Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Lone Terrorist

This is a good analysis of the recent phenomenon of the "lone terrorist" as found in Israel. While this sort of attack has a history of about two years in Israel, the US, Britain and other Western countries have suffered the same for many years, the Beltway Snipers in America being a notable Jihad attack. In the West, it's been called Sudden Jihad Syndrome, where the Jihadists (immigrant and native born) takes it upon himself to inflict some violent "punishment" on his Western benefactors. These attacks are plainly religiously driven as the perpetrators invariably, either during the crime, or after capture, ascribe their actions to obeying the Islamic command to wage Jihad against the infidels. Invariably also is the press's obsessive denial of the Jihadi element and boilerplate assertion that the terrorist is mentally unstable, and not responsible, anything but accept Islam as the cause of terrorism.

Seeing this rather new bubbling over of violence by individuals makes me wonder just how many will move from being "moderate" Muslims, to violent Muslims when they percieve the time to be right.
We can expect to see more of this type of terrorist attack as individuals take it upon themselves to fight Jihad.


The Lone Terrorist
Written by Yoaz Hendel
Tuesday, 14 July 2009 06:26
BESA Center Perspectives Papers No. 86, July 13, 2009

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The success of Israel's security forces in decreasing in Palestinian suicide attacks against Israeli civilians could be threatened if a new type of terrorist attack - the lone terrorist attack - becomes more frequent. The lone terrorist phenomenon is characterized by radicals who embark on individual terrorist missions without any logistical support or conventional means.
This type of attack is particularly difficult to defend against. Terrorists cannot be easily identified by their logistical plans, weapon sources or organizational affiliations. The only way to prevent this form of terrorism is by creating a high personal price tag in order to deter the potential terrorist. However, such terrorist deterrence requires clearly defined legislation. Currently, no laws exist regarding allowable punitive action, for example, against terrorists' property. Effective "price tag" deterrence legislation must also apply to the intent to kill, regardless of the results.

Terrorism has existed in different forms since the beginning of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Over the years, terror acts have evolved from stabbings and Molotov cocktails to suicide bombings and the use of vehicles to run over Israelis citizens.

The Al-Aqsa Intifada produced an unprecedented number of terrorist activities against Israel. This elicited the March-April 2002 Operation Defensive Shield and subsequent IDF actions that have significantly reduced the ability of Palestinian terror organizations to attack Israel. The suicide bomber, which had become the Israeli home front's worst nightmare, has been almost completely suppressed. The number of 53 suicide attacks against Israeli cities in 2002 was reduced to a single suicide attack in 2007 and one during 2008. However, terror has not disappeared, but acquired a different shape.

The Kassam rocket industry in Gaza has been growing since 2005, and terrorists without organizational affiliation have been emerging in Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem. In 2008, more than 80 percent of the terrorist attacks (to be distinguished from suicide attacks, as mentioned above) were carried out by unaffiliated terrorists who did not benefit from an organizational logistical support. The Israeli defense establishment and the media dubs them "lone terrorists," and views this phenomenon as unstoppable because a terrorist acting without preliminary preparations, a logistical base, and secret partners is very difficult to identify. It is next to impossible to gather critical intelligence to stop him.

The first terrorist attack of this kind occurred on 26 March 2007, when a resident of East Jerusalem with an Israeli identification card opened fire at students in the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva. Two other armed terrorist attacks occurred during the same year at military checkpoints.