GLOBAL TERRORISM –
By C. Pal Singh
Former I.G. Police
MD – Brand Protection Associates
Advisor – APSA (International)
30th Sept 09
– Premier Shield Group
•The cruelest of crimes.
•Assassination and mindless killings of the innocent.
•To spread terror has become an everyday affair.
• Socio Economic- Politico Cultural – Socio Religious.
• Pressures on the regional & ethnic identity.
• Today it is of great concern and anxiety to the world as -
- Terrorism is the new face of war fare today
- Easy access to the weapons of mass destruction
- Strong nexus between terrorist & rogue nations
- If not checked, can plunge the world into dooms day.
• Modern Weapons Acquisition
- Punjab case-extent of killing by revolvers & AK-47
- 11 Sep 2001 – mass killing – 4000 persons life snuffed
• Brain washing and indoctrination.
• Religious fanaticism.
• Political affiliation, intense hatred for a particular social class
• Desire for self-identification.
• Desire to be included in some social group.
• Desire to have personal revenge.
• Glaring economic disparities.
• Perceived/actual injustice.- Repression, humiliation, trauma.
• Ambiguity in Defining terrorism – Absence of agreed definition.
• UN resolution – 2006 - Defines only forms and manifestations.
• Unyielding moral ambivalence.
• One mans terrorist another mans freedom fighter.
• Demand of evidence to prove a terrorist.
• Strategy to shield guilty – by pro-terrorists.
• After video tapes of sept 2001, allegations that evidence fabricated
by Jewish - American lobby to demonize Islam-show bias
• Divergence of legislative and judicial systems in countries.
• Terrorism not mentioned on statute books of some countries.
• India is also an example of this ambivalence.
• Advocate that the route causes are social & economic
condition – deprivation, poverty, unemployment etc.
• Belief of leftist intellectual - end of exploitation- end of
discriminations – equitable distribution of wealth.
• There is no data to prove this theory – based mostly on
Marxist & revolutionary stream of literature.
• Research has failed to prove co-relation between Terrorism
and Economic conditions.
Religion & terrorism – I
• Religion as such, does not advocate violence.
• Religion is in fact the core of positive and mature thinking.
• Religion aims to promote the harmony in life.
• Most often religion used by interested groups to rouse rabid sentiments.
• Indulge in terrorism on the belief that their sacrifice serves their religion.
• This type of fundamentalist-misled religious violence, started in the Middle
• Some Christian religious men used their religious position to gather status.-
• Reaction, a religious group was formed in Egypt, called the “Muslim
• The immediate example is the reaction of USA to the violent events of 11/9
• Many Western observers tended to lump all forms of Islamism as radicals.
Religion & Terrorism – II
- Islamism - or Islamic activism has a number of different streams.
Out of these streams-----
.The Jihadi Islamists
.Give priority to armed struggle and violent resistance/Jihad.
- Extreme from of fundamentalist Islamism (Sunni) has been
adopted by Bin
- laden and his closest associates, and is also described as
Global Jihad - I
• Creation of bin laden.
• The history begin in 1978 - communist coup in Afghanistan-
need of soviet help- unacceptable to USA - Jihadi group sent to
Afghanistan to counter USSR influence.
• Working out international alliance - hundreds of Egyptians,
Sudanese and Yemenites, dispatched to Afghanistan to fight the
Soviets – one was bin laden.
• Bin Laden became the natural leader of Afghan tribes due to his
economic and family background.
Global Jihad - II
• Assessment regarding decline of radical terrorists –erroneous.
• The brotherhood of Jihad on the increase.
• The ideology of global “Jihadi- Takfiri- Wahhabi” is developing.
• Increase in anti – western and anti – Jewish feelings.
• Spread of suicide squads from Lebanon to the Palestinian arena,
to East Africa, Kashmir, Chechnya, the Yemen and United States.
Global Jihad - III
• Example reflecting the new trend – letter to hijacker of 9/11.
• Tighten your clothes – “[a reference to one making sure his
clothes will cover all parts of his body]”.
• The way of the pious generation of the Prophet who tightened their
clothes before battle.
• They were supposed to view themselves “companions of the
Reasons for Success of Global Terrorism
• Number of groups and diversity of Islam reflecting the new trend.
• No single Islamic centre-enjoys confidence of majority of Muslim
• Formation of new radical Islamic groups.
• Publication of doctrines and ideologies of radical Islam.
• Creation of Islamic atmosphere by social, political, cultural,
economic, educational, and charity infrastructure of some
• Thrust in the field of finance.
Reasons for Success - II
• An interesting unpublished document originated from the Islamic
Cultural Centre in London
• Plan to establish a world wide network of Islamic institutes of the
Islamic Jihad, under the title "The Centre for Studies, Intelligence, and
• The centre shall have three divisions –
• Division of studies,
• Divisions of intelligence and information
• Division of security and military affairs.
• For them Jihad inspires, Jihad invigorates, Jihad gives purpose to life
(Conclusions by Dr. Nagpal – an Indian Scholar in his studies).
South East Asia (Scenario)
• Estimated 230 million Muslims (20 percent of the world) have
moderate and tolerant views.
• Earliar activities were mainly by Communist groups and directed
against ruling Communist regimes
• Developments in Afghanistan – Emergence of radical Islamic
groups in Southeast Asia
• Al Qaeda’s activities - concentrated in the Philippines, Malaysia,
Singapore and Indonesia.
• Al Qaeda links with two radical groups, Abu Sayyaf and Moro
Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), based in the southern Philippines.
• Singapore activists associated Islamic group Jemaah Islamiah –
network of ‘sleeper cells’.
Main Terrorist Groups – South East Asia
(Indonesia, Malasia, Thailand Philippines)
a) Jemmah Islamiah (JI)-with grand aim of establishing an independent
Islamic state encompassing Indonesia, Malaysia and the southern
islands of the Philippines.
b) Laskar Jihad (LJ)– the paramilitary wing of communications Forum of
the Followers of the Sunnah.
c) Abu Sayyaf (Bearer of the Sword)–long term struggle for autonomy in
the southern Philippines.
d) Dhe Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) through has disclaimed
connections with Al-Qaeda. Aims for Autonomy for Muslim areas of
e) The New People’s Army (NPA) leftist military wing of Communist Party
of the Philippines.
South East Asia - ‘Countries of convenience’.
• Porous Borders, lack of immigration controls. Malaysia did not
require visas from Muslim countries members of Organization of
Islamic Countries (OIC).
• In Philippines easy for foreigners to marry Filipino citizens and
effectively change their identity.
• Long-standing economic and trade links between Southeast Asia
and Middle Eastern and South Asian countries, not readily
monitored by governments.
• Large supplies of weapons, both indigenously produced and
Politics and Terrorism
• Intimate relationship between politics and terrorism.
• It has assumed the form of a big monster.
• International politics encourages terrorism by extensive foreign
• Increasing the striking power of terrorist groups operating in another
(e.g The LET HUJI, Jaise Mohd, Babbar Khalsa terrorists operating in
• Naxalite movement in India had its basis across the border of India.
• Government policies / legislative initiatives are governed by political
• Confusion and lack of consensus results in dilution in counter terrorist
• Extends to various other spheres and sectors –
• Governments and private sectors is forced to invest in security -
• Redirection of investment from productive economic uses.-
• Sub version of economy by economic terrorism
• Circulation of fake currency,
• Smuggling, hawala transactions, links with Narco terrorism.
• Overall reduction of consumer and companies economic
expectations and growth for future.
Ramification - Case study - Tourism
• Economic impact and adverse affect on Tourism.
• In Mauritania killing of three French tourists in Alak 12 Dec 07.
• The course of the Paris-Dakar rally was changed
• The majority of tourists in the country left the country.
• A steady decline in the tourist industry.
• Colossal negative impact on the profitability of the tourist sector.
Case Study-Attack on City Centre 9/11
• Direct loss of physical capital was $15.5 billion.
• Consumer Confidence Index declined from 114 in August 2001 to
97.6 in September
• Loss of 60,000 jobs in travel-related industries.
• Loss in growth, in the US economy.
• Crash of office space prices and real estate values in these centers
• Crushing blow to airlines - crash in global air travel and tourism.
• largest US airlines, United, US Airways and Delta, declared
bankrupt after 9/11.
Attack on City Centre 9/11 (Contd.)
•Consequence – impact on the insurance industry,
•Europe and US, - birth of subsidized terrorism insurance.
•In 2002 the US Congress passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act,
•Provides government reinsurance for large-scale terrorist incidents
•World oil prices spiked, traders feared US military strike in Mid East
Ramifications – Impact on Economy – I
Single Greatest Threat to Global Economy Terrorism
Region Short Term Long Term
All Countries / World = 28% 20%
Asia = 47% 35%
Europe = 21% 19%
US = 19% 13%
Source “Hart Research”
Ramifications – Impact on Economy - II
Top Three Long Term Risk Factors to Economy
Oil Sector -------------------------------------------- 27%
Global Terrorism ---------------------------------- 20%
US Dollar Deficit ---------------------------------- 12%
Top Three Short Term Risk Factors to Economy
Oil Sector -------------------------------------------- 37%
Global Terrorism ---------------------------------- 28%
US Dollar Deficit ---------------------------------- 9%
Source “Hart Research Institute”
Ramification - Future scenario
•Fearsome second generation of terrorist less centralized emerging.
•Attacks likely on Isolated, conventional, areas.
•Non-catastrophic attacks on infrastructure and civilian “soft targets
•Difficult to detect and stop but easy to execute.
•Catastrophic non-WMD attack with major psychological impact like
2006 plot to bomb up to 12 flights from London.
•Likely use of liquid explosives.
Controlling Terrorism – Measures
• United Nations, now recognizes any conflict in which more than
1000 casualties occur in a year as a ‘low intensity war,
• Freezing of funds.
• Dispensing with pseudo explanations
• Stop justification of ideological causes like economic deprivation
• Security forces - latitude in undertaking necessary operations.
• Good intelligence network –
• Links with foreign countries, if any, must be snapped
• Controlling terrorism depends on the will of the political masters.
• The powers, and the range of extraordinary actions permitted, and
the applicable legal criteria should be decided once for all.
• The trend of ‘punishment before trial’ to security forces through
media, human Right Groups, and registration of cases in the
courts, should stop.
Controlling Terrorism - II
Success of any counter-terrorist strategy depends on-
• Degree of Political Resolve
• Operations and the Quality of local actionable Intelligence
• To neutralize terrorism political consensus in the country is a must
• Important need is establish dominance and an effective presence in area.
• The intelligence apparatus of the state must penetrate into the terrorist
• Intelligence network across country -beyond the borders of the country.
• The reach of intelligence be extended-supporting institutional structures.
• Break the collective mental will of the terrorist.
• Cause sufficient losses of the terrorists cadre
• Should not be able to make up the losses by new recruitment.
• The prescription to deal with terrorism would depend on the causative factors.
• Tactics successful in one area could be counter-productive in a different setting.
• The basic principals which need to be addressed are -
- Political aspirations of the people
- Support of major sections of the populations
- Schemes for the economic development
- Extent of interstate and inter-country interference.
- National and International pressures.
- Misc other consideration for reconciliation etc.
• The polarized political parties need to come to a consensual understanding.
• Essential human rights consideration but need of strong counter terrorist