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U.S. Fears Use of Belt Bombs

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Doglips, May 14, 2002.

  1. Doglips

    Doglips G&G Newbie

    What do you think about the possability of Suacide Bombers in the USA?

    U.S. Fears Use of Belt Bombs
    Mideast-Style Suicide Attacks Difficult to Counter
    By David Von Drehle
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, May 13, 2002; Page A01


    The sheer number of suicide belt-bombers attacking Israel this spring, and the diversity of their backgrounds, has increased fear among terrorism experts that the tactic will be exported to the United States.

    But the belt bomb is a maddeningly difficult weapon to counter. Concrete barriers might deter truck bombers. Heightened airport security can challenge hijackers. By comparison, however, stopping human bombs is "an incredibly difficult business," said Christopher Langton, an analyst of terrorist threats at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

    "It's cheap," Langton said. "It has the most accurate guidance system available to mankind. It is easily concealed. . . . The likelihood of it increasing rather than decreasing must be taken seriously."

    Tuesday's suicide bomb blast in a pool hall near Tel Aviv, seemingly timed to interrupt Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's visit to Washington, demonstrated the resilience of this macabre weapon. Although the Israeli army had reoccupied six major West Bank cities in an effort to destroy what Sharon has called the Palestinians' "terrorist infrastructure," the suicide bombers have continued to find their way into Israel to attack civilian targets.

    Analysts said the traditional profile of a suicide bomber has been shattered. Potential bombers are not as hard to find as some experts once believed. Under the right circumstances, bombers require little or no persuasion -- in fact, they volunteer. They don't necessarily need constant supervision.

    The attacks of Sept. 11 illustrated the ability of terrorist groups to plant agents around the United States in cells needing scant support to keep them on track toward their fatal missions over months, even years. "Look at Mohamed Atta: his commitment did not degrade over time," Langton said. "Somebody set his fuse, and that was all it took -- he carried out his operation."

    Seen in this light, what once was considered a rare, costly gesture -- involving the intensive recruitment and indoctrination of a human bomb, along with the careful selection of a target worthy of such a scarce resource -- now looks more like an easily replenished weapon.

    " 'Successful' terror tactics normally spread when the tools are cheap and not complicated," said David C. Rapoport, editor of the Journal on Terrorism and Political Violence. Suicide bombers have used cars, trucks, ships and airplanes on missions against U.S. targets. "But the human missile is even simpler," Rapoport said. The United States "ought to be deeply concerned." Tom Ridge, the U.S. director of homeland security, has said more than once that he believes belt-bombers pose a threat on American soil, although experts doubt that the same Palestinian groups behind the bombings in Israel would attack the United States. More likely, homegrown terrorists, or bombers guided by al Qaeda, could find inspiration in the effectiveness of the Palestinian tactics.

    Last week, while visiting Washington, the Israeli police commissioner, Shlomo Aharonishki, put shopping malls high on his list of likely American targets: "pizzerias, discotheques, restaurants and malls." U.S. government officials have warned vaguely of possible terrorist attacks on shopping malls.

    Aharonishki believes the belt bomb is a response to Israel's improved defenses against hijacking, car bombs and other terror tactics. "They moved over to suicide bombing, which is a very difficult problem for law enforcement agencies to deal with," he said. "This is like a missile that's been launched. Once it's been launched, it's nearly impossible to stop."

    The flood of willing bombers has completely undermined efforts to create a useful profile of potential bombers, according to experts. Initially, belt-bombers in Israel were young, single men with few ties and fewer prospects, "basically dummies," said police commissioner Aharonishki. But recent belt-bomb attacks have been carried out by young women, by well-educated men, by parents.

    In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, "suicide terrorism has become a mass movement," said Bruce Hoffman, director of the RAND Corporation's Washington office and the author of "Inside Terrorism." This fact has grave implications for the United States -- "it is a watershed in the history of terrorism," he said -- because it shows that it is not as hard to make a suicide bomber as many people have wanted to believe.

    This lesson was first demonstrated thousands of miles from Israel, on the island of Sri Lanka, off the coast of India. There, beginning in the late 1980s, Tamil nationalists adopted suicide bombing on a large scale, though they did not generally use it indiscriminately against civilians. From a Tamil population of roughly 2.5 million, the guerrillas mounted about 250 suicide missions, and some of their most audacious attacks were carried out by women, including the belt-bomb assassination of India's prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, in 1991.

    What this means, according to Hoffman and others, is that the conventional way of approaching the subject of human bombs is wrong. Too much attention is being focused on the psychology of individual belt-bombers, he said, when it would be more useful to study them as a major new style of weaponry -- a category alongside missiles and grenades and land mines.

    Langton, a retired British military officer, agreed. "If you look at this as a weapons system, and see who has used it and when, its advantages and disadvantages, you can perhaps think about some countermeasures," he said.

    A suicide bomber can make decisions that an unmanned weapon cannot. Not even the sharpest smart bomb in the Pentagon's catalogue can pretend to be a pregnant woman or pause at the target as more potential victims congregate, or choose a better target at the very last minute.

    "It allows you to put a fairly low-signature weapon on a high-profile target," said Javed Ali, a private consultant to a U.S. defense strategists. The executive director of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Israel, Boaz Ganor, has also noted that suicide attacks tend to be highly lethal, "attract wide media coverage, require no escape plan," and prevent the capture of operatives who might reveal information about the terrorist group.

    Indeed, the belt bomb may be the most difficult in a long line of suicide weapons to defend against.

    American sailors faced kamikaze pilots in the last days of World War II. Anarchist bomb-throwers of a century ago frequently risked almost certain death in their attacks. But most experts date modern suicide tactics to Lebanon in 1982-83. Two militant groups backed by Iran, Al Dawa ("The Call") and Hezbollah ("Party of God"), attacked American, French and Iraqi targets using truck bombs steered by doomed drivers. After the bombing of a U.S. Marine Corps barracks near Beirut in 1983, in which 241 Americans died, the United States withdrew from Lebanon.

    In later years, suicide bombing spread around the world, from Chechnya to Tanzania to Manhattan. The belt bomb has one other advantage: Because it can be guided so precisely, and detonated at a carefully chosen moment, it is a weapon with a message. In Israel, that message has been: No one is safe, anywhere.

    From targeting buses and large markets, the belt-bombers "shifted to discos and restaurants -- places where attendance is optional," Hoffman said. "People began to think they could keep themselves safe by avoiding these optional places -- but then they hit a Passover seder, an Arab-owned restaurant, a corner grocery store, and so on. People became afraid even to go out and buy food."

    Teenagers have been the targets of some attacks and grandparents the targets of others. "It is the terrorist equivalent of strategic bombing," Hoffman said.

    Because the United States is 40 times the size of Israel, it might be impossible to achieve the same effect of "total terror everywhere," as the Israeli police commissioner describes it. But as the jet-bombs and anthrax spores of September and October showed, attacks on scattered but symbolically charged targets can be very powerful.

    "The practitioners of suicide bombing realize they are onto something," Hoffman said. "Why should we think we would be immune?"

    He thought a moment.

    "In reality, the problem has already arrived here," he said. "We are just waking up to it." In 1997, Hoffman recalled, two men in Brooklyn -- one Palestinian and one Lebanese -- were arrested as they finalized a belt-bomb plot against the New York City subway system. In other words, "if" may be a less important question now than "when" and "where."

    Staff writer Bill Miller contributed to this report.


    © 2002 The Washington Post Company
     
  2. jerry

    jerry Since 2002 Forum Contributor

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    USA
    i think if this is the tactic of choice there will be some heavy dues to pay on thier end. we will bleed, but they will bleed more. guarantee.
     

  3. JohnD

    JohnD Member

    Any Idiot can make the bombs they do. You can buy all the stuff in your local mall and hardware stores so they can make the bombs if they want. This aint no crapy pipe bombs either there close to the power of tnt.
     
  4. SPOCAHP ANAR

    SPOCAHP ANAR G&G Enthusiast

    Easy?

    I was under the impression that those beltbombs were sophistacted in nature. I had heard that they had to be made with some sort of manufacturing process; not in a person's garage.
     
  5. JohnD

    JohnD Member

    Oh yes they have a manufacturing process. But it is just simple chemistry. The stuff they make can become unstable and that is why they detonate prematuraly too. If you have the simple equiptment you could even make C4 in your garage. But getting the chemicals for that is the tricky part.
     
  6. Chemistry?
    There is more Chemistry involved in makeing brownies.
    these idiots are just following a cook book they where given and some basic wireing diagram any kid with a radio shack kit could read.
    Your toaster is more sophistacated than these belt bombs.
    Heck, just down load a copy of (don't want acutualy use the name) bubas cook book out here on the internet and you can make a very good grade C4 in your kicthen sink in about 20 min. with stuff from home depto and wal mart. Nothing traceable either add a nine volt batery some wire and an old ammo belt and your done in less than a hour and on your way to the mall.
    these guys aren't as smart as everyone thinks they are they are just finatics useing last ditch eforts to get thier point across because nobody takes them seriously.
     
  7. There was a guy at work who downloaded a copy of this cookbook just to see how easy it was and what it had in it. He rattled off a few things and I told him I really wasn't interested in hearing more. The info is out there and these clowns know where to go to get it and the supplies.
     
  8. Doglips

    Doglips G&G Newbie

    Getting the stuff is not that hard...especialy since they are often sponsered by countries like libia and Iran so $$ and supplies is not the problem. The people willing to blow themselfs up does not seem to be hard to find...although I dont understand it....people with great faith in their religion/cause have died for thouse belifes for a very long time. What I think about is how do you protect our society from it? I mean some teenage boy/girl walking into a mall or building would not get anyones attention. Even an office building if the kid said Im here to see my dad..mr/mrs smith the guard would not worrie about the kid hanging out in the lobby until enoguh targets get there. I believe it is impossible to stop someone willing to die to kill you.
     
  9. JohnD

    JohnD Member

    Yes the only deterant would be to force the bomber to live longer. There is a load of info on the net on explosives. I like to studdy it because if the **** hit the fan and there was an invasion buy talaban or The chinese Acouple grenades would come in handy. It is not illegal to know stuff so I aint doing nothing wrong. The "cook books" are no good half of the info is totaly wrong in some of them. I am sort of a survivalist so I like to know that I could Blow up a chinese tank if I had to.
     
  10. Oxford

    Oxford G&G Evangelist

    Suicide lunitics will set off another round of world wide U.S. response

    Maybe the NY, Pentagon and Penn. terrorists weren't "belt bombings" but they triggered one hell of a response from George W. Bush and other allies.

    I'd imagine that the U.S.'s response to a "belt bomb" would be about the same as this earlier terrorism. As JohnD said, the **** would hit the fan again.

    Oxford:assult:
     
  11. JohnD

    JohnD Member

    You know I think the problem with why so many countrys are hating the USA is because the gov. has to much world power and control and has there nose into every corner in the world. I have read many books on how the Americans Droped the A-bomb on japan. Now that Was A dirty thing to do.
     
  12. Maybe we should keep our noses to home more. as far as how to stop these koocks wanting to die for their cause.
    Go to the sorce. if you want to get rid of bees in the atic you don't spray out side.
    I think the globe would look prety darn good with a big sand parking lot. end of problem.
    how does the saying go? kill em all let God sort em out.If these guys are soo hep on meeting their maker lets help em out.
     
  13. Oxford

    Oxford G&G Evangelist

    Hawaii was an U.S.A. possession when they were attacked.

    Dropping the a-bomb on Japan probably saved several hundred thousand allied soldier's lives.

    The way I see it the attack on Parl Harbor was a dirty thing to do. The Japanese deserved what they got, too. It was a terrible price to pay but I still think it was the best alternative available at that time. Harry Truman couldn't win either way with public opinion on that action.

    Oxford
     
  14. JohnD

    JohnD Member

    Yes but it was against military targets. Anyway The people always will go against there leader and the leader in this world is the usa, If you had less power like canada no one gets mad at you.
     
  15. JOHND
    Please keep raeding you'll find that the canadian gov. fully sanctioned the bombing of japan to help save the lives of canadian troops who where also fighting in the island campains.
    and while you are reading check out the unspeakable war crimes comited by the japenes they hade the holicost look like a trip to disney land. and killed tens of thousands more.
    while you are considering canada to be a non target think of it this way canada is like the kitchen door. america is like the kitchen. Now many will complain about the cook but they keep on eating the food, good or bad. now some may even bust up the kitchen in protest of the bad food, but none of them are about to nail the kitchen door shut.
    canada being the kitchen door agin.
    why would any terorist want to do anything to canada when its so easy for them to get into your country and get what we know as wellfare and still be able to work.and have a easy way into the kitchen to creat havack.
    You better keep right on reading and not be so quick to put down the US if it wasn't for us down here you would be speaking russian by now.
    Not that your services don't have good troops (I have trained some of them when I was in the service and they where all crack troops) but hay the city of houston tx. has a larger and better armed force.minus a few plains and ships of coarse.
    Don't get me wrong here I'm a big fan of our neighor to the north but don't think for a min that you don't owe your contiued freedom to the US just by being our neighbor.
     
  16. JohnD

    JohnD Member

    Ok I quit This could turn ugly so I am walking away.
     
  17. JWB

    JWB Member

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    The thing is 99% of the people who would volunteer are afghanistan people with distinct skin. The sad fact is if suicide bombing became a real problem people would just start shooting them. There is already some people who have been caught doing it... Sad for people who don't really have anything to do with it but it would probably happen.