I wrote this before the attacks and gave a presentation about it THE DAY OF the attacks, so here is the updated version:
Terrorism in Japan and the United States
Who are these people?
Question to consider throughout:
What is terrorism?
What causes terrorism?
Ask yourself, now...
What is terrorism?
Really think about what the definition means. List off characteristics.
Please do it now.
Ok, so is this terrorism?
This is the attack on Pearl Harbor, from Japan. The assault, which lasted less than two hours, claimed the lives of more than 2,500 people, wounded 1,000 more.
That's a pretty horrific attack.
But was it a terrorist attack?
What about this:
Was this a terrorist attack?
No? Then what's the difference?
The official definition of terrorism is:
"The unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.”
U.S. defines domestic terrorism as
"Domestic terrorism" means activities with the following three characteristics:
Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; andOccur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.
When you think about terrorism, the first thing that comes to mind is:
I am going to talk about events in chronological order.
So in order to fully understand why 9/11 happend, we must first understand Western intervention in the Middle East.
And in order to fully understand Western Intervention we need to first look at:
The Crusades were a series of military campaigns during the time of Medieval England against the Muslims of the Middle East. In 1076, the Muslims had captured Jerusalem – the most holy of holy places for Christians.
However, Jerusalem was also extremely important for the Muslims as Muhammad, the founder of the Muslim faith, had been there and there was great joy in the Muslim world when Jerusalem was captured. A beautiful dome – called the Dome of the Rock – was built on the rock where Muhammad was said to have sat and prayed.
The Crusades lasted almost 200 years, from 1095 to 1291. The initial spark came from Pope Urban II, who urged Christians to recapture the Holy Land.
It is estimated that 1.7 million people died in total.
And this is all at a time in which the world population was approximately 300 million — less than 5 percent its current total. Muslim extremists would have to kill 34 million people (Muslim and non-Muslim alike) to equal that death toll today. As horrific as the Islamic State’s brutal reign of terror has been, its death toll is estimated to be only at around 20,000, in comparison.
The next important conflict we must understand, in terms of western intervention in the Middle East is the conflict between Israel and Palestine:
What would happen when you built a refuge for a persecuted people in a place where another people already lived?
Many Jews fled harsh persecution in anti-semetic Europe, genocide of the Nazi holocaust.
Briefly, 1947 United Nations Partition Plan- divide Palestine into a Jewish State and an Arab State, giving the majority of the land not to the Arab sate.
British Rule ended on May 15, 1948 the armies of all the neighboring Arab states, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt attacked the one day old state of Israel.
Little known is the fact that the Zionist forces of Isreal outnumbered all the Arab and Palestinian forces combined. Also Arab armies did not invade Isreal, virtually all battles were fought on land that was to have been the Palestinian state.
More importantly, though, Arab armies did not enter conflict only after Zionist forces had commited 16 massaces, including one massacre of over 100 men and women. The attack on Deir Yassin took place after the United Nations proposed on November 29, 1947 (UN Resolution 181) that Palestine be divided into an Arab state and a Jewish one. Jerusalem was to belong to neither state, but was to be administered separately; Deir Yassin lay within the boundaries of the proposed plan for Jerusalem. The Arabs rejected the proposal, and civil war broke out. Manachem Begin, future Isreali Prime Minster described the event as "Splendid. As here, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, thou has chosen us for conquest." He also said,“Deir Yassin was not only necessary, but without it the state of Israel could not have emerged.”
Six Day War 1967- Isreal pre-emptively attacked Egypt and Syria, but not the other neighboring countries.
Israel seized control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula (from Egypt), the West Bank and East Jerusalem (from Jordan), and the Golan Heights (from Syria). The area under Israeli control tripled.
One group of refugees found a home, but in the process a new group of refugees was created.
300,000 Palestinians fled the West Bank and about 100,000 Syrians left the Golan to become refugees.
U.S. taxpayers give Israel an average of $8 million per day, and since its creation have given more U.S. funds to Israel than to any other nation.
In terms of total money received, Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of military assistance from the United States since World War II. (Sharp)
Israel receives about $30 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America's entire foreign aid budget. (A Synopsis)
However, between 2002 and 2011 Iraq and Afghanistan received a total of $64.4 billion and $60 billion respectively, placing Israel third with $30 billion of US foreign aid, of which nearly 75% was used to purchase U.S. defense equipment from American companies.
Are all Palestinians Muslim?
No. But, about 93% of Palestinians are Muslim, of the Sunni (orthodox) sect, and about 6% are Christian. A very small number of Samaritans - adherents of an early form of Judaism - live around Nablus, in the West Bank.
Nevertheless, Western intervention is interpreted as being a “new crusade”, or “anti- Muslim.”
Which brings us to the FIRST attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.
Lots of people forget that September 11, 2001 was not the first time that the World Trade Center had been attacked.
In 1993, a truck bomb was detonated in the lower parking level of the World Trade Center.
Ramzi Yousef, who was born as Abdul Basit Mahmoud Abdul Karim in Kuwait, spent time at an Al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, before beginning in 1991 to plan a bombing attack within the United States. Yousef's uncle was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Ali Fadden, who later was considered the principal architect of the September 11 attacks (Khalied Sheikh Mohammed)
According to the journalist Steve Coll, Yousef mailed letters to various New York newspapers just before the attack, in which he claimed he belonged to 'Liberation Army, Fifth Battalion'. These letters made three demands:
- an end to all US aid to Israel
- an end to US diplomatic relations with Israel
- and a pledge by the United States to end interference "with any of the Middle East countries' interior affairs."
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (who was, interestingly Mayor during both of the World Trade Center attacks), stated " “We made a mistake in retrospect in 93 in treating as a criminal justice matter rather than an act of war.”
“Criminal justice matter vs. act of war.”
Waco Seige 1993:
(Please click the picture and watch the video, up until the time 9:45)
This is David Koresh, leader of the Branch Davidians. He is very similar to our next person of interest, Japan's Shoko Asahra.
-claimed to be son of God, Jesus.
-had many women.
-armed with weapons, were in threat of being raided
Now let's jump across the ocean to Japan, and how they dealt with their own form of domestic terrorism:
Aum Shinrikyo started by Shoko Asahara.
Om: In Hinduism, Om is one of the most important spiritual symbols.
Followed by the Japanese Shinrikyo (meaning, roughly, "religion of Truth")
Om, also refers to Atman (soul, self within) and Brahman (ultimate reality, entirety of the universe, truth, divine, supreme spirit, cosmic principles, knowledge).
It is a sacred spiritual incantation made before and during the recitation of spiritual texts, during puja and private prayers, in ceremonies of rites of passages (sanskara) such as weddings, and sometimes during meditative and spiritual activities such as Yoga. "Ommm.......
"Om is more than a sound, but the vibration of the universe. It is the frequency of energy that connects and joins all things together."
Syncretism- “the combining of different, often contradictory beliefs.” (Google)
syncretic belief system that drew upon Asahara's idiosyncratic interpretations of elements of early Indian Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism along with Hinduism, taking Shiva as main image of worship and incorporating millennialist ideas from the Christian Book of Revelation, Yoga and the writings of Nostradamus.
Chizuo Matsumoto (Shoko Asahara)- his dream was to attend Tokyo University and eventually become prime minister. He failed the entrance exam, and became a masseuse. He later studied Tantric Buddhism, and joined a group selling fake medicines, which he would be arrested for in 1982.
Shoko Asahra means “Bright light”
It was founded by Shoko Asahara in 1984 his one bedroom apartment in Shibuya, Tokyo starting as a yoga and meditation class.
In 1989 it gained the Religious organization official status by the government.
It was known as a "religion of the elite."
A large number of the true-believers were from high-tech industries and technical universities.
This was at a time, when many young people were becoming disillusioned with materialism and capitalism of Japanese society.
At its height of popularity the number of followers was in 40 to 60,000, with members in 6 countries, and their financial allocation was somewhere around 1 Billion dollars.
In 1990, he created Truth Party and himself ran for parliament. He was defeated in a landslide. Angered and disgraced, this eventually led to his ultimate desire to subvert the Japanese government, and he started making apocalyptic claims.
He started predicting that Japan would be attacked and that Aum Shinriyko should arm itself for the cataclysmic battle, and assured his followers that they were the chosen ones who would survive.
In 1992 he, published a foundational book, and declared himself "Christ" (Smithson)
Japan's only fully enlightened master and identified with the "Lamb of God" (Partridge)
Asahara outlined a doomsday prophecy, which included a World War III instigated by the United States. (Cronin) He described a final conflict culminating in a nuclear "Armageddon", borrowing the term from the Book of Revelation 16:16. Humanity would end, except for the elite few who joined Aum. Aum's mission was not only to spread the word of "salvation", but also to survive these "End Times". Asahara predicted Armageddon would occur in 1997. He called the United States "The Beast" from the Book of Revelation, predicting that it would eventually attack Japan. (Lifton)
(Please watch 7:00- 10:45)
From the ranks of the technical and scientific true-believers, Asahara chose a select few to help him implement an important decision he had kept secret from other cult members. Ashara chose three scientists to supervise the effort to help speed the arrival of his apocalypse.The three were Hideo Murai, an astrophysicist who headed Aum Shinrikyo’s socalled Science and Technology Ministry, Seiichi Endo, who held a Ph.D. in molecular biology and Masami Tsuchiya, the cult’s top chemist. This trio enthusiastically agreed with Asahara’s goal of hastening the end of the world. Together, they possessed the technical knowledge suited for the production and use of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. (Snow)
His plan was to use Weapons of Mass Destruction against Japanese society. In the ensuing chaos Japan would actually blame the United States, and Asahara would lead his followers to victory (Clinehens)
Question: Was Aum Shinrikyo only involved in one terrorist attack?
Question: Was the Sarin attacks of 1995 the only time Sarin has been used as a terrorist attack in Japan?
1994- Matsumoto Incident:
Matsumoto, Japan, in Nagano prefecture, on the evening of June 27 and the morning of June 28, 1994. Eight people were killed and over 200 were harmed by sarin gas that was released from several sites in the Kaichi Heights area. This incident was perpetrated about nine months before the better known Tokyo subway sarin attack. (Sarin)
Several Aum Shinrikyo members were later found guilty of masterminding both incidents. Combined, the attacks resulted in 21 deaths and thousands of hospitalizations or outpatient treatment. The main motive for the Matsumoto incident was trying to kill the judges handling fraud charges against Aum brought by land owners in Matsumoto, in order to prevent the court from releasing the scheduled verdict. Aum had also used Matsumoto as a test for their future plans to release the gas in Tokyo. (Danzig)
(Watch 20:35- 22:26)
1995- Sarin attacks on the Tokyo subways:
Why did Aum Shinrikyo attack the Tokyo subways in 1995?
True or False- All 5 perpetrators were well-educated.
Ikuo Hayashi- “was a senior medical doctor at the Ministry of Science and Technology” He was a heart and artery specialist at Keio Hospital, which he left to become head of Circulatory Medicine at the National Sanatorium Hospital in Tokai, Ibaraki “(Cults- Dangerous Devotions)
Ken'ichi Hirose- “ 30 years old at the time. Holder of a postgraduate degree in Physics from Waseda University”
Toru Toyoda- “Toyoda was twenty-seven at the time of the attack. He studied Applied Physics at University of Tokyo's Science Department and graduated with honors. He also holds a master's degree, and was about to begin doctoral studies when he joined Aum”
Masato Yokoyama- “Yokoyama was thirty-one at the time of the attack. He was a graduate in Applied Physics from Tokai University's Engineering Department. He worked for an electronics firm for three years after graduation before leaving to join Aum”
Yasuo Hayashi- “was thirty-seven years old at the time of the attacks, and was the oldest person at the group. He studied Artificial Intelligence at Kogakuin University; after graduation he traveled to India where he studied yoga.” (Death Sentences)
“On Monday March 20, 1995, five members of Aum Shinrikyo launched a chemical attack on the Tokyo subway, one of the world's busiest commuter transport systems, at the peak of the morning rush hour. The chemical agent used, liquid sarin, was contained in plastic bags which each team then wrapped in newspaper. Each perpetrator carried two packets totaling approximately .9 liters of sarin, except Yasuo Hayashi, who carried three bags totalling approximately 1.3 liters of Sarin. Aum originally planned to spread the sarin as an aerosol but did not follow through with it. A single drop of sarin the size of a pinhead can kill an adult.
Carrying their packets of sarin and umbrellas with sharpened tips, the perpetrators boarded their appointed trains. At prearranged stations, the sarin packets were dropped and punctured several times with the sharpened tip of the umbrella. Each perpetrator then got off the train and exited the station to meet his accomplice with a car. By leaving the punctured packets on the floor, the sarin was allowed to leak out into the train car and stations. This sarin affected passengers, subway workers, and those who came into contact with them. Sarin is the most volatile of the nerve agents, which means that it can quickly and easily evaporate from a liquid into a vapor and spread into the environment. People can be exposed to the vapor even if they do not come in contact with the liquid form of sarin. Because it evaporates so quickly, sarin presents an immediate but short-lived threat.” (Tucker)
The attack “killed 13 commuters, seriously injuring 54 and affecting 980 more. Some estimates claim as many as 6,000 people were injured by the sarin. It is difficult to obtain exact numbers since many victims are reluctant to come forward.” (Smithson)
“On the day of the attack, ambulances transported 688 patients and nearly five thousand people reached hospitals by other means. Hospitals saw 5,510 patients, seventeen of whom were deemed critical, thirty-seven severe and 984 moderately ill with vision problems.” (Smithson)
Reasons for the attack:
(Please watch 26:20- 27:40; 29:10-29:55)
Diversion (as previously mentioned in the video).
“The Japanese police had already discovered at Aum's main compound back in March a sophisticated chemical weapons laboratory that was capable of producing thousands of kilograms a year of the poison.” (Olson)Essentially, to blame attack on America, in order to usher in a nuclear Apocalypse.
Consequences of the attacks:
(Please watch 41:35- 42:25)
“Over the next week, the full scale of Aum's activities was revealed for the first time. At the cult's headquarters in Kamikuishiki on the foot of Mount Fuji, police found explosives, chemical weapons, and a Russian Mil Mi-17 military helicopter. While the finding of biological warfare agents such as anthrax and Ebola cultures was reported, those claims now appear to have been widely exaggerated.(Danzig) There were stockpiles of chemicals that could be used for producing enough sarin to kill four million people.(Smitheson) Police also found laboratories to manufacture drugs such as LSD, methamphetamine, and a crude form of truth serum, a safe containing millions of U.S. dollars in cash and gold, and cells, many still containing prisoners.” (Kaplan)
Shortly after the attack, Aum lost its status as a religious organization, and many of its assets were seized. The Diet (Japanese parliament) rejected a request from government officials to outlaw the group. The National Public Safety Commission received increased funding to monitor the group.
The courts tried to use the Subversive Activities Prevention Act
of July 21, 1952 against Aum Shinrikyo.
The act primarily defines violence as the principle manner of subversive activities of organizations, and defining regulatory measures related to its activities, and punishment provisions.
However, it was ruled against and found inapplicable for Aum.
Question: Why do you think the application of the Subversive Activities Prevention Act was ruled against?
“Japan’s prewar elite sanctioned the single religion of Emperor worship — State Shinto — in its drive to war and eliminated, or at least minimized, the expression of all other competing religions. The “one religion” policy effectively removed powerful blocs of religious resistance to the war. During the occupation of Japan, the Allies wanted to ensure the Japanese government could never again manipulate its society through the use of state-sponsored religion. Through the introduction of free exercise of religion into Japanese society, the Allies relied on competing thoughts and beliefs to diffuse any future coercive control.2 Article 20 of the Japanese Constitution was written to guarantee free exercise of all religions.3 Ultimately, this article was over-interpreted by Japanese authorities. It was eventually viewed as an ironclad restraint on virtually all government interactions with any religion. This concept was problematical for two reasons.
First, religious groups, including Aum Shinrikyo, were shielded from normal government observation.5 The result was that cults such as Aum Shinrikyo could act with impunity free from the potential of government questioning and scrutiny.
Second, the Japanese public also developed a “hands-off” philosophy regarding religious groups. Using Article 20 as their inspiration, the public believed strictly in the protection of religious groups from government interference and perceived any government involvement with religion as wrong (Clinehens)
For instance, many of the people involved with the Sarin attacks were convicted for the murder of the Sakomoto family, rather than for the actual terrorist attacks.
Interestingly, there were also no laws were on the books banning the production or possession of chemical or biological agents (Ataxia)
Some criticisms: Governments worldwide need to closely re-examine national laws regulating the domestic possession, production, and transfer of toxic substances and biological agents. To preempt and punish any wayward groups or individuals that attempt to procure and disperse such materials, police need the proper legal framework to enable investigation, arrest, and prosecution.
All of these reasons led to a law that actually allowed them to investigate organizations like these further.
They actually created this law, tailored specifically for Aum called The Act on Regulation of Organizations that have carried out indiscriminate mass murder:
It's duties were
-Monitoring organizations that have carried out indiscriminate mass murder.
-Prevent recurrence for organizations to carry out indiscriminate mass murder
-and continued surveillance of the group.
Since Aum, was a group that had committed mass murder, they fit the category of this specific bill.
The Public Security Intelligence Agency (公安調査庁 kōanchōsa-chō)
Goals of the Organization:
-Reviewing regulations on destructive organizations.
-Preventing and setting limitations on destructive organizations.
-Dissolution of destructive organizations.
-Continued Surveillance: The group (Aum) is required to submit a list of members and details of assets to the authorities.
“On 27 November 2004, all the Aum trials concluded, excluding Asahara's, as the death sentence of Seiichi Endo was upheld by Japan's Supreme Court. As a result, among a total of 189 members indicted, 13 were sentenced to death, five were sentenced to life in prison, 80 were given prison sentences of various lengths, 87 received suspended sentences, two were fined, and one was found not guilty. In May and June 2012, the last two of the fugitives wanted in connection with the attack were arrested in the Tokyo and Kanagawa area” (Aum Trials)
“The group reportedly still has about 2,100 members, and continues to recruit new members under the name "Aleph" as well as other names. Though the group has renounced its violent past, it still continues to follow Asahara's spiritual teachings.” (Lower house panel)
Question: how do you think the United States would deal with an attack that was similar to the Sarin Attacks in Tokyo?
How Japan Deals with International Terrorist Threats:
The international community must have ways to deny safe haven to terrorists around the world, and, therefore, requires a system to prosecute or extradite terrorists wherever they are found. The glue of such a system is the coverage provided by counter-terrorism conventions. After September 11th, Japan accelerated its ratification of pending counter-terrorism conventions. Now, having put its stamp on the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism in 2002, Japan is a party to all twelve existing conventions related to counter-terrorism, and it is trying to persuade countries that have not yet ratified all the conventions to follow suit. (Mizukoshi)
Japan’s role in the U.N. and the G-8
(The Group of Eight (G8) is a group made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia (suspended), the United Kingdom and the United States. The European Commission is also represented in the committee. The group has conferences or meetings throughout the year, it researches policies, and has a summit meeting once a year. The heads of government of each G8 country attend the summit meeting.)
Within the United Nations, the Sixth Committee has had an important role in tackling the issue of eradicating international terrorism, which has been on the agenda of the General Assembly since 1972. The committee has adopted a number of counter-terrorism conventions, most recently the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. (Mizukoshi)
Financing/ International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism:
On a practical level, Japan is helping to cut off terrorist financing. Money is essential for a terrorist operation. The critical importance of depriving terrorists of their financing became starkly evident when it was learned how well the nineteen hijackers of September 11th were funded, and that the money was transferred from outside the United States. Japan is doing its part to cut off those funds wherever possible. Among other things, it has frozen funds and other financial assets of individuals and entities, including the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and those associated with them in accordance with UNSCR 1267, 1333, and 1390. Japan has also frozen assets of individuals and entities with terrorist ties in accordance with UNSCR 1373. As of 7 March 2003, Japan had cut off access to assets of a total of 376 individuals and entities. Japan concluded the International Convention for the Suppression of the
Financing of Terrorism in June 2002 and at the same time enacted domestic
legislation that criminalizes the financing of terrorism. Further, Japan amehnded
the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law in 2002 in order to facilitate
information exchange among competent ministries and agencies concerning
financing of terrorism (Hideaki)
(Please watch 45:38- 46:29)
Let's go back to the United States a month after these attacks on Tokyo, to see what the repercussions of what the United States government did in Waco were:
(Please click the picture and watch the video from the beginning until 3:45)
Now before we get to 9/11, we must first understand Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden.
True or False: This man has been interviewed by at least two major American news conglomerates.
(Please click this picture, and watch the video from 2:55-4:30)
(Please watch this video from 5:35- 7:45)
..is a global militant organization founded by Osama Bin Laden, Abdullah Azam, and others sometime around 1988 or 1989. (Bill Moyers Journal)
-Abdullah Azam (1941-1989), has been called “the Father of Global Jihad”, and he was a Palestinian Sunni Islamic scholar and theologian. Azzam preached both defensive jihad and offensive jihad by Muslims to help Afghan mujahideen against the soviet invaders. He was a teacher and mentor of bin Laden and persudaded him to come to Afghanistan and help the fight against the Soviets. (Bill Moyers Journal).
"Al Qaeda" means "The Base," "The Foundation", or "The Fundament."
Above in black, is their unofficial flag, which is known as the "Flag of Jihad."
"I have found in several "hard Islamic" websites the symbol of a white Taliban flag crossed with its inverted colour version (probably identified as Al-Qaeda flag): black background with shahada in white. I do not know if this flag is recognised by Al-Qaeda; but it is normally flying in pro-Al-Qaeda sites." According to a comment from 2003: "This black flag with the Shahada in white on it is the RAYAH, the flag of the Jihad in Islam. (Tazon)
The Shahada is "the testimony", “the two testimonials"; also Kalima Shahadat "the testimonial word" is an Islamic creed declaring belief in the oneness of God and the acceptance of Muhammad as God's prophet.
Question- What does jihad mean?
Jihad- often misunderstood as “holy war”, but it is noun meaning “struggle or perservere.” Maintain the religion. (Jihad)
Spiritual struggle within oneself against sin.
September 11, 2001:
Question: Why was the World Trade Center attacked on September 11th?
Question: How many of the hijackers were from Afghanistan?
Here's briefly what happened on 9/11:
There were 19 Hijackers. None were from Afghanistan.
19 men affiliated with al-Qaeda. 15 of the 19 were citizens of Saudi Arabia. The others were from the United Arab Emirates ,Egypt and Lebanon. (Mazzetti)
“Two of the passengers had been identified as al-Qaeda members and were on the FBI's terrorist-alert list prior to 9/11: Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi. It appears certain that all hijackers had Arab origins, and none were Afghan;” (Mazzetti)
A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, was crashed into the Pentagon (the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense) in Arlington County, Virginia, leading to a partial collapse in the Pentagon's western side. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, initially was steered toward Washington, D.C., but crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after its passengers tried to overcome the hijackers. In total, the attacks claimed the lives of 2,996 people (including the 19 hijackers) and caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage (Winnipeger)
Osama bin Laden initially denied involvement until 2004:
“But I am amazed at you. Even though we are in the fourth year after the events of September 11th, Bush is still engaged in distortion, deception and hiding from you the real causes. And thus, the reasons are still there for a repeat of what occurred.”
“As for those that condemned these operations looked at the event in isolation and failed to connect them to past events and did not look at the causes that lead to this result. So their point of view is narrow.”
“So these blessed and successful strikes are but in reaction to what happened in our lands- In Palestine and Iraq, and in other places.”
“I say to you, Allah knows that it had never occurred to us to strike the towers. But after it became unbearable and we witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the American/Israeli coalition against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind.”
“And that day, it was confirmed to me that oppression and the intentional killing of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy. Destruction is freedom and democracy, while resistance is terrorism and intolerance.”
As has been said: "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure."
And know that: "It is better to return to the truth than persist in error."
-Osama bin Laden
Consequences of 9/11:
Department of Homeland Security:
Is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks.
Third largest cabinet department.
The website states “The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face” (Department of Homeland Security)
Over 240,000 employees (Department of Homeland Security)
-Department of Defense deals with military actions abroad, DOHS deals within the civilian sphere
-As we will see the budget reflects that America’s stance is one of aggression (war), not preventive measures or defense.
Question: What are the Bill of Rights?
Here are a brief rundown of the laws that stem from the result of 9/11, that directly conflict with the Bill of Rights:
Freedom of Association: Government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigations.
Freedom of Information: Government has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly detained hundreds of people without charges, and has encouraged bureaucrats to resist public records requests.
Freedom of Speech: Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to terror investigations.
Right to Legal Representation: Government may monitor federal prison jailhouse conversations between attorneys and clients, and deny lawyers to US citizens accused of crimes.
Freedom from Unreasonable Searches: Government may search and seize papers and effects owned by citizens without probable cause to assist terror investigations.
Right to a Speedy and Public Trial: Government may jail anyone indefinitely without a trial, including US citizens.
Right to Liberty: Anyone may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them. (The USA Patriot Act)
FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, 2008
-Allowed ethnic profiling. (institutionalized suspicion of Muslim Americans by allowing the FBI to map "locations of concentrated ethnic communities" and "ethnic-oriented businesses and other facilities" as permissible means of gathering information about potential terrorism) (Chart)
Patriot Act of 2001:
Signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. Its title is a ten-letter acronym (USA PATRIOT) that stands for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001". (Source: Google)
Law enforcement officials have the power to investigate American citizens for criminal matters without establishing probable cause if they designate that the investigation is for "intelligence purposes." (The USA Patriot Act)
Secret Searches- These searches, depending on the target, require either no notification at all of the person being searched, or delay notification until after the search has occurred. This means that physical searches of our homes, cars, computers, workplaces and reading materials can be conducted without our knowledge. (The USA Patriot Act)
-“Sneak and peak” search warrants allowed the government to search your home or business without telling you about it until months later. Although national security concerns were the stated justification for this authority, these warrants are issued overwhelmingly in drug cases, with less than 1 percent used for terrorism cases. (Chart)
Privacy: “broad access to highly personal medical, financial, mental health, library and student records with only the most minimal judicial oversight. The court must issue a subpoena whenever the FBI states that it is for an investigation to protect against international terrorism. The recipient of the subpoena is prohibited from telling anyone that the FBI has asked for the information. Now the FBI can get the entire database of a credit card company or the records of everyone who has used a certain public library. It can obtain information on everyone registered at a particular hotel, hospital, or university. It does not need to show probable cause that a crime is, has been, or will be committed.” (Chart)
- Criminalized “purse speech in furtherance of the non-criminal acts of terrorist groups. (Criminalized giving “material support” to terrorists, which included “expert advice or assitance,” as a prohibitied form of “support.” This also criminalized providing advice to members of a terrorist group on how to use international low and other non-violent conflict resolution mechanisms (Chart)
Bill of Rights for Non-citizens:
“The USA PATRIOT Act permits the Attorney General to incarcerate or detain non-citizens based on mere suspicion and to deny re-admission to the US of non-citizens (including legal, long-term permanent residents) for engaging in speech protected by the First Amendment.” (The USA Patriot Act)
Edward Snowden exposed the colossus surveillance program of the NSA, which had a $52.6 Billion budget in 2013.
-They obtained illegally as many as 56,000 emails and other communications by Americans with no connection to terrorism. (Chart)
The nonprofit think tank New America Foundation published a report today after investigating the 227 Al Qaeda-affiliated people or groups that have been charged for committing an act of terrorism in the US since 9/11. It found just 17 of the cases were credited to NSA surveillance, and just one conviction came out of the government's extra-controversial practice of spying on its own citizens. And that charge, against San Diego cab driver Basaaly Moalin, was for sending money to a terrorist group in Somalia. There was no threat of an actual attack. (Neal)
TSA (Transportation Security Administration):
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.
-Authorized Department of Homeland Security to develop a “strategic plan” for airport security measures.
-450 Airport body scanners that scan a full body under his/her clothing. The courts ruled that this did not violate the 4th Amendment right to unreasonable searches and seizures. (Chart)
-Pat downs, shoes on, no liquids, at least one hour and half before a flight.
-Liqids: You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.
US Customs and Border Protection and Department of Homeland Security Policy Changes
-Allowed suspicion-less searches of documents and electronic devices carried by US citizens returning from overseas travel.
Before this, officials could read documents or papers belonging to Americans returning from overseas travel only if there was a reasonable suspicion that a US law had been violated. The new policy, introduced by the Bush administration, allows government officials to search any documents or papers, including the entire contents of laptops and other electronic devices, without any suspicion of wrongdoing. (Chart)
Military Commissions Act of 2006 Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (Hamdi v. Rumsfeld Rasul v. Bush Boumediene v. Bush)
Established the practice and limits of indefinite military detention at Guantánamo Bay. “After 9/11, the US began an unprecedented practice of holding so-called "enemy combatants" in military detention without charge and without according them the status or rights of prisoners of war.” (counter- intuitive?)
“The Bush administration jumped through hoops to authorize the use of torture, which it referred to as "enhanced interrogation techniques." Its lawyers issued secret legal opinions designed to get around the prohibition on torture by redefining what torture meant and claiming that the laws against torture didn't apply to the President acting as Commander in Chief. When the details of the "enhanced interrogation techniques," such as waterboarding, surfaced, human rights advocates cried foul.” (Chart)
Guantanamo Bay: Torture and detention without charge
775 detainees have been brought to Guantanamo. Although most of these have been released without charge, the United States government continues to classify many of these released detainees as "enemy combatants". As of October 2015, 112 detainees remain at Guantanamo. (Google)
After Bush political appointees at the U.S. Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice advised the Bush administration that the Guantanamo Bay detention camp could be considered outside U.S. legal jurisdiction, military guards took the first twenty detainees to Guantanamo on 11 January 2002. The Bush administration asserted that detainees were not entitled to any of the protections of the Geneva Conventions. Ensuing U.S. Supreme Court decisions since 2004 have determined otherwise and that the courts have jurisdiction: it ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld on 29 June 2006, that detainees were entitled to the minimal protections listed under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.(Hamdan v. Rumsfeld)
There have been countless complaints of abuses there.
Many detainess have claimed that they have been abused by humilating acts, extreme temperature, sexual abuse, sensory deprivation, prolonged constraint, force feeding, water boarding.
Many detainees are released or committed suicide.
During August 2003, there were 23 suicide attempts.
By May 2011 there had been at least six suicides in Guantánamo that have been reported
One 12 years old when he was captured. Said Abasin was a taxi driver who was proven innocent and released after one year. The former Guantanamo detainee Mehdi Ghezali was freed without charge on 9 July 2004, after two and a half years internment. Mishal Awad Sayaf Al Habri commited suicide attempted left with brain damage, relased in 2005, but will be confined to care facility for the rest of his life. Abdullah Saleh Ali Al Ajmi was released in 2005, and killed himself in a suicide attack in Iraq in 2008. Slimane Hadj Abderrahmane released, and announced “intention to return to fight.”
In 2013 there were currently 120 prisoners on hunger strike:
War on Terror:
Despite NONE of the hijackers being from Afghanistan, and the Taliban government having no official connection to Al-Qaeda the group responsible for 9/11, the United States government thought it would be best to start a war in Afghanistan to cripple the Taliban government.
This is how the United States reacted to terrorism. In the best way it knows possible:
UN Response to 9/11
Sep 12- Resolution 1368
Reaffirming the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations,
Determined to combat by all means threats to international peace and security
caused by terrorist acts,
Recognizing the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense in
accordance with the Charter,
1. Unequivocally condemns in the strongest terms the horrifying terrorist
attacks which took place on 11 September 2001 in New York, Washington, D.C. and
Pennsylvania and regards such acts, like any act of international terrorism, as a
threat to international peace and security;
2. Expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their
families and to the people and Government of the United States of America;
3. Calls on all States to work together urgently to bring to justice the
perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these terrorist attacks and stresses that those
responsible for aiding, supporting or harboring the perpetrators, organizers and
sponsors of these acts will be held accountable;
4. Calls also on the international community to redouble their efforts to
prevent and suppress terrorist acts including by increased cooperation and full
implementation of the relevant international anti-terrorist conventions and Security
Council resolutions, in particular resolution 1269 (1999) of 19 October 1999;
5. Expresses its readiness to take all necessary steps to respond to the
terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and to combat all forms of terrorism, in
accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations;
6. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
Likewise, on September 12 the United Nations Security Council called on all nations to “redouble their efforts” to thwart and prosecute terrorists. Two weeks later, it passed another resolution that urged states to “suppress the financing of terrorism” and to aid in any anti-terrorism campaigns.
But these declarations of support and solidarity didn’t mean that other countries gave the United States a free hand to retaliate however, and against whomever, it pleased. Allies and adversaries alike urged caution, warning that an indiscriminate or disproportionate reaction could alienate Muslims around the world. In the end, almost 30 nations pledged military support to the United States, and many more offered other kinds of cooperation. Most agreed with George Bush that, after September 11, the fight against terrorism was “the world’s fight.” (Reaction to 9/11)
Bush’s response was literally
“You’re either with us, or against us."
President George W. Bush, in an address to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001 said, "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."(Bush)
Saddam Hussein, after the attacks stated "the American cowboys are reaping the fruit of their crimes against humanity". (Attacks)
The George W. Bush administration defined the following objectives in the War on Terror: (President Bush)
Defeat terrorists such as Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and demolish their organizations
Identify, locate and demolish terrorists along with their organizations
Deny sponsorship, support and sanctuary to terrorists
End the state sponsorship of terrorism
Establish and maintain an international standard of accountability with regard to combating terrorism
Strengthen and sustain the international effort to combat terrorism
Work with willing and able states
Enable weak states
Persuade reluctant states
Compel unwilling states
Interdict and disorder material support for terrorists
Abolish terrorist sanctuaries and havens
Diminish the underlying conditions that terrorists seek to exploit
Partner with the international community to strengthen weak states and prevent (re)emergence of terrorism
Win the war of ideals
Defend U.S. citizens and interests at home and abroad
Integrate the National Strategy for Homeland Security
Attain domain awareness
Enhance measures to ensure the integrity, reliability, and availability of critical, physical, and information-based infrastructures at home and abroad
Implement measures to protect U.S. citizens abroad
Ensure an integrated incident management capability” (President Bush)
War in Afghanistan
How many members of Al-Qaeda are in the Afghanistan, Pakistan region?
There are only 300 to 3,000 members of Al- Qaeda, the group responsible for 9/11 in the Afghanistan/ Pakistan region. (Al Qaeda)
The Authorization for Use of Military Force by the United States Congress on September 14, 2001, authorizes the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001. The authorization granted the President the authority to use all "necessary and appropriate force" against those whom he determined "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups. The AUMF was signed by President George W. Bush on September 18, 2001.
Less than a month after 9/11, U.S. troops invaded Afghanistan in an attempt to dismantle al-Qaeda, the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the attacks, and remove the Taliban government. Two years later, in March 2003, the United States invaded Iraq (another completely unrelated country to the terrorist attacks of 9/11) and deposed President Saddam Hussein. Our military involvement in Afghanistan turned into the longest-running war in U.S. history.
Question: What has been the budget of the war on terror?
Question: How many civilian casualties have there been in Afghanistan/ Iraq war?
Note here, that USA's military budget is larger than all of the countries on the left combined.
US Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost around $6 Trillion. (O’Neil)
Over 26,000 civilians killed in Afghanistan. (Afghan Civilians)
There are more than 133,000 individually recorded civilian deaths since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. (Google)
After 4,486 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq and 2,345 U.S. soldiers died in Afghanistan, 1 million U.S. soldiers wounded in both wars. (Google)
Nevertheless, that didn't stop President Bush from giving an optimistic speech on May 1, 2003 aboard the aircraft carrier with a giant sign that read "Mission Accomplished."
If a country was attacked by a terrorist organization in a country only 300 to 3,000 members large, and then that country launched a 15 year war against that country and another unrelated country and killed 150,000 civilians unrelated to that terrorist organization, would you claim there was a human rights violation?
Criticisms on the War of Terror:
On 16 September 2001, at Camp David, President George W. Bush used the phrase war on terrorism in an unscripted and controversial comment when he said, "This crusade – this war on terrorism – is going to take a while, ...” (Bazinet)
On 20 September 2001, during a televised address to a joint session of congress, Bush stated that, "(o)ur 'war on terror' begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated." (Transcript)
What causes terrorism?
“University of Chicago professor and political scientist, Robert Pape has written extensive work on suicide terrorism and states that it is triggered by military occupations, not extremist ideologies. In works such as Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism and Cutting the Fuse, he uses data from an extensive terrorism database and argues that by increasing military occupations, the US government is increasing terrorism. Pape is also the director and founder of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism (CPOST), a database of every known suicide terrorist attack from 1980 to 2008.”
“Each month, there are more suicide terrorists trying to kill Americans and their allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, as well as other Muslim countries than in all the years before 2001 combined. From 1980 to 2003, there were 343 suicide attacks around the world and at most 10 percent were anti-American inspired. Since 2004, there have been more than 2,000, over 91 percent against U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, as well as other countries.”
One article, written actually by the Department of Defense, in research how to combat terrorism was called "Motivation and Social Psychology: What motivates Suicide Bombers?"
The main question it puts forward: Is the U.S. Creating Terrorists?
Suicide bombers motivations:
-Fatal cocktail of complex motivational forces.
-Can we clarify the motivations of suicide attackers as a step toward preventing these horrific acts?
However, what the DOD found was the Key Goal for most suicide bombers: The quest for personal significance.
-Radicalized by real life reminders of their own mortality.
-Many of the perpetrators had experienced the loss of a loved one, often as result of violence.
-The experience of loss was a common catalyst or turning point: Individuals who had not previously been especially strident in their beliefs became more extreme in their views and endorsement of cultural values after the killing of a family member. Encounters with traumatic loss may lead individuals to shift to more extreme ideological views and to more collectivistic (versus individualistic) ways of achieving a legacy in the world.
-With respect to counterterrorism efforts, this research suggest that removing groups' ability to perpetrate terrorist acts will go only so far- if we block one way, motivated individuals will find another. A superior strategy might target the factors that lead individuals to the goal of attaining personal significance through horrific act of suicide.
Counterterrorism measures be redirected in three ways:
-minimizing civilian deaths in military operations
-demonstrating respect for others' cultural customs.
Again let's look at the statistics:
As of 2014, Afghanistan civilian casualties were 15,000.
Iraq civilian deaths: 125,000. Over 8,500 in 2013, alone.
Are we actually in fact creating more terrorists?
This was a recent tragedy that happened from United States aggression in the Middle East. Events like these can easily be seen as triggers for the motivations of extreme acts of terrorism.
Now we have ISIS in Syria:
ISIS in Iraq. (200,000 members, 8x bigger than intelligence originally estimated) The estimates are that Isis rules a third of Iraq and a third of Syria with a population of between 10 and 12 million living in an area of 250,000 square kilometres, the same size as Great Britain (Cockburn)
A GREATER threat than Al Qaeda.
Question: What is the difference between and terrorism?
War: An organized, armed, and often a prolonged conflict that is carried on between states, nations, or other parties.
Terrorism: The French word terrorisme in turn derives from the Latin verb terreō meaning “I frighten.” Although “terrorism” originally referred acts committed by a government, currently it usually refers to the killing of innocent people by a non-government group in such a way as to create a media spectacle.
From the above, we see that war is between willing participants, and terrorism is a more no-holds-barred approach to attacking an enemy. The act of terrorism leaves civilians as potential targets.
“In today’s wars, there are no morals. We believe the worst thieves in the world today and the worst terrorists are the Americans. We do not have to differentiate between military or civilian. As far as we are concerned, they are all targets.”- Bin Laden
The Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the Crown Prosecution Service in the UK, Ken McDonald, Britain's most senior criminal prosecutor, stated that those responsible for acts of terrorism such as the 7 July 2005 London bombings are not "soldiers" in a war, but "inadequates" who should be dealt with by the criminal justice system. He added that a "culture of legislative restraint" was needed in passing anti-terrorism laws and that a "primary purpose" of the violent attacks was to tempt countries such as Britain to "abandon our values." He stated that in the eyes of the UK criminal justice system, the response to terrorism had to be "proportionate and grounded in due process and the rule of law":
London is not a battlefield. Those innocents who were murdered...were not victims of war. And the men who killed them were not, as in their vanity they claimed on their ludicrous videos, 'soldiers'. They were deluded, narcissistic inadequates. They were criminals. They were fantasists. We need to be very clear about this. On the streets of London there is no such thing as a war on terror. The fight against terrorism on the streets of Britain is not a war. It is the prevention of crime, the enforcement of our laws and the winning of justice for those damaged by their infringement. (Singh)
Stella Rimington, former head of the British intelligence service MI5 criticised the War on Terror as a "huge overreaction" and had decried the militarization and politicization of U.S. efforts to be the wrong approach to terrorism.
Terrorist methods as well as the organization of terrorist groups keep changing,
which means that counter-terrorism policy must be continually revised.
There are some principles, however, that should not change. I would like to
conclude this article by proposing the following three guiding principles for an
effective policy in the international fight to vanquish terrorism.
1. Counter-terrorism policy must address every stage of terrorism.
We must understand and tackle the root causes of terrorism. At the
same time, we must find ways to prevent planning, preparation, and
implementation of terrorist activities while preparing to manage the
consequences of terrorism.
2. Counter-terrorism policy must be multidisciplinary.
Counter-terrorism measures involve diverse fields of expertise and
multiple sectors of government. Government counter-terrorism policies
must be comprehensive, and so the work of coordinating the various
types of expertise and the many government sectors is vitally important.
3. International society must unite to eradicate terrorism and the threat of
We have seen more active, directed, and extensive international cooperation
against terrorism since the September 11th attacks. We can do
much more to expand the areas of cooperation further still and make it
more effective. A united effort and a common goal are essential to help
us cope with the continuing threat of terrorism. (Mizukoshi)
These are 3 of the phases of "Peace Building and Conflict Resolution"
What is obvious is that war causes terrorism.
Ironically, how the United States reacted to terrorism was....war.
What is Netwon's Third Law?
"For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction."
I don't think war is an exception.
Also there is a difference between acts of war and acts of terrorism, yet we treated acts of terrorism as acts of war. I don't know if you can fight a war against non-soldiers.
So back to the issue of France and the recent terrorist activities:
The President of France has officially declared the terrorist activities an "act of war."
I recently saw this picture on Facebook:
As horrific as these cowardly acts of terrorism are, we can see that war is NOT the answer to terrorism.
I reference the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. who said
“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”- MLK, Jr.
For more reading: