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Terrorism in the 21 st Century: An Introduction. DoD Disclaimer. Notes: - The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the position of the United States Military Academy, the Department of the Army, or the Department of Defense.

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Terrorism in the

21st Century:

An Introduction


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DoD Disclaimer

Notes:

- The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the position of the United States Military Academy, the Department of the Army, or the Department of Defense.


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Understanding the Strategy

  • NATO definition of terrorism:

    The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence against individuals or property in an attempt to coerce or intimidate governments or societies to achieve political, religious or ideological objectives

  • Sun Tzu

    • Know yourself

    • Know your allies

    • Know your enemy


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Sun Tzu: Know Your Enemy

  • What motivates terrorists?

  • How does someone become a suicide bomber?

  • What do these people want?

  • What are they capable of?

  • How do they view this struggle?

    “You have to be lucky everyday – We only have to be lucky once” - IRA Bomber


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Key Terms

  • Vision

  • Power

  • Belief

  • Strategy

  • Tactic

  • Duty

  • Shame

  • Freedom fighter

  • Self-sacrifice

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Key Terms

  • Vision – “Shape the future”

  • Power to achieve the vision

  • Belief in a higher cause

  • Strategy – to compel, coerce, etc.

  • Tactic – bombing, assassination, etc.

  • Duty to the cause, to family, to God

  • Shame upon you for not doing seeking justice

  • Freedom fighter – must kill to secure freedom (?)

  • Self-sacrifice – to be killed in the service of a higher cause is “heroic”

AB95-5.PPT

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Defining Terrorism

Primary Types

  • Left-wing

  • Right-wing

  • Ethno-nationalist (separatist)

  • Religious

  • State

  • State-Sponsored

AB95-5.PPT

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Left-wing Terrorists

  • Driven by liberal or idealist political concepts

  • Prefer revolutionary anti-authoritarian anti-materialist agendas

  • Typically target elites that symbolize authority

  • Examples:

    • Anarchists, Earth First, Animal Liberation Front


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Right-wing Terrorists

  • Often target race and ethnicity

  • Examples:

    • Aryan Brotherhood, the Order, White Aryan Nation


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Ethno-nationalist/Separatists

  • Usually have clear territorial objectives

    • Liberation/separation

    • Popular support usually along ethnic/racial lines.

  • Examples:

    • Tamil Tigers, Chechens, ETA, IRA, PKK


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Religious terrorists

  • Belief in a struggle of good vs evil

    • Acting along desires of a diety – target is thus not necessarily human

    • Feel unconstrained by law – higher calling

    • Complete alienation from existing socio/political order

    • Support may be diffuse

  • Examples:

    • al Qaeda, Hizballah, Hamas, Jemaah Islamiyah, Christian Militia, Aum Shinrikyo, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Amal, Lehi, Irgun


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State Terrorism

  • Governments can engage in acts of terrorism

  • Examples:

    • Iraq, Saddam Hussein deployed chemical weapons in Kurdish villages, killing thousands

    • Intent was to frighten other villages into stopping their political revolt

    • It worked


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State-Sponsored Terrorism

  • Governments can also support terrorist groups that do their bidding

  • Examples:

    • Iran, which supports Hizballah

    • Before 9/11, Hizballah had killed more Americans than any other terror group

    • Embassy bombings, kidnappings, targeted assassinations, suicide attack on Marine barracks at Beirut airport


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Marine Barracks Beirut, Lebanon23 October 1983

  • 241 Dead

  • 105 Injured


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A Brief History of Modern Terrorism

  • Roughly 130-year history

  • 4 Waves, each roughly 40-45 years

    • Anarchist Wave

    • Anti-Colonial/Decolonization Wave

    • New Left Wave/Leftist anti-Western sentiment

    • Religious Inspiration Wave

  • Issue to consider for each wave:

    • Doctrines of terror

    • Technology (especially for communication/propoganda)

    • Avenues of funding and support


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Terrorism as Strategy

  • Terrorism as means to achieve goals and objectives

  • Strategic goals include:

    • Political change (e.g., overthrow govt., drive out occupiers, etc.)

    • Social change (e.g., France headscarf ban)

    • Economic change (e.g., stop resource export)

    • Religious change (e.g., fundamentalism)

  • Overall goal: create a “better” world


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Some Strategic Objectives of Terrorism

  • Recognition: Gaining national or international recognition for their cause; recruiting new personnel; raising funds; demonstrating their strength

  • Coercion: Force a desired behavior of an individual or government

  • Intimidation: Prevent individuals, groups, or governments from acting

  • Provocation: Provoking overreaction by a government to the attack on symbolic targets or personnel, thereby gaining sympathy for their cause.

  • Insurgency support: Forcing the government to overextend itself in dealing with the threat, thereby allowing the insurgency to gain support and commit further attacks against the government.


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New York, World Trade CenterFebruary 26, 19936 Dead, 1,042 Injured

Oklahoma CityMurrah Federal Building,19 April 1995168 Dead, 490 Injured


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Aum Shinrikyo and the Sarin Gas AttacksJapan, 1994 & 1995

Matsumoto, JapanMarch, 1994

7 Dead, 34 Injured

Tokyo, JapanTeito Rapid Transit Authority (Subway System)March 20, 199512 Dead, 5,000 Injured

Sarin gas kills by paralyzing muscles so that a person cannot breathe.

Sarin enters the body by inhalation, ingestion, and through the eyes and skin.

Symptoms begin with watery eyes, drooling, and excessive sweating, and then rapidly progress to difficulty in breathing, dimness of vision, nausea, vomiting, twitching, and headache.

Ultimately the victim will become comatose and suffocate as a consequence of convulsive spasms.


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Khobar Towers - Dhahran, Saudi Arabia25 June 1996

  • 19 Dead

  • 240 Injured


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American Embassy Bombings, Kenya and TanzaniaAugust 1998

200 Americans, Kenyans, and Tanzanians deadOver 5,000 injured



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The Strategy of Terrorism

  • Increasing interest in “soft targets” (economically strategic impact, and less protected) such as:

    • pubs in Northern Ireland & London UK

    • openmarkets & cafes in Israel

    • international airport, Sri Lanka

    • bus in Manila, the Philippines

    • shopping mall in southern Philippines

    • nightclub in Bali, Indonesia

    • banks in Istanbul, Turkey

    • hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia

    • nightclub in Berlin, Germany

    • and, of course . . .


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New York City & Washington, DCSeptember 11, 2001

2,973 Dead, and 10,000+ Injured


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Modern Trends in Global Terrorism

  • More violent attacks (increasing lethality)

  • Increasing use of suicide bombers (the ultimate smart bomb)


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Karachi, PakistanMay 8, 2002 June 14, 2002

Attack on U.S. Consulate

Bus attack

14 Dead, including11 French engineers

12 Dead50 Injured


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Bali, IndonesiaOctober 12, 2002

202 Dead350 Injured

Citizens from 21 countries, mostly Western tourists, were killed in the blasts


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Casablanca, MoroccoMay 17, 2003

44 Dead107 Injured


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Jakarta, IndonesiaAugust 5, 2003

12 Dead60 Injured

J.W. Marriott Hotel, Jakarta


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Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaNovember 8, 2003 April 21, 2004

Attack on Security Services Headquarters

3 simultaneous suicide car bomb attacks on Al-Muhayaapartment complex

4 Dead148 Injured

17 Dead122 Injured


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Istanbul, TurkeyNovember 20, 2003

27 Dead400 Injured

Primary Targets: British consulate and the HSBC bank headquarters


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Madrid, SpainMarch 11, 2004

191 Dead1,035 Injured


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Jakarta, IndonesiaSeptember 9, 2004

9 Dead173 Injured

Australian Embassy was primary target


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London, UKJuly 7, 2005

54 Dead716 Injured


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Strategy and Recruitment

  • Terrorism is an individual’s strategic choice most often driven by a combination of:

    • Intense grievances

    • Sense of crisis

    • Address a power imbalance - empower the disenfranchised

  • The ties that bind: training camps, extended family, social networks; trusted networks = key

  • Combination of ideology and psychology

  • No constraints re: geography, organizational affiliation, etc.


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Modern Terrorism and Recruitment

  • Overall goal: create a “better” world

    • Powerful message for recruitment . . .

    • Video 1

    • Video 2

    • Video 3

    • Video 4

    • Video 5

Jihad



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Strategy and Training

  • Establish training camps – developing the will to kill and the skill to kill

  • Operational space: Geographic isolation

  • Teachers: Experts in relevant knowledge, e.g., military combat experience

  • Committed learners

  • Time, money, and basic necessities

  • Afghanistan

  • Algeria

  • Bosnia

  • Chechnya

  • Colombia

  • Egypt

  • Indonesia

  • Japan

  • Kashmir

  • Lebanon

  • Libya

  • Northern Ireland

  • Peru

  • The Philippines

  • Somalia

  • Spain

  • Sri Lanka

  • Sudan

  • Syria

  • Turkey

  • United States

  • Uzbekistan


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Strategy and Training

  • Psychological dimensions

  • Moral disengagement

    • Displacement of responsibility

    • Disregard for/distortion of consequences

    • Dehumanization

    • Moral justification

  • Group power over behavior, personal decisions

  • Preparation for martyrdom



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Definition of Suicide Terrorism

To be distinguished from:

Intentionally killing oneself for the purpose of killing others, in the service of a political or ideological goal

  • High-risk missions w/out suicide as main intent

  • Fooled couriers

  • Suicide – without homicide – for a political cause


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Suicide Terrorism: Who?

Reality

  • The “profile” is wrong

  • Suicide terrorists are:

    • Preteen - mid-sixties

    • Both single and married with families

    • Both male and female

    • Both educated and uneducated

    • Not motivated by religious fanaticism

    • World’s leader in suicide terror are Hindu; Tamil Tigers who are conducting insurgency against Sri Lanka

Perception:

  • Generalized profile of suicide terrorists, including:

    • Young

    • Single

    • Male

    • Uneducated

    • Religious fanatics


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Trends: Most deadly form of terrorism (so far)

  • Israel: 0.5% of attacks, 56% of fatalities.

  • U.S.: 9/11 – 10 times more deadly than any previous terrorist attack in history.

    • Hizballah, Lebanon

      • 1981 attack on the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut

      • 1983 – attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut

      • 1983 – attack on the Marines sleeping in barracks at the Beirut airport (241 killed)

  • Also, suicide attacks typically get more media coverage; more “strategic communications” effect


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- Lebanon

- Kuwait

- Sri Lanka

Trends: 1980s


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- Israel

- India

- Pakistan

- Yemen

- Algeria

- Chechnya

- Kenya

- Tanzania

- Panama

- Argentina

- Croatia

- Australia

- Turkey

- Russia

- Morocco

- Indonesia

- Saudi Arabia

- Afghanistan

- Indonesia

- Spain

- U.K.

- U.S.

Trends: 1990-2005


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Because it works . . .

Suicide Terrorism: Why?


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Marine Barracks Beirut, Lebanon23 October 1983

“We couldn’t stay there and run the risk of another suicide attack on the Marines.”

-- Ronald Reagan, An American Life

  • 241 Dead

  • 105 Injured


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Baghdad -- 14 Oct 03

Why Are Suicide Attacks Effective?

  • Suicide attacks work because they have a different structure

  • With suicide terrorism model the weakeracts as coercer and the stronger actor is the target

  • Key difference

    • Target of suicide campaign cannot easily adjust to minimize future damage



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Counterterrorism Strategy Post-9/11


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2. MIDLIFE (formerly DIME) CT Approach

Question: Once we understand the threat, how do we address it?

Answer: We employ all the instruments of national power available to us.

  • Military

  • Intelligence

  • Diplomacy

  • Legal

  • Information

  • Financial

  • Economic

  • Case studies of groups and events help us learn about each of these dimensions


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Intelligence: Learn from our own mistakes

  • We assumed simultaneous 9/11 attacks in U.S. were beyond the capabilities of terrorists

  • Overestimated the significance of past successes & the terrorists’ own incompetence

  • Attention was focused exclusively on opposite ends of the terrorist technological spectrum

  • Believed terrorists were still interested in publicity and not killing


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Elements of the National CT Strategy

4 D’s:

  • Defeat terrorist organizations of a global reach

  • Deny terrorists the sponsorship, support, and sanctuary they need to survive

  • Diminish the underlying conditions that promote the despair and destructive visions of political change that lead people to embrace terrorism

  • Defend against terrorist attacks on the U.S., our citizens and our interests around the world


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Coordination Levels

ALLIES

ALLIES

OTHER

AGENCIES

DOD

CIA

DOS

Army

Navy

Air Force

Marines

Coalition

Interagency

Joint

Army

Combined

Arms


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National Counterterrorism Center

  • NCTC currently has assignees (USG staff) from:

    • Federal Bureau of Investigation

    • Department of Defense

    • Central Intelligence Agency

    • Department of Homeland Security

    • Department of State

    • Others – DOE, NRC, HHS, USDA, USCHP

  • Assignees to NCTC retain authorities of parent entities

  • In NCTC, key organizations involved in the fight against terrorism are collectively fulfilling shared responsibilities


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Terrorism Information Access and Integration

  • In NCTC, key organizations involved in the fight against terrorism are collectively fulfilling shared responsibilities


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Toward a Counterterrorism “System”

  • Beyond implementing Center responsibilities, the greater goal is facilitating a counterterrorism “system” as part of a greater U.S. Government (USG) system-of-systems

    • All USG elements need not be centralized; however, a distributed but integrated framework must be consciously agreed upon and orchestrated

    • Roles and responsibilities of USG CT elements must be as unambiguous and straightforward as possible; intentional rather than haphazard redundancy



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