Overview • What is transnational terrorism? • Is terrorism a new phenomenon? • Significance of September 11 attacks • What is Al-Qaeda? • Why is Al-Qaeda significant? • Impact of terrorism • Economic, social, political • Can transnational terrorism be managed? • ASEAN’s efforts • Int’l efforts • Nurturing an environment that censures terrorism
What is transnational terrorism? • Recall the IRA and LTTE • They used terrorism to strike fear in the people and weaken ruling government • Their aims are nationalistic in nature • Their attacks are localised
What is transnational terrorism? • Transnational terrorism involves the unlawful use of force or indiscriminate violence by internationally-linked groups against persons and properties in many different parts of the world • International membership • Conducts activities in many countries • Targets international community • Aim to bring about regional or global political and social change
Is terrorism a new phenomenon? • NO! • Terrorist acts carried out by state agents/non-state organisations: • State agent: Bomb planting on a South Korean airline by North Korean agents in 1987 which killed all on board, bombing of a US airliner over the UK by Libyan agents in 1988 which killed 270 people including those on the ground • Non-state agent: LTTE, IRA, the 1995 sarin gas attacks on Tokyo train system by Aum Shinrikyo, terrorist acts in India in 1980s and 1990s by the Khalistan movement-including the assassination of India’s PM Indira Gandhi on 31 Oct 1984
Aum Shinrikyo- Who are they? • Aum Shinrikyo, now known as Aleph, is a Japanese new religious movement organization. • The name "Aum Shinrikyo" (オウム真理教 Ōmu Shinrikyō), roughly means "True Principle Teachings". In 2000, the organization changed its name to "Aleph" (the first letter of the Hebrew and Arabic alphabet), changing its logo as well • The core of Aum doctrine is Buddhist scripture. Other religious texts are also used, including a number of Tibetan Buddhist sutras, Hindu yogic sutras, and Taoist scriptures. However, there is controversy over whether to call Aum a Buddhist group or to apply other definitions, such as a 'doomsday cult'.
Aum Shinrikyo- Who are they? • The movement was founded by Shoko Asahara in his one-bedroom apartment in Tokyo's Shibuya ward in 1984, starting off as a Yoga and meditation class known as Aum-no-kai ("Aum club") and steadily grew in the following years. It gained the official status as a religious organization in 1989. It attracted such a considerable number of young graduates from Japan's elite universities that it was dubbed a "religion for the elite".
Aum Shinrikyo – What did they do? • On the morning of 20th March 1995, Aum members released sarin in a co-ordinated attack on five trains in the Tokyo subway system, killing 12 commuters, harming 54 and affecting 980 more • 5,000 people were injured by the sarin • At the cult's headquarters in Kamikuishiki on the foot of Mount Fuji, police found explosives, chemical weapons and biological warfare agents, such as anthrax and Ebola cultures, and a Russian military helicopter. Police also found labs to manufacture drugs such as LSD, methamphetamines, and a crude form of truth serum, a safe containing millions of dollars worth in cash and gold, and cells, many still containing prisoners
Aum Shinrikyo – What happened to them? • During the raids, Aum issued statements claiming that the chemicals were for fertilizers. Over the next 6 weeks, over 150 cult members were arrested for a variety of offenses • In 1995, the group had 9,000 members in Japan, and as many as 40,000 worldwide. As of 2004, Aum Shinrikyo/Aleph membership was estimated at 1,500 to 2,000 people
Khalistan Movement – Who are they? • The Khālistān movement (East Punjabi: ਖਾਲਿਸਤਾਨ, West Punjabi: تحریک خالستان) is a movement in Indian Punjab in the 1970s and '80s to create "The Land of the Pure" as an independent state in all Punjabi-speaking areas which include Indian Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and some other Punjabi speaking parts of states like Gujarat and Rajasthan
Khalistan Movement – What did they do? • On the morning of 31 October 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot-dead by two Sikh security guards in New Delhi. The assassination triggered violence against Sikhs across north India. It was alleged that State-operated national television was used by the state to incite violence against the Sikhs. Sixteen politicians were named as organisers of the riots.
Khalistan Movement – What happened to them? • The Central government attempted to seek a political solution to the grievances of the Sikhs through the Rajiv-Longowal Accord, which took place between the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Harchand Singh Longowal, the then President of the Akali Dal, who was assassinated a few months later. The accord recognised the religious, territorial and economic demands of the Sikhs that were thought to be non-negotiable under Indira Gandhi’s tenure. While the agreement provided some basis for a return to normalcy, it was denounced by Sikh militants who claimed that the Indian state could not be trusted. • The present situation in Punjab is generally regarded as peaceful, and the militant Khalistan movement weakened considerably. The Sikh community maintains its own unique identity and is socially assimilated in cosmopolitan areas. India presently has a Sikh Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is highly regarded by both the left and right wing sections of the political spectrum. The present situation remains peaceful to a large extent, though support for an independent homeland may remain strong in Punjab. The movement is popular in the Sikh diaspora in Europe and North America.
Lord’s Resistance Army • The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) was formed in 1987. • It is a rebel guerrilla army operating mainly in northern Uganda and parts of Sudan. • The group is engaged in an armed rebellion against the Ugandan government in what is now one of Africa's longest-running conflicts. • Leader: Joseph Kony, who proclaims himself a spirit medium, and apparently wishes to establish a state based on the Ten Commandments and Acholi tradition. • The LRA is accused of widespread human rights violations, including mutilation, torture, rape, the abduction of civilians, the use of child soldiers and a number of massacres. Every night, across northern Uganda an estimated 50,000 children leave their homes and travel as far as 10 miles away to city centers in search of a safe place to sleep. They flee their homes out of fear of being abducted and forced into combat and sexual slavery by the Lord's Resistance Army.
9/11 Attacks • Four commercial airliners were hijacked en route to California from Logan International, Dulles International, and Newark airports. Each of the airliners had a jet fuel capacity of nearly 24,000 U.S. gallons (91,000 liters). Two of the airliners were flown into the World Trade Center, one each into the North and South towers, one was flown into the Pentagon, and the fourth crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. • American Airlines Flight 11, crashed into the northern side of the North Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) at 8:46:30 a.m. local time, hitting at the 94-98th floors. • United Airlines Flight 175, crashed into the 78-84th floors of the South Tower at 9:02:59 a.m. local time, an event covered live by television broadcasters and amateur filmers from around the world who had their cameras trained on the buildings after the earlier crash. • American Airlines Flight 77, crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37:46 a.m. local time. • United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in a field in southwest Pennsylvania just outside of Shanksville, about 150 miles (240 km) northwest of Washington, D.C., at 10:03:11 a.m. local time. The crash in Pennsylvania resulted from the passengers of the airliner attempting to regain control from the hijackers.
9/11 Attacks • Three buildings in the World Trade Center Complex collapsed due to structural failure on the day of the attack. The south tower (2 WTC) fell at approximately 9:59 a.m., after burning for 56 minutes in a fire caused by the impact of United Airlines Flight 175, and the north tower (1 WTC) collapsed at 10:28 a.m., after burning for approximately 102 minutes. A third building, 7 World Trade Center (7 WTC) collapsed at 5:20 p.m., after being heavily damaged by debris from the Twin Towers when they fell
Significance of September 11 Attacks • Landmark in the history of terrorism • Victims from more than 30 countries died in the attacks • The attacks showed that: • Terrorists were well-trained and could coordinate simultaneous mass attacks • Terrorists were willing to target civilians indiscriminately and die for their cause
Impact of 9/11 Attacks • Loss of lives • Collapse of two 110 storey-tall towers • New York City covered in dust and debris of the ruined buildings • Psychological and economic impact on USA and the world
How many of you have heard of Osama bin Laden? Did you know that…
Osama's son wants to be 'peace ambassador' Associated PressPosted online: Friday , January 18, 2008 at 02:50:59Updated: Friday , January 18, 2008 at 03:06:38 Cairo, January 17: Omar Osama bin Laden bears a striking resemblance to his notorious father - except for the dreadlocks that dangle halfway down his back. Then there's the black leather biker jacket. The 26-year-old does not renounce his father, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, but in an interview with The Associated Press, he said there is better way to defend Islam than al-Qaida's militancy: Omar wants to be an "ambassador for peace" between Muslims and the West. Omar raised a tabloid storm in Britain last year when he married a 52-year-old British woman, Jane Felix-Browne, who took on the name Zaina Alsabah. Now the couple say they want to be advocates, planning a 5,000-kilometre horse race across North Africa to draw attention to the cause of peace.
What is Al-Qaeda? • Al-Qaeda means the base (Al=the, Qaeda=base) • An organisation created in 1989 by Osama bin Laden out of a network of Arab volunteers who had gone to Afghanistan in the 1980s to fight against Soviet Communism • Osama fell out with the Saudi ruling family and they rejected his offer to lead an army of militants to liberate Kuwait in 1990. Saudi turned to the US for help instead.
What is Al-Qaeda? • Osama was unhappy with this and retaliated by carrying out anti-state activities. The Saudi government eventually expelled him from the country and this provoked Osama to carry out campaigns against the Saudi government, the US and its allies • Goal of Al-Qaeda: • Rid Muslim countries of the influence of the West, particularly the US • Establish a global Islamic caliphate, based on extremist misinterpretations of Islamic teachings • How to achieve these goals? • The use of terrorism against US and its allies
Why is Al-Qaeda Significant? • Epitome of the new form of transnational terrorist organisation. Features: • Multi-national membership, scattered all over the world • Utilises globalisation, such as the use of internet and international banking, to plan and carry out attacks across continents • Attacks are designed to ensure maximum casualties
Why is Al-Qaeda Significant? • Post 9/11 attacks, US declared a global war on terrorism • Osama bin Laden and other Al-Qaeda members were believed to be in Afghanistan and the Taliban government refused to give them up to the coalition forces • US-led coalition forces went into Afghanistan in October 2001 to attack the terrorist training camps and Al-Qaeda terrorists American consumers are snapping up action figures of Osama Bin Laden and US President George W Bush. (BBC News, 19 April 2002)
Why is Al-Qaeda Significant? • However, Al-Qaeda was still capable of launching terrorist attacks because it has many groups associated with it • Al-Qaeda shares expertise, resources, strategy and even conducts joint operations with these groups • Main reason for Al-Qaeda’s continued resilience: deliberate and effective spread of its ideology based on the misuse and misinterpretation of religious concepts • It claims that Islam sanctions and requires Muslims to undertake violence against the West and its allies, which also includes killing civilians
Why is Al-Qaeda Significant? • Al-Qaeda’s ideology is rejected by Muslims and Islam • After the September 11 attacks and disruption of JI terrorist network in Singapore, more than 120 Muslim organisations in Singapore issued a joint public statement to condemn the misuse of Islam for terrorism • The Mufti of Singapore, Tuan Haji Syed Isa Semait condemned the act of terrorism staged by terrorists who subscribed to Al-Qaeda’s ideology and carried out suicide bombing in Jordan in November 2005
Why is Al-Qaeda Significant? • In the Bali bombing incident (2002), 200 people were killed and 300 injured • These attacks were carried out by JI, a group linked to Al-Qaeda • Significance: • Attacks could happen even with increased security and vigilance • Terrorists were now targetting ‘soft’ targets, such as night clubs and shopping centres • In 2005, Bali was again bombed by terrorists
Impact of Terrorism • Economic Impact • Governments have budgeted more money to increase their countries’ security • Governments deployed troops and police to guard areas, such as airports, embassies and other vulnerable spots • Emergency exercises were also conducted to ensure citizens are prepared and know what to do, if they are faced with terrorist attacks • E.g. In January 2006, Singapore conducted Exercise Northstar V, led by Singapore Civil Defence Force, to simulate 5 bomb explosions and one simulated chemical attacks, involving the closure of 13 MRT stations and service disruption of three hours. The operation involves 2,000 personnel from 22 agencies and thus far is the largest civil emergency exercise
Impact of Terrorism • Economic Impact a. 9/11 Attacks • The 9/11 attacks claimed many lives and properties. Insurance companies had to pay about US$40 billion in compensation of the loss • Airline industry lost money because people were afraid of flying • US government had to give economic aid to the airline companies to prevent them from going out of business Financial performance of US airlines before and after 9/11
Impact of Terrorism • Economic Impact b. Bali Bombing (2002) • Bali’s main source of income was tourism • After the 2002 bombing incident, tourists arrival to Bali dropped by more than 50% • Many Balinese lost their livelihood • The Indonesian government faced pressure to relieve the economic hardship of the Balinese
Impact of Terrorism 2. Social Impact • Act of terrorism may create suspicion and tension among various ethnic and religious groups • Governments worldwide have put in measures to ensure that terrorism would not hurt the social cohesion in their countries • PM Lee Hsien Loong on 9 Feb 2006 introduced the Community Engagement Programme as a long term measure to ensure Singaporeans will maintain social cohesion and harmony. Aim: to bring together Singaporeans from different communities, to strengthen inter-communal bonds, to put in place response plans to help deal with potential communal tensions after the incident, be it terrorist attack of a civil emergency
Impact of Terrorism 3. Political Impact • Governments have the responsibility to keep citizens safe from terrorists • Thus, governments need to tighten various controls, such as stepping up border security to ensure that terrorists do not slip into the country • Greater checks on travellers’ identities and belongings • Intrusive legislation aimed at countering terrorism have been introduced • Critics argue that such measures will curb individual freedom and invade personal privacy • Nevertheless, such trade-off is necessary to ensure security
Can Transnational Terrorism be Managed? • ASEAN’s efforts to manage terrorism • ASEAN views terrorism as a major threat to international peace and security and a direct challenge to the achievement of peace, progress and prosperity in ASEAN • ASEAN governments pledged their determination to cooperate against transnational terrorists through join police and intelligence measures
Can Transnational Terrorism be Managed? • ASEAN’s efforts to manage terrorism • ASEAN pledged to enhance information and intelligence exchange on terrorists and terrorist activities • Information provided by Singapore has helped Philippine authorities to arrest JI bomb-maker Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi in 2002. Fathur was involved in the bombing of the Light Railway Train in Manila (Dec 2000) and he was a lead character in the Al-Qaeda plot to bomb western targets in Singapore
Can Transnational Terrorism be Managed? • ASEAN’s efforts to manage terrorism • In Jan 2007, Southeast Asian leaders agreed to commit their national security and law enforcement agencies to work closely to fight the threat together • The Convention on Counter-terrorism, signed by ASEAN leaders at the annual summit in Cebu, Philippines, is the first legally binding anti-terrorism accord
Can Transnational Terrorism be Managed? 2. International efforts to combat terrorism • UN passed a series of resolutions to get all member countries to freeze financial assets of terrorist and their supporters, deny them travel and safe haven, prevent terrorist recruitment and weapons supply and cooperate with other countries in information sharing and criminal prosecution • The UN set up Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) to monitor member countries’ adherence to the resolutions as well as to strengthen the counter-terrorism capacity of UN member states. CTC also provides technical assistance to countries that require help in implementing the resolutions
Can Transnational Terrorism be Managed? 2. International efforts to combat terrorism • Have these measures been successful? • Member countries managed to freeze more than US$200 million in terrorist funding • 4,000 terrorist suspects arrested through the sharing of information among member countries • However, international community has not been that successful because: • Terrorists are able to evade security restrictions imposed by governments • Terrorists are able to continually recruit new operatives
Can Transnational Terrorism be Managed? 3. Nurturing an environment that censures terrorism • Terrorists usually operate on hate and enmity, and instigate and falsely sanction a person/ a group to commit such acts of violence • Thus, there is a need for society to stand firmly against ideas that fuel terrorism, otherwise these ideas will gain legitimacy in the society