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1          Defence of ThesisSuicide Terrorism: Threat & Response                  BY   AIR VICE MARSHAL MOHAN DE ZOYSA    ...
2      Suicide Terrorism: Threat &               Response• Since the year 1982, the  phenomenon of suicide  terrorist atta...
3       Suicide Terrorism: Threat &                Response• The suicide terrorist is no more  than a platform that carrie...
4                     Scope• Statement of the Problem• Hypothesis• Research Question• Major Findings• Gist of the analyses...
5Statement of the Problem                           5
6            Statement of the Problem• This ‘exploratory’ research study will attempt to  contribute new knowledge to expa...
7Hypothesis             7
8                       Hypothesis• The ‘initiative of action’ in conducting a suicide  attack, predominantly lies with th...
9                  Hypothesis (contd)• In order to be ‘one step ahead’ we need to broaden the  intelligence priority infor...
10                      Hypothesis• If all intelligence efforts are directed towards any one or  more of the suicide terro...
11Research Question                    11
12               Research Question• Considering the wide spectrum of aspects the  subject of ‘Suicide Terrorism’ covers, t...
13Major Findings                 13
14                     Major Findings• There are six main types of suicide improvised  explosive devices (IEDs). These are...
Devices Used by LTTE Suicide Attackers                                              15             in Sri Lanka – the huma...
Devices Used by LTTE Suicide Attackers                                         16             in Sri Lanka– naval craft-bo...
Devices Used by LTTE Suicide Attackers                                     17             in Sri Lanka– aerial- (micro/ult...
18                    Major Findings• There are two types of suicide terrorist operations: on-  the-battlefield (extensive...
19                    Major Findings• It is impossible to stop a suicide terrorist. There is no  operational answer to it•...
20                    Major Findings• A new trend in Islamist terrorist organizations appeared  that, civilians being forc...
21Gist of the analyses                       21
22                 Gist of the analyses• Existing research shows that suicide terrorism is a  problematic term to define. ...
23                 Gist of the analyses• Working definitions for the purpose of research; (cont’d)  – Suicide Terrorist: A...
24               Gist of the analyses• Today, the suicide bombers are middle-aged and  young, married and unmarried, and m...
25Suicide Terrorism Hot Spots                http://cpost.uchicago.edu/search.php   25
26Attacks By Group       http://cpost.uchicago.edu/search.php   26
27Attacks By Location         http://cpost.uchicago.edu/search.php   27
28Attacks By Year          http://cpost.uchicago.edu/search.php                                                 28
29Attacks By Campaign           http://cpost.uchicago.edu/search.php                                                  29
Attacks By Gender                    30
Attacks By Weapon Type                         31
Attacks By Target Type                         32
33         Analysis by Terrorists Occupation•   Occupation     Attackers   Attacks Killed   Wounded•   Professional     40...
34       Analysis by Terrorists Education•   Education Attackers   Attacks   Killed Wounded•   None           2         2 ...
35       Analysis By Terrorists Religion• Religion Attackers Attacks     Killed   Wounded Christian  1        1        10 ...
36Recommendations                  36
37                 Recommendations• Democratic governments need to broaden the  intelligence priority information requirem...
38             Recommendations (contd)• In responding to the threat of suicide terrorism, we will  need to strengthen the ...
39Literature Review and Sources of            Research                                   39
40Literature Review and Sources of Research• Personal experiences & observations over a period of 30  years in the Air For...
41Literature Review and Sources of Research• Books (personal copies purchased from Jinnah Super  Market Islamabad – 20, an...
42Literature Review and Sources of Research• Some authors avoid the term terrorism  altogether, adopt the terrorism label ...
43Literature Review and Sources of Research• Others use the term terrorism to refer exclusively to  attacks on civilian, n...
44Methodology Followed                       44
45             Methodology Followed• The broader area of study of “Suicide Terrorism” was  narrowed down to the specific r...
46              Methodology Followed• The collection of Primary and Secondary historical  data, observations, and literatu...
47                 Methodology Followed• Finally the thesis was compiled, describing the  background, how the research was...
48Conclusion             48
49                      ConclusionFuture Threat Scenario• When CBRN material are introduced to a suicide bomb  (dirty bomb...
50Thank You            50
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Defence of Thesis on Suicide Terrorism: Threat And Response

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•This ‘exploratory’ research study will attempt to contribute new knowledge to expand the educational theory and/or practice, as to how to identify the suicide terrorist threat, and how to respond to dissuade, deter, or defeat the suicide terrorist before he or she reaches the target. As such the objectives of this research study will focus specifically on;
–Identifying the threat of suicide terrorist
–Formulating a strategy, to respond to / counter suicide terrorism

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Transcript of "Defence of Thesis on Suicide Terrorism: Threat And Response"

  1. 1. 1 Defence of ThesisSuicide Terrorism: Threat & Response BY AIR VICE MARSHAL MOHAN DE ZOYSA SRI LANKA AIR FORCE 2012 1
  2. 2. 2 Suicide Terrorism: Threat & Response• Since the year 1982, the phenomenon of suicide terrorist attacks has spread all over the world and many countries have found themselves suffering the effects of this growing terrorist ‘modus operandi’ LTTE suicide terrorist attack – Sri Lanka 2
  3. 3. 3 Suicide Terrorism: Threat & Response• The suicide terrorist is no more than a platform that carries the explosive charge to its target. However, this platform can think, adapt to situational changes and act at the right time and the right place to detonate the explosive device so as to create maximum carnage and destruction in a spectacular manner; it is the ultimate precision guided smart LTTE female suicide terrorist attack human bomb using “Bra” bomb – Sri Lanka 3
  4. 4. 4 Scope• Statement of the Problem• Hypothesis• Research Question• Major Findings• Gist of the analyses• Recommendations• Literature Review and Sources of Research Major suicide terrorism hotspots• Methodology Followed• Conclusion 4
  5. 5. 5Statement of the Problem 5
  6. 6. 6 Statement of the Problem• This ‘exploratory’ research study will attempt to contribute new knowledge to expand the educational theory and/or practice, as to how to identify the suicide terrorist threat, and how to respond to dissuade, deter, or defeat the suicide terrorist before he or she reaches the target. As such the objectives of this research study will focus specifically on; – Identifying the threat of suicide terrorist – Formulating a strategy, to respond to / counter suicide terrorism 6
  7. 7. 7Hypothesis 7
  8. 8. 8 Hypothesis• The ‘initiative of action’ in conducting a suicide attack, predominantly lies with the terrorist than, in conducting any other type of attack by terrorists. How then should democracies identify the threat and respond to suicide terrorist attacks?• It is my expectation that, the research will conclude that, if we are to defeat the suicide terrorist, we need to wrest the ‘initiative of action’ from him or her, and use it to our own advantage; and in order to do this, we have to be ‘one step ahead’ of the suicide terrorist, at all times 8
  9. 9. 9 Hypothesis (contd)• In order to be ‘one step ahead’ we need to broaden the intelligence priority information requirement to ‘find and fix’ the suicide terrorist attacker; in other words, how we need to look at the ‘bigger picture’• For, the suicide terrorist attacker to be successful in his/her attack at least a skeleton support organization must exist; recruitment drive, training, induction to target area, safe house, reconnaissance, communications, preparation of the bomb, psychological preparation, final briefing and video filming of the attack (for terrorist propaganda) 9
  10. 10. 10 Hypothesis• If all intelligence efforts are directed towards any one or more of the suicide terrorist attacker’s support elements, it would eventually lead us to the suicide terrorist attacker• Whilst the intelligence effort is continued, the military could conduct ‘pre-emptive’ attacks on the terrorists’ infrastructure to destroy the terrorists and their bases, and to prevent them from recruiting and reorganizing for further suicide terrorist action 10
  11. 11. 11Research Question 11
  12. 12. 12 Research Question• Considering the wide spectrum of aspects the subject of ‘Suicide Terrorism’ covers, the research will limit its exploration & discussion, as to how to identify the suicide terrorist ‘threat’ and how to ‘respond’ to dissuade, deter, or defeat the suicide terrorist attacker before he or she reaches the target 12
  13. 13. 13Major Findings 13
  14. 14. 14 Major Findings• There are six main types of suicide improvised explosive devices (IEDs). These are: – the human-borne suicide IED, also known as the suicide bodysuit – the vehicle-borne suicide IED LTTE Black Tigers – the motorcycle-borne suicide IED – naval craft-borne suicide IED – (LTTE) – scuba diver-borne suicide IED - (LTTE) – aerial- (micro/ultra light, glider, mini-helicopter) borne suicide IED - (LTTE) 14
  15. 15. Devices Used by LTTE Suicide Attackers 15 in Sri Lanka – the human-borne suicide IED, also known as the suicide bodysuit 1987: 1987: 1987: 2008: 2 kg TNT ‘Bra’ bomb 3 kg 3 kg 3 kg2001: 12 kg TNT ‘Vest” 2001: 12 kg TNT ‘Vest” 2008: 20 kg TNT ‘Multi-device Vest” 15
  16. 16. Devices Used by LTTE Suicide Attackers 16 in Sri Lanka– naval craft-borne suicide IED 1997: 200 kg TNT ‘Hi-speed anti-radar armor plated suicide boat boat’– scuba diver-borne suicide IED - (LTTE) 2001: 20 kg TNT ‘Underwater-scooter’ suicide bomb’ 16
  17. 17. Devices Used by LTTE Suicide Attackers 17 in Sri Lanka– aerial- (micro/ultra light, glider, mini-helicopter) borne suicide IED - (LTTE) 2008: ZLIN-143 two seater ‘suicide attack aircraft’ – 250 kg TNT 17
  18. 18. 18 Major Findings• There are two types of suicide terrorist operations: on- the-battlefield (extensively used by LTTE in Sri Lanka) and off-the-battlefield• Preventive arrests reduces suicide terrorist bombings, while targeted killings only increases the terrorist activity• Increased protective measures and the exposure of the potential suicide terrorist before he/she has the opportunity to carry out the attack at the planned target may reduce the amount of damage caused by the suicide terrorist and perhaps even prevent the attack 18
  19. 19. 19 Major Findings• It is impossible to stop a suicide terrorist. There is no operational answer to it• The key to stopping suicide terrorism campaigns, is to prevent the rise of a new generation of suicide terrorists, by addressing the root causes of terrorism• Countries which are "conducive to the spread of suicide terrorism" are those characterized by violations of human rights, ethnic, national and religious discrimination, political exclusion, socio-economic marginalization, and “lack of good governance”• The formula to counter suicide terrorism is “defeat-clear- hold-build” 19
  20. 20. 20 Major Findings• A new trend in Islamist terrorist organizations appeared that, civilians being forced to carry out suicide bombings• Another new tactical trend in the field among Islamist terrorist organizations in Afghanistan and in Pakistan is sending two or more suicide terrorist attackers to destroy the same target• Another disconcerting trend of suicide terrorism that can be observed is that, suicide terrorism is being adopted, by non-terrorist organizations, political rivals and even individuals to achieve their own goals• There is an increase in women taking part in suicide terrorist attacks 20
  21. 21. 21Gist of the analyses 21
  22. 22. 22 Gist of the analyses• Existing research shows that suicide terrorism is a problematic term to define. There is no universally accepted definition of the term ‘terrorist’ let alone of the term ‘suicide terrorist’• Working definitions for the purpose of this research; – Terrorist: An insurgent, militant, rebel, freedom fighter, fundamentalist, radical, extremist, miscreant or non-state actor who, willingly perpetrates violence against the military, non-combatants and civilians, causing death or bodily harm to them, with the intention of instilling fear and panic to attain political or ideological goals, as part of an organizational strategy 22
  23. 23. 23 Gist of the analyses• Working definitions for the purpose of research; (cont’d) – Suicide Terrorist: A ‘terrorist’ who attacks the target by willingly killing him/her self with the blast of an explosives device, detonated by him/her self or allow to be detonated remotely by another terrorist, against the military, non-combatants and civilians, causing death or bodily harm to them, with the intention of instilling fear and panic to attain strategic, political or ideological goals, as part of an organizational strategy. This also includes so called ‘martyr’ terrorists, however excludes suicide/homicide bombers, suicidal high risk attacks and suicidal protests 23
  24. 24. 24 Gist of the analyses• Today, the suicide bombers are middle-aged and young, married and unmarried, and male and female; some of them even pregnant or having children. Now even children are being trained and employed for suicide attacks. There is no clear profile of a suicide terrorist attacker anymore• The latest research finds Strong confirmation that military occupation of territory is the main factor driving transnational suicide terrorism 24
  25. 25. 25Suicide Terrorism Hot Spots http://cpost.uchicago.edu/search.php 25
  26. 26. 26Attacks By Group http://cpost.uchicago.edu/search.php 26
  27. 27. 27Attacks By Location http://cpost.uchicago.edu/search.php 27
  28. 28. 28Attacks By Year http://cpost.uchicago.edu/search.php 28
  29. 29. 29Attacks By Campaign http://cpost.uchicago.edu/search.php 29
  30. 30. Attacks By Gender 30
  31. 31. Attacks By Weapon Type 31
  32. 32. Attacks By Target Type 32
  33. 33. 33 Analysis by Terrorists Occupation• Occupation Attackers Attacks Killed Wounded• Professional 40 38 626 2152• Skilled 33 30 683 2301• Student 11 9 527 1078• Unemployed 14 6 187 417• Unknown 1969 1591 23375 51600• Unskilled 21 20 350 783 http://cpost.uchicago.edu/search.php 33
  34. 34. 34 Analysis by Terrorists Education• Education Attackers Attacks Killed Wounded• None 2 2 81 217• Post-secondary 69 55 2594 6206• Primary 5 5 124 179• Secondary 28 26 504 1700• Unknown 1984 1605 22443 50029 http://cpost.uchicago.edu/search.php 34
  35. 35. 35 Analysis By Terrorists Religion• Religion Attackers Attacks Killed Wounded Christian 1 1 10 13• Hindu 173 100 1341 3195• Muslim (NA) 131 93 4292 15544• Muslim (Other) 6 5 67 234• Muslim (Shia) 11 9 84 100• Muslim (Sunni) 17 16 171 393• None 1 1 8 25• Secular 11 10 307 185• Unknown 1737 1465 19466 38643 http://cpost.uchicago.edu/search.php 35
  36. 36. 36Recommendations 36
  37. 37. 37 Recommendations• Democratic governments need to broaden the intelligence priority information requirement to ‘find and fix’ the suicide bomber; in other words, how we need to look at the ‘bigger picture’• All intelligence efforts must be directed towards any one or more of the suicide bomber’s support element, which eventually will lead to the suicide bomber• Whilst the intelligence effort is continued, the military must conduct pre-emptive attacks on the terrorists’ infrastructure to destroy the terrorists and their bases, and to prevent them from recruiting and reorganizing for further suicide terrorist action 37
  38. 38. 38 Recommendations (contd)• In responding to the threat of suicide terrorism, we will need to strengthen the important “elements of national power” including national leadership, diplomatic, informational, financial, economic capacity, national morale and military strength• It also calls for simultaneously, developing a comprehensive strategic plan• In order to combat terrorism in general and suicide terrorism in particular, members of the international community must: – Deny terrorists the support and sanctuary of rogue states – Deny terrorists control of any nation they would use as a base and launching pad for terror 38
  39. 39. 39Literature Review and Sources of Research 39
  40. 40. 40Literature Review and Sources of Research• Personal experiences & observations over a period of 30 years in the Air Force, out of which 28 years, in counterterrorism operations against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorists in Sri Lanka• The strategies adopted to find and fix the suicide terrorist before he/she could launch the attack and to wrest the initiative of action from the hand of the suicide terrorist, to defeat the suicide terrorist threat to some extent, in Sri Lanka, have been invaluable for the review (excluding classified strategic/operational details) 40
  41. 41. 41Literature Review and Sources of Research• Books (personal copies purchased from Jinnah Super Market Islamabad – 20, and books borrowed from the NDU Library – 12), articles, public documents, public proceedings, internet resources and research papers published by experts on the topic of the research, formed a substantial part of the review• However, during the literature review, the author found that, research on the subject of suicide terrorism is plagued by the lack of a common definition of the concept 41
  42. 42. 42Literature Review and Sources of Research• Some authors avoid the term terrorism altogether, adopt the terrorism label without defining it, or expand the range of applicability of the definition well beyond terrorism• Among those who resist the term terrorism, some focus on the subjective interpretations of the perpetrators and the idea of martyrdom in specific cultures and thus avoid the term suicide as well, because both labels are objectionable to those who practice or condone such violence 42
  43. 43. 43Literature Review and Sources of Research• Others use the term terrorism to refer exclusively to attacks on civilian, not military, targets• The concept of suicide terrorism remains imprecise, so much so that, certain research work totally avoid the use of the term ‘terrorist’ and refer to them as ‘miscreants, militants or extremists’• As a consequence of contradiction, ambiguity and biases, not many meaningful lessons could be drawn from the vast majority of literature available for review 43
  44. 44. 44Methodology Followed 44
  45. 45. 45 Methodology Followed• The broader area of study of “Suicide Terrorism” was narrowed down to the specific research question, to focus the study on the suicide terrorism – ‘Threat and Response’• The hypotheses were then formulated• The review of observations, data and literature on the topic was carried out• The statement of the problem was then formulated• The research was designed with the qualitative approach, which involved the collection of data and literature for an in-depth study 45
  46. 46. 46 Methodology Followed• The collection of Primary and Secondary historical data, observations, and literature on the topic was conducted• Having reviewed the qualitative research material, the observations, data and literature were analyzed to establish patterns, trends, and linkages to understand the phenomena of defeating the suicide terrorist• The observations, data, literature and other relevant research material having been duly analyzed were then interpreted to find answers to the “research questions” and to prove or disprove the hypotheses formulated 46
  47. 47. 47 Methodology Followed• Finally the thesis was compiled, describing the background, how the research was conducted, what was discovered and recommendations to formulate a national strategy to counter suicide terrorism• The thesis was designed and developed into five major parts: – Chapter - I: Introduction – Chapter - II: Analysis of the Threat, – Chapter - III: Formulation of Strategy for Response – Chapter - IV: Recommendations for Response to the Threat – Chapter - V: Conclusion 47
  48. 48. 48Conclusion 48
  49. 49. 49 ConclusionFuture Threat Scenario• When CBRN material are introduced to a suicide bomb (dirty bomb - using its blast effect to disperse the material), the potential for destruction is unprecedentedImpact on Research• It’s a long march ahead of us before we can develop valid, comprehensive, cross-national explanations of this phenomenon, and perhaps an even longer march to be able to specify the conditions and indicators that could help us predict and prevent suicide terrorist attacks 49
  50. 50. 50Thank You 50

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