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INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AND GLOBAL TERRORISM IN THE 21st CENTURY

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INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AND GLOBAL TERRORISM IN THE 21st CENTURY

 

ABSTRACT

The first decade of the 21st century was dominated by terror and terrorists. No one man was responsible although the pre-eminent face was that of Osama bin Laden. The global jihad of terror struck from New York to New Delhi. The centre of the storm was South Asia, and the epicenter of the storm Pakistan. India was often ground zero. The terrorists started the decade with an attack right on the eve of the millennium. Terrorists from the Pakistan-based group Harkat-ul Mujahideen hijacked an Indian airliner en route to New Delhi from Kathmandu, finally taking it to Kandahar in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. One hostage was murdered. Former foreign minister Jaswant Singh has rightly described the operation as a forerunner for the 9/11 plot because it involved the same cast of characters brewing the stew; Pakistan-based terrorists, al Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban and the ISI. Originally the hijacking was to be part of a larger al Qaeda-orchestrated millennium plot to include attacks in Los Angeles, Amman and Aden but only the Indian plot got off the ground. The plotters had intended that the plane explode exactly on the stroke of the millennium but Singh negotiated the release of the hostages before more lives were lost. The whole world changed dramatically on September 11, 2001, when al Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and attacked the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and tried to strike the U.S. Capitol. Masterminded by a Pakistani, Khaled Shaykh Muhammad, and Bin Laden, 9/11 would lead to two wars, the collapse of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and a global war on terror. Countering Terrorism and Insurgency in the 21st Century analyzes the most significant dimensions of combating terrorism, including considerations of strategic and tactical issues (hard power, soft power, and counterintelligence); the need to thwart sources and facilitators (weak governments, ill-conceived foreign policy, and trafficking in drugs, guns, and humans); and the incorporation of lessons learned thus far from combating terrorism around the globe. Since the dawn of the new millennium, combating terrorism has become a primary focus of security professionals throughout the world. The attacks of September 11, 2001, inaugurated a new global era of counterterrorism policy and activity, led by the United States, while many countries—from Algeria and Spain to Sri Lanka and Indonesia—have redoubled their efforts to combat their own indigenous terrorism threats. In the Unites States, the counterterrorism goals identified in the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism (2006) can only be achieved through significant multinational cooperation. These goals are to advance effective democracies as the long-term antidote to the ideologies of terrorism; to prevent attacks by terrorist networks; to deny terrorists the support and sanctuary of rogue states; to deny terrorists control of any nation they would use as a base and launching pad for terror; and to lay the foundations and build the institutions and structures we need to carry the fight forward against terror and help ensure our ultimate success. The spread of nuclear weapons is one of the most significant challenges to global security in the twenty-first century. Limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials may be the key to preventing a nuclear war or a catastrophic act of nuclear terrorism. Going Nuclear offers conceptual, historical, and analytical perspectives on current problems in controlling nuclear proliferation. It includes essays that examine why countries seek nuclear weapons as well as studies of the nuclear programs of India, Pakistan, and South Africa. The final section of the book offers recommendations for responding to the major contemporary proliferation challenges: keeping nuclear weapons and materials out of the hands of terrorists, ensuring that countries that renounce nuclear weapons never change their minds, and cracking down on networks that illicitly spread nuclear technologies. Nearly all the chapters in this book have been previously published in the journal International Security. It contains a new preface and one chapter commissioned specifically for the volume, Matthew Bunn’s “Nuclear

At the end of this research work based on the observations made recommendations are made that  U.S. government must define what the message is, what it stands for. We should offer an example of moral leadership in the world, committed to treat people humanely, abide by the rule of law, and be generous and caring to our neighbors. America and Muslim friends can agree on respect for human dignity and opportunity. To Muslim parents, terrorists like Bin Ladin have nothing to offer their children but visions of violence and death. America and its friends have a crucial advantage-we can offer these parents a vision that might give their children a better future. If we heed the views of thoughtful leaders in the Arab and Muslim world, a moderate consensus can be found.. That vision of the future should stress life over death: individual educational and economic opportunity. This vision includes widespread political participation and contempt for indiscriminate violence. It includes respect for the rule of law, openness in discussing differences, and tolerance for opposing points of view.

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The first decade of the 21st century was dominated by terror and terrorists. No one man was responsible although the pre-eminent face was that of Osama bin Laden. The global jihad of terror struck from New York to New Delhi. The centre of the storm was South Asia, and the epicenter of the storm Pakistan. India was often ground zero. The terrorists started the decade with an attack right on the eve of the millennium. Terrorists from the Pakistan-based group Harkat-ul Mujahideen hijacked an Indian airliner en route to New Delhi from Kathmandu, finally taking it to Kandahar in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. One hostage was murdered. Former foreign minister Jaswant Singh has rightly described the operation as a forerunner for the 9/11 plot because it involved the same cast of characters brewing the stew; Pakistan-based terrorists, al Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban and the ISI. Originally the hijacking was to be part of a larger al Qaeda-orchestrated millennium plot to include attacks in Los Angeles, Amman and Aden but only the Indian plot got off the ground. The plotters had intended that the plane explode exactly on the stroke of the millennium but Singh negotiated the release of the hostages before more lives were lost.

The whole world changed dramatically on September 11, 2001, when al Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and attacked the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and tried to strike the U.S. Capitol. Masterminded by a Pakistani, Khaled Shaykh Muhammad, and Bin Laden, 9/11 would lead to two wars, the collapse of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and a global war on terror. Briefly, the terrorists were on the run. They were caught off-guard by the agile American intervention in Afghanistan. They had underestimated how unpopular the Taliban had become with most Afghans and they overestimated the loyalty of President Pervez Musharraf to the Taliban cause. For a time Pakistan turned on its Afghan Taliban ally, withdrawing support, including expert troops, oil and volunteers. The Northern Alliance raced into Kabul and Bin Laden and his gang seemed to be cornered. But the terrorists were saved. First, the American hammer that should have hunted them relentlessly never materialized. President George Bush was obsessed with Iraq, even though not a shred of evidence linked Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 plot, and sent the best and brightest of America’s spies and generals to prepare to invade Iraq.

 

Second, the terrorists struck at the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001. The attack was a joint operation of two Pakistan-based groups with close links to al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad. They hoped to kill Prime Minister Vajpayee and opposition leader Sonia Gandhi, perhaps sparking war. India blamed Pakistan for harboring the terrorists’ leaders and providing them support. It mobilized and Pakistan followed suit. Thus the Pakistani anvil which should have been along the Durand line to capture fleeing al Qaeda terrorists never materialized either. Who benefited from the attack on Parliament the most? The terrorists who exploited the confrontation to find room to hide and operate in Pakistan were the big winners. This November, al Qaeda’s new leader Ayman Zawahiri publicly credited the American mistakes in late 2001 with saving Bin Laden and al Qaeda, allowing it to survive for another decade.

 

In the years after 2001, al Qaeda and its affiliates would strike around the globe. Australians were targeted in Bali, Israelis in Mombasa, Spaniards in Madrid, Moroccans in Casablanca and others around the world. Many, if not most, of the attacks had links back to Pakistan. The July 7, 2005 attack in London, for example, was carried out by British jihadists who were trained in Pakistan and connected to al Qaeda. Their martyrdom videos were played on al Qaeda’s propaganda tapes with Bin Laden’s deputy, Zawahiri, providing commentary.

 

Bin Laden wandered around Afghanistan and Pakistan for five years. On the eve of the American presidential election in 2004 he appeared in a video message warning Americans that more attacks were inevitable. Then in 2006 he moved into a carefully constructed hideout in the cantonment city of Abbottabad, only some 30 miles from Islamabad. His compound was less than a mile from the Kakul Military Academy. For the next five years, bin Laden would run al Qaeda’s global operations from the front yard of the Pakistani army.

 

By 2006, the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had turned into quagmires. Al Qaeda had sent jihadists from across the Arab world to Iraq, blew up the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad and turned the country to civil war between Shias and Sunnis. In Afghanistan, the ISI had resumed support for the Taliban, providing sanctuary for its leaders in Quetta and bases all along the frontier for fighters. New tactics were imported by al Qaeda, such as suicide bombings, to help the Taliban. The war that should have been an easy victory in 2002 was heading for catastrophe in 2006. Bush chose to double his bets on Iraq with a surge, leaving Afghanistan to deteriorate further.

 

Disaster was averted in August 2006 when al Qaeda’s most elaborate and deadly plot since 9/11 was thwarted by MI5 and MI6, the British security services. More than a dozen British citizens of Pakistani origin were trained by al Qaeda to mix deadly explosives together on aircraft en route from Heathrow to a half a dozen airports in Canada and the United States, blowing them up simultaneously over the north Atlantic Ocean. The plot was intended to mark the fifth anniversary of 9/11 with mass murder in the skies, leading to the collapse of the global airline business and the global economy. Bin Laden followed the plan from his Abbottabad lair, the Birminghamborn plot mastermind Rashid Rauf, a British-Pakistani citizen, was briefly arrested in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, but ‘escaped’ prison a year later.

 

Terror struck home in Pakistan itself in 2007. Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who had authored a stinging critique of the jihadist narrative, came home after years in exile only to be the target of a bomb attack as she drove from the airport to a rally in Karachi in October. Two months later, the terrorists finished the job and killed her in Rawalpindi. Al Qaeda claimed credit for the assassination. Pakistani police washed down the murder scene before forensic evidence could be collected. Pervez Musharraf’s government finally collapsed.

 

The worst terror attack of the decade save 9/11 came less than a year after Benazir’s assassination. 26/11, the attack by 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists on the city of Mumbai was not the first or most deadly attack on India’s financial capital. It had been targeted by terror before, most notably in 1993 and 2006. But this time the terror lasted for four days. The world watched the terror live on television. The targets were the targets of the global jihad— Indians, Americans and other westerners and Jews and Israelis. The plot had been preceded by years of careful reconnaissance and preparation. An American of Pakistani descent, David Headley, had carefully prepared the way for the LeT hitmen by visiting the city five times before they attacked and reporting detailed assessments of the target to LeT’s leaders in Lahore and Karachi. Headley was also working for al Qaeda and the ISI. He confessed all to an American court after being arrested en route to another planned terror attack in Copenhagen, Denmark. This plot was intended to take place during the global climate change summit with leaders from all over the world in attendance. Terror returned to North America on Christmas day 2009. A Nigerian jihadist tried to blow up an airliner en route to Detroit from Amsterdam as it descended over Ontario. Alert passengers thwarted the attack. Bin Laden claimed credit in a message taped in Abbottabad, promising more attacks as long as America supports Israel. Other al Qaeda plots to blow up the New York City metro and cargo jets over Chicago were thwarted. A Pakistani set a car bomb in Times Square but the bomb misfired and an alert hot dog vendor alerted the police. President Barack Obama and all Americans were lucky. Bin Laden’s luck finally ran out on May 2, 2011. The most wanted man in human history was finally found by the CIA in late 2010. Obama wisely decided that the Pakistani army and ISI could not be trusted with the information and instead sent in commandos to do the job. Pakistanis were stunned. Many assumed the ISI must have been complicit in hiding bin Laden but the army claimed it was clueless. Phone numbers found in the compound showed the fugitive was in contact with Harkat-ul Mujahideen, the hijackers who started the decade of terror. Its leaders live openly in Islamabad, courted by ISI.

It would be tempting to hope the death of ‘high value target number one’ will mark the end of the terrorists’ jihad. But bin Laden was openly mourned by LeT’s Hafiz Saeed and the Afghan Taliban’s Mullah Omar. Both remain alive and active in Lahore and Quetta. Pakistan remains home to more terrorists than any other country in the world, most targeting India and its interests.

In March 2000, after visiting India, President Bill Clinton spent a day in Islamabad. He warned Musharraf that terror would consume Pakistan if it did not stop harboring so many terrorists. A decade later, 35,000 Pakistanis, including Bhutto, have died from the terrorists. But the terrorist infrastructure remains intact and the army is both negligent and complicit in its survival.

The terrorists have many goals and many agendas but one of their objectives is to bait India into war with Pakistan. That was one target of the Parliament attack in 2001 and of the Mumbai murders in 2008. Two Indian Prime Ministers have been too smart to fall for the bait. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh wisely decided that war was a trap, not a solution for terrorism. India will need to remain vigilant, the terrorists’ decade is over but they are still deadly.

National Security Threats to the 21st Century State will focus on the myriad challenges facing Western national security today. The course emphasizes contemporary threats while demonstrating the ever-increasing need to address both traditional and non-traditional sources of threats, specifically terrorism. Although traditional terrorist threats such as Jihadism and extreme right-wing nationalism still present a clear and present danger to the national security of many Western democracies, new technologies have introduced a host of hitherto unseen weapons of mass destruction and disruption. Accordingly, this course will examine a number of the ways in which Western societies might be threatened and the ways the state has responded to these threats.

1.2 PROBLEM OF THE STUDY

The spread of nuclear weapons is one of the most significant challenges to global security in the twenty-first century. Limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials may be the key to preventing a nuclear war or a catastrophic act of nuclear terrorism. Going Nuclear offers conceptual, historical, and analytical perspectives on current problems in controlling nuclear proliferation. It includes essays that examine why countries seek nuclear weapons as well as studies of the nuclear programs of India, Pakistan, and South Africa. The final section of the book offers recommendations for responding to the major contemporary proliferation challenges: keeping nuclear weapons and materials out of the hands of terrorists, ensuring that countries that renounce nuclear weapons never change their minds, and cracking down on networks that illicitly spread nuclear technologies.

 

Nearly all the chapters in this book have been previously published in the journal International Security. It contains a new preface and one chapter commissioned specifically for the volume, Matthew Bunn’s “Nuclear Terrorism: A Strategy for Prevention.” “Nuclear proliferation continues to be among the greatest dangers facing the United States and global security. The articles in Going Nuclear address the key questions in the ongoing debate over the causes and consequences of nuclear proliferation, with special attention to the critical case of South Asia. This excellent collection of articles will be valuable for undergraduate and graduate courses in international security; experts as well as students will find great value in this book.”

—Charles L. Glaser, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs in the Elliott School of International Affairs and the Department of Political Science at the George Washington University, author of Theory of Rational International Politics: The Logic of Competition and Cooperation “Some of the best articles on one of the most important topics today. Will be very useful for courses.”

1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

  1. To understand the nature of the terrorist threat through a concise historical review of terrorism, and basic descriptions of methods and organizational structures commonly used by terrorists and terrorist organizations.
  2. To know the goals and objectives of terrorist and mode of their of operation operations.
  3. To evaluate the strategies for aviation and transportation security around the globe.
  4. To acknowledge the asymmetric operations provide a significant advantage to the terrorist, the study of situational patterns and techniques in terrorism over time can offer insight and possible trends for future attacks.
  5. To appreciate the terrorism threat to U.S. military forces, equipment, and infrastructure.
  6. To appropriate levels of force protection (FP), operational security (OPSEC), and terrorism countermeasures based upon unit status and situation.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION

  1. How can one understand the nature of the terrorist threat through a concise historical review of terrorism, and basic descriptions of methods and organizational structures commonly used by terrorists and terrorist organizations?
  2. What are the goals and objectives of terrorist and mode of their of operation operations?
  3. Is it possible to evaluate the strategies for aviation and transportation security around the globe?
  4. How can you acknowledge the asymmetric operations provide a significant advantage to the terrorist, the study of situational patterns and techniques in terrorism over time can offer insight and possible trends for future attacks?

1.5  RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

H0: One cannot  understand the nature of the terrorist threat through a concise historical review of terrorism, and basic descriptions of methods and organizational structures commonly used by terrorists and terrorist organizations.

H1: One can understand the nature of the terrorist threat through a concise historical review of terrorism, and basic descriptions of methods and organizational structures commonly used by terrorists and terrorist organizations.

H0: There is no significant relationship between terrorist goals, objectives and their  mode of operation operations.

H1: There is a  significant relationship between terrorist goals, objectives and their  mode of operation operations.

H0: It is  impossible to evaluate the strategies for aviation and transportation security around the globe.

H1: It is possible to evaluate the strategies for aviation and transportation security around the globe.

1.6  SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The significance of the study cannot be over-emphasized, especially now that there is a nascent democracy and government is looking for ways to promoting things that unite the country and discontinue those that tend to divide it.

The significance of this study is as follow:

Firstly, it would provide an insight into the role that international security is playing world politics.

Secondly, it is hoped that the study would provide the United state and other  leaders in the world with enough information that will guide them in formulation that will guide them in formulating policies in the areas of  curtailing global insecurity and terrorism.

Thirdly, the study will go a long way in changing the orientation of the people with respect to the negative perception of security and global terrorism. Such understanding it is expected would help to engender the spirit of tolerance and accommodation among the people of diverse countries.

1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Terrorism is a significant operational condition for U.S. military forces in the twenty-first century. Terrorist violence has changed in recent years from an agenda-forcing and attention-getting tool of the politically disenfranchised to a significant asymmetric form of conflict employed against adversaries with economic, military, social, and political aims. While terrorist acts may have appeared to be extraordinary events several decades ago, today

Department of Defense, Defense Science Board, Defense Science Board Task Force on The Role and Status of  DoD Red Teaming Activities,  (Washington, D.C.: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, September 2003). A Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century terrorism eclipses these former acts and demonstrates a profound impact on populations at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Terrorists do not plan on defeating the U.S. in a purely military sense. As part of a larger listing of threats, “…foes today are not trying to defeat us [U.S.] purely militarily. They’re approaching this from a far broader strategic context, and in fact, they’re least interested in taking us [U.S.] on head-on. They’re interested in tying us down militarily, but they are really working on defeating us informationally, economically, and politically, the other dimensions of National power.”

Terrorism is defined by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) as: “The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.”

This is not a universally accepted definition outside of the Department of Defense, and the study of terrorism has often been mired in a conflict over definitions and semantics. For the purposes of this handbook, this DoD doctrinal definition will be used unless otherwise noted in the text. Terrorism is a special type of violence; while it has a political element, it is a criminal act under nearly every national or international legal code. Although terrorism has not yet caused the physical devastation and large number of casualties normally associated with traditional warfare, terrorism often  produces a significant adverse psychological impacts and presents a much greater threat than a simple compiling of the numbers killed or the quantity of materiel destroyed would indicate.  Examples of this on the United States are the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax incidents of the same period. For many  people around the U.S., these attacks weakened their sense of safety and security. This experience of catastrophic terrorism was evidence that the United States was not immune to attacks by international or transnational terrorist groups, or the acts of a possible lone terrorist. Ultimately, these attacks also had severe economic impacts on the country. As Brian Jenkins testified to the 9/11 Commission, “The September 11 attack produced cascading economic effects that directly and indirectly have cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars.”

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Terrorism : Terrorism is  a “systematic use of fear and criminal activity to achieve goals or objectives that a terrorist organization has laid out” (p. 2). However, this definition is an example of how representatives from various organizations define terrorism in support of their own organizational goals; in Razzaq’s case, this was the simplest definition necessary in order to provide instruction to tactical operators in hostage rescue. The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political , or ideological.

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