}

ICT: summary of Monday Morning’s 2nd Plenary Session

For yesterday’s second morning plenary session, the speakers were: Col. Richard Kemp, Former Commander of the British Forces in Afghanistan, United Kingdom; Dr. Daniel Pipes, Director , The Middle East Forum, U.S.A.; Mr. Jonathan Paris, Associate Fellow, International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICSD), King’s College London, United Kingdom; and Dr. Boaz Ganor, Executive Director, ICT, Deputy Dean, Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, IDC Herzliya, Israel.

Col. Richard Kemp – “combating jihad has been very hard but it’s going to become even harder.” Terrorism has been difficult to contend with, in the past, Kemp stated, recalling the East African Embassy bombings, the attack on the USS Cole, the attacks of September 11, the Bali Bombings, the Madrid train bombings, and the London tube bombings. However, in addition to causing damage and fear, these attacks have, according to Kemp, inspired others to “join up” with the jihadist cause. A significant problem that the NATO troops, and the counter-terrorism community in general, are facing, is that the various organizations, which network-like in nature, appear to be working together, and reinventing themselves in the image of Al Qaeda central. Citing the 2009 attack on the CIA in Afghanistan, and the more recent attempted bombing of Time Square, Kemp notes that these attacks were created through the joint forces of the Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was responsible for both the attempted Christmas Day plane bombing, and the attack on the Saudi Minister of Security, Prince Mohammed bin-Nayif. Moreover, AQAP has been linked to the attack on Ft. Hood. Al Shabab, (Somalia), he noted, pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda last September, and while Al Qaeda in Iraq lost some traction “due to the presence of Western forces,” they are making a return. Even Lashkar e-Taiba, which origingally was focused on India, with its attack on Mumbai, targeting Western and Jewish targets, shows a shift towards the global jihad. Compiling with this, the world, Kemp argued, has begun to see large quantities of home grown terrorists, even in America. Moreover, jihadists, he said, are sharing techniques, recruitment, finance, know-how, etc. It is important, he said, to remember that even a failed attack shows motivation and capability, and counter-terrorism personnel being capable of stopping some attacks does not mean that the threat has gone away. AQAP nearly succeeded with its Christmas Day plane bombing because, as he put it, “America took its eyes off the ball.” For his last point, he turned to a different topic. Kemp argued that it is essential that counter-terrorism personnel, whether clandestine, military, or civilian, need to be extremely careful not to hurt civilians, as each predator strike which kills civilians breeds further resentment and provides recruitment material for these radical groups. He recalled Britain’s experience in Ireland, pointing to Bloody Sunday as having enflamed the already high anti-English sentiment in Ireland. In practice, this means, at times, taking more risks than one would like in neutralizing the threat. Such risks, he acknowledged, may be difficult to “sell to soldiers,” but “generals have always been willing to accept casualties on their own side to achieve their objectives.” In this case, the objective is decreasing recruitment to the radical jihadist organizations. The threat, he said, has to be neutralized, whether by military (i.e. by predator strike) or judicial (i.e. by trial) means. However, he contended, it is imperative that the counter-terrorism community maintain as much openness and transparency as possible, and remember that the media will play into the hands of the jihadists. As such, it is important to use the media, and meet with them, to sell “our story” before the jihadists are able to sell “theirs.” Quoting Churchill, he said, “Virtue is so precious she must always be attended by a bodyguard of truth.”

(Of potential interest to Jewlicious readers may be that, when he wrote the British military doctrine on how to deal with suicide bombers, he first went to the Israeli embassy. Israel flew out their best brigadier general to talk to him about it.)

Dr. Daniel Pipes – discussed the idea of “terrorism, without Islam.” Pipes noted that in today’s society, no one wants to point out the link between terrorism and Islamism. He notes that even when such links are evident, such as the case with Nidal Malik Hassan (the Ft. Hood shooter), both the military and the media avoided the link to religion. Phrase like “terrorists,” “extremists,” “evil doers,” etc., according to Pipes, is a denial of global Islam, and Islamist terrorism. This is not, he said, simply an attempt at appeasement. Rather, he argued, there are two reasons why society does not wish to engage in such terms. First, he said, is a “desire not to alienate Muslims.” There is a fear that talking about Islam will result in radicalization, and that Muslims will take offense. Yet, according to Piper, no such evidence exists to point to this fact. Second, is a “desire not to reorder society.” By pointing out the role of Islam is radicalization, the present order would shift, as it would point to “a small element of the population in the West to focus on, and single it out for special scrutiny.” Yet, he stated, that there is “no escaping the unfortunate fact that Muslim employees” of the government sector ought to be “watched.” This, however, “flies in the face of democratic, liberal values.” So, “no one wants to touch it.” But terroris, will not go away. Pipes expressed his belief that the democratic states’ responses will be a response to the “brutality of our enemies.” Concluding, Pipes contended that the West must prepare itself now, and “prepare with a program that is fair, elaborated, careful, and treats Muslims fairly, [and is] not just a reaction in a moment of rage.”

Mr. Jonathan Paris – discussed “Londonistan, Homegrown Terrorism, and Counter-Radicalization Strategies.” The U.K., he said, “experienced series of wake up calls” (7/7 bombing, 2006 Heathrow Plot, 2007 Glasgow Airport Plot). A part of this wakeup call, according to Paris, is that there are “homegrown” terrorists. Radicalization, to their surprise, is occurring within the UK. Too large a number of British Muslims are radicalized in the UK, and then to go to “Waziristan… Yemen, to get an MA in an Al Qaeda college.” The UK, he claimed, has “recognized the need to isolate extremists,” and has, therefore, attempted to “create an alliance with the majority, nonviolent” Muslim community. Paris claimed that there are similarities with Cold War. The U.S., he said recognized, during the Cold War, the war of ideas, and the need to “fight back with ideas.” Now, he contends, there is a need to “mobilize moderates [Muslims] against extremists.” Yet, he noted, despite extremism on campuses and in jails, the government of the UK, continues to see the Muslim community as partner, not a target of counter-terrorism. The OSCT believes that non-violent Muslims, who have followers, can be seen as partners, even if they are radical and express anti-Western sympathies. The government, he argues, refuses to acknowledge that there is a spectrum in which radicalization, leads to extremism, which leads to violence. In his opinion, there is a misguided recourse to Muslim communities, with the government making friends with the Muslim Council of Britain, and ignoring the “real British citizens” who are Muslim. There is a battle of ideas going on, he argues, and the “persuasion and mobilization” by imams and the media are not countered by police counter-terrorism which. Emphasis, he stated, needs to be placed on influential figures, like Abu Hamsa (Finsburry Park Mosque), and Omar Bakri Mohammed (Al Muhajirroun), given that, “for every radical imams like them there are several dozen young men recruited to the cause. Paris noted that the “increasing concentration of Muslims in towns and cities where they can go for weeks without meeting a non-Muslim results in increased radicalization.” Bin Laden, he claimed, is “trying to frame the narrative that he’s got the winning horse,” with the West seen as the losing horse. A loss in Afghanistan or Iran’s success in obtaining a nuclear weapons would convince the radicals that God is on their side. This, he believes, will cause “the fence sitters” to be more inclined to move to the side of radicalization. Concluding, Paris argued that the government needs to be a greater level of sensitivity towards to Muslim community and to further support those who are actually integrated into British society.

Dr. Boaz Ganor – discussed the “future trends and challenges” of terrorism. Trends in the near future are Iran’s attempt to gain nuclear capability, the U.S. leaving Iraq without stability, the radicalization process occurring in Turkey, “confused international leadership” (specifically American) regarding the illusion that free democratic elections are an appartus which legitimizes terrorist organizations. Misunderstanding, according to Ganor, is, also, rampant, given that members of the U.S. government have made statements to the effect that terrorism, Islamists, and jihadists, are not the enemies of the United States.
Ganor, then, presented the results of a survey of leading counter-terrorism experts on the nature of current and future threats. 85% believes that sanctions are ineffective against Iran, with a majority, also, believing that terrorist organizations will have non-conventional weapons within the next 10 years. 66% stated that it is likely that there will be a large scale CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear) terrorist attack in the next five years. 77% thought that there will be a large scale cyber attack in next five years. 52% stated that current international counter-terrorism efforts are ineffective. Regarding effectivity 64% believe that President Bush’s policies where more effective, with 36% in favor of President Obama’s. 88% contended that it is highly unlikely that there will be an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement in the next five years. 55% agreed that regional stability will decrease if the U.S. withdraws from Iraq.
Ganor, then, presented a matrix of the probability of non-conventional terrorism (CBRN) with respect to limited and unlimited attacks. The matrix shows that most chemical attacks will be limited, biological attacks unlimited, radiological limited, and nuclear attack unlimited in nature. Based upon the nature of the attacks, a speculation can be made as to their likelihood. Modern terrorism, which is designed to use terrorism to create fear and anxiety which pressures decision makers, will likely adopt chemical and radiological means. Post-modern terrorism, however, which Ganor argues will be a future wave of terrorism, is of a different nature entirely. The use of biological or nuclear weapons “changes the reality by the very act.”

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