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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2783

Terrorism Somewhere is Terrorism Everywhere

By Sanjeewa Karunaratne

Growing number of evidence suggests terrorist organizations share intelligence, technology, resources and training. Moreover, these organizations fully or partially fund their campaigns through arms, drugs trafficking, smuggling, piracy and other illegal activities. By nature, these activities involve systematic collaborations between groups operating in different geographical regions. These affiliations make terrorism, not localized, but a world-wide problem. Someone’s terrorist today is everybody’s terrorist. This letter analyzes affiliations between terrorist organizations with an emphasis on the LTTE, the deadliest and most innovative terrorist organization in the world.

Improvised Explosive Device:

Taliban operatives, who are trained in Iraq by Al-Qaeda against technologically-advanced coalition forces, effectively utilize their training against the NATO forces in Afghanistan—proliferation of roadside bombs in Afghanistan is one such development. Roadside bombs or IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device) is the number one killer of the coalition forces in Iraq (they are responsible for 40% of coalition deaths). This highly effective technology took some time to transmit to the Southeast, where the LTTE, for the first time, assassinated Minister D. M. Dissanayaka in Sri Lanka using a roadside bomb in 2008. Thereafter, they frequently used IEDs against civilian targets. Because the public was becoming vigilant about parcel bombs, IEDs, filled with iron balls, were used as a substitute.

Mini submarines:

December, 2006, U.S. Coast Guard captured 2.9 tons of cocaine (worth over 100 million dollars) hidden in a small submarine, which was being transported from Colombia by operatives associated with the Revolutionary Armed Force of Colombia (FARC). Rajakumar Rajadurai, a Sri Lankan Tamil, was among the crew. A link was not established with the LTTE, who are fighting for a separate state for the minority Tamils in Sri Lanka. However, in 2000, Christie Reginald Lawrence, a Sri Lankan born Norwegian citizen, was caught by the Thai police, while building a mini submarine with a Norwegian Engine at the Sea Craft Company shipyard jointly owned by Lawrence, a Thai and an American national. Thai police also discovered sophisticated sonar and GPS systems, satellite phones, combat training videos in Tamil, LTTE calendars and uniforms. Sri Lankan Government revealed that this sub was similar but advanced to a one it seized from the LTTE. A few years later, a Colombian newspaper in Bogota mentioned there was a failed attempt on the part of the Sri Lankan terrorists, LTTE, to supply guns to some Colombians and train them in warfare in exchange for cocaine. But the newspaper said, at that time, the program did not go through and failed.

Truck bombs:

A powerful truck bomb struck Islamabad Marriot Hotel in Pakistan in September, 2008. This attack was very similar to the bomb attack on the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in 1996 by the LTTE: locations were nerve centers of the country; both trucks were loaded with explosives; driven by suicide bombers; passed a number of military check-points and included militants to mute any counter attack. Security guards at the Marriot and Central Bank responded to the imminent threat causing the perpetrators to detonate the bombs in front of the establishments. The massive explosions left craters similar in dimension. Fifty-four people died in Pakistan, while 91 perished in Sri Lanka.

Surface to air missiles:

In the late 80’s Afghani Mujahideens used U.S.-built surface-to-air (SAM) Stinger missiles—extremely effective weapon for shooting down an aircraft— against Russian troops. In 2007, there were reports that Taliban may have used a Stinger missile against an American C-130 Hercules airplane for the first time. Around the same time, LTTE was desperately looking to acquire this technology. In April, 2006, LTTE agents paid U.S. undercover agents to purchase, among other things, surface-to-air missiles. On August 21, 2006, the District Court of Brooklyn, New York, charged these LTTE agents with multiple crimes, including conspiracy to provide material support to the LTTE: four of the conspirators have been convicted, so far.

Suicide jacket and boat:

The brainchild of the LTTE, the suicide jacket packed with C4 plastic explosives, is widely used by Al-Qaeda, the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, and Palestinian groups such as Hamas and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. LTTE has, reportedly, sold hundreds of suicide jackets to Middle Eastern Islamic terrorists. This low-cost, conceivable, mobile bomb has injected horror in many countries, and, without doubt, is the deadliest weapon of choice by the modern-day terrorists. Not only the suicide jacket, but Middle Eastern terrorists have also borrowed the practice of suicide boats from the LTTE. The attack on the USS Cole is starkly similar to frequent attacks on Sri Lankan Navy ships by the LTTE: a fiberglass boat, loaded with explosives, hiding among shipping boats, ramming against the target. The modus operandi is an exact copycat.

Airplanes:

Al-Qaeda took terrorism to the troposphere by September 11 attack in the U.S. using hijacked passenger planes. In 2002, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning that terrorists may try to use small aircraft for suicide attacks. In 2007, LTTE became world’s first terror organization to have an air wing. They have two Czech-built Zlin Z-143 light aircrafts with an improvised bomb rack.

Terrorist organizations network and collaborate with each other to fulfill their objectives. They finance themselves using dirty money creating social and political chaos in many countries. Most importantly, terrorist activities are no longer confined to a single country, territory or region. It engulfs the whole world because of their affiliations. Terrorists have used submarines, surface-to-air missiles, suicide bombers and airplanes. What will be the next move? A chemical agent, dirty bomb or even a nuclear weapon? Let’s put an end to these dangerous developments by eliminating leading terror organizations like the LTTE.

- Asian Tribune -

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