Guer­rilla ter­ror­ism

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

The U.S. gov­ern­ment’s an­nual re­port on in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ism states that al Qaeda is shift­ing from be­ing an “ex­pe­di­tionary” ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion to one that con­ducts “guer­rilla” ter­ror­ist at­tacks.

The early al Qaeda at­tacks were car­ried out af­ter train­ing a group in one coun­try and then send­ing it abroad to at­tack pre-planned ob­jec­tives, like the Septem­ber 11 at­tacks on the World Trade Cen­ter and Pen­tagon.

Tougher border con­trols and in­creased se­cu­rity have made it more dif­fi­cult to con­duct th­ese at­tacks, ac­cord­ing to the latest “Pat­terns of Global Ter­ror­ism.”

“Clan­des­tine in­ser­tion across borders is harder, re­con­nais­sance is more risky, and in­ter­na­tional move­ment of funds and equip­ment is more likely to be de­tected,” the re­port said.

“Thus we have seen a trend to­ward guer­rilla ter­ror­ism, where the or­ga­ni­za­tion seeks to grow the team close to its tar­get, us­ing tar­get coun­try na­tion­als.”

Th­ese groups use in­ter­me­di­aries, Web-based pro­pa­ganda and sub­ver­sion of im­mi­grant ex­pa­tri­ate pop­u­la­tions to de­velop lo­cal cells that carry out at­tacks. They then ex­ploit the at­tacks for pro­pa­ganda pur­poses.

“This cir­cum­vents the need to in­sert a team across borders or clan­des­tinely trans­fer funds and ma­te­rial,” the re­port said, not­ing the 2004 Madrid bomb­ing, the July 2005 Lon­don at­tacks and the thwarted Au­gust 2006 at­tempt to at­tack pas­sen­ger jets fly­ing from Bri­tish air­ports were ex­am­ples of the new trend.

Both ex­pe­di­tionary and guer- rilla ter­ror­ism by al Qaeda are used with home-grown ter­ror­ism by lo­cal cells act­ing spon­ta­neously.

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