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Osama Bin Ladin: Wealth plus Extremism Equals Terrorism

Bin Ladin, a Saudi millionaire and veteran of the Afghan war of 79-89, came to see that conflict in the light of “Muslim believers vs. heretics.” In his view, the term, “heretics” embraces the “pragmatic” Arab regimes (including his homeland, Saudi Arabia), and the United

Who is Behind the Embassy Bombings

For the moment there are no real clues leading to the group or organization responsible for the murderous terrorist attacks in Kenya and Tanzania against the American embassies, which took the lives of so many innocents–Africans and Americans.

Abu Nidal – The Sooner the Better

Recent reports concerning the reappearance in an Egyptian hospital of Sabri el-Bana–better known by his trade name, “Abu-Nidal”–has once more brought into the spotlight the matter of the many terrorist leaders still walking around free. It would seem that this time Abu Nidal may not

The Threat of Jewish Terrorism in Israel

According to a number of recent reports in the Israeli Media, the Israeli security forces have been increasingly troubled by an upsurge in hostile actions on the part of Jewish settlers. There are reports of acts against the Palestinian population, possible attempts to target high-ranking

Iran’s Policy on Terrorism in the 1990s

The US Department of State’s report “Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1997,” released in April 1998, states that “notwithstanding some conciliatory statements in the months after President Khatami’s inauguration in August 1997, Iran remains the most active state sponsor of terrorism [from a list of seven

Is Hamas Revaluating the Use of Terrorism?

On the background of the many threats by Hamas to avenge the killing of the Awadallah brothers on September 11th and to renew its terrorist activity in Israel, it is of interest to note some conflicting voices in the Islamic movement. On September 8th, two

A New Tactic of Hamas Terrorism?

In the past few weeks several articles have been published by prominent figures in Hamas hinting at a possible change–or at least rethinking and reevaluation–of its terrorist tactics. Yet another of these articles was published in the October 1998 issue of the monthly Filastin al-Muslimah,

Bin Ladin is out to get America!

Numerous critics in the Arab world have blamed the recent anti-American terrorist attacks on America’s support for Israel, and its “double-standard” with regard to the Middle East. However, a closer look at the ideology and strategy of Osama bin Ladin and his followers shows clearly

Syrian Support to Hizballah: The Turkish Lesson

Over the past few years the public discussion of the problem of terrorism from Lebanon has centered only on two options: a Israeli unilateral withdrawal without prior security arrangements; or a withdrawal in the framework of a general settlement, which would enable Syria to reap

Terrorism as a Preferred Instrument of Syrian Policy

Syria under the rule of Assad is a state which affords patronage to terrorism, supports terrorist organizations and uses terrorism as a tool with which to further its strategic objectives. Syria is thus part of that small “club” of seven states sponsoring terrorism, which also

Lebanon – Defining a New Redline

One of the quandaries facing academic researchers, military and security professionals and politicians is the question of “defining terrorism.” The prevailing opinion is that there is no international agreement on the phenomenon of terrorism, nor can there ever be such agreement. Indeed, the number of

The Saudi Fatwah against Suicide Terrorism

On April 21, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Abd al-Aziz bin Abdallah Aal al-Shaykh, said that Islam forbids suicide terrorist attacks. This has raised a storm of criticism from supporters of the Palestinian intifada against Israel. However, the mufti may have been thinking

The Mitchell Commission Report – Many Problems, Few Solutions

This morning, the text of the long-awaited Mitchell Commission Report, an account of the past seven months of Israeli–Palestinian violence written by a five-member committee headed by former Senate majority leader George Mitchell, was made publicly available. Conceived as a “committee of fact finding” at

Iranian Transnational Terrorism

The recent State Department Report on International Terrorism (issued on 30 April), together with the Turkish “non paper,” showing Iran’s involvement in terrorist actions in Turkey, provided yet another proof that Iran qualifies for the dubious title of the world’s leading “terror-sponsoring state.”

Tracing Bin Laden’s Money – Easier Said Than Done

In the wake of the terror attacks of “Black Tuesday,” investigators are seeking to follow the “money trail” back to the perpetrators, hoping to learn who ultimately gave the order. While American officials would like to see a clear trail leading back to the legendary

Israel’s War on Terrorism

The last wave of coordinated suicide attacks by Hamas did not come in revenge for the killing of Hamas leader Mahmoud Abu Hanoud or the accidental death of five Palestinian children. These terrorist acts must be considered in the context of America’s war on terrorism,

Is Arafat Ready to Take on Hamas?

Whether or not a terror attack will take place is a function of two factors: the motivation of a terrorist organization to perpetrate attacks, and its operational capability of doing so at a given time. Since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994, Yasser

Iran – Terror by Proxy

The capture of the “Karine A,” a vessel loaded with more than 50 tons of high quality arms and explosives has not only shed light on the strategic aims of the Palestinian Authority, but also on those of Iran. What is known about the arms

Hamas: Toward a Lebanese-Style War of Attrition?

Lebanon may well have come to the West Bank and Gaza. Over the past year and a half, Hamas has adopted traditional Hizballah guerilla tactics such as roadside bombings, short-range rocket and mortar launchings, using squads of terrorists from a variety of groups, and videotaping

Designating the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades

Responding to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades’ latest suicide bombing — which threatened to undermine the third straight peace mission of Middle East envoy Gen. Anthony Zinni — the State Department broke with tradition and announced the group’s pending designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO),

International Terrorism in Germany: An Ongoing Threat

The military campaign against Afghanistan is only the initial foray in a long, hard— sometimes frustrating—struggle against terrorism. It would be a major mistake to target only Osama bin Ladin and his organization. Islamic radicals all over the world constitute a real and immediate danger

“Jenin Al Kassam” – A Hothouse of Terrorism

During the past 18 months, the Islamic Jihad has become the main initiator of suicide terrorism in Israel. The primary launching pad of the suicide bombers is the Palestinian autonomous city of Jenin—and in particular the poorer neighborhood known as the “refugee camp”. Of the

Terror as a Strategy of Psychological Warfare

The modern terrorist differs from the common criminal in that he is motivated by a political agenda. The actions of the terrorist—murder, sabotage, blackmail—may be identical to those of the common criminal. However, for the terrorist, these are all means to achieve wider goals, whether

The Network of Terrorist Financing

Reprinted with permission from PolicyWatch, #646 August 6, 2002, Analysis of Near East policy from the scholars and associates of The Washington Institute. The following is an edited version of Matthew Levitt’s testimony before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on International Finance, Committee on Banking, Housing

The Iraqi Regime’s Links to Terrorism

The leader of the ANO, the infamous Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal (Sabri al-Banna), died violently last week in Baghdad. But his death is not as extraordinary as the subsequent press conference given by Iraqi intelligence chief Taher Jalil Haboush. This press conference was the first

Al-Qaida’s Asian Web

For months the Indonesian government has denied allegations that al-Qaida militants were setting up shop in the country. When Singapore’s investigation into a plot to bomb Western interests pointed to the involvement of Indonesian operatives, Indonesia refused even to entertain the possibility. Now, in the

Algeria’s GSPC and America’s ‘War on Terror’

Last week, intensified Islamist violence prompted Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to launch his military’s largest counteroffensive against radical Islamic elements in five years. The target of this ongoing operation is the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), a breakaway faction of the Armed Islamic

The War on Terror in the Shadow of the Iraq Crisis

On December 4, 2002, Bruce Hoffman, Daniel Benjamin, and Matthew Levitt addressed The Washington Institute’s Special Policy Forum. Hoffman is vice president of external relations at RAND and author of Inside Terrorism (Columbia University Press, 1998). Benjamin is a senior fellow at the Center for

Fatah-Hamas Relations – Rapprochement or Ready to Rumble?

Parallel to the Palestinian armed struggle against Israel is a power struggle between Hamas and Fatah. Years of tensions have culminated in Gaza street clashes between the two organizations in recent weeks. An Egyptian-sponsored summit designed to achieve rapprochement between the two groups sputtered in

The Changing Threat of International Terrorism

Since September 2001, the world has awakened to a new danger; terrorism after the September attacks is a totally different phenomenon from that which existed before the attacks in the United States. This is not merely due to the scale of the atrocities, but also

The Political Economy of Middle East Terrorism

The aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and the subsequent American war against terrorism have focused attention on the financing of terrorist movements and operations. The lines of political influence follow those of economic assistance. Reprinted from the MIDDLE EAST

Treason and Espionage in the Name of Jihad

On the 28th February 2003, the internet site Arabforum.net published an appeal to Muslims to betray their countries for the sake of Jihad. This site is popular among followers of Osama bin Ladin and his al-Qaida network, and is particularly designed to appeal to young

Counter-Terrorism Post Saddam

One of the goals of this campaign for the U.S. was to prove its determination to fight terrorist organizations and the states which sponsor them. Now, after the battles are over, the question is how the campaign in Iraq will affect international terrorism?

Iraq and the Threat of International Terrorism

As the campaign against Iraq gets underway, security and military experts around the world are busy attempting to second guess Saddam Hussein and discover his strategy, in particular, what measures he intends to use against the U.S. and its allies.

The Iraq War and the ‘Deluge of Terror’

As the war in Iraq intensifies, reports of ‘peace demonstrations’ as well as more explicitly anti-US and Islamist extremist protests accumulate across South Asia. These have been given great prominence in the media and have fed Western apprehensions that the Iraqi campaign will give rise