Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Israeli Violations

A list of UN Resolutions against "Israel"

Here is a list of UN resolutions that Israel has not complied. As far as I know they have ignored every single resolution. But the situation is far worse than would at first appear, it involves the serious distortion of the official Security Council record by the profligate use by the United States of its veto power. (See Table)

Israel's defiance goes back to its very beginnings. This collection of resolutions criticizing Israel is unmatched by the record of any other nation.


* Resolution 106: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for Gaza raid".
* Resolution 111: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for raid on Syria that killed fifty-six people".
* Resolution 127: " . . . 'recommends' Israel suspends it's 'no-man's zone' in Jerusalem".
* Resolution 162: " . . . 'urges' Israel to comply with UN decisions".
* Resolution 171: " . . . determines flagrant violations' by Israel in its attack on Syria".
* Resolution 228: " . . . 'censures' Israel for its attack on Samu in the West Bank, then under Jordanian control".
* Resolution 237: " . . . 'urges' Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees".
* Resolution 248: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for its massive attack on Karameh in Jordan".
* Resolution 250: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem".
* Resolution 251: " . . . 'deeply deplores' Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of
* Resolution 252: " . . . 'declares invalid' Israel's acts to unify Jerusalem as Jewish capital".
* Resolution 256: " . . . 'condemns' Israeli raids on Jordan as 'flagrant violation".
* Resolution 259: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's refusal to accept UN mission to probe occupation".
* Resolution 262: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for attack on Beirut airport".
* Resolution 265: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for air attacks for Salt in Jordan".
* Resolution 267: " . . . 'censures' Israel for administrative acts to change the status of Jerusalem".
*Resolution 270: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for air attacks on villages in southern Lebanon".
* Resolution 271: " . . . 'condemns' Israel's failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem".
* Resolution 279: " . . . 'demands' withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon".
* Resolution 280: " . . . 'condemns' Israeli's attacks against Lebanon".
* Resolution 285: " . . . 'demands' immediate Israeli withdrawal form Lebanon".
* Resolution 298: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's changing of the status of Jerusalem".
* Resolution 313: " . . . 'demands' that Israel stop attacks against Lebanon".
* Resolution 316: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for repeated attacks on Lebanon".
* Resolution 317: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's refusal to release Arabs abducted in Lebanon".
* Resolution 332: " . . . 'condemns' Israel's repeated attacks against Lebanon".
* Resolution 337: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for violating Lebanon's sovereignty".
* Resolution 347: " . . . 'condemns' Israeli attacks on Lebanon".
* Resolution 425: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon".
* Resolution 427: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to complete its withdrawal from Lebanon.
* Resolution 444: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's lack of cooperation with UN peacekeeping forces".
* Resolution 446: " . . . 'determines' that Israeli settlements are a 'serious
obstruction' to peace and calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention".
* Resolution 450: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to stop attacking Lebanon".
* Resolution 452: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to cease building settlements in occupied territories".
* Resolution 465: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's settlements and asks all member states not to assist Israel's settlements program".
* Resolution 467: " . . . 'strongly deplores' Israel's military intervention in Lebanon".
* Resolution 468: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to rescind illegal expulsions of two Palestinian mayors and a judge and to facilitate their return".
* Resolution 469: " . . . 'strongly deplores' Israel's failure to observe the council's order not to deport Palestinians".
* Resolution 471: " . . . 'expresses deep concern' at Israel's failure to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention".
* Resolution 476: " . . . 'reiterates' that Israel's claim to Jerusalem are 'null and void'".
* Resolution 478: " . . . 'censures (Israel) in the strongest terms' for its claim to Jerusalem in its 'Basic Law'".
* Resolution 484: " . . . 'declares it imperative' that Israel re-admit two deported Palestinian mayors".
* Resolution 487: " . . . 'strongly condemns' Israel for its attack on Iraq's
nuclear facility".
* Resolution 497: " . . . 'decides' that Israel's annexation of Syria's Golan Heights is 'null and void' and demands that Israel rescinds its decision forthwith".
* Resolution 498: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to withdraw from Lebanon".
* Resolution 501: " . . . 'calls' on Israel to stop attacks against Lebanon and withdraw its troops".
* Resolution 509: " . . . 'demands' that Israel withdraw its forces forthwith and unconditionally from Lebanon".
* Resolution 515: " . . . 'demands' that Israel lift its siege of Beirut and
allow food supplies to be brought in".
* Resolution 517: " . . . 'censures' Israel for failing to obey UN resolutions and demands that Israel withdraw its forces from Lebanon".
* Resolution 518: " . . . 'demands' that Israel cooperate fully with UN forces in Lebanon".
* Resolution 520: " . . . 'condemns' Israel's attack into West Beirut".
* Resolution 573: " . . . 'condemns' Israel 'vigorously' for bombing Tunisia in attack on PLO headquarters.
* Resolution 587: " . . . 'takes note' of previous calls on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon and urges all parties to withdraw".
* Resolution 592: " . . . 'strongly deplores' the killing of Palestinian students at Bir Zeit University by Israeli troops".
* Resolution 605: " . . . 'strongly deplores' Israel's policies and practices denying the human rights of Palestinians.
* Resolution 607: " . . . 'calls' on Israel not to deport Palestinians and strongly requests it to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention.
* Resolution 608: " . . . 'deeply regrets' that Israel has defied the United Nations and deported Palestinian civilians".
* Resolution 636: " . . . 'deeply regrets' Israeli deportation of Palestinian civilians.
* Resolution 641: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's continuing deportation of Palestinians.
* Resolution 672: " . . . 'condemns' Israel for violence against Palestinians at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.
* Resolution 673: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's refusal to cooperate with the United Nations.
* Resolution 681: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's resumption of the deportation of Palestinians.
* Resolution 694: " . . . 'deplores' Israel's deportation of Palestinians and calls on it to ensure their safe and immediate return.
* Resolution 726: " . . . 'strongly condemns' Israel's deportation of Palestinians.
* Resolution 799: ". . . 'strongly condemns' Israel's deportation of 413 Palestinians and calls for there immediate return.

1993 to 1995
UNGA Res 50/21 - The Middle East Peace Process (Dec 12, 1995)
UNGA Res 50/22 - The Situation in the Middle East (Dec 12, 1995)
UNGA Res 49/35 - Assistance to Palestinian Refugees (Jan 30 1995) l
UNGA Res 49/36 - Human Rights of Palestinian Refugees (Jan 30 1995)
UNGA Res 49/62 - Question of Palestine (Feb 3 1995)
UNGA Res 49/78 - Nuclear Proliferation in Mideast (Jan 11 1995)
UNGA Res 49/87 - Situation in the Middle East (Feb 7 1995)
UNGA Res 49/88 - The Middle East Peace Process (Feb 7 1995)
UNGA Res 49/149- Palestinian Right- Self-Determination (Feb 7 1995)
UNGA Res 48/213 - Assistance to Palestinian Refugees (Mar 15, 1994)
UNGA Res 48/40 - UNRWA for Palestinian Refugees (Dec 13, 1993)
UNGA Res 48/41 - Human Rights in the Territories (Dec 10 1993)
UNGA Res 48/58 - The Middle East Peace Process (Dec 14 1993)
UNGA Res 48/59 - The Situation in the Middle East (Dec 14 1993)
UNGA Res 48/71 - Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Mideast (Dec 16 1993)
UNGA Res 48/78 - Israeli Nuclear Armanent (Dec 16 1993)
UNGA Res 48/94 - Self-Determination & Independence (Dec 20 1993)
UNGA Res 48/124- Non-interference in Elections (Dec 20 1993)
UNGA Res 48/158- Question of Palestine (Dec 20 1993)
UNGA Res 48/212- Repercussions of Israeli Settlements (Dec 21 1993)

U.S. Vetoes of UN Resolutions Critical of Israel
Vetoes: 1972-1982
Subject Date & Meeting US Rep Casting Veto Vote
Palestine: Syrian-Lebanese Complaint. 3 power draft resolution 2/10784 9/10/1972 Bush 13-1, 1
Palestine: Examination of Middle East Situation. 8-power draft resolution (S/10974) 7/2/1973 Scali 13-1, 0 (China not partic.)
Palestine: Egyptian-Lebanese Complaint. 5-power draft power resolution (S/11898) 12/8/1975 Moynihan 13-1, 1
Palestine: Middle East Problem, including Palestinian question. 6-power draft resolution (S/11940) 1/26/1976 Moynihan 9-1,3 (China & Libya not partic.)
Palestine: Situation in Occupied Arab Territories. 5-power draft resolution (S/12022) 3/25/1976 Scranton 14-1,0
Palestine: Report on Committee on Rights of Palestinian People. 4-power draft resolution (S/121119) 6/29/1976 Sherer 10-1,4
Palestine: Palestinian Rights. Tunisian draft resolution. (S/13911) 4/30/1980 McHenry 10-1,4
Palestine: Golan Heights. Jordan draft resolution. (S/14832/Rev. 2) 1/20/1982 Kirkpatrick 9-1,5
Palestine: Situation in Occupied Territories, Jordan draft resolution (S/14943) 4/2/1982 Lichenstein 13-1,1
Palestine: Incident at the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. 4-power draft resolution 4/20/1982 Kirpatrick 14-1, 0
Palestine: Conflict in Lebanon. Spain draft resolution. (S/15185) 6/8/1982 Kirpatrick 14-1,0
Palestine: Conflict in Lebanon. France draft resolution. (S/15255/Rev. 2) 6/26/1982 Lichenstein 14-1
Palestine: Conflict in Lebanon. USSR draft resolution. (S/15347/Rev. 1, as orally amended) 8/6/1982 Lichenstein 11-1,3
Palestine: Situation in Occupied Territories, 20-power draft resolution (S/15895) 8/2/1983 Lichenstein 13-1,1

Security Council Vetoes/Negative voting 1983-present
Subject Date Vote
Occupied Arab Territories: Wholesale condemnation of Israeli settlement policies - not adopted 1983
S. Lebanon: Condemns Israeli action in southern Lebanon. S/16732 9/6/1984 Vetoed: 13-1 (U.S.), with 1 abstention (UK)
Occupied Territories: Deplores "repressive measures" by Israel against Arab population. S/19459. 9/13/1985 Vetoed: 10-1 (U.S.), with 4 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, UK, France)
Lebanon: Condemns Israeli practices against civilians in southern Lebanon. S/17000. 3/12/1985 Vetoed: 11-1 (U.S.), with 3 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, UK)
Occupied Territories: Calls upon Israel to respect Muslim holy places. S/17769/Rev. 1 1/30/1986 Â Vetoed: 13-1 (US), with one abstention (Thailand)
Lebanon: Condemns Israeli practices against civilians in southern Lebanon. S/17730/Rev. 2. 1/17/1986 Vetoed: 11-1 (U.S.), with 3 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, UK)
Libya/Israel: Condemns Israeli interception of Libyan plane. S/17796/Rev. 1. 2/6/1986 Vetoed: 10 -1 (US), with 4 abstentions (Australia, Denmark, France, UK)
Lebanon: Draft strongly deplored repeated Israeli attacks against Lebanese territory and other measures and practices against the civilian population; (S/19434) 1/18/1988 vetoed 13-1 (US), with 1 abstention (UK)
Lebanon: Draft condemned recent invasion by Israeli forces of Southern Lebanon and repeated a call for the immediate withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Lebanese territory;Â (S/19868) 5/10/1988 vetoed 14-1 (US)
Lebanon: Draft strongly deplored the recent Israeli attack against Lebanese territory on 9 December 1988; (S/20322) 12/14/1988 vetoed 14-1 (US)
Occupied territories: Draft called on Israel to accept de jure applicability of the 4th Geneva Convention;Â (S/19466) 1988 vetoed 14-1 (US)
Occupied territories: Draft urged Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention, rescind the order to deport Palestinian civilians, and condemned policies and practices of Israel that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories;Â (S/19780) 1988 vetoed 14-1 (US)
Occupied territories: Strongly deplored Israeli policies and practices in the occupied territories, and strongly deplored also Israel's continued disregard of relevant Security Council decisions. 2/17/1989 Vetoed 14-1 (US)
Occupied territories: Condemned Israeli policies and practices in the occupied territories. 6/9/1989 Vetoed 14-1 (US)
Occupied territories: Deplored Israel's policies and practices in the occupied territories. 11/7/1989 Vetoed 14-1 (US)
Occupied territories: NAM draft resolution to create a commission and send three security council members to Rishon Lezion, where an Israeli gunmen shot down seven Palestinian workers. 5/31/1990 Vetoed 14-1 (US)
Middle East: Confirms that the expropriation of land by Israel in East Jerusalem is invalid and in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions and provisions of the Fourth Geneva convention; expresses support of peace process, including the Declaration of Principles of 9/13/1993 5/17/1995 Vetoed 14-1 (US)
Middle East: Calls upon Israeli authorities to refrain from all actions or measures, including settlement activities. 3/7/1997 Vetoed 14-1 (US)
Middle East: Demands that Israel cease construction of the settlement in east Jerusalem (called Jabal Abu Ghneim by the Palestinians and Har Homa by Israel), as well as all the other Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories 3/21/1997 Vetoed 13-1,1 (US)
Call for UN Observers Force in West Bank, Gaza 3/27/2001 Vetoed 9-1 (US),
with four abstentions
(Britain, France, Ireland and Norway)
Condemned acts of terror, demanded an end to violence and the establishment of a monitoring mechanism to bring in observers. 12/15/2001 Vetoed 12-1 (US)
with two abstentions (Britain and Norway)

Source: U.S. State Department

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Horowitz's Islamo-fascism

Let our actions and words reflect conflict reduction and peace building. You and I can expect peace in the World, only, if you and I act and talk peace.

May God direct Mr. Horowitz's energy towards creating peaceful societies, and he may find satisfaction in doing it.

Mike Ghouse

David Horowitz's and Islamo-fascism

Gary Leupp: David Horowitz's misguided campaign against so-called "Islamo-Fascism"
Source: Counterpunch (10-10-07)

[Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch's merciless chronicle of the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, Imperial Crusades.]

With much fanfare, a collection of far-right ideologues backed by right-wing "think tank" money are proclaiming an "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" on college campuses beginning Oct. 22. It is a calculated effort to vilify Islam in general, place Muslim Student Associations on the defensive, and generate support for further U.S. military action in the Islamic world.

Muslims constitute about a quarter of the world's population and around two percent of the U.S. population. They include members of many ethnic groups. Arabs are a minority in the Muslim world; the most populous Muslim countries (Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh) are non-Arab. The Muslim world is complex and divided, religiously (into Sunni, Shiite, and other groups) and politically. There are Muslim absolute monarchies, constitutional monarchies, secular states and Islamic republics. To understand this world, one needs to dispassionately examine it, avoiding stereotypes.

But immediately after 9-11, the Bush administration, having no patience with "nuance," set about trying to link the secular republic of Iraq with the (mostly Saudi) al-Qaeda religious fanatics. It believe that having been attacked by al-Qaeda most Americans would support an attack on the completely unrelated target of Iraq. But what did al-Qaeda and Iraq have in common? The former hated the latter for its suppression of Islamic religious activism, and its tolerance for Christians and other religious minorities. But somehow Bush was able to conflate the two, so that even today about a third of Americans believe Saddam was involved in 9-11. Those on the Christian right are most inclined to this view, and to embrace sentiments like those expressed by right-wing extremist Ann Coulter in National Review Sept. 13, 2001: "We should invade [Muslim] countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." But they're joined by secular neoconservatives like Norman Podhoretz who has called on Bush to bomb Iran, which he calls "the currently main center of the Islamofascist ideology."

Iran is another country with no ties to 9-11 or al-Qaeda, and indeed a mortal enemy of the latter. But it is another Muslim state in the Bush administration's crosshairs, along with Syria-yet another, very different, Muslim country. It's in this context, and that of general disillusionment with the Iraq War, that the radical neoconservatives are pushing this "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week." It's the brainchild of David Horowitz, professional "former leftist" and Fox News commentator, proponent of the Iraq War who called one antiwar demonstration in 2002 "100,000 Communists," and author of a book attacking college professors as "far left" in general. He founded (as a non-student in his 60s) "Students for Academic Freedom" which insists that conservative students are treated unfairly in academe. Horowitz is known for his 1990s ads in student newspapers protesting calls for reparations for slavery, stating that African-Americans should be thankful that they're here. In 2003 he maligned Rachel Corrie, killed by an Israeli military bulldozer while protesting a house demolition in Gaza, as a "terrorist" supporter. He is not about spreading "awareness" but selectively focusing on aspects of the Muslim world that might produce sympathy for more U.S.-sponsored "regime change."

The "Islam-Fascism Awareness Week" strategy is apparently to focus on gender inequality in the Muslim world. Participating students invite women's groups and gaylesbian groups to get involved, hoping to build a united front of general indignation at Islamic oppression of women and gays. Of course, in the Muslim world the status of women varies; under Saddam's secular Iraqi women were subject to no dress code, were among the best educated in the Arab world, and served in government, while under U.S. occupation their status (and that of gays) has plummeted. There is a big difference between the status of women in Syria and in Saudi Arabia. Recall how Laura Bush made a big deal about the burqa in Afghanistan, implying that the U.S. invasion would somehow remove it? It's still worn by the great majority of Afghan women. It was not invented by the Taliban and has not disappeared just because the U.S. has installed a client regime.

The term "Islamofascism" itself---popularized by Eliot Cohen (Condi Rice's deputy), Frank J. Gaffney and other neocon writers for the National Review, and used by President Bush in saber-rattling speeches---is highly problematic. It's defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as "a controversial term equating some modern Islamic movements with the European fascist movements of the early twentieth century." I teach every year Japanese fascism in the 1930s and 40s. I discuss different definitions of fascism, pointing out how some seem to fit the Japanese case, while others don't, causing some scholars to even reject application of the term. But there is precious little in any mainstream scholarly definition of fascism that applies to the Islamic world in general or even specific countries. What "ideology" links the disparate targets of this administration-the al-Qaeda and Taliban Sunni fanatics, the Baathists of Iraq and Syria, the Shiite mullocracy"guided democracy" of Iran---other than the common denominator of Islam? But you can't in polite company attack Islam in general, so you dub it "Islamofascism."

Those seeking to link contemporary Islam with European fascism emphasize feelings of victimization and dreams of restoring lost glory. But where in the Muslim world is the charismatic leader? Bin Laden? The Baathists and Shiites hate him. Where's the mass-based party? Where's ultranationalism or racism? Islam emphasizes the equality of peoples before God, while the Qur'an explicitly states that righteous Christians and Jews will enter Paradise.

The real intention here is to couple "Islam" with a powerful epithet, devoid of analytical content, conjuring up images of a universally detested past. Bush insists on comparing the constitutionally weak Iranian President Ahmadinejad, leading a country that hasn't attacked another in hundreds of years, with Hitler (as his father compared Saddam to Hitler). Similarly, the proponents of the "Islamofascism" concept want to play upon emotions rather than really spread "awareness." Their historical analogies are absurd, while their planned week is more than an affront to Muslims. It is an insult to everybody's intelligence.

Horowitz Spreads Fear

David Horrowitz Intends to Spread Fear, Hatred

This coming Monday, brace yourself for the excitement and thrills brought to you by the David Horowitz Freedom Center's "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week," beginning Oct. 22 and ending Oct. 26.

This fun-filled week will feature an array of speakers, films, enlightening literature and the opportunity to participate in a sit-in. Student organizers can choose from a delightful list of speakers, including:

Mark Steyn, a man who calls himself a "culturalist" rather than a "racist" for finding Western culture preferable to Arab culture and who supports immigration with the condition of assimilation.

Phyllis Chesler, a professor of women's studies who wrote of the new anti-Semitism, which essentially encompasses anyone opposed to Israel's policies.

And, if you're really lucky, like students at the University of Southern California, Ann Coulter, who once referred to Muslims as "ragheads" and is now apparently crusading for Muslim women's rights.

The point of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is to spread the word about what Horowitz calls the two "Big lies of the left," that President Bush created the War on Terror and that global warming is a bigger problem than the threat of terrorism to our national security. Horowitz, author of the Academic Bill of Rights and a proponent of bringing a "diversity" of viewpoints to the college campus, totes the week as one which will bring attention to suppression of women's rights and Islamic attacks on Christians, Jewish peoples, gays and atheists. And of course, who better to discuss gay rights than suggested speaker Rick Santorum, who once compared consensual gay sex to polygamy and incest?

The Freedom Center will provide all materials necessary to any college student willing to host a week at their campus, including a pre-made petition - which unabashedly invites Muslim student associations to support the freedom of Americans from Muslim terrorists.

Horowitz warns that some college administrations, which he has criticized for years as supporting viewpoint discrimination in favor of liberal perspectives, might "refuse necessary permits or room reservations, and otherwise demonstrate their hypocrisy by failing to allow patriotic students a voice on campus." Because, as you can see, this is what it means to be patriotic, supporting the complete and utter insult on our intellect this conservative-think-tank-fueled week brings to us.

SOURCE: The Minnesota Daily

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hindutva - Terrorism

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Hindutva —Terrorism's new signature
By Subhash Gatade

May it be the suicide bombers of LTTE or the jihadists of Al Qaeda or ET guerillas working for a Basque region or the remnants of the Khalistani terrorists or for that matter terrorism unleashed by groups owning allegiance to the Hindutva brigade, the phenomenon of terrorism could be said to span every community or country in different measures.

India, has also of late witnessed a spurt in terrorist attacks. Recently we were told India stands among the top five countries of the world which are susceptible to a terrorist attack.

While nobody can deny the role of jihadi terrorists belonging to the likes of Lashkar-e-Toiba or Jaish-e-Mohammad in many such bloody and inhuman incidents, one feels pertrubed over the mono-chromatic presentation of such a complex phenomenon where green tends to dominate the rest. The conspiracy of silence over the phenomenon of what is known in popular parlance as 'Hindutva terrorism' needs to be questioned and confronted. ...The fanatics who spread violence in the name of religion are worse than terrorists and more dangerous than an alien enemy... (Quoted in the Supreme Court judgement in the Best Bakery Case)


Nanded, a city in Maharashtra, which has a significant population of different religious communities — Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs as well as Buddhists — should ideally have become a new metaphor for secularism as it is enlivened/practised in Indian subcontinent.
But sadly it is not so!

In fact, it represents today the newly emergent danger of majoritarian terrorism with due support from a section of the state machinery. A place which was once witness to the last days of Guru Gobind Singh, the last of the Sikh Gurus, has today metamorphosed itself into an important epicentre of Hindutva terrorist activities.

It was evident in two explosions the city witnessed within a span of nine months (April 2006 and February 2007) at the house of activists of RSS/Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena resulting in death of four people. Arrival of Nanded on the 'terror' map of India was followed by exposures about some earlier incidents as well — which similarly showed involvement of Hindu youths in terrorist actions.

Of course the story does not begin and end at Nanded nor can it be said that it is a Maharashtra centric phenomenon. Ex-chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Digvijay Singh has on record admitted the involvement of groups/individuals affiliated with RSS in some similar acts in Madhya Pradesh. One can also look for similar leads in different extreme actions undertaken by the Hindu right.

The biggest problem in this connection seems to be the near absence of Muslims or Sikhs in the different intelligence wings of the government. As a cover story in the weekly newsmagazine 'Outlook' titled 'Muslims and Sikhs Need Not Apply' ( Saikat Datta, Nov 13, 2006) puts it barring IB (Intelligence Bureau) which has a handful of Muslim officers none of the other wings of intelligence even have a single Muslim officer in its ranks. 1


Individuals associated with Hindutva outfits like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal are developing terror networks in north Maharashtra targeting the region's Muslim population. ...

The narco-analysis and brain-mapping reports, which are with Tehelka, reveal that the accused were being aided by state-level VHP and Bajrang Dal officials to execute bomb blasts at mosques in Parbhani, Jalna and Purna in central Maharashtra... (Shaswat Gupta Ray, The Tehelka, December 30, 2006)

An exclusive report 'Nanded Blast: The Hindu Hand' by Shashwat Gupta Ray ( which revealed the manner in which local Sangh Parivar members were installing their own terror networks did not cause any furore.

Of course the reaction was on expected lines. In fact one had witnessed similar 'conspiracy of silence' when the actual blast had occured (6 th April 2006) in a house belonging to an old activist of RSS called Laxman Rajkondwar. The explosion had snuffed lives out of two youngsters who happened to be members of RSS/ Bajrang Dal. While Himanshu Panse, was found to be blown into pieces where his hands and legs literally lied scattered; Naresh, son of the houseowner had succumbed to injuries in the chest. Three youngsters who were later admitted to a hospital had suffered serious body injuries.

To be precise, it was the time when L.K.Advani's Bharat Suraksha Yatra was to enter the state of Maharashtra. A raid on one of the deceased's house had recovered dresses and caps normally worn by Muslims in the area and also some maps of mosques in nearby districts. One of the accused Rahul confessed to having made bombs earlier.

The idea was to attack mosques and Gurudwaras wearing those dresses and instigate a communal conflict. The expectation was that the community under attack would retaliate and a full scale riot would ensue. The only thing needed was explosives in one form or other which could cause maximum damage to the places hit. The making of bombs in a house owned by a old RSS activists who supposedly dealt in firecrackers also seemed rather perfect..

Part of the Nizam's state till its annexation, Nanded has had a history of communal tensions which have aggravated since the demolition of Babri Mosque.(1992) While Hindu's comprised the majority (5 lakhs), Muslims came second (2 lakhs) and Sikhs came third (l Lakh). The city had witnessed communal riots in the beginning of the year 2004 also when a group of miscreants riding a motorcycle had thrown bombs into a large congregation of Muslims in Parbhani, a city not very far from Nanded where they had assembled for their Friday prayers. While embers at Parbhani had died down soon, it took time for the police to control the situation in other cities and towns in Marathwada then, including Nanded. The miscreants who had thrown bombs in the congregation could never be found then. Incidentally the narco test of the accused in Nanded blasts revealed that this group of Hindu terrorists had only executed the criminal attack in Parbhani.

The most disturbing thing about the Nanded blasts is the lack of sincerity on part of the investigating agencies in pursuing the case, despite getting enough evidence that district and state leaders of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and RSS were involved in conceiving and executing the plan.

As the investigation done by People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and other democratic rights organisations ( make it clear the district administration even saw to it that the news of the blasts did not get wide coverage outside. They also allegedly pressurised the local media not to follow the case further after the initial hoopla was over.

The local police itself made contradictory statements initially and did not deem it necessary to make arrests in the initial stages. The leniency shown by the police towards these terrorist activities of a new kind was evident also from the fact that it did not invoke the more stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act and National Security Act which could have made their bail difficult.

And despite knowing the sensitive nature of the case, the CBI, a federal investigating agency also expressed its inability to conduct the investigations at its own level. In fact, when the honourable court was deliberating on a petition filed by some social organisations about the tardy investigations in the case, it filed a suo motu affidavit in the high court about its inability to take up the case as it was 'overburdened' and has 'limited hands to deal with such cases'. ( It is a different matter that later it was asked to investigate the case.)

The cumulative effect of all these half-hearted interventions albeit a 'secular dispensation' at the state and centre clearly demonstrated the kid-glove treatment meted out to the terrorists of the Hindutva variety. Secular activists rightly raised a question that if the bomb explosion would have occurred in a predominantly minority area and the involvement of some 'fanatic' Islamic group could be detected, whether the reaction would have been similar?


Jalgaon: (Maharashtra) Police is learnt to have seized explosive material from a residential complex in MIDC area. According to senior officials, during a police raid on Someshwar Somani's house police recovered 26 bags of ammonium nitrate, 500 detonators,13 centrifuges etc which was meant for sale. ( Jansatta, 30 January 2007)

The cavalier manner in which probe in the Nanded blasts were undertaken could be said to have prepared the ground for stepping up of similar activities in the area. A possible explosive incident in an area not very far from the site of the first blast merely nine months after the first blast rather demonstrated this fact in a strong manner.

The said accident occurred, on February 10, 2007, at about 12.15 a.m. which killed 28-year-old Pandurang Ameelkanthwar on the spot as the biscuit boxes he was carrying exploded. His cousin, Dhaneshwar Manikwar, who sustained 72 per cent burns, died on February 16 at the JJ Hospital in Mumbai. The deceased Ameelkanthwar happened to be ex Shakha Pramukh (Branch head) of Shiv Sena and was associated with Bajrang Dal at the time of his death and hailed from an area called Rangargalli in Nanded which is a hotbed of rightwing Hindu outfits.

Preliminary findings of Concerned Citizens Inquiry conducted by Justice Kolse-Patil, Teesta Setalvad and others which went to the site with a forensic expert, interviewed people around the area, spoke to the owner of the house, the civil surgeon, fire brigade officials, and senior police officials, contradict the tentative conclusions of the administration. According to them it was not a fire accident, as it was made out to be, rather a possible explosive accident. ( The Hindu, Thursday, Feb 22, 2007)

Neighbours from the locality where the explosion occurred shared with the team some important information pertaining to the incident. According to them there was a third person present at the spot who also got injured in the explosion (who does not find mention in the FIR) and a police officer who is part of the investigation actually supervised seizing and spiriting away of critical evidentiary material from the spot.

The fact finding team also noted that Dhaneshwar Manikwar, one of the accused who later died in the hospital presented two versions about the cause of the accident. Initially he attributed the accident to the impact of a short circuit. Twenty hours later, he is learnt to have told the police that the two cousins had tried to set the godown on fire supposedly to claim insurance monies from the company.

It also felt that the state police, especially the Superintendent of Police and Inspector General of Police appeared to be in 'undue haste to close all possibilities of a possible liquid substance driven explosion, preferring to quote oral findings of forensic experts from Aurangabad who are reported to have told them that it was a petrol-ignited fire.'. And despite the fact that the massive explosion had thrown the iron shutter of the godown to a distance of 40 feet they insisted on calling it a petrol-ignited fire.

The fact finding team inferred that 'it was not a planned explosion but an impact explosion created due to the handling of large stocks of explosive/flammable materials stored here. This handling could have been for transportation to another place.'

But one of the most shocking observations which the team placed before the people is the 'nexus between some police officials and the rightwing Hindu outfits'. For the investigating team: "There is preliminary evidence to suggest some nexus between some police officials and the outfits that are using Nanded and the nearby belt to generate explosives and terror. Incidentally, Inspector Ramesh Bhurewar of the Nanded Police Station who is at the forefront of the present investigation was in charge of the investigation into the Parbhani blasts in which one person died and 40 were injured when similar low intensity explosives were placed in a mosque on April 25, 2003. He arrested no one during the long investigations. The FIR, shockingly, was only registered after a legislator, Fauzia Khan (NCP), raised a question in the State Assembly.

Thereafter the inspector had closed the file (16/2003 dated 21.11.2003). He stated in his report that there were no accused in the matter. Following the Nanded blasts of April 2006 and brain mapping tests that the police conducted (see Annexures) dated 19.07.2006,the accused admitted to having placed the bombs at Parbhani. The Nanded and state police are hence guilty of underplaying crimes wherein members of the minority community are the victims, causing a loss of face for the state police."(

The fact finding team demanded that central government should keep a close watch and monitor the increasing low intensity terror generating activities being conducted by political outfits that are misusing the Hindu religion. Independent investigations under a team of officers known for their utter professionalism and neutrality are a must, an impartial inquiry into the Nanded incidents, Malegaon, and the Parbhani and Purna blasts needs to be instituted, which is open to the public, to first and foremost investigate whether state intelligence and police agencies are professional and neutral in investigating instances of politically driven Hindu Right wing terrorism.

Nanded I followed by Nanded II, the saga of 'terrorist acts' involving activists / sympathisers of the Hindu extremist organisations does not end here. Post-independent history is replete with examples showing their participation in aggravating communal situation, targetting a particular community, aiding and abetting a riot.


'Aklera (Rajasthan): It couldn't be less subtle. A bright saffron board welcomes you to the ''Ideal Hindu Village'', Mishroli. Nestled in picturesque green surroundings, the village has acquired this tag just this month. The past 10 days have seen armed Bajrang Dal activists on the rampage, driving out about 25 Muslim families from their homes, ransacking their houses and setting them on fire.'('Bajrang Dal activists made a village in Rajasthan Muslim free'. The Indian Express, 29 September, 2003)

Amidst the ongoing controversy over the UPA Government's first anniversary celebration, not many took note of the Union Human Resources Development Ministry's significant decision to stop grants to 'Ekal Vidyalayas' (one-teacher schools) run by the so-called Friends of Tribal Society (FTS), in collaboration with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), in the tribal belts of the country.

The decision follows a study, which revealed that the FTS which was provided assistance by the erstwhile NDA Government since 1999-2000 under the "Innovative and Experimental Education Component of the Education Guarantee Scheme and Alternative & Innovative Education," was "misusing these funds and using the grants for creating disharmony amongst religious groups and creating a political cadre". ("Another Blow to V.H.P," by Mukundan C Menon,

It was only two years back that a website belonging to Terrorism Research Centre (TRC, a East Virginia based centre dealing with 'Terrorism and security related studies' declared Rashtriya Swaymsevak Sangh (RSS) a 'terrorist organisation' and lumped it together with a host of jihadi and secessionist outfits. The said list of 'known terrorist groups in India' on the website bracketed RSS along with other 'known names' in the field namely Al Badr, Al Mujaheedeen, Lashkar-e-Toiba to the likes of ULFA to the Hizb ul Mujahedin.2 The most baffling part of the whole episode as far as ordinary workers of the Parivar was concerned was that TRC was closely connected to the American government. The credibility of this centre vis-a-vis US government can be gauged from the fact that many of its directors and researchers have closely worked with US administration.

Coming close on the heels of the visa denial episode wherein Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat was not allowed to travel to USA by the US government, this much larger indictment of the very raison d'etre of the Parivar albeit by an institute close to the powers that be did leave the Sangh bosses seething with anger. It is worth noting in this connection that it took more than eight months for the RSS to formally react to this assessment of the TRC. Although the Times of India (TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2005 08:18:15 AM ] carried a report about the same in its print as well as electronic edition, even a cursory glance at the website of TRC communicated then that the name of the RSS was added to the list way back in September 2004. Milli Gazette, a fortnightly published from Delhi, had even reported about the same in its print edition in 16-30 Sept 2004 issue.

Of course without going into the merits of the Terrorism Research Centre's nuanced observations vis-à-vis the RSS which demands a more detailed treatment of the matter, it would be good if we discern earlier records to see whether it is for the first time that the Hindutva brigade or any of its allied organisations or their activities have earned opprobrium under the 'terrorist' category.

It was only two years back that the US State department added internet sites of certain organisations to the 'foreign terrorist organisations' list when "four Jewish Web sites were deemed 'terrorist' (Jerry Seper, The Washington Times)". Of course the unusual alliance between radical Jewish groups with Hindutva groups bringing together two extreme religious philosophies from different parts of the world is premised on the fact that they share a distant common enemy namely the Muslims. The report stated: Four Internet Web sites operated by two extremist Jewish groups have been included by the State Department on its list of "foreign terrorist organizations" - the first time the list has been extended to include Internet sites.

The listing, which went unnoticed when announced Oct. 3 in the department's annual re-designation of the world's terrorist organizations, includes the four sites operated by the Kach and its offshoot, the Kahane Chai, both of which have been designated by the department as terrorist organizations.

Interestingly one of these, i.e., ( =www%2Ekahane%2Eorg) has had an important relationship with which 'Promotes and Supports Ideals of Bajrang Dal : VHP youth with Bharat) The site then still showed a prominent hyperlink to the site.Secular activists in the states had known for long that, the website of was hosted by on a common server and bear the same IP address. The particulars were: ( (Ref. Notice recently published in the Federal Register (Federal Register: October 10, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 197) page: 58738-58739))

Four and half years back secular activists in the USA had after a painstaking work brought out a report 'Funding Hate' which had exposed the linkages between the funds collected by IDRF (an umbrella organisation floated by Hindutva brigade) which collected money in USA and the way the money thus collected goes into sponsoring sectarian violence in India. A news item published in 'Financial Times, London had boldly stated 'Cut the flow of funds to instigators of sectarian violence' (( INDIA'S HARD MEN, page 16, 24 Feb. 2003 (no author's name given)). It need be noted that it was not alone in raising its voice against the modus operandi of the Hindutva formations in Western countries which supposedly had been aiding and abetting sectarian violence at home. The report unambiguously stated: A year ago India was scarred by some of the worst sectarian violence since partition, when up to 2000 Muslims were killed in pogroms in the western state of Gujarat, ostensibly sparked by an arson attack by Muslims on a train that killed 59 Hindu activists. Human rights organisations in India, the U.S. and Europe implicated two organisations in the well-orchestrated attacks, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP or World Hindu Council) and its youth off shoot, the Bajrang Dal (devotees of the monkey-god Hanuman).

Now a Financial Times investigation has established that these groups receive extensive funding from Indians abroad, collected mainly as tax-free charity donations to front organisations in the U.S. and U.K.. This fund-raising is increasingly coming under scrutiny. So it should - as should the links between these groups and India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Behind the VHP and Bajrang Dal stands a quasi-paramilitary body, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS or Association of National Volunteers), which is the mother organisation of the Hindu revivalist BJP. Described by Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime minister, as "an Indian version of fascism", the RSS is at the centre of a protean network of front organizations. This structure facilitates arm's-length money-raising. It also makes it easier for the RSS to deny it is inciting agitation against Muslims and Christians.

Of course IDRF (India Development and Relief Fund), the US based charity organisation also presented a report in defence of itself against charges made in a report published last year that it was closely affiliated to the RSS and raised funds for sectarian causes in India. (Not funding hate, says IDRF, Hindu June 15, 2003) but that did not carry much ice and it was largely ignored in the media.


"...The Chief Minister said that the proof he has, is the candid admission by the RSS workers who had been arrested earlier. Singh was speaking to media persons here at the airport. He said that the arrested RSS workers in their statement had said that they had planted bombs at a programme in Bhopal. He revealed that in 1993 when the bomb was being made in Seva Bharti office in Neemuch, it exploded..." ("CM ready to provide proof of Bomb making by RSS," Central Chronicle, 11 Sept 2003).

Can it be said that the involvement of RSS and its affiliated organisations in acts which could be construed as terrorist in nature is a recent phenomenon or it has a long history behind it. Close watchers of the organisation since its inception have always watched with scepticism many of its activities which in today's understanding of things could be construed as 'terrorist acts'. e.g. making communally sensitive speeches which culminate in riot-like situation or taking out a religious procession from an area which is inhabited mainly by 'others' and provoke people to engage in violence. The manner in which its founding leaders supported 'ethnic cleansing' of Jews by Hitler and also proposed application of similar steps here could also be interpreted as supporting 'terrorism'.

Coming to concrete 'terrorist acts' a notable example of involvement of RSS on the eve of partition itself pertains to the infamous 'Shikarpur bomb blasts' which saw deaths of two RSS activists.3

An article on 'RSS in Sindh : 1942-48' (Rita Kothari, July 8-15, 2006, Economic and Political Weekly) gives details of this bomb blast in the Shikarpur Colony of Karachi which witnessed deaths of two RSS activists Prabhu Badlani and Vasudev. According to her
....[I]n the Shikarpur colony of Karachi, the house of one Raibahadur Tolaram became the hideout for this cadre. The house was ostensibly taken over for tutoring students, and this turned out to be perfect camouflage for making bombs. The secret operation was going smoothly until on August 14, when a powerful bomb accidentally exploded. It blew two swayamsewaks and the house to pieces. The two young men who died were Prabhu Badlani and Vasudev. The local police swooped down on the premises. All but one escaped. He was imprisoned and tortured for several months, until he was exchanged for another prisoner of war in 1949. There are contradictory opinions about the precise identity of this prisoner and his connections with the RSS.

As she tells us the aim of the whole operation which involved manufacturing of bombs with 'intense preparations on part of 21 young men' was 'to blow up a few government structures before leaving'.

The memoirs of Rajeshwar Dayal, who happened to be Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh at the time of partition provides shocking details of another kind. It gives damning evidence of RSS chief Golwalkar's plans to stage a pogrom of Muslims. It is a different matter that despite a clear-cut case against Golwalkar, the then Chief Minister of UP Gobind Ballabh Pant refused to order his arrest. Taking advantage of this wavering on part of the government, Golwalkar promptly absconded and could be arrested only after Gandhi's assassination.

According to him: 'When communal tension was still at fever pitch, the DIG of Police of the Western Range, B.L. Jaitely, arrived at my house in great secrecy. He was accompanied by two of his officers who brought with them two large steel trunks securely locked. When the trunks were opened, they revealed the incontrovertible evidence of a dastardly conspiracy to create a communal holocaust throughout the western districts of the province. The trunks were crammed with blueprints of great accuracy and professionalism of every town and village in that vast area, prominently marking out the Muslim localities and habitations......

Timely raids conducted on the premises of the RSS had brought the conspiracy to light. The whole plot had been concerted under the direction and supervision of the Supremo of the organisation. Both Jaitley and I pressed for the immediate arrest of the prime accused, Shri Golwalkar, who was still in the area.' (Rajeswhwar Dayal, A Life of Our Times (Delhi : Orient Longmans, 1999 pp. 93-94)

Terrorism's New Signature

Details of Recent blasts in Maharashtra which were allegedly executed by Hindutva terrorists:

- Parbhani blast at Mohammadiya Masjid, Rehmat Nagar, on Friday, November 21, 2003 , main accused Sanjay, Panse, Wagh or Widulkar

- Purna (district Parbhani) blast at Meraj-ul-Uloom Madarsa and Masjid, Siddharth Nagar on Friday, August 2004, main accused are Sanjay and Tuptewar.

- Jalna blast at Quadriya Masjid, Sadar Bazar, August 27, 2004, Wagh is the only accused

- Nanded blast - the bomb that exploded in Nanded on 6th April 2006 was supposed to explode at Aurangabad mosque on Friday, April 7, all the above accused were involved in planning that blast.

- Malegaon blasts also occurred on Shab-e-barat, a prominent day for Muslims on Friday, September 8, 2006.

A point worth noting is that all these blasts in central Maharashtra (including the ones in Malegaon on September 8) occurred between 1.45pm and 2.00pm at the most prominent mosque in these towns, just after the Friday prayers, when attendance is maximum.
(Source: The Tehelka, "Nanded Blast: The Hindu Hand")


Timely raids conducted on the premises of the RSS had brought the conspiracy to light. The whole plot had been concerted under the direction and supervision of the Supremo of the organisation. Both Jaitley and I pressed for the immediate arrest of the prime accused, Shri Golwalkar, who was still in the area.' (Rajeswhwar Dayal, A Life of Our Times (Delhi: Orient Longmans, 1999 pp. 93-94)

Pyarelal, Secretary of Mahatma Gandhi during those tumultuous times tells us, 'It was common knowledge that the RSS ...had been behind the bulk of the killings in the city (Delhi) as also in various other parts of India.' ( Mahatma Gandhi: The Last Phase, Navajivan Publishing House, Vol II, p.439)

Different commissions of enquiry which looked into communal riots in post-independent India throw enough light on the role of RSS and other affiliated organisations in the trouble. May it be the Justic P. Jagmohan Reddy Commission of Enquiry which looked into riots in Ahmedabad and other places of Gujarat (1969) or Justic Madon Commission which analysed the riots in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra in early seventies or the Justice Vidhayathil Commission which probed the Tellichery riots ( 1971) etc., most of these commissions of enquiry have provided details of the involvement of RSS or (its mass political platform) Bharatiya Jana Sangh or other affiliated organisations in fomenting trouble. Justice Venugopal's report on the Kanyakumari riots of 1982 severely indicts the RSS for its role in fomenting riots against the Christians. A joint report by Justice Sinha and Shamsul Hasan on the Bhagalpur riots also censures the RSS.

To illustrate how the RSS has received severe indictment at the hands of judges who looked into disturbances, we could refer to Justice Venugopal as an example who sat on the commission which inquired into the communal flare up in Kanyakumari district in March 1982. According to Justice Venugopal, "The RSS adopts a militant and aggressive attitude and sets itself as the champion of what it considers to be the rights of Hindus against minorities. It has taken upon itself the task to teach the minority their place and if they are not willing to learn their place, teach them a lesson. The RSS has given respectability to communalism and communal riots and demoralize administration."

According to Justic Venugopal, the RSS methodology for provoking communal violence is: rousing communal feelings in the majority community, deepening fear in the majority community, infiltrating into the administration, training young people of the majority community in the use of weapons, spreading rumours to widen communal cleavage. Commenting on the shakhas which are organised under the name of physical training, it tells us " The aim behind these activities appear to be to inculcate an attitude of militancy and training for any kind of civil strife'" (Quoted in The RSS and The BJP - A.G. Noorani, Leftword, 2000, Delhi, p. 9).


It is a sad commentary on our times that despite a 'secular coalition' holding reins of power at the centre and in many states one does not see any sincere attempt to move beyond post 9/11 mythology vis-à-vis terrorism which stigmatises and demonises Islam and Muslims.

One finds oneself in a peculiar situation where it is difficult to decipher any qualitative difference between the 'secular' Congress and the 'communal' BJP over their response to any terrorist act. We have been witness to the dilly-dallying adopted by the Congress after the Nanded blasts or Malegaon bomb blast, but the same Congress led government had no qualms in targetting Muslims as a community after the July 2006 bomb blasts in Bombay.5

A logical fallout of this situation has been the failure to address terrorism unleashed by Hindutva activists/formations. Malegaon bomb blast (8th September 2006) was one of those rare occasions when even Prime Minister acknowledged the possibility that the Sangh Parivar organizations could have a role in the blast. Emphasising the need to investigate the functioning of the Hindu Rightwing formations he clearly stated that he could not confirm or rule out the possibility of the involvement of Bajrang Dal in the bloody act at Malegaon. He made this calibrated statement en route to Havana, while going for the NAM summit.4

Post Malegaon bomb blast investigation underlined the gravity of the situation further. The police recovered bomb shells and 195 kgms RDX from some Shankar Shelke's shop on 16th September. This man whose godown had stocked this was found dead the next day and an employee of his was absconding. Similarly the recovery of more than 300 Kgms of ammonium nitrate, timers and fusers from the house of a Sarpanch of a village few kms from Aurangabad also went unnoticed.

Interestingly the nation could never know all these details pertaining to the extremist Hindutva groups.

One possible reason behind the ostrich like position vis-a-vis Hindutva terrorism could be that in this era of electoral democracy nobody wants to displease the broad masses of Hindu people whom these activists/formations claim to represent. With a rightward shift in the polity where one witnesses a new common sense about Hindutva getting wider legitimacy, one hardly notices any questioning over the deliberate cover up of Hindutva terrorism.

It is high time that more and more people get to know about these criminal/anti-human actions of the Hindutva terrorists. The mischievous and highly motivated understanding that a particular community, region or religious ideology is more prone or more susceptible towards what is known in popular parlance as 'terrorism' or 'terrorist activities' should be refuted at all costs. People need to be convinced there is no qualitative difference between terrorist acts committed by suicide bombers of LTTE or the jihadists of Al Qaeda or Khalistani terrorists, or adopted by followers of Hindutva formations. It would be the first step in their ultimate dissolution.

Notes and references

1. From 1969 till today- RAW's current staff strength is about 10,000-it has avoided recruiting any Muslim officer. Neither has the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), a crucial arm of external intelligence. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) with 12,000 personnel has been a little more open. It has a handful of Muslim officers, the senior-most is a joint director.'

2. New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is furious with an American think-tank for declaring it a terrorist organisation and lumping it with a host of jihadi organisations and secessionist outfits.

The Sangh leadership has written to the Terrorism Research Centre, protesting against the "terrorist" tag, but is yet to get a response.....

The 38 shortlisted to give the Sangh company include jihadi biggies like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen which have been declared Foreign Terrorist Organisations by the US. The RSS's hardcore ideological foe, the Jamaat-e-Islami, too has found a place. ("US think-tank calls RSS terrorist, Sangh fumes," Mohua Chatterjee, Times News Network, Friday, May 27, 2005 08:18:15 AM)

3. Anderson and Damle (The Brotherhood In Saffron, Vistaar Publication, New Delhi, 1987 ) mention 'manufacturing of bombs' at Shikarpur. The incident also finds mention in a biography' of ex Home minister and deputy PM L K Advani, former president of the BJP and former deputy prime minister, by Atmaram Kulkarni ( The Advent of Advani, Aditya Prakashan, Bombay, 1995). A Sindhi writer from Gujarat Jayant Relwani refers to it in an article on the predominance of the RSS in Sindh ( Shamne Sindhu Neer (River Indus in My Dreams), Laxmi Pustak Bhandar, Ahmedabad.1996: 89-90

4. "Bajrang Dal continues to be under the scanner. "There is no reason to rule them out. We still haven't found anything to prove that Bajrang Dal is not involved," a senior officer said. The Hindu fringe group is under investigation in Malegaon because of the role of its activists in various bomb blasts. " ("PM doesn't rule out Bajrang role," Josy Joseph, DNA India, September 13, 2006 00:50 IST)

5. The state administration also did not fail to show its anti-Muslim bias even in times of tragedy. While shedding crocodile tears over their plight, it saw to it that victims in Malegaon blast, majority of whom were Muslims, receive less compensation (1/5 th) as compared to victims of Mumbai blast, majority of whom were Hindus. (Iqbal A. Ansari, The Milli Gazette online, 14th Sept 2006)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Terrorism History
History of Terrorism: Anarchism and Anarchist Terrorism
From Amy Zalman, Ph.D.,
Your Guide to Terrorism Issues.

Anarchists employed "Propaganda of the Deed"
What is Anarchism?

Anarchism was a late 19th century idea among a number of Europeans, Russians and Americans, that all government should be abolished, and that voluntary cooperation, rather than force, should be society's organizing principle. The word itself comes from a Greek word, anarkos, which means "without a chief." The movement had its origins in the search for a way to give industrial working classes a political voice in their societies.

By the turn of the 20th century, anarchism was already on the wane, to be replaced by other movements encouraging the rights of dispossessed classes and revolution.

Propaganda of the Deed
A number of late 19th century thinkers argued that actions, rather than words, were the best way to spread ideas.

For some, it referred to communal violence, while by others it referenced assassinations and bombings carried out by anarchists.It was taken up by anarchists to describe assassinations and bombings.

"Anarchist Terrorism"
The late 19th century saw a wave of political violence inspired by anarchist ideas which were soon labeled anarchist terrorism:

1881: the assassination of Russian Tsar Alexander II, by the group Narodnaya Volya
1894: the assassination of the French president Marie-Francois Sadi Carnot
1894: Bombing of Greenwich Observatory in London
1901: the assassination of American president William McKinley in September 1901, by an anarchist, Leon Czolgosz.
These assassinations led to fear among among governments that there existed a vast international conspiracy of anarchist terrorists. In fact, there never was one.

Anarchists Today: No Connection to Religious Terrorism or War on Terror
Anarchists themselves argue that they should not be considered terrorists, or associated with terrorism. Their claims are reasonable: for one thing, most anarchists are actually against the use of violence to achieve political aims, and for another, violence by anarchists was historically directed at political figures, not civilians, as terrorism is.

On a different note, Rick Coolsaet suggests that there is an analogy to be made between the past and the present.

Muslims are often regarded now with the same mixture of fear and contempt as workers were in the 19th century. And the jihadi terrorist has the same feelings about America as his anarchist predecessor had about the bourgeoisie: he sees it as the epitome of arrogance and power. Osama bin Laden is a 21st century Ravachol, a living symbol of hatred and resistance for his followers, a bogeyman for the police and intelligence servicesToday’s jihadis resemble yesterday’s anarchists: in reality, a myriad of tiny groups; in their own eyes, a vanguard rallying the oppressed masses (5). Saudi Arabia has now taken the role of Italy while 11 September 2001 is the modern version of 24 June 1894, a wake-up call to the international community.
The reasons for the rise of terrorism now and anarchism then are the same. Muslims worldwide are united by a sense of unease and crisis. The Arab world seems to be more bitter, more cynical and less creative than it was in the 1980s. There is a growing sense of solidarity with other Muslims, a feeling that Islam itself is in danger. This is fertile ground for a fanatical minority.

What is Terrorism?:
Terrorism is distinguished from other acts of violence, and from war, by always having these four characteristics:

Terrorists violate the rules of modern warfare, established in acts called the Geneva Conventions and Hague Conventions; or they are actors (e.g., sub-state groups) who can't declare war legitimately;
Its goal is to achieve political change;
Its targets are symbolic of the political issue in question;
Acts of terror are designed to get attention from the public and media.

Also see definitions of terrorism from the United States government and international bodies and conventions.

Terrorism in the Pre-Modern World:
Violent acts on behalf of political change are as old as human history. The Sicarii were a first century Jewish group who murdered enemies and collaborators in their campaign to oust their Roman rulers from Judea.

The Hashhashin, whose name gave us the English word "assassins," were a secretive Islamic sect active in Iran and Syria from the 11th to the 13th century.

Their dramatically executed assassinations of Abbasid and Seljuk political figures terrified their contemporaries.

Zealots and assassins were not, however, really terrorists in the modern sense. Terrorism is best thought of as a modern phenomenon. Its characteristics flow from the international system of nation-states, and its success depends on the existence of a mass media to create an aura of terror among many people.

Sicarii, First Century Terrorists
The Assassins

Robespierre's sentiment laid the foundations for modern terrorists, who believe violence will usher in a better system. But the characterization of terrorism as a state action faded, while the idea of terrorism as an attack against an existing political order became more prominent.

Should States Be Considered Terrorists?
U.S. State Department State Sponsors of Terrorism, Who's On the List and How to Get Off

1950s: Twentieth Century Terror:

The rise of guerrilla tactics by non-state actors in the last half of the twentieth century was due to several factors.These included the flowering of ethnic nationalism (e.g. Irish, Basque, Zionist), anti-colonial sentiments in the vast British, French and other empires, and new ideologies such as communism.

Terrorist Groups with a nationalist agenda:

Irish Republican Army
Kurdistan Worker's Party

1970s: Terrorism Turns International:
International terrorism is considered to have gotten its start at the 1972 Munich Olympics, at which a Palestinian organization, Black September, kidnapped and killed Israeli athletes preparing to compete.

The event also gave us our contemporary sense of terrorism as highly theatrical, symbolic acts of violence by organized groups with specific political grievances.

Black September's political goal was negotiating the release of Palestinian prisoners. They used spectacular tactics to bring international attention to their national cause.

Munich radically changed the United States' handling of terrorism: "The terms counterterrorism and international terrorism formally entered the Washington political lexicon," according to counterterrorism expert Timothy Naftali.

Terrorists also took advantage of the black market in Soviet-produced light weaponry created in the wake of the Soviet Union's 1989 collapse. Most terrorist groups justified violence with a deep belief in the necessity and justice of their cause.

Terrorism in the United States also emerged. Groups such as the Weathermen grew out of the non-violent group Students for a Democratic Society. They turned to violent tactics, from rioting to setting off bombs, to protest the Vietnam War.

International Terrorism, Notable Attacks: 1968 PFLP Hijacking of El Al Flight 1988 Pan Am Lockerbie Explosion

Learn more about counterterrorism.

1990s: The Twenty First Century: Religious Terrorism and Beyond
Religiously motivated terrorism is considered the most alarming terrorist threat today. Groups that justify their violence on Islamic grounds- Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah—come to mind first. But Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and other religions have given rise to their own forms of militant extremism.

What is most distressing about this turn, as religion scholar Karen Armstrong points out, is terrorists' departure from any real religious precepts. Muhammad Atta, the architect of the 9/11 attacks, and "the Egyptian hijacker who was driving the first plane, was a near alcoholic and was drinking vodka before he boarded the aircraft." Alcohol would be strictly off limits for a highly observant Muslim. Atta, and perhaps many others, are not simply orthodox believers turned violent, but rather violent extremists who manipulate religious concepts for their own purposes.

Robespierre's sentiment laid the foundations for modern terrorists, who believe violence will usher in a better system. But the characterization of terrorism as a state action faded, while the idea of terrorism as an attack against an existing political order became more prominent.

The Many Definitions of Terrorism

There is no official definition of terrorism agreed on throughout the world, and definitions tend to rely heavily on who is doing the defining and for what purpose. Some definitions focus on terrorist tactics to define the term, while others focus on the actor. Yet others look at the context and ask if it is military or not.

We will probably never arrive at a perfect definition to which we can all agree, although it does have characteristics to which we all point, like violence or its threat. Indeed, the only defining quality of terrorism may be the fact that it invites argument, since the label "terrorism" or "terrorist" arises when there is disagreement over whether an act of violence is justified (and those who justify it label themselves "revolutionaries" or "freedom fighters," etc.).

So, in one sense, it may be fair to say that terrorism is exactly violence (or the threat of violence) in context where there will be disagreement over the use of that violence.

But this doesn't mean that no one has tried to define terrorism! In order to prosecute terrorist acts, or distinguish them from war and other violence that is condoned, national and international institutions, as well as others, have sought to define the term. Here are some of the most frequently cited definitions.

American Policy caused 9/11?

Is American Foreign Policy Responsible for 9/11?
By: Ryan Mauro

After the attacks of September the 11th, many questioned, “Why do they hate us?” While any deliberate attack on innocent civilians is deplorable, it is important to find the cause of radical Islamic terrorism. Many people point to the sources of anti-Americanism as the cause of terrorism, but anti-Americanism does not translate into an acceptance of, and willingness to participate in, suicide bombings. It is not fair to blame anti-Americanism (and thus American policy causing anti-Americanism) as the cause of the sickness, because hatred of one country’s policy does not lead most people to justify killing innocents. After all, most of Western Europe and Latin America is anti-American, but they aren’t participating in terrorism. The deliberate massacring of civilians, although conducted by many groups over history, is currently unique to the Islamic world, specifically the Middle East and North Africa. What is going in the region that is causing Islamic terrorism to blossom?

All terrorist organizations, including Al-Qaeda, rely upon sponsorship by governments to be effective. This is the most important reason that terrorism has blossomed. Terrorists do not rely upon the support of populations, but of support from governments. At the time of 9/11, the State Department designated the following countries as state sponsors of terrorism: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Sudan, and Cuba. Most people would add Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to that list, although that probably wasn’t done for political reasons. The Pakistanis and Saudis have played both sides a bit. If terrorism is not the inevitable result of offending people, but rather is an instrument of enemy states, then that means declaring War on Terror doesn’t strike the source of the problem. It’d be as if the colonists declared a “War on Bows and Arrows” during their fight with the Indians.

While self-criticism will be necessary in assessing how to combat terrorism, we have to be careful to not blur the lines between what’s acceptable and what is unacceptable. I find it strange that people ask themselves what we did to deserve being targeted by Islamists. Is that not the same thing as victims of abortion clinic bombings asking what they did to deserve being bombed? Sometimes there are just philosophical differences, and people who use those differences as a way to find a purpose in life, even if it means dedicating themselves to killing innocents over those disagreements.

While American policy surely causes anti-Americanism, and policy should be fixed to reduce that, there are limits. For example, Islamists may condemn our culture, but does that mean we eliminate our freedoms to sooth their anger? Islamists, and the governments that promote them, deliberately manipulate the feelings of the population. Their hatred comes from half-truths. One only needs to take a quick glance at American foreign policy to see that terrorism does not emanate from an objective critique of our actions.

For example, while Islamists condemn our support for Israel and presence in Saudi Arabia, they make no mention of what we have done for Muslims. During the Cold War, we staunchly opposed any Soviet interference in the Middle East. In the 1980s, the mujahideen in Afghanistan were backed by America to defeat the Soviets. In 1990, the U.S. freed Kuwait from the Iraqis, and defended Saudi Arabia, Islam’s holy land, from his probable scheme to invade. In 1995 and 1999, we fought on the side of the Muslims to protect them against the Serbs and Croatians, who were Christians! In 1999, the US hurt relations with Russia by criticizing their action in Chechnya. And it was American pressure that caused Israel to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, forcing Jewish families from their homes, so the Palestinians could make it a homogenous area for themselves. While the U.S. does sell arms to Israel, we do the same for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and its Arab enemies. Just like the radical Muslims manipulate the interpretation of the Quran for evil ends, they also manipulate the interpretation of American policy for evil ends.

Likewise, while anti-Semitic feeling is real in the Islamic world, Israel is also a scapegoat in many cases. Few people know that Israel actually treats the Palestinians better than any Arab country does. The entire Palestinian problem was created by Arab nations refusing to allow the Palestinians into their country, and even today, Palestinians are denied citizenship and rights in the Arab world. There are religious disputes, of course, but we must question why this translates into violence and a demand that one side simply not exist. Israel allows Muslims to visit their Holy Sites and even lets them vote in municipal elections (Bard, 221-223). This isn’t to say Israel is perfect or their positions are correct, but one must ask why Israel, which is the least oppressive in the region (even towards Muslims), is the target.

Dr. Tawfik Hamid, a former Al-Qaeda terrorist and associate of Ayman al-Zawahiri, also disagrees that American policy is what caused 9/11. In his book, he describes how he was taught not to think, how all misery was blamed on the infidels, and how 72 virgins awaited him in heaven, which was a treasure because sex before marriage, masturbation, and even looking at a woman in certain ways were strictly forbidden. Dr. Hamid describes how verses of the Koran are used to teach their students to kill the infidel, arguing that these verses are what cause terrorism, not current events. He also describes the history of violent political Islam, highlighting how it goes back to before the establishment of either the state of Israel or the United States. Hamid’s thesis is that all Islamic terrorism emanates from “purists” who forcefully took control of the Arabian Peninsula, thus controlling the heart of Islam (and able to shape it to their mold), and then during the 20th century, they exported this form of Islam using the oil wealth. He also notes that more Muslims have been killed by Islamic terrorism than Americans or Israelis, so the idea that the Israel issue is the primary motivator is false.

Some say Islamic terrorism comes from being poor or uneducated. This is also untrue. Bangladesh is the poorest Islamic country, but few terrorists come from there. Saudi Arabia, the richest Muslim country, has the highest number of terrorists. It also doesn’t come from a lack of education, because terrorist organizations rely upon highly educated Muslims to operate (Hamid, 78-79).About three-fourths of Al-Qaeda terrorists who have been captured come from the upper or middle class, and the remaining one-fourth come are mostly immigrants who went to Europe and due to the welfare state in Europe, and “by the standards of the Third World, these people are not poor” (Miniter, 127).

I personally feel the theory that best explains Islamic terrorism is the one advocated by Dr. Bernard Lewis. He noticed that most terrorists emanate from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan. These are countries that are American allies, yet are corrupt and deny freedom and rights to their citizens. Saudi Arabia funds Wahhabism, the strand of radical Islam closest to Bin Laden’s ideology, and Pakistan created the Taliban. Egypt’s state press is anti-American, eager to blame America (rather than the government) for their ills. For example, a majority of Egyptians believe “the Jews” did 9/11, not Bin Laden (Bard, 254). Lewis’ theory is that America is targeted not because of our advocating of freedom (or, “imposing our way of life” as some say) but because of our hindering of freedom. These three countries are failed states, but the rulers are rich. The people of these countries hate their governments, and when they see America allied with their governments, they see a conspiracy to oppress them. The governments of the people, whom wish to remain in power, must project their anguish upon an external enemy, with America being the easiest scapegoat because we have the wealth, power, and prestige. You can see this in the state-controlled press of these countries. Additionally, such as in the case of the Saudis, their internal enemies leave the country to fight the West. Thus, a cycle is created. Although terrorists hate these governments which ally with the West, they rely upon them. The governments, who fear the terrorists, export them outwards, and at the same time, crush any hopes of freedom because any referendum will result in their loss of power. Lewis then concludes that political freedom, allowing people to control their own lives and channel their talents into productive causes, is the antidote to radical Islam which emanates from oppressive governments.

There’s one more part to his theory. Oppressive governments then, which are opposed by the United States, govern populations that are pro-American. He says, “It's interesting that pro-American feeling is strongest in countries with anti-American governments. But the anti-American feeling is strongest in those countries that are ruled by what we are pleased to call ‘friendly governments.’ And it is those, of course, that are the most tyrannical and the most resented by their own people.” (Lewis, 1).

The evidence shows he is right. In Afghanistan and Iraq, the people quickly allied themselves and embraced democracy despite the attempts by terrorists and state sponsors of terror to sabotage it. In Iran, the people despise the regime. I attended a conference of Middle Eastern democratic leaders at Seton Hall a few weeks ago. Amir Abbas Fakhravar, a top student leader who was imprisoned by the regime for his anti-mullah demonstrations, described how the people of Iran want the mullahs gone, and many have American flags hidden in their homes. Farid Ghadry, the leader of the Reform Party of Syria, described the same thing in Syria. Eblan Farris from Lebanon also described it. The people there support America because we have stood up to the regimes that oppress them.

In conclusion, I think that we should listen to the former terrorists and the democratic leaders in the Middle East as to what caused terrorism. They know it better than we do, as they have lived in or amongst terrorist organizations. Their feelings about the cause of terrorism are unanimous. It is caused by state-sponsors who use it as an instrument of warfare, and we are merely caught in the cross-fire of an Islamic civil war between those who favor democracy, freedom, human rights and those who favor Islamic “purity,” oppression, and a denial of those values that every human possesses. Their solution is also unanimous: That the United States must stand with those who stand for freedom and reform in the Islamic world, assisting them by various means, and against the state sponsors of terrorism who simultaneously threaten their citizens and our own.



Bard, Mitchell G. (2002). Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Chevy Chase: American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise.

Hamid, Dr. Tawfik. (2005). The Roots of Jihad: An Insider’s View of Islamic Violence. Top Executive Media.

Jeffrey, Dr. Grant R. (2002). War on Terror. Toronto: Frontier Publications.

Lewis, Dr. Bernard. (2006). Bring Them Freedom, Or They Destroy Us. Retrieved April 21, 2007 from

Miniter, Richard. (2005). Disinformation: 22 Media Myths That Undermine the War on Terrorism. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing.

US Policy and Terrorism

US policy, not poverty, 'is cause of terrorism'
The Sunday Herald, Feb 19, 2006 by Paul Hutcheon

A LEADING US academic will challenge the establishment this week when he makes the controversial claim that poverty is not the root cause of international terrorism.

Alan Krueger, professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University, will say suicide bombers tend to come from middle-class families. He will also argue that terrorism is directly motivated by US policy decisions.

Krueger's arguments will be made in a prestigious three-part lecture series at the London School of Economics, beginning on Tuesday. The former member of the Clinton administration will present new research on the "causes and consequences" of terrorism, which he says have been misunderstood.

One of his main findings disputes the supposed link between deprivation and terrorism. "One point I'm going to make is that the popular stereotype, from Tony Blair on down, seems to be that poverty is the root cause of terrorism. That is a very questionable presumption. The evidence doesn't point in that direction, " he told the Sunday Herald.

Krueger reached the conclusion by sampling members of Hezbollah and looking at the biographies of suicide bombers in Israel. "Overwhelmingly they were from well-off families, " he said.

He said his model is relevant to al-Qaeda (whose leader Osama bin Laden came from a wealthy family and whose main ally was a doctor) and the 9/11 attacks on New York. "It fits very well. Fifteen of the 9/11 hijackers were middle-class or from high-income classes."

Krueger also applied his findings to the London Tube and bus bombings last July. "My vibe on the people who carried out the suicide attacks was that they were not from struggling families."

He argues that terrorists, instead of coming primarily from poor states, tend to hail from oppressive regimes, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt. This, he says, shows that terrorists tend to be motivated by fanaticism, not poverty. "In most cases [a suicide bomber] is not someone who has nothing to live for, but someone who desperately believes in a cause."

He will also say US policies, such as the presence of troops in the Middle East, are one of the main factors behind terrorism.

"A good example is US presence in Saudi Arabia, which is a large part of the motivation for al-Qaeda. The US just had to think of suicide bombers as people who are destitute, whereas I think they are motivated by political factors.

"We have to own up to the fact that a lot of the terrorist activity is in response to policy decisions."

Krueger's research challenges the conventional wisdom that terrorism is motivated by third world conditions in Arab countries and by envy of the West. The left, particularly in Britain, has tended to argue that a root cause of Muslim anger is Palestinian poverty, an explanation that Krueger's model seems to reject.

SNP leader Alex Salmond said he agreed with the academic's analysis of the Bush administration's anti-terror policies. "Krueger is undoubtedly correct. The war on terror has been disastrously counterproductive, " he said.

Copyright c 2006 Newsquest Media Group
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved

Causes for Terrorism

The Causes of Terrorism
From Robert Kennedy,

Terrorism runs riot in places where there is no hope. It thrives in societies which have broken down to the point where ordinary citizens decide to take the law into their own hands. Our children need to understand the root causes of terrorism and what can be done about them. They need to know that they can be a powerful force for change in the world.


A society where suffering is widespread and severe is the ideal breeding ground for terrorism. Why? Because suffering creates hopelessness. When hopelessness takes hold, the sufferers are easy marks for leaders who have terrorist agenda. Examples include Hitler and the Nazis, Lenin and the Bolsheviks, Osama Bin Laden and Al-Quaeda.

Terrorist Leaders

History offers many examples of charismatic individuals who have been able to control entire populations to achieve their own personal goals.

In recent times Hitler, Mussolini, Milosevic, Mao Tse-Tung, Osama Bin Laden and many others have inflicted incredible pain and suffering on their peoples all the while believing totally in the correctness of their mission

Causes of Modern Terrorism

Causes of Modern Terrorism

Every terrorist needs a particular cause to justify the use of terror tactics both to his own psyche and to the audience he hopes reach. Most terrorists are not deranged or psychotic individuals. From their point of view, terror tactics are logical, valid activities to achieve a particular goal. These individuals do not consider themselves insane nor do they want the world to consider them insane.

The modern wave of global terrorism that began in the second half of the 20th century is rooted in specific economic, social and political grievances. The validity of these grievances is of course debatable. This page will profile origins of terrorist movements in three parts of the world—the Middle East, Europe and Latin America.

Middle East Terrorism

The current global wave of terrorism, in many ways, originated and was fueled by events in the Middle East, particularly the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict. Some of the world's most violent terrorist acts have been committed in the name of Palestinian self determination and the destruction of Israel.

Israel's official creation in 1948 began an intermittent conflict which lasts to this day. Palestinians maintain Israeli lands (?) were promised to them by British colonial authorities. Israel's Arab neighbors failed to destroy Israel by conventional military means, so radical Palestinians believed terror tactics were the only other choice. Even prior to Israel's formation, Jewish settlers used terrorism against British colonial authorities and Palestinian Arabs living in the area to affect the creation of a Jewish state. Consequently, Arabs reciprocated. In 1964, the major Palestinian terrorist groups formed a coalition called the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) under the leadership of Yasser Arafat. The PLO's stated mission included the annihilation of Israel and establishment of a Palestinian state. The terror escalated to a global scale after the 1967 Six Day War when Israel annexed Palestinian lands on the west bank of the Jordan River and Gaza Strip near the Sinai Peninsula.

The causes of Middle East terrorism are mainly political. The dispute is over possession of land. Palestinians considered the territory occupied by Israel rightfully theirs. Aside from the land dispute, a social element is also present in this situation. Israel is the only non-Muslim nation in the Middle East, therefore it vividly stands out as "different," or an "invader." Islam is more than just a religion to its faithful. It is a prescription for life; dictating social norms in addition to civil and criminal law. The existence of Israel is viewed as an invasion of the western world's "corrupting" influence.

To fundamentalist Muslims the West, led by the United States, is characterized by the inequity and exploitation of capitalism, a philosophy centered on the individual. Islam on the other hand, is based on a more egalitarian and group-focused philosophy. But the main reason Muslims are opposed to Western influence concerns the attractiveness of capitalism. While Marxists have attempted to paint capitalism as evil and decadent, they have failed to account for its comparative efficiency in allocating resources and generally raising living standards. Coupled with the fact that life in the West is often glamorously portrayed by the media, religious leaders fear Muslims will be corrupted by Western greed and forsake their Muslim faith. This fact is one explanation for the increase in Muslim fundamentalism in the Middle East.

Fundamentalist terrorist groups like Hizballah and Hamas are infamous for their fanatical tactics, most notably suicide bombings. Religious zealots will be recruited by these groups to take explosives, either strapped to their bodies or in vehicles, and detonate those explosives, killing themselves, and destroying the assigned target. In 1983, a Hizballah suicide bomber drove the bomb-laden truck which destroyed the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon killing over 200 Marines. More recently, Hamas suicide bombers have blown-up a number of buses in Israel. The Muslim fanatics are convinced killing themselves in the process of killing their enemies is a path to martyrdom and eternal salvation.

Middle East terrorism has fueled the global wave of terrorism because a variety of terrorist groups (IRA, ETA, Japanese Red Army, Baader-Meinhof Gang, etc.) have received training and support from Palestinian terrorist groups, particularly the PLO.

European Terrorism

A number of rather small, elitist terrorist movements evolved in Europe between the late 1960's and early 1980's. Most were left-wing Marxist-Leninist or nihilist movements which grew out of the activism and student protests of the 1960's. Their motivations included economics and idealism. Western Europe suffered an economic downturn and high unemployment in the 1960's, which European Marxist scholars assailed as evidence of capitalism's failure. Graduating college students, who encountered flat labor markets, blamed governments and business leaders for the economic hardship.

Extremists in these left-wing student movements felt violence was necessary to destroy the industrialized capitalist structures they found detrimental to society. These groups were mainly composed of well educated idealistic individuals seeking to "reform" society. Examples of groups include Italy's Red Brigades (BR), West Germany's Baader-Meinhof Gang (also known as the Red Army Faction) and France's Direct Action (AD). These groups wreaked havoc throughout the 1970's, targeting business and political leaders. The most notorious terrorist act was committed by the Red Brigades, when they kidnapped then murdered former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978.

The oldest of Europe's recent terrorist insurgencies also have far different motivations for their respective struggles. Northern Ireland's Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) and Spain's Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) wish to secede from their nations.

In 1922 Ireland was granted independence from Britain with the stipulation that its six predominantly Protestant northeastern counties (known as Ulster) would remain part of the United Kingdom. Many Irish never truly accepted a division of their nation. The Catholic minority that remained in Ulster was then discriminated against in terms of employment, housing and effective political participation. Catholics launched a civil rights movement in 1968 which was violently repressed by Protestants. The stage was then set for a pattern of violence that continues today. Radical Catholic nationalists called for Ulster's secession from the U.K. and union with the Republic of Ireland.

Extremist elements of the Irish Republican Army (IRA—guerrilla group formed in 1919 to secure Ireland's independence from Britain) then split to form the PIRA, or "Provos," in 1969 and embraced terrorism, claiming IRA's tactics were too timid to be effective in reuniting Ireland.

Social, political and economic elements led to this conflict. First and foremost, economic and political discrimination led to Catholics in Ulster becoming an underclass. Second, Catholic Irishmen wanted to be reunited with the rest of the Irish nation. These factors culminated in the Irish civil rights movement and the choice to use terrorism to affect reunion.

The Basque ETA was formed in 1959 as a political movement against General Franco, the fascist leader of Spain. The movement's goal was the creation of an independent state for Spain's Basque ethnic group. The Basques have been oppressed and their culture attacked under Franco. Initially the group received a great deal of support in its anti-fascist efforts, particularly from France. But Western support waned as the ETA made greater use of terror tactics.

The ETA's struggle stemmed from political oppression the Basques had suffered, and the Spanish government's attempt to destroy their culture and assimilate them into Spanish culture. Although many Basque grievances were settled after the end of Franco's rule, the ETA vows to maintain its struggle until Basques are given a sovereign homeland.

Latin American Terrorism

Terrorism in Latin America is essentially a product of class conflict. Until recently, nearly all Latin American nations were controlled by corrupt authoritarian regimes who gave little consideration to the welfare of their people. The result—a majority of Latin Americans live in poverty. The undereducated and impoverished people were very receptive to the egalitarian Marxist, Leninist and Maoist philosophies espoused by extremists.

Nearly every Latin American nation has had, or currenlty has, an active guerrilla or terrorist insurgency. The driving force behind most of these groups has been a desire to reorganize society along socialist lines, remove foreign business interests and redistribute land and wealth.

Major Latin American terrorist groups include Peru's Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) and Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), Colombia's National Liberation Army (ELN) and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and Chile's Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front (FPMR).

Click here or the image to view a video clip allegedly showing MRTA terrorists preparing to seize the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima, Peru on December 17, 1996.