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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 824

Researcher Calls Black Tigers the Most Prolific Suicide Terrorists Group in the World

By Walter Jayawardhana

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam terrorist group with over 150 walking bomb attacks is the world’s most prolific adopter of suicide terrorism said University of Pennsylvania researcher Professor Michael Horowitz.

Michael Horowitz, assistant professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania writing on the history and future of suicide terrorism in the Foreign Policy Research Institute magazine said it has become customary for varied suicide terrorist groups to keep connections to adopt ideas like Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ( LTTE) who invented the suicide vest being modeled by Hamas and other Middle Eastern groups.

After , perceived success of the Hezbollah notoriety, “ the Tamil Tigers were actually the most prolific adopter of suicide terrorism in the world, credited with over 150 attacks; 191 is one estimate” Horowitz said in his research paper.

He further said on the Sri Lankan group: “The Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka became a non-Muslim and non-Middle Eastern early adopter in 1987. The Tamil Tigers came out of a resistance movement in Sri Lanka that sought independence and autonomy. In 1987 they began a suicide campaign that spanned multiple decades. Before 9/11 and the ensuing spate of suicide bombings in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, the Tamil Tigers were actually the most prolific adopter of suicide terrorism in the world, credited with over 150 attacks; 191 is one estimate.

“The LTTE is very interesting from a targeting perspective. We tend to conceptualize suicide terrorism as being about attacking civilians. While Hizbollah did not necessarily focus on attacking civilians, groups like Hamas or al-Qaida (and affiliates) have caused the association of suicide bombings with civilian targeting.

“Alternatively, the LTTE, especially at the outset, conceptualized suicide attacks very differently. They used suicide bombing more as a substitute for military operations they could not complete with conventional means, making them asymmetric but closer to the traditional military sense of the term. The Tamils thought about suicide bombing more for hard targets and assassinations, not necessarily targeting civilians, though civilians often died in their attacks”.

Horowitz wrote that suicide terrorism has emerged as a very powerful weapon over the last several years, with 9/11, car bombings in Iraq, in the West Bank, in Sri Lanka and elsewhere. It has captivated the public. As a tactic, it has infiltrated our national consciousness, he said.

- Asian Tribune -

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