" will look, dress, and behave like a normal person, until he or she executes the assigned mission. Terrorist profiling based on personality, physical, or sociological traits would not appear to be particularly useful. The physical and behavioral description of the terrorist could describe almost any normal person.
Main articles: List of designated terrorist organizations and Lone wolf (terrorism)

State sponsors
Main article: State-sponsored terrorism
A state can sponsor terrorism by funding or harboring a terrorist organization. Opinions as to which acts of violence by states consist of state-sponsored terrorism or not vary widely. When states provide funding for groups considered by some to be terrorist, they rarely acknowledge them as such.

State terrorism

Main article: State terrorism
“ Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims. ” 
  — Derrick Jensen

As with "terrorism" the concept of "state terrorism" is controversial. The Chairman of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee has stated that the Committee was conscious of the 12 international Conventions on the subject, and none of them referred to State terrorism, which was not an international legal concept. If States abused their power, they should be judged against international conventions dealing with war crimes, international human rights and international humanitarian law. Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that it is "time to set aside debates on so-called 'state terrorism'. The use of force by states is already thoroughly regulated under international law" However, he also made clear that, "...regardless of the differences between governments on the question of definition of terrorism, what is clear and what we can all agree on is any deliberate attack on innocent civilians, regardless of one's cause, is unacceptable and fits into the definition of terrorism."

State terrorism has been used to refer to terrorist acts by governmental agents or forces. This involves the use of state resources employed by a state's foreign policies, such as using its military to directly perform acts of terrorism. Professor of Political Science, Michael Stohl cites the examples that include Germany’s bombing of London and the U.S. atomic destruction of Hiroshima during World War II. He argues that “the use of terror tactics is common in international relations and the state has been and remains a more likely employer of terrorism within the international system than insurgents." They also cite the First strike option as an example of the "terror of coercive diplomacy" as a form of this, which holds the world hostage with the implied threat of using nuclear weapons in "crisis management." They argue that the institutionalized form of terrorism has occurred as a result of changes that took place following World War II. In this analysis, state terrorism exhibited as a form of foreign policy was shaped by the presence and use of weapons of mass destruction, and that the legitimizing of such violent behavior led to an increasingly accepted form of this state behavior. (Michael Stohl, “The Superpowers and International Terror” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Atlanta, March 27-April 1, 1984;"Terrible beyond Endurance? The Foreign Policy of State Terrorism." 1988;The State as Terrorist: The Dynamics of Governmental Violence and Repression, 1984 ).

State terrorism has also been used to describe peace time actions by governmental agents or forces, such as the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 flight. Charles Stewart Parnell described William Gladstone's Irish Coercion Act as terrorism in his "no-Rent manifesto" in 1881, during the Irish Land War. The concept is also used to describe political repressions by governments against their own civilian population with the purpose to incite fear. For example, taking and executing civilian hostages or extrajudicial elimination campaigns are commonly considered "terror" or terrorism, for example during Red Terror or Great Terror.Such actions are often also described as democide which has been argued to be equivalent to state terrorism. Empirical studies on this have found that democracies have little democide.


Main article: Tactics of terrorism
Terrorism is a form of asymmetric warfare, and is more common when direct conventional warfare either cannot be (due to differentials in available forces) or is not being used to resolve the underlying conflict.

The context in which terrorist tactics are used is often a large-scale, unresolved political conflict. The type of conflict varies widely; historical examples include:

Secession of a territory to form a new sovereign state 
Dominance of territory or resources by various ethnic groups 
Imposition of a particular form of government 
Economic deprivation of a population 
Opposition to a domestic government or occupying army 
Terrorist attacks are often targeted to maximize fear and publicity, usually using explosives or poison. There is concern about terrorist attacks employing weapons of mass destruction. Terrorist organizations usually methodically plan attacks in advance, and may train participants, plant "undercover" agents, and raise money from supporters or through organized crime. Communication may occur through modern telecommunications, or through old-fashioned methods such as couriers.

Main article: Responses to terrorism
Responses to terrorism are broad in scope. They can include re-alignments of the political spectrum and reassessments of fundamental values. The term counter-terrorism has a narrower connotation, implying that it is directed at terrorist actors.

Specific types of responses include:

Targeted laws, criminal procedures, deportations, and enhanced police powers 
Target hardening, such as locking doors or adding traffic barriers 
Preemptive or reactive military action 
Increased intelligence and surveillance activities 
Preemptive humanitarian activities 
More permissive interrogation and detention policies 

Official acceptance of torture as a valid tool 

Mass media
Media exposure may be a primary goal of those carrying out terrorism, to expose issues that would otherwise be ignored by the media. Some consider this to be manipulation and exploitation of the media.Others consider terrorism itself to be a symptom of a highly controlled mass media, which does not otherwise give voice to alternative viewpoints, a view expressed by Paul Watson who has stated that controlled media is responsible for terrorism, because "you cannot get your information across any other way". Paul Watson's organization Sea Shepherd has itself been branded "eco-terrorist", although it claims to have not caused any casualties.

The internet has created a new channel for groups to spread their messages. This has created a cycle of measures and counter measures by groups in support of and in opposition to terrorist movements. In fact, the United Nations has created its own online counter-terrorism resource.

The mass media will often censor organizations involved in terrorism (through self-restraint or regulation) to discourage further terrorism. However, this may encourage organisations to perform more extreme acts of terrorism to be shown in the mass media.

There is always a point at which the terrorist ceases to manipulate the media gestalt. A point at which the violence may well escalate, but beyond which the terrorist has become symptomatic of the media gestalt itself. Terrorism as we ordinarily understand it is innately media-related.

Novelist William Gibson

Number of terrorist incidents 2009 (January - June)Main article: History of terrorism
The term "terrorism" was originally used to describe the actions of the Jacobin Club during the "Reign of Terror" in the French Revolution. "Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible," said Jacobin leader Maximilien Robespierre. In 1795, Edmund Burke denounced the Jacobins for letting "thousands of those hell hounds called terrorists" loose upon the people of France.

In January 1858, Italian patriot Felice Orsini threw three bombs in an attempt to assassinate French Emperor Napoleon III. Eight bystanders were killed and 142 injured. The incident played a crucial role as an inspiration for the development of the early Russian terrorist groups. Russian Sergey Nechayev, who founded People's Retribution in 1869, described himself as a "terrorist", an early example of the term being employed in its modern meaning. Nechayev's story is told in fictionalized form by Fyodor Dostoevsky in the novel The Possessed. German anarchist writer Johann Most dispensed "advice for terrorists" in the 1880s

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Types of terrorism

In the spring of 1975, the Law Enforcement Assistant Administration in the United States formed the National Advisory Committee on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals. One of the five volumes that the committee was entitled Disorders and Terrorism, produced by the Task Force on Disorders and Terrorism under the direction H.H.A. Cooper, Director of the Task Force staff.The Task Force classified terrorism into six categories.

  • Civil Disorders – A form of collective violence interfering with the peace, security, and normal functioning of the community.
  • Political TerrorismViolent criminal behaviour designed primarily to generate fear in the community, or substantial segment of it, for political purposes.
  • Non-Political Terrorism – Terrorism that is not aimed at political purposes but which exhibits “conscious design to create and maintain high degree of fear for coercive purposes, but the end is individual or collective gain rather than the achievement of a political objective.”
  • Quasi-Terrorism – The activities incidental to the commission of crimes of violence that are similar in form and method to genuine terrorism but which nevertheless lack its essential ingredient. It is not the main purpose of the quasi-terrorists to induce terror in the immediate victim as in the case of genuine terrorism, but the quasi-terrorist uses the modalities and techniques of the genuine terrorist and produces similar consequences and reaction. For example, the fleeing felon who takes hostages is a quasi-terrorist, whose methods are similar to those of the genuine terrorist but whose purposes are quite different.
  • Limited Political Terrorism – Genuine political terrorism is characterized by a revolutionary approach; limited political terrorism refers to “acts of terrorism which are committed for ideological or political motives but which are not part of a concerted campaign to capture control of the State.
  • Official or State Terrorism – referring to nations whose rule is based upon fear and oppression that reach similar to terrorism or such proportions.”

A Brief Note On The Word "Terrorism"

Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. At present, there is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants.

Some definitions also include acts of unlawful violence and war. The history of terrorist organizations suggests that they do not select terrorism for its political effectiveness. Individual terrorists tend to be motivated more by a desire for social solidarity with other members of their organization than by political platforms or strategic objectives, which are often murky and undefined.

The word "terrorism" is politically and emotionally charged, and this greatly compounds the difficulty of providing a precise definition. A 1988 study by the United States Army found that over 100 definitions of the word “terrorism” have been used. The concept of terrorism is itself controversial because it is often used by states to delegitimize political or foreign opponents, and potentially legitimize the state's own use of terror against them. A less politically and emotionally charged term (used not only for terrorists), allowing for more accurate analyses, is violent non-state actor.

The history of terrorist organizations suggests that they do not practice terrorism only for its political effectiveness; individual terrorists are also motivated by a desire for social solidarity with other members.

Terrorism has been practiced by a broad array of political organizations for furthering their objectives. It has been practiced by both right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic groups, religious groups, revolutionaries, and ruling governments.

Origin of term

Main article: Definition of terrorism
 State terrorism
"Terror" comes from a Latin word meaning "to frighten". The terror cimbricus was a panic and state of emergency in Rome in response to the approach of warriors of the Cimbri tribe in 105BC. The Jacobins cited this precedent when imposing a Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. After the Jacobins lost power, the word "terrorist" became a term of abuse. Although the Reign of Terror was imposed by a government, in modern times "terrorism" usually refers to the killing of innocent people by a private group in such a way as to create a media spectacle. This meaning can be traced back to Sergey Nechayev, who described himself as a "terrorist". Nechayev founded the Russian terrorist group "People's Retribution" (Народная расправа) in 1869.

In November 2004, a United Nations Security Council report described terrorism as any act "intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act". (Note that this report does not constitute international law).

In many countries, acts of terrorism are legally distinguished from criminal acts done for other purposes, and "terrorism" is defined by statute; see definition of terrorism for particular definitions. Common principles among legal definitions of terrorism provide an emerging consensus as to meaning and also foster cooperation between law enforcement personnel in different countries. Among these definitions there are several that do not recognize the possibility of legitimate use of violence by civilians against an invader in an occupied country and would, thus label all resistance movements as terrorist groups. Others make a distinction between lawful and unlawful use of violence. Ultimately, the distinction is a political judgment.

Key Criteria

Official definitions determine counter-terrorism policy, and are often developed to serve it. Most government definitions outline the following key criteria: target, objective, motive, perpetrator, and legitimacy or legality of the act. Terrorism is also often recognizable by a following statement from the perpetrators.

Violence – According to Walter Laqueur of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, "the only general characteristic of terrorism generally agreed upon is that terrorism involves violence and the threat of violence". However, the criterion of violence alone does not produce a useful definition, as it includes many acts not usually considered terrorism: war, riot, organized crime, or even a simple assault. Property destruction that does not endanger life is not usually considered a violent crime, but some have described property destruction by the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front as violence and terrorism; see eco-terrorism.

Psychological impact and fear – The attack was carried out in such a way as to maximize the severity and length of the psychological impact. Each act of terrorism is a “performance” devised to have an impact on many large audiences. Terrorists also attack national symbols, to show power and to attempt to shake the foundation of the country or society they are opposed to. This may negatively affect a government, while increasing the prestige of the given terrorist organization and/or ideology behind a terrorist act.

Perpetrated for a political goal – Something that many acts of terrorism have in common is a political purpose. Terrorism is a political tactic, like letter-writing or protesting, which is used by activists when they believe that no other means will effect the kind of change they desire. The change is desired so badly that failure to achieve change is seen as a worse outcome than the deaths of civilians. This is often where the inter-relationship between terrorism and religion occurs. When a political struggle is integrated into the framework of a religious or "cosmic" struggle, such as over the control of an ancestral homeland or holy site such as Israel and Jerusalem, failing in the political goal (nationalism) becomes equated with spiritual failure, which, for the highly committed, is worse than their own death or the deaths of innocent civilians. One definition that combines the key elements was developed at the George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies by Carsten Bockstette: "Terrorism is defined as political violence in an asymmetrical conflict that is designed to induce terror and psychic fear (sometimes indiscriminate) through the violent victimization and destruction of noncombatant targets (sometimes iconic symbols). Such acts are meant to send a message from an illicit clandestine organization. The purpose of terrorism is to exploit the media in order to achieve maximum attainable publicity as an amplifying force multiplier in order to influence the targeted audience(s) in order to reach short- and midterm political goals and/or desired long-term end states."

Deliberate targeting of non-combatants – It is commonly held that the distinctive nature of terrorism lies in its intentional and specific selection of civilians as direct targets. Specifically, the criminal intent is shown when babies, children, mothers and the elderly are murdered, or injured and put in harm's way. Much of the time, the victims of terrorism are targeted not because they are threats, but because they are specific "symbols, tools, animals or corrupt beings" that tie into a specific view of the world that the terrorists possess. Their suffering accomplishes the terrorists' goals of instilling fear, getting their message out to an audience or otherwise satisfying the demands of their often radical religious and political agendas.

Unlawfulness or illegitimacy – Some official (notably government) definitions of terrorism add a criterion of illegitimacy or unlawfulness to distinguish between actions authorized by a government (and thus "lawful") and those of other actors, including individuals and small groups. Using this criterion, actions that would otherwise qualify as terrorism would not be considered terrorism if they were government sanctioned. For example, firebombing a city, which is designed to affect civilian support for a cause, would not be considered terrorism if it were authorized by a government. This criterion is inherently problematic and is not universally accepted, because: it denies the existence of state terrorism; the same act may or may not be classed as terrorism depending on whether its sponsorship is traced to a "legitimate" government; "legitimacy" and "lawfulness" are subjective, depending on the perspective of one government or another; and it diverges from the historically accepted meaning and origin of the term. For these reasons, this criterion is not universally accepted; most dictionary definitions of the term do not include this criterion.

Pejorative use

The terms "terrorism" and "terrorist" (someone who engages in terrorism) carry strong negative connotations. These terms are often used as political labels, to condemn violence or the threat of violence by certain actors as immoral, indiscriminate, unjustified or to condemn an entire segment of a population. Those labelled "terrorists" by their opponents rarely identify themselves as such, and typically use other terms or terms specific to their situation, such as separatist, freedom fighter, liberator, revolutionary, vigilante, militant, paramilitary, guerrilla, rebel or any similar-meaning word in other languages and cultures. Jihadi, mujaheddin, and fedayeen are similar Arabic words which have entered the English lexicon. It is common for both parties to a conflict to describe each other as terrorists.

On the question of whether particular terrorist acts, such as killing civilians, can be justified as the lesser evil in a particular circumstance, philosophers have expressed different views: while, according to David Rodin, utilitarian philosophers can (in theory) conceive of cases in which the evil of terrorism is outweighed by the good which could not be achieved in a less morally costly way, in practice the "harmful effects of undermining the convention of non-combatant immunity is thought to outweigh the goods that may be achieved by particular acts of terrorism". Among the non-utilitarian philosophers, Michael Walzer argued that terrorism can be morally justified in only one specific case: when "a nation or community faces the extreme threat of complete destruction and the only way it can preserve itself is by intentionally targeting non-combatants, then it is morally entitled to do so".

In his book "Inside Terrorism" Bruce Hoffman wrote in Chapter One: Defining Terrorism that

"On one point, at least, everyone agrees: terrorism is a pejorative term. It is a word with intrinsically negative connotations that is generally applied to one's enemies and opponents, or to those with whom one disagrees and would otherwise prefer to ignore. 'What is called terrorism,' Brian Jenkins has written, `'thus seems to depend on one's point of view. Use of the term implies a moral judgment; and if one party can successfully attach the label terrorist to its opponent, then it has indirectly persuaded others to adopt its moral viewpoint.' Hence the decision to call someone or label some organization `terrorist' becomes almost unavoidably subjective, depending largely on whether one sympathizes with or opposes the person/group/cause concerned. If one identifies with the victim of the violence, for example, then the act is terrorism. If, however, one identifies with the perpetrator, the violent act is regarded in a more sympathetic, if not positive (or, at the worst, an ambivalent) light; and it is not terrorism." 
The pejorative connotations of the word can be summed up in the aphorism, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". This is exemplified when a group using irregular military methods is an ally of a state against a mutual enemy, but later falls out with the state and starts to use those methods against its former ally. During World War II, the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army was allied with the British, but during the Malayan Emergency, members of its successor (the Malayan Races Liberation Army), were branded "terrorists" by the British. More recently, Ronald Reagan and others in the American administration frequently called the Afghan Mujahideen "freedom fighters" during their war against the Soviet Union, yet twenty years later, when a new generation of Afghan men are fighting against what they perceive to be a regime installed by foreign powers, their attacks are labelled "terrorism" by George W. Bush. Groups accused of terrorism understandably prefer terms reflecting legitimate military or ideological action. Leading terrorism researcher Professor Martin Rudner, director of the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies at Ottawa's Carleton University, defines "terrorist acts" as attacks against civilians for political or other ideological goals, and goes on to say "There is the famous statement: 'One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.' But that is grossly misleading. It assesses the validity of the cause when terrorism is an act. One can have a perfectly beautiful cause and yet if one commits terrorist acts, it is terrorism regardless."

Some groups, when involved in a "liberation" struggle, have been called "terrorists" by the Western governments or media. Later, these same persons, as leaders of the liberated nations, are called "statesmen" by similar organizations. Two examples of this phenomenon are the Nobel Peace Prize laureates Menachem Begin and Nelson Mandela.

Sometimes states which are close allies, for reasons of history, culture and politics, can disagree over whether or not members of a certain organization are terrorists. For instance, for many years, some branches of the United States government refused to label members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as terrorists while the IRA was using methods against one of the United States' closest allies (Britain) which Britain branded as terrorism. This was highlighted by the Quinn v. Robinson case.

For these and other reasons, media outlets wishing to preserve a reputation for impartiality are extremely careful in their use of the term

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Role of U.S. media & Casualities

Role of U.S. media

Researchers in the area of communication studies and political science have found that American understanding of the war on terror is directly shaped by how the mainstream news media reports events associated with the war on terror. In Bush’s War: Media Bias and Justifications for War in a Terrorist Age political communication researcher Jim A. Kuypers illustrated "how the press failed America in its coverage on the War on Terror." In each comparison, Kuypers "detected massive bias on the part of the press." This researcher called the mainstream news media an "anti-democratic institution" in his conclusion. "What has essentially happened since 9/11 has been that Bush has repeated the same themes, and framed those themes the same whenever discussing the War on Terror," said Kuypers. "Immediately following 9/11, the mainstream news media (represented by CBS, ABC, NBC, USA Today, New York Times, and Washington Post) did echo Bush, but within eight weeks it began to intentionally ignore certain information the president was sharing, and instead reframed the president's themes or intentionally introduced new material to shift the focus."

This goes beyond reporting alternate points of view, which is an important function of the press. "In short," Kuypers explained, "if someone were relying only on the mainstream media for information, they would have no idea what the president actually said. It was as if the press were reporting on a different speech." The study is essentially a "comparative framing analysis". Overall, Kuypers examined themes about 9-11 and the War on Terror that the President used, and compared them to the themes that the press used when reporting on what the president said.

"Framing is a process whereby communicators, consciously or unconsciously, act to construct a point of view that encourages the facts of a given situation to be interpreted by others in a particular manner," wrote Kuypers. These findings suggest that the public is misinformed about government justification and plans concerning the war on terror.

Others have also suggested that press coverage has contributed to a public confused and misinformed on both the nature and level of the threat to the U.S. posed by terrorism. In his book, Trapped in the War on Terror political scientist Ian S. Lustick, claimed, "The media have given constant attention to possible terrorist-initiated catastrophes and to the failures and weaknesses of the government's response." Lustick alleged that the War on Terror is disconnected from the real but remote threat terrorism poses, and that the generalized War on Terror began as part of the justification for invading Iraq, but then took on a life of its own, fueled by media coverage.

Media researcher Stephen D. Cooper’s analysis of media criticism Watching the Watchdog: Bloggers As the Fifth Estate contains many examples of controversies concerning mainstream reporting of the War on Terror. Cooper found that bloggers' criticisms of factual inaccuracies in news stories or bloggers’ discovery of the mainstream press’s failure to adequately check facts before publication caused many news organizations to retract or change news stories.

Cooper found that bloggers specializing in criticism of media coverage advanced four key points. Firstly, that mainstream reporting of the war on terror has frequently contained factual inaccuracies. In some cases, the errors go uncorrected; moreover, when corrections are issued they usually are given far less prominence than the initial coverage containing the errors. Secondly, they claimed that the mainstream press has sometimes failed to check the provenance of information or visual images supplied by Iraqi "stringers" (local Iraqis hired to relay local news). Next, they argued that story framing is often problematic; in particular, "man-in-the-street" interviews have often been used as a representation of public sentiment in Iraq, in place of methodologically sound survey data; and lastly, that mainstream reporting has tended to concentrate on the more violent areas of Iraq, with little or no reporting of the calm areas.

David Barstow won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting by connecting the Department of Defense to over 75 retired generals supporting the Iraq War on TV and radio networks. The Department of Defense recruited the retired generals to sell the war to the American public. Barstow also discovered undisclosed links between some retired generals and defense contractors. Barstow reported "the Bush administration used its control over access of information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse"


There is no widely agreed on figure for the number of people that have been killed so far in the "War on Terrorism" as it has been defined by the Bush Administration to include the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, and operations elsewhere. Some estimates include the following:

Iraq: 62,570 to 1,124,000 
Main article: Casualties of the Iraq War
Opinion Research Business (ORB) poll conducted August 12-19, 2007 estimated 1,033,000 violent deaths due to the Iraq War. The range given was 946,000 to 1,120,000 deaths. A nationally representative sample of approximately 2000 Iraqi adults answered whether any members of their household (living under their roof) were killed due to the Iraq War. 22% of the respondents had lost one or more household members. ORB reported that "48% died from a gunshot wound, 20% from the impact of a car bomb, 9% from aerial bombardment, 6% as a result of an accident and 6% from another blast/ordnance."
Between 392,979 and 942,636 estimated Iraqi (655,000 with a confidence interval of 95%), civilian and combatant, according to the second Lancet survey of mortality.
A minimum of 62,570 civilian deaths reported in the mass media up to 28 April 2007 according to IraqBodyCount. 
4000 U.S. military dead (2008 26 March). 22,401 wounded in action, of which 10,050 were unable to return to duty within 72 hours. 6,640 non-hostile injuries and 18,183 diseases (both requiring medical air transport).
Afghanistan: between 10,960 and 49,600 
Main article: Civilian casualties of the War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
According to Marc W. Herold's extensive database, Dossier on Civilian Victims of United States' Aerial Bombing, between 3,100 and 3,600 civilians were directly killed by U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom bombing and Special Forces attacks between October 7, 2001 and June 3, 2003. This estimate counts only "impact deaths"—deaths that occurred in the immediate aftermath of an explosion or shooting—and does not count deaths that occurred later as a result of injuries sustained, or deaths that occurred as an indirect consequence of the U.S. airstrikes and invasion. 
In an opinion article published in August 2002 in the neoconservative magazine The Weekly Standard, Joshua Muravchik of the American Enterprise Institute, a self-described neoconservative, questioned Professor Herold's study entirely on the basis of one single incident that involved 25-93 deaths. He did not provide any estimate his own.
In a pair of January 2002 studies, Carl Conetta of the Project on Defense Alternatives estimates that, at least 4,200-4,500 civilians were killed by mid-January 2002 as a result of the U.S. war and airstrikes, both directly as casualties of the aerial bombing campaign, and indirectly in the humanitarian crisis that the war and airstrikes contributed to. 

His first study, "Operation Enduring Freedom: Why a Higher Rate of Civilian Bombing Casualties?", released January 18, 2002, estimates that, at the low end, at least 1,000-1,300 civilians were directly killed in the aerial bombing campaign in just the 3 months between October 7, 2001 to January 1, 2002. The author found it impossible to provide an upper-end estimate to direct civilian casualties from the Operation Enduring Freedom bombing campaign that he noted as having an increased use of cluster bombs. In this lower-end estimate, only Western press sources were used for hard numbers, while heavy "reduction factors" were applied to Afghan government reports so that their estimates were reduced by as much as 75%. 

In his companion study, "Strange Victory: A critical appraisal of Operation Enduring Freedom and the Afghanistan war", released January 30, 2002, Conetta estimates that at least 3,200 more Afghans died by mid-January 2002, of "starvation, exposure, associated illnesses, or injury sustained while in flight from war zones", as a result of the U.S. war and airstrikes. 
In similar numbers, a Los Angeles Times review of U.S., British, and Pakistani newspapers and international wire services found that between 1,067 and 1,201 direct civilian deaths were reported by those news organizations during the five months from October 7, 2001 to February 28, 2002. This review excluded all civilian deaths in Afghanistan that did not get reported by U.S., British, or Pakistani news, excluded 497 deaths that did get reported in U.S., British, and Pakistani news but that were not specifically identified as civilian or military, and excluded 754 civilian deaths that were reported by the Taliban but not independently confirmed.
According to Jonathan Steele of The Guardian between 20,000 and 49,600 people may have died of the consequences of the invasion by the spring of 2002.
Somalia: 7,000+ 
In December 2007, The Elman Peace and Human Rights Organisation said it had verified 6,500 civilian deaths, 8,516 people wounded, and 1.5 million displaced from homes in Mogadishu alone during the year 2007.
June 01 2009, Pvt. William Andrew Long was shot and murdered by Abdulhakim Muhammad, while standing, unarmed outside a recruiting facility in Little Rock AR; marking the first U.S. casualty on U.S. soil, (as well as), the first attack on U.S. soil, since the War on Terror began.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Criticisms of U.S. objectives and strategies

Main article: Criticism of the War on Terrorism

 The War on Terrorism as indefinite and indeterminate

Policy experts have criticized the "War on Terrorism" as an irresponsible metaphor, arguing that "war" must by definition be waged against nations—not against broad and controversial categories of activity such as "terrorism". Cognitive linguist George Lakoff writes:

“ Literal—not metaphorical—wars are conducted against armies of other nations. They end when the armies are defeated militarily and a peace treaty is signed. Terror is an emotional state. It is in us. It is not an army. And you can’t defeat it militarily and you can’t sign a peace treaty with it. ”

Dr. David Kilcullen, a counterinsurgency and counterterrorism advisor to Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, has asserted that:

“ We must distinguish Al Qa'eda and the broader militant movements it symbolises—entities that use terrorism—from the tactic of terrorism itself. In practice, as will be demonstrated, the 'War on Terrorism' is a defensive war against a world-wide Islamist jihad, a diverse confederation of movements that uses terrorism as its principal, but not its sole tactic. ”

Francis Fukuyama, a prominent former neoconservative, has made the similar point that:

“ The term 'war on terrorism' is a misnomer, resulting in distorted ideas of the main threat facing Americans today. Terrorism is only a means to an end; in this respect, a 'war on terror' makes
no more sense than a war on submarines.

The term "terrorism" has been also been characterized as unacceptably vague. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime observes:

“ The lack of agreement on a definition of terrorism has been a major obstacle to meaningful international countermeasures. Cynics have often commented that one state's "terrorist" is another state's "freedom fighter".
Opponents critical of this inherent subjectivity point out that governments such as Iran, Lebanon, and Venezuela consistently use the term "terrorism" to describe actions taken by the United States.

In an article published in October 29, French Army officer LTC Jean-Pierre Steinhofer described war on Terror as a "semantic, strategic and legal perversion. . . Terrorism is not an enemy, but a method of combat."

Further criticism maintains that the War on Terrorism provides a framework for perpetual war; that the announcement of such open-ended goals produces a state of endless conflict, since "terrorist groups" can continue to arise indefinitely. President Bush has pledged that the War on Terrorism "will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated". During a July 2007 visit to the United States, newly appointed British Prime Minister Gordon Brown defined the War on Terror, specifically the element involving conflict with Al Qaeda, as "a generational battle".

The War on Terrorism as counterproductive

A number of security experts, politicians, and policy organizations have claimed that the War on Terrorism has been counterproductive: that it has consolidated opposition to the U.S., aided terrorist recruitment, and increased the likelihood of attacks against the U.S. and its allies. In a 2005 briefing paper, the Oxford Research Group reported that:

“ Al-Qaida and its affiliates remain active and effective, with a stronger support base and a higher intensity of attacks than before 9/11. ...Far from winning the 'war on terror', the second George W. Bush administration is maintaining policies that are not curbing paramilitary movements and are actually increasing violent anti-Americanism. ”

The South African Mail & Guardian describes research commissioned by the British Ministry of Defence which concluded:

“ The war in Iraq ... has acted as a recruiting sergeant for extremists across the Muslim world ... Iraq has served to radicalise an already disillusioned youth and al-Qaeda has given them the will, intent, purpose and ideology to act. ”

Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank, research fellows at the Center on Law and Security at the NYU School of Law, have argued that the "globalization of martyrdom" potentiated by the Iraq War:

“ Has generated a stunning sevenfold increase in the yearly rate of fatal jihadist attacks, amounting to literally hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and thousands of civilian lives lost.”

The 2007 National Intelligence Estimate issued the following among its "key judgments":

“ The Iraq conflict has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.”

On September 19, 2008, the RAND Corporation presented the results of a comprehensive study for "Defeating Terrorist Groups" before the United States House Armed Services Committees. RAND's testimony began with the thesis statement:

“ The United States cannot continue conducting an effective counter-terrorism campaign against al Qa’ida without understanding how terrorist groups end. ”

Their conclusions included strong proposals for strategic policy changes:

“ [The U.S. military] should generally resist being drawn into combat operations in Muslim countries where its presence is likely to increase terrorist recruitment. ”

and recommended, "ending the notion of a 'war' on terrorism" and "Moving away from military references would indicate that there was no battlefield solution to countering terrorism."

In conclusion, the RAND study advised:

“ By far the most effective strategy against religious groups has been the use of local police and intelligence services, which were responsible for the end of 73 percent of [terrorist] groups since 1968.”

 Double standards

Others have criticized the U.S. for double standards in its dealings with key allies that are also known to support terrorist groups, such as Pakistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly stated that in the "war against terrorism," “the central front is Pakistan"; Pakistan has also been alleged to provide Taliban operatives with covert support via the ISI. These accusations of double dealing regard civil liberties and human rights as well as terrorism. According to the Federation of American Scientists, "[i]n its haste to strengthen the "frontline" states' ability to confront transnational terrorist threats on their soil, and to gain the cooperation of regimes of geostrategic significance to the next phases of the "War on Terrorism", the administration is disregarding normative restrictions on U.S. aid to human rights abusers." Amnesty International has argued that the Patriot Act gives the U.S. government free rein to violate the constitutional rights of citizens. The Bush administration's use of torture and alleged use of extraordinary rendition and secret prisons have all fueled opposition to the War on Terrorism. 

Decreasing international support

In 2002, strong majorities supported the U.S.-led War on Terrorism in Britain, France, Germany, Japan, India, and Russia. By 2006, supporters of the effort were in the minority in Britain (49%), France (43%), Germany (47%), and Japan (26%). Although a majority of Russians still supported the War on Terrorism, that majority had decreased by 21%. Whereas 63% of the Spanish population supported the War on Terrorism in 2003, only 19% of the population indicated support in 2006. 19% of the Chinese population supports the War on Terrorism, and less than a fifth of the populations of Turkey, Egypt, and Jordan support the effort. Indian support for the War on Terrorism has been stable. Andrew Kohut, speaking to the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, noted that, according to the Pew Research Center polls conducted in 2004, "majorities or pluralities in seven of the nine countries surveyed said the U.S.-led war on terrorism was not really a sincere effort to reduce international terrorism. This was true not only in Muslim countries such as Morocco and Turkey, but in France and Germany as well. The true purpose of the war on terrorism, according to these skeptics, is American control of Middle East oil and U.S. domination of the world."

Stella Rimington, former head of the British intelligence service MI5 has criticised the war on terror as a "huge overreaction", and had decried the militarization and politicization of the U.S. efforts to be the wrong approach to terrorism. David Milliband, UK foreign secretary, has similarly called the strategy a "mistake".  

Abuse of power

The War on Terrorism has been viewed by some as a pretext for reducing civil liberties.

The NSA electronic surveillance program and DARPA's Total Information Awareness were two examples of post-September 11 government monitoring programs.

A controversy also erupted concerning National Security Letters, issued by the federal government and not subject to prior judicial review. These letters demanded information the government asserted was relevant to a terrorism investigation, but also contained a gag order preventing recipients from revealing the existence of the letter. Critics contend this prevents public oversight of government investigations, and allows unreasonable search and seizure to go unchecked. The American Civil Liberties Union complained that Section 505 of the USA PATRIOT Act removed the need for the government to connect recipients to a terrorism investigation, widening the possibility for abuse.

The Protect America Act of 2007 was also controversial for its lack of judicial review.

In October 2008, British PM Gordon Brown used the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 to freeze Icelandic holdings in Great Britain during the Icelandic financial crisis. Iceland's prime minister Geir Haarde protested against what he described "a terrorist law being applied against us", calling it "a completely unfriendly act". Iceland is a founding member of NATO

Monday, July 27, 2009

Terrorism -United States Of America

North America

United States of America

United States Customs and Border Protection officers.Further information: Detentions following the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack
A $40 billion emergency spending bill was passed by the United States Congress, and an additional $20 billion bail-out of the airline industry was also passed.

The Justice Department launched a Special Registration procedure for certain male non-citizens in the U.S., requiring them to register in person at offices of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

In addition to military efforts abroad, in the aftermath of 9/11 the Bush Administration increased domestic efforts to prevent future attacks. A new cabinet level agency called the United States Department of Homeland Security was created to lead and coordinate federal counterterrorism activities.

The USA PATRIOT Act removed legal restrictions on information sharing between federal law enforcement and intelligence services and allowed for the investigation of suspected terrorists using means similar to those in place for other types of criminals. A new Terrorist Finance Tracking Program monitored the movements of terrorists' financial resources (discontinued after being revealed by The New York Times newspaper). Telecommunication usage by known and suspected terrorists was studied through the NSA electronic surveillance program.

Political interest groups have alleged that these laws remove important restrictions on governmental authority, and are a dangerous encroachment on civil liberties, possible unconstitutional violations of the Fourth Amendment. On July 30, 2003, the ACLU filed the first legal challenge against Section 215 of the Patriot Act, claiming that it allows the FBI to violate a citizen's 1st Amendment rights, 4th Amendment Rights, and right to due process, by having the ability to search business, bookstore, and library records in a terrorist investigation—without disclosing to the individual that records were being searched. Also, governing bodies in a number of communities have passed symbolic resolutions against the act.

In a speech on June 9, 2005, Bush said that the USA PATRIOT Act had been used to bring charges against more than 400 suspects, more than half of whom had been convicted. Meanwhile the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) quoted Justice Department figures showing that 7,000 people have complained of abuse of the Act.

DARPA began an initiative in early 2002 with the creation of the Total Information Awareness program, designed to promote information technologies that could be used in counterterrorism. This program, facing criticism, has since been defunded by Congress.

Various government bureaucracies which handled security and military functions were reorganized. Most notably, the Department of Homeland Security was created to coordinate "homeland security" efforts in the largest reorganization of the U.S. federal government since the consolidation of the armed forces into the Department of Defense.

The Office of Strategic Influence was secretly created after 9/11 for the purpose of coordinating propaganda efforts, but was closed soon after being discovered. The Bush administration implemented the Continuity of Operations Plan (or Continuity of Government) to ensure that U.S. government would be able to continue in catastrophic circumstances.

Since 9/11, Islamic extremists made various attempts to attack the US homeland, with varying levels of organization and skill. For example, in 2001 vigilant passengers aboard a transatlantic flight to Miami prevented Richard Reid (shoe bomber) from detonating an explosive device.

Other terrorist plots have been stopped by federal agencies using new legal powers and investigative tools, sometimes in cooperation with foreign governments.

Such thwarted attacks include;

A plan to crash airplanes into the U.S. Bank Tower (aka Library Tower) in Los Angeles;
The 2003 plot by Iyman Faris to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City;
The 2004 Financial buildings plot which targeted the International Monetary Fund and World Bank buildings in Washington, DC, the New York Stock Exchange and other financial institutions;
The 2004 Columbus Shopping Mall Bombing Plot;
The 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot which was to involve liquid explosives;
The 2006 Sears Tower plot;
The 2007 Fort Dix attack plot;
and the 2007 John F. Kennedy International Airport attack plot.
To date, no attacks by Islamic terrorists on the US homeland have been successful since September 11, 2001.

Recently the House of Representatives passed a bill enacting many of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, something the Democrats campaigned on as part of their "100 hour plan". The bill passed in the House 299-128 and is currently still being considered in the U.S. Senate. So far funding has not been appropriated for the enactments.

South America

Colombian armed conflict

Following the September 11 attacks the United States government increased military aid to Colombia. In 2003, 98 million dollars were spent for new Pentagon training and equipment for the Colombian military.

The purpose of which was to help the Colombia government fight the FARC rebel group which is regarded by the U.S. as a terrorist group. It has also been alleged that the Communist rebel group has connections to the drug cartels of South America.

International military support
Main article: Participants in Operation Enduring Freedom
Main article: International Security Assistance Force
Main article: Multinational force in Iraq
See also: Coalition combat operations in Afghanistan in 2008
See also: Afghanistan War order of battle
The first wave of attacks were carried out solely by American and British forces. Since the initial invasion period, these forces were augmented by troops and aircraft from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand and Norway amongst others. In 2006, there were about 33,000 troops in Afghanistan.

On September 12, 2001, less than 24 hours after the attacks in New York City and Washington, NATO invoked Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and declared the attacks to be an attack against all 19 NATO member countries. Australian Prime Minister John Howard also declared that Australia would invoke the ANZUS Treaty along similar lines.

In the following months, NATO took a wide range of measures to respond to the threat of terrorism. On November 22, 2002, the member states of the EAPC decided on a Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism which explicitly states that "EAPC States are committed to the protection and promotion of fundamental freedoms and human rights, as well as the rule of law, in combating terrorism." NATO started naval operations in the Mediterranean Sea designed to prevent the movement of terrorists or weapons of mass destruction as well as to enhance the security of shipping in general called Operation Active Endeavour.

The invasion of Afghanistan is seen as the first action of this war, and initially involved forces from the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Afghan Northern Alliance.

Support for the United States cooled when America made clear its determination to invade Iraq in late 2002. Even so, many of the "coalition of the willing" countries that unconditionally supported the U.S.-led military action have sent troops to Afghanistan, particular neighbouring Pakistan, which has disowned its earlier support for the Taliban and contributed tens of thousands of soldiers to the conflict. Pakistan was also engaged in the Waziristan War. Supported by U.S. intelligence, Pakistan was attempting to remove the Taliban insurgency and al-Qaeda element from the northern tribal areas.

International Security Assistance Force

Current ISAF contributors in dark green, future in light green, and former in cyan.
The United Kingdom is the second largest contributor of ISAF troops in Afghanistan.
French troops as part of ISAF in Kabul.December 2001 saw the creation of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to assist the Afghan Transitional Administration and the first post-Taliban elected government. With a renewed Taliban insurgency, it was announced in 2006 that ISAF would replace the U.S troops in the province as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The British 16th Air Assault Brigade (latter reinforced by Royal Marines) formed the core of the force in Southern Afghanistan, along with troops and helicopters from Australia, Canada and the Netherlands. The initial force consisted of roughly 3,300 British, 2,000 Canadian, 1,400 from the Netherlands and 240 from Australia, along with special forces from Denmark and Estonia (and small contingents from other nations).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Terrorism in Central Asia/South Asia

Central Asia/South Asia


Terrorism in India since 2001

The steady rise in Islamist terrorism over the course of the 1980s and the 21st century. The recent rise in prominence of several Pakistan and Kashmir-based terror groups, such as Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen and others in Kashmir has created grave problems for the country.

Major terrorist incidents in India carried out by Islamic groups include the 1993 Mumbai bombings, as well as terrorism in Kashmir such as Wandhama massacre, Kaluchak massacre, Chittisinghpura massacre and others.

Other deadly terrorist attacks in the rest of the country include:
The 2001 Indian Parliament attack. 
Akshardham Temple attack. 
29 October 2005 Delhi bombings. 
2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack in Ayodhya. 
2005 Jaunpur train bombing. 
11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings. 
2006 Varanasi bombings. 
The 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings. 
Hyderabad bombings. 
Jaipur bombings. 
Bangalore bombings. 
2008 Ahmedabad bombings. 
13 September 2008 Delhi bombings. 
2008 Assam bombings. 
And the 2008 Mumbai attacks

In the aftermath of the 2001 Indian Parliament attack, tensions between India and Pakistan increased as India blamed Pakistan for not doing enough to contain anti-India terrorist groups based there. This resulted in massive troop build-ups along the Indo-Pakistani international border by both India and Pakistan resulting in fears of a nuclear war.

However, international diplomacy helped reduce tensions between the two nuclear weapons-armed states. Pakistan was also suspected to be behind the 2008 Indian embassy bombing in Kabul.

Kashmiri insurgents, who initially started their movement as a pro-Kashmiri independence movement, have gone through a radical change in their ideology. They now portray their struggle as a religious one.

Research and Analysis Wing, India's premier external intelligence agency, observed the growing link between Islamic terrorist groups based in Afghanistan and Kashmiri insurgents. Al-Qaeda also lends ideological and financial support to terrorism in Kashmir, with Osama bin Laden constantly demanding that jihad be waged against India and Islamic fundamentalist groups disseminating propaganda in many countries against India with rhetoric like "idol worshipers and Hindus" who "occupy Kashmir".

The government and military of India have taken numerous counter-terrorist measures to combat rising terrorism in the country. Some of these measures have been criticized by human rights groups as being too draconian, particularly in Kashmir.

However, increased vigilance by Indian security forces has had a positive impact with the number of terrorist attacks declining sharply in 2007.India is considered to be one of main allies in the war on terrorism and has worked closely on counter-terrorism activities and training with several countries such as United States, Japan,China, Australia,Israel, United Kingdom, and Russia.

India has been criticized over its anti-terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir, the heavy-handed response to unrest in which 40 people—the vast majority unarmed civilian protesters—were killed by Indian armed forces could lead to the "Talibanisation of the Kashmiri separatist struggle."

War in Afghanistan (2001–present)

Soldiers in south-eastern Afghanistan check their coordinates during a combat patrol
British ISAF soldier in Helmand Province, Afghanistan
US Army Chinook helicopter in the Afghanistan mountains

On September 20, 2001 George W. Bush delivered an ultimatum to the Taliban regime to turn over Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda leaders operating in the country. The Taliban demanded evidence of bin Laden's link to the September 11 attacks and, if such evidence warranted a trial, they offered to handle such a trial in an Islamic Court. The US refused to provide any evidence.

In October 2001, in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States, US forces (with some coalition allies) invaded Afghanistan to remove al-Qaeda forces and oust the Taliban regime which had control of the country. On October 7, 2001 the official invasion began with British and US forces conducting aerial bombing campaigns.

Waging war in Afghanistan had been of a lower priority for the US government than the war in Iraq. Admiral Mike Mullen, Staff Chairman the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that while the situation in Afghanistan is "precarious and urgent," the 10,000 additional troops needed there would be unavailable "in any significant manner" unless withdrawals from Iraq are made.

However, Admiral Mullen stated that "my priorities . . . given to me by the commander in chief are: Focus on Iraq first. It's been that way for some time. Focus on Afghanistan second."


The Saudi born Zayn al-Abidn Muhammed Hasayn Abu Zubaydah was arrested by Pakistani officials during a series of joint U.S. and Pakistan raids during the week of March 23, 2002. During the raid the suspect was shot three times while trying to escape capture by military personnel.

Zubaydah is said to be a high-ranking al-Qaeda official with the title of operations chief and in charge of running al-Qaeda training camps.  Later that year on September 14, 2002, Ramzi Binalshibh was arrested in Pakistan after a three-hour gunfight with police forces.

Binalshibh is known to have shared a room with Mohammad Atta in Hamburg, Germany and to be a financial backer of al-Qaeda operations. It is said Binalshibh was supposed to be another hijacker, however the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services rejected his visa application three times, leaving him to the role of financier. The trail of money transferred by Binalshibh from Germany to the United States links both Mohammad Atta and Zacarias Moussaoui.

On March 1, 2003, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was arrested during CIA-led raids on the suburb of Rawalpindi, nine miles outside of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. Mohammed at the time of his capture was the third highest ranking official in al-Qaeda and had been directly in charge of the planning for the September 11 attacks.

Escaping capture the week before during a previous raid, the Pakistani government was able to use information gathered from other suspects captured to locate and detain Mohammed. Mohammed was indicted in 1996 by the United States government for links to the Oplan Bojinka, a plot to bomb a series of U.S. civilian airliners.

Other events Mohammed has been linked to include: ordering the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, the USS Cole bombing, Richard Reid's attempt to blow up a civilian airliner with a shoe bomb, and the terrorist attack at the El Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed has described himself as the head of the al-Qaeda military committee.

Amidst all this, in 2006, Pakistan was accused by NATO commanding officers of aiding and abetting the Taliban in Afghanistan; but NATO later admitted that there was no known evidence against the ISI or Pakistani government of sponsoring terrorism. However in 2007, allegations of ISI secretly making bounty payments up to CDN$ 1,900 (Pakistani rupees. 1 lakh) for each NATO personnel killed surfaced.

The Afghan government also accuses the ISI of providing help to militants including protection to the recently killed Mullah Dadullah, Taliban's senior military commander, a charge denied by the Pakistani government. India, meanwhile continues to accuse Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence of planning several terrorist attacks in Kashmir and elsewhere in the Indian republic, including the 11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings, which Pakistan attributes it to "homegrown" insurgencies.

Many other countries like Afghanistan and the UK have also accused Pakistan of State-sponsored terrorism and financing terrorism. The upswing in American military activity in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan corresponded with a drastic increase in American military aid to the Pakistan government.

In the three years before the attacks of September 11, Pakistan received approximately $9 million in American military aid. In the three years after, the number increased to $4.2 billion, making it the country with the maximum funding post 9/11.

Such a huge inflow of funds has raised concerns that these funds were given without any accountability, as the end uses not being documented, and that large portions were used to suppress civilians' human rights and to purchase weapons to contain domestic problems like the Balochistan unrest Pakistan has stated that India has been supporting terror groups within FATA and Balochistan with the aim of creating unrest within the country which has also been blamed for the diversion of funds.

Waziristan War

In 2004 the Pakistani Army launched a campaign in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan's Waziristan region, sending in 80,000 troops. The goal of the conflict was to remove the al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in the region.

After the fall of the Taliban regime many members of the Taliban resistance fled to the Northern border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan where the Pakistani army had previously little control. With the logistics and air support of the United States, the Pakistani Army captured or killed numerous al-Qaeda operatives such as Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, wanted for his involvement in the USS Cole bombing, Oplan Bojinka plot and the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

However, the Taliban resistance still operates in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas under the control of Haji Omar.United States has carried out a campaign of Drone attacks on targets all over Federally Administered Tribal Areas

Southeast Asia

Main articles: 2002 Bali bombing, 2004 Jakarta embassy bombing, and 2005 Bali bombing

In 2002 and again in 2005, the Indonesian island of Bali has been struck by suicide and car bombings that killed over 200 people and injured over 300. The 2002 attack consisted of a bomb hidden in a backpack exploding inside of "Paddy's Bar", a remote controlled car bomb exploding in front of the "Sari Club" and a third explosion in front of the American consulate in Bali.

The 2005 attack consisted of 2 suicide bombings, the first near a food court in Jimbaran, the second in the main square of Kuta. The group Jemaah Islamiyah is suspected by Indonesian authorities of carrying out both attacks.

On September 9, 2004, a car bomb exploded outside of the Australian embassy in Jakarta, killing 10 Indonesians and injuring over 140 others; despite conflicting initial reports there were no Australian casualties.[96] Foreign Minister Alexander Downer reported that a mobile phone text message was sent to Indonesian authorities before the bombing warning of attacks if Abu Bakar Bashir was not released from prison.[97]

Abu Bakar Ba'asyir was imprisoned on charged of treason for his support of the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings.[98] Currently Jemaah Islamiyah is suspected of carrying out the attacks and Noordin Mohammed Top is a prime suspect. Top is a bomb maker and explosions expert for Jemaah Islamiyah.[99]

Main article: Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines
American Special Forces Soldier, and infantrymen of the Philippine Army.

In January 2002 the United States Special Operations Command, Pacific deployed to the Philippines to advise and assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines in combating terrorism. The operations were mainly focused on removing the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) from their stronghold on the island of Basilan.

The United States military has reported that they have removed over 80% of the Abu Sayyaf Group members from the region. The second portion of the operation was conducted as a humanitarian program called "Operation Smiles". The goal of the program was to provide medical care and services to the region of Basilan to prevent the ability for members of the terrorist groups to reestablish themselves.


Main article: South Thailand insurgency

The South Thailand insurgency is a separatist campaign, which is taking place in the predominantly Malay Pattani region, made up of the three southernmost provinces of Thailand, with violence increasingly spilling over into other provinces. Although separatist violence has occurred for decades in the region, the campaign escalated in 2004. In July 2005 the Prime Minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra, assumed wide-ranging emergency powers to deal with the insurgency. In September 2006, Army Commander Sonthi Boonyaratkalin was granted an extraordinary increase in executive powers to combat the unrest. Soon afterwards, on 19 September 2006, Sonthi and a military junta ousted Thaksin in a coup. Despite reconciliatory gestures from the junta, the insurgency continued and intensified. The death toll, 1,400 at the time of the coup, increased to 2,579 by mid-September 2007. Despite little progress in curbing the violence, the junta declared that security was improving and that peace would come to the region in 2008. The death toll surpassed 3,000 in March 2008.

The military junta has some evidence that the insurgency is being financed by restaurants selling Tom Yam Kung soup in Malaysia since many have interest in the movement. The Malaysian government argued the claim "absolutely baseless," and "very imaginative."

Terrorism-On Other Halves of The World

Middle East

Iraq War and 2003 invasion of Iraq 
      Countries in which Islamist terrorist attacks have occurred on or after September 11, 2001.
British soldiers in Iraq.
      Iraq had been listed as a state sponsor of international terrorism by the United States since it fell out of US favour in 1990. The regime of Saddam Hussein proved a continuing problem for the UN and Iraq’s neighbors in its use of chemical weapons against Iranians and Kurds.

      After the Gulf War, the US, French and British militaries instituted and began patrolling Iraqi no-fly zones, ostensibly to protect Iraq’s Kurdish minority and Shi’a Arab population—both of which suffered attacks from the Hussein regime before and after the Gulf War—in Iraq’s northern and southern regions, respectively. U.S. forces continued in combat zone deployments through November 1995 and launched launched Operation Desert Fox against Iraq in 1998 after it failed to meet US demands of "unconditional cooperation" in weapons inspections.

       Prior to Operation Desert Fox President Bill Clinton said "And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them." President Clinton also stood to remove Saddam Hussein and in the same speech said, "The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world." In the aftermath of Operation Desert Fox, during December 1998, Iraq announced that it would no longer respect the no-fly zones and resumed its efforts in shooting down Coalition aircraft.

      Air strikes by the British and US against Iraqi anti-aircraft and military targets continued over the next few years. Also in 1998, President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act which called for regime change in Iraq on the basis of its supposed possession of weapons of mass destruction, oppression of Iraqi citizens and attacks on other Middle Eastern countries.

      After the 2001 US attacks, the US government claimed that Iraq was an actual threat to the United States because Iraq could use its previously known chemical weapons to aid terrorist groups.

     The George W. Bush administration called for the United Nations Security Council to send weapons inspectors to Iraq (previous inspectors had been caught spying for the US) to find and destroy the alleged weapons of mass destruction and for a UNSC resolution. UNSC Resolution 1441 was passed unanimously, which offered Iraq "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations" or face "serious consequences."

Resolution 1441 did not authorize the use of force by member states. The Iraqi government subsequently allowed UN inspectors to access Iraqi sites, while the US government continued to assert that Iraq was being obstructionist.

In October 2002, a large bipartisan majority in the United States Congress authorized the president to use force if necessary to disarm Iraq in order to "prosecute the war on terrorism." After failing to overcome opposition from France, Russia, and China against a UNSC resolution that would sanction the use of force against Iraq, and before the UN weapons inspectors had completed their inspections which were claimed to be fruitless by the US because of Iraq's alleged deception, the United States assembled a "Coalition of the Willing" composed of nations who pledged support for its policy of regime change in Iraq.

On March 20, 2003, the invasion of Iraq was launched. The Bush administration insisted the invasion was the "serious consequences" spoken of in UNSC Resolution 1441.

Iraq's government was quickly toppled and on May 1, 2003, Bush stated that major combat operations in Iraq had ended. However, an insurgency arose against the U.S.-led coalition and the newly developing Iraqi military and post-Saddam government.

Elements of the insurgency were led by fugitive members of President Hussein's Ba'ath regime, which included Iraqi nationalists and pan-Arabists. Many insurgency leaders are Islamists and claim to be fighting a religious war to reestablish the Arab Islamic Caliphate of centuries past.

After months of brutal violence against Iraqi civilians, in January 2007 President Bush presented a new strategy for Operation Iraqi Freedom based upon counter-insurgency theories and tactics developed by General David Petraeus. The Iraq War troop surge of 2007 was part of this "new way forward" and, along with US backing of Sunni groups it had previously sought to defeat, has been credited with a widely recognized dramatic decrease in violence by up to 80%, and a more controversial possible increase in political and communal reconciliation in Iraq.

2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict

In July 2006, following the killing of three Israeli soldiers and the taking prisoner of two more by Hezbollah, Israel invaded southern Lebanon, intent on the destruction of Hezbollah. The conflict lasted over a month and caused the deaths of between 845 and 1300 Lebanese (Mostly civilians) and 163 Israelis (119 military and 44 civilian) and wounding thousands more Israelis and Lebanese.

The Lebanese government, Hezbollah and the Israeli government have agreed to the terms of the ceasefire agreement created by the United Nations that began at 0500 on August 14, 2006. While the conflict is associated with the longer running Arab-Israeli conflict, prior to the declaration of the ceasefire, Israel claimed it was fighting a war against terror, the U.S. government stated the conflict was also a front in the "War on Terror" and President Bush reiterated it in a speech the day the ceasefire came into effect. Hezbollah also claims that Israel is terrorist state.

2007 Lebanon conflict

In 2007, a conflict began in northern Lebanon after fighting broke out between Fatah al-Islam, an Islamist militant organization, and the Lebanese Armed Forces on May 20, 2007 in Nahr al-Bared, a Palestinian refugee camp near Tripoli. The conflict evolved mostly around the Siege of Nahr el-Bared, but minor clashes also occurred in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon and several bombings took place in and around Lebanon's capital Beirut.

Fatah-al-Islam has been described as a militant jihadist  movement that draws inspiration from al-Qaeda.The US provided military aid to Lebanon during the conflict. On September 7, 2007 Lebanese Forces captured the camp and then declared victory.

 2008 fighting in Lebanon

In May 2008, Lebanon's 17-month long political crisis spiralled out of control. The unrest saw fighters from Shi'a movements Hezbollah and Amal opposing pro-government gunmen, including fighters loyal to the Sunni Future Movement Party, in several areas of the capital.

The government was US-backed while the Shi'a militants were armed and financed by Syria and Iran. The fighting led to the fall of Beirut and the eastern Aley area to opposition forces.

Saudi Arabia

The latest wave of attacks in Saudi Arabia started with the bombing in Riyadh on 12 May 2003 by al-Qaeda militants. The attacks targeted the Saudi security forces, foreign workers, and tourists (mostly Western).

Gaza Strip/West Bank

Fatah-Hamas conflict

The Fatah-Hamas conflict began in 2006 and has continued, in one form or another, into the middle of 2007. The conflict is between the two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, with each vying to assume political control of the Palestinian Territories.

The majority of the fighting is occurring in the Gaza Strip, which was taken over by Hamas in June 2007. Fatah is United States backed whereas Hamas, despite being considered a terrorist organization by the United States, United Nations and the European Union, won the first free and democratic elections held in the Palestinian territories.

 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict

Following Hamas's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip during the Battle of Gaza Israel imposed a blockade of the territory. What ensued was a series of rocket attacks by Hamas against southern Israel and small military operations against the rocket teams by the IDF. This culminated by the end of December 2008, after a six-month truce ended between Israel and Hamas. Rocket attacks intensified and Israel responded with heavy air strikes on December 27, 2008. At least 225 people were killed on the first day of the Israeli attack, 140 of the Hamas militants according to the IDF. Following a week of air raids Israeli troops started ground operations and attacked the Gaza Strip on January 4, 2009. The attack cut Gaza into three parts and by January 18, 1,417 Palestinians (926 civilians) and 13 Israelis (10 soldiers) were killed. By some the conflict had been considered, just like the 2006 Lebanon war, as a proxy war between Israel's Western allies and Iran for the Middle East.

Only days after the war in Gaza ended Israeli warplanes hit an arms convoy in Sudan. The convoy was manned by Sudanese, Ethiopians, Eritreans and several Iranian Revolutionary Guard members and was to head through Egypt's Sinai desert to the border with Gaza where the weapons would be smuggled to Hamas. 39 people were killed and 17 trucks were destroyed. Israeli warplanes used the U.S. military airport in Djibouti for the operation. The U.S. also provided military intelligence, beside the airstrip, for the attack as part of an agreement between the U.S. and Israel to stop arms smuggling into Gaza.

Terrorism in Yemen

There had been a number of terrorist attacks against foreign targets in Yemen since the start of the War on Terrorism. Yemen has a weak central government and a powerful tribal system that leaves large lawless areas open for terrorist training and operations. It is stated that al-Qaida has a strong presence in the country.

EZLaptops-Free Laptops for You