Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

For Terrorism Definition please see bottom of article or click here
History On Terrorism introduction follows below:

What Is The Terrorism Definition?

Terrorism Definition - History on Terrorism - Terrorist Training within Gaza for a planed attacked outside the middle east - FLSS Global
Terrorist Training within Gaza for a planed attacked outside the middle east. Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

For many people prior to 9/11 in Australia, the United States and in most western societies, terrorism was an image that was prominently depicted in newspapers, or on fictional television, shows such as ‘The Bill’ or ‘CSI’, and the nightly news…

It is such images that projected the conjectural and unqualified definition of what terrorism is to the public at large (Hoffman, 2006; Richardson, 2006; Horgan, 2005).

We have all seen the images on national television either in non fictional or fictional works where images dogmatically showed middle-eastern male(s) involved in a hi-jacking of a plane, tormenting his or her hostage(s) whilst defying the inevitable forth coming onslaught of a rescue attempt by police or military units of a sovereign state (Davies 2003).

What ‘every day’ common placed society defined as terrorist, is in reality separated by a world of sea and air, culture, religion and political stability, as far as democratic societies go.

In the United States, before 9/11 the images of terrorism attracted little attention (White, 2006, p.2) and the Olympic Munich massacre of the Israeli Olympians was only a distant and tragic memory.

Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

The Birth of The Term ‘Terrorism’:

Most scholars suggest that the birth of the term ‘terrorism’ originated during the French revolution, the “Regime de la Terreur” (Simonsen, 2004, p.74; Hoffman, 2006; Sorenson, 2004). This is partly true if one is to interpret the act in which the objective was ascertained…

However there are author’s who dwell deeper on this issue, such as Louise Richardson (2006), who points out that the Siccaric, later better known as the Zealots became customarily associated with political and religious killings.

Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

The Siccaric, Later Known As The Zealots:

Their method of public place assassination by the dagger demonstrated two major keys points. The first being that the Zealots conducted there murders in highly visible places such as festivals, using an element of surprise, and secondly that by their actions they generated fear within the community, thus attaining infamy, (Richardson, 2006).

Terrorism Definition - History on Terrorism - The Zealots: Considered the first true initial founders of terrorism - FLSS Global
The Zealots: Considered the first true initial founders of terrorism. Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

The Zealots objective was political as they were ruled by the Romans, it was also religious, as their public executions was a way of demonstrating their Jewish faith in God (Richardson, 2006).

What is further significant about the time of the Zealots is that they also included the killing of their own, who conspired and worked with the Romans.

Richardson (2006), confirms that the objective of terrorism is mainly to bring about political change. Although, the Zealots could not be considered terrorist, simply because they did not kill indiscriminately (Richardson, 2006), the essence of their motivations however are clearly seen in all acts of conflict, even to this day.

Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

The French Revolution Anarchists:

The traits of the Zealots, which were to create fear and the use of force are also apparent in the French Revolution, where the Anarchists used violence in order to bring about political change (White, 2006).  The tactics used during this period were instigated by the will of the underclass who were discontented with the distribution of land and wealth by the upper classes.

This conflict demonstrated that force was utilized by a non government group, a minority that engaged in conflict to achieve socialism. Surprisingly the anarchist believed that there were no other methods available to them that would bring about the desired political change, (White, 2006).

The noteworthy importance of this conflict is that there is evidence and acknowledgment of what could be considered state sponsored terrorism. The “Regime de la Terreur” however is best described by Hoffman, as follows;

“…. the régime de la terreur was an instrument of governance wielded by the
recently established revolutionary state. It was designed to consolidate the new
government’s powers by intimidating counter-revolutionaries, subversives, and
all other dissidents whom the new regime regarded as “enemies of the people”

–  (Hoffman, 2006, p.3)

Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

The Irish Republican Army (IRA):

Terrorism Definition - History on Terrorism - The House Michael Collins founder of the IRA lived in. Now a popular guest house - FLSS Global
The House Michael Collins founder of the IRA lived in. Now a popular guest house. Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

The Irish Republican Army or IRA, is a nationalist organization that was organized by Michael Collins in 1969, split into two groups, the majority, advocating a united socialist Ireland and elected to proceed with a more acceptable form in achieving their objective…

Hence they rejected the use of terrorism.

In contrast however provisional supports used terrorism as a mechanism for unification (White 2006; Richardson, 2006).

The conflict in Ireland showed that there the community was profoundly alienated because of ethnic and religious attitudes.

Hostility increased between the Catholic minority, which perceived itself to be marginalized and methodically alienated by Protestants, and the Protestant majority, which was suspicious of Catholic inclinations toward the union with Ireland.

Terrorism Definition - History on Terrorism - Popular IRA graffiti honoring some of the killed IRA members - FLSS Global
Popular IRA graffiti honoring some of the killed IRA members. Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

Here we can see Brogan’s (1998, p.556) conclusion that terrorism is motivated by patriotic or ethnic indifference.

In the case of the IRA they abandoned paramilitary activity and were accused of involvement in organized criminal activities, such as bank robbery, extortion, smuggling, and counterfeiting (Moloney, 2002).

Which Horgan (2005) suggests is a common element in contemporary terrorism.

Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

The Tamil Tiger’s:

Terrorism Definition - History on Terrorism - The Tamil Tiger, noted as a terrorist group, however train as a military. They have their own army, air force, navy, intelligence services & police force - FLSS Global
The Tamil Tiger, noted as a terrorist group, however train as a military. They have their own army, air force, navy, intelligence services & police force. Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

The Tamil Tiger’s in Sri Lanka have been noted for their extreme methods by the use of cyanide tablets in case that they might get captured, and their use of women in suicide bombing attacks…

In addition their tactics also included the use of children as combatants. (Richardson,  2006).

It appears that one of the re-occurring elements which involve conflict and terrorism is that it can originate from ethnic and religious diversity…

For example, the Catholic, Protestant divergence in Ireland; the Israeli, Palestinian conflict in the Middle East; and the Tamil Singhalese struggle in Sri Lanka to mention just a few.

Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

Understanding The Motivation of Terrorism:

In order to comprehend the current motivation of terrorism it becomes primarily important to understand the underlying cause that is seen as the grievance of any minor force which may be trying to gain political change or religious change.

From White (2006), in addition to others, we learn that there are significant and obvious differences difference terrorist group. Especially in their objective and the methods they execute and strategize and utilize, or prefer to execute.

There are many descriptions that adequately show that in most cases that terrorist’s movements are potentially more influential than ever before. This is because ethnic and cultural movements, as well as political and religious movements have attained technological advancements that allow for immediate global communication and armaments which allows minority groups to inflict large damage or casualties with weapons of mass destruction.(Pape, 2005).

The phenomenon of terrorism is based on the targets and practices rather than the motives (Soimonsen & Spindlove, 2004) and applied to groups or individuals that engage in violent action (Horgan, 2005) who often conducted their offences against civilians or non-combatants, in ways which are inconsistent with conventional warfare (Richardson, 2006).

However the motivating factor usually has been cemented in history as elevated in the history of the IRA and British conflict.

Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

The Baader Meinhof Gang:

Terrorism Definition - History on Terrorism - Mug shots of terrorists of the first generation of Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof, Gudrun Enslin, Brigitte Mohnhaupt, Jan-Carl Raspe - FLSS Global
Mug shots of terrorists of the first generation of Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof, Gudrun Enslin, Brigitte Mohnhaupt, Jan-Carl Raspe. Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

When we view the escapades of the Baader Meinhof gang who were widely known to commit bank robberies and kidnappings to gain attention for their cause…

We see the disguising difference was that their cause was not generated from an internal struggle or grievance, other than their belief in creating a socialist state (Richardson, 2006).

What can be understood more obviously however, from their methods, is that they collaborated with other terrorist organizations, by attending their training camps in the middle east, (Richardson, 2006).

Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

Terrorists Educate Themselves By Learning From Each Other:

Terrorism Definition - History on Terrorism - Hezbollarh terrorist in training - FLSS Global
Hezbollarh terrorist in training. Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

Terrorist organizations that collaborated with other terrorist organizations is a common factor that existed in other campaigns of conflict, including the IRA.

The fact that terrorist educate themselves is not a new phenomenon…

For example, Al Qaeda studied the bombing techniques of Hezbollarh, where in turn Hezbollarh attained their knowledge from studying a Palestinian group…

Who in turn the Palestinian terrorist acquired the techniques from studying campaigns instigated by the Jewish terrorist groups, who in turn learned from the IRA methods (White, 2006).

The importance in understanding the history of terrorism, is the acknowledgement that terrorist themselves study other terrorist activities and methods (White 2006; Davies 2003).

This becomes apparent when we examine the Aum Sect of Japan who recruited young intellectual people in order to develop weapons of mass destruction (Davies 2003).

Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

The Aum Sect of Japan:

Terrorism Definition - History on Terrorism - Skoko Asahara (aka) Chizou Matsumoto leader of the Aum Sect after his arrest - FLSS Gloabl
Skoko Asahara (aka) Chizou Matsumoto leader of the Aum Sect after his arrest. Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

The Aum Sect of Japan which was led by Chizou Matsumoto, who’s real name was Shoko Asahara was ultimately responsible for the death of twelve people who were killed by the sect in a nerve gas attack in Tokyo, March 1995 (Cothers: Australian Federal Police).

Hence, understanding the history of how various terrorist groups have come across their methods and the significant motivating factors that legitimizes their cause, (in their eyes), provides information that can produce effective counter-measures.

Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

9/11, WTC, Al-Qaeda & Osama bin Laden:

Terrorism Definition - History on Terrorism - Attacks on the World Trade Centre & Osama bin Laden - FLSS Gloabl
Attacks on the World Trade Centre & Osama bin Laden. Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

In Conclusion, the best publicly known terrorist attack in contemporary time has to be without a doubt the attacks on the World Trade Centre, by Al-Qaeda, which has ultimately directly and indirectly changed the world for ever.

Although Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda’s history of terrorism attacks precedes 9/11 it is these attacks that forced a coalition of military strike against Afghanistan. The US led coalition directed an open war against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the war against terror.

The subsequent reports and investigations that took place after 9/11 in reference to terrorism depicted that terrorist were not common placed criminals who terrorized the public for some self satisfying reason.

It was learned more commonly that terrorist had themselves learnt how to manipulate common placed security procedures such as screening at airports which were installed in effort to prevent armed hijackings like the ones the world experience during the 70’s and 80’s or the circumnavigating explosive detection devices, by utilizing common every day house hold items such as box cutter in order to take control and hijack a plane.

9/11 demonstrated how educated intellectuals would be prepared to die for a cause, at that any act of violence against anyone in order to fulfill their object was a justification in their religious cause. The terrorist demonstrated that they belonged to a comprehensive network which stretched into many domiciles, such as for example;  Germany, and those networks had the financial resources to undertake legitimate training, such as flight training, and turn such knowledge into a tool for mass murder.

Terrorism Definition – History on Terrorism

History of The ‘Terrorist Player’ To Avoid Potential Terrorist Attacks:

History has shown that terrorist are strategic thinkers who will manipulate any situation to their advantage in order to achieve their objective, and that includes the manipulation of their own, and that they learn from past terrorist attacks, methods of operandi.

It is for this reason why it is important that we learn more about the history of the ‘terrorist player’ not just in order to establish new political, policing or other counter measures, but also in order to examine, if by any chance, a future minority group, who have a claim against another nation or government and evaluate whether that claim has any substance, and how a possible terrorist attack by that contending group could be assessed and/or avoided.

Mr. Christian P. W. Faust served in the Royal Australian Army (1976/79) and also as a Special Operative for the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) (1989/94 periodically), in Middle Eastern, and Asian affairs.

Terrorism Definition: the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for a religious, political or ideological goal, and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants (civilians).

Terrorism Definition reference – Wikipedia.org

9/11 Ten Years On

On Friday February 26th 1993, 12.17pm, just after noon, the lunch time crowd from the World Trade Centre (WTC) in New York were routinely buzzing around, exiting and entering the WTC building, when suddenly a terrorist bomb planted ironically near the secret services car park exploded (BBC.CO.UK, 1993).

 This paper will demonstrate a comprehensive and detailed depiction of the 1993 World Trade Centre (WTC) attack, exploring the background, motivation, and objective of the actual attack, and the group acclaiming responsibility and justification for it. Concluding an analysis on whether or not the responsible group could be seen as freedom fighters.

 In addition a summary analysis of the 1993 attack will depict, the significance and relationship the fundamental key players of the 1993 group had in relation to the 9/11 attack.


Eyewitness Bruce Pomper was aged 34 in 1993, and working as a stock broker in the WTC, he summed up the bomb attack with these chilling words;

 “It felt like an airplane hit the building (BBC.CO.UK, 1993)”.

 The most significant damage of the 1993 WTC bombing was the trauma and suffrage it inflicted upon the family of the victims, who were later identified as, John DiGiovanni, a 45 year old Dental Equipment Salesman from Valley Stream, New York; Robert Kirkpatrick a 61 one year old, Maintenance Supervisor from Suffern, New York; Steve Knapp, a 48 year old Port Authority Mechanical Supervisor from Manhattan, New York; Monica Rodriguez Smith, a 34 year old Port Authority Office Assistant, from Seaford, New York; William Macko a 57 year old Port Authority Mechanical Supervisor from Baonne, New Jersey; and Wilfredo Mercado a 37 year old Purchasing Agent from Brooklyn, New York (Bookrags.com, Retrieved 29 May 07). A further 1,000 persons were injured from the attack (9/11 Commission Report, p.72).

 It would later be established that a yellow Ryder truck/van rental had been converted into a mobile truck bomb and placed near the Secret Service car park on level B2 in World Trade Centre, in New York City (9/11 Commission Report, p.71).

 The explosion, created a massive 30 meter diameter hole through the concrete and steel building structure that penetrated through seven stories (9/11 Commission Report, p.71).

The truck bomb generated a pressure vacuum of over one GPa, with an estimated detonation velocity of about 15,000 feet per second or 4.5 km per second (Bookrags.com, Retrieved 29 May 2007). The complex 1310 lb or 600 kg bomb was made of Urea, Nitroglycerin, Sulfuric Acid, Aluminum azide, Magnesium azide and Hydrogen (Bookrags.com, Retrieved, 29 May 2007). The plotters added sodium cyanide to fatal cocktail in the hope that the vapors would seep through the ventilation shaft and elevators for maximum body count effect (Bookrags.com, Retrieved, 29 May 2007). The utility vehicle used by the attackers had four 6 meter long fuses, which were totally covered in surgical tape (Bookrags.com, Retrieved, 29 May 2007). A cigarette lighter was used to light the fuse which would in turn trigger the bomb within twelve minutes (Bookrags.com, Retrieved, 29 May 2007).

 In an official interview Ramzi Yousef who was found to be the key player behind the attack boasted that he actually had anticipated and hoped that the explosion would kill at least 250,000 people (9/11 Commission Report, p.72). Surprisingly, the cost of the bomb, which did not include the rental for the utility truck, was a mere three hundred US Dollars (Bookrags.com, Retrieved, 29 May 2007).

 Remarkably the FBI was able to trace the utility truck to a rental company in New Jersey, by firstly identifying the originating vehicle which housed the bomb. Then, secondly by having identified a specific component of the truck, which listed a confidential manufacturers ID number, (National Geographic, 1 June 2007). FBI agents subsequently then followed the trail to the New Jersey Truck Rental company which in turn revealed that a Mohammed Salameh had rented the truck and later reported it stolen in order to reclaim the deposit on the rental, which was said to be around $400.00USD (9/11 Commission Report, p.72).

 Subsequently Salameh was arrested by law enforcement offices on the 4th March 1993 (9/11 Commission Report, p.72). From Salameh, the FBI were able to trace the explosion back to Ahmad Ajaj, Nidal Ayyard, Mamoud Abouhalima, Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Rahmin Yasin, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, (9/11 Commission Report, p.72; Bookrags.com, Retrieved, 29 May 2007), establishing that the mastermind behind the attack was Ramzi Yousef.


Ramzi Yousef, is believed to have been born in Kuwait, however officially he is deemed to have originated from Baluchistan province of Pakistan, as did his father and uncle Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was also implicated in the 1993 WTC attack (Wikipedia, Retrieved 29th May 2007). Yousef was educated in Wales and Kuwait graduating in 1989 with a degree in engineering from the Swansea Institute of Higher Education, Swansea, formally the West Glamorgan Institute (Wikipedia, Retrieved 29th May 2007).

Yousef did well in mathematics and science and was able to secure employment with the National Computer Centre for the Ministry of Planning in Kuwait as a communications engineer (Wikipedia, Retrieved 29th May 2007).

It was in Wales where it is said that he joined the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (Wikipedia, Retrieved 29th May 2007). In the late 1980’s Yousef had begun regular travel to Pakistan. Although Yousef had been identified as the key player in the 1993 WTC bombing he was not arrested until 1995 (Wikipedia, Retrieved 29th May 2007). His arrest was a result of the Philippines authorities investigating the Philippines Airlines flight 434 bomb explosion (9/11 Commission Report, p.147).

In this later terrorist attack Yousef posed an Italian by the name of Armaldo Forlani (Wikipedia, Retrieved 29th May 2007). Taking a flight from Manila to Cebu he placed an explosive device under his designated seat, 26K (Wikipedia, Retrieved 29th May 2007).

In Cebu he disembarked the flight which was continuing on Tokyo Japan. Additional passengers boarded the flight, one of them a 24 year old businessman by the name of Haruki Ikegami, who ended up seated in 26K (Wikipedia, Retrieved 29th May 2007). Eventually after take off the bomb exploded, killing Ikegami.

The explosion damaged the aircraft’s steering, nevertheless the captain of the flight was able to make an emergency landing at Okinawa, Japan, saving some 270 passengers and twenty odd crew members (9/11 Commission Report, p.147).

The flight to Cebu, was more notoriously known and associated to the “Bojinka” plan, which was orchestrated by Yousef and his uncle Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) (9/11 Commission Report, p.147). Yousef had been living in Manila, and planned around 11 airline explosions, the assassination of the Pope and President Bill Clinton (9/11 Commission Report, p.147), on their visits to the Philippines. One of Yousef’s attacks included crashing a passenger or airline freighter into the CIA headquarters (9/11 Commission Report, p.345). Yousef was subsequently apprehended by authorities in Islamabad, Pakistan on the 27th February 1995, after an associated turned him in, (9/11 Commission Report, p.148).

 Authorities at one stage investigated the possibility that Yousef was loosely associated as an Iraq intelligence operative and that there might have been a possible link between 1993 WTC attack and Iraq (9/11 Commission Report, p.336), which would have meant fore knowledge of the attack by Sadam Hussein.

 Initial investigations traced Yousef to Abdul Rahmin Yasin, who was one of the original 7 men suspected and linked to the 1993 WTC attack, and his subsequent purported association to Iraqi intelligence. More on Yasin will be discussed later in this essay.

Mohammed A. Salameh, born in Amman to Jordanian and Palestinian parents on the 1st September 1967 or 68, was a University ‘drop out’ allegedly after being unable to complete engineering and legal studies in Jordan (MIPT, Retrieved 31 May 2007). Salameh had entered the United States around 1988 on a tourist visa and subsequently became an illegal alien after he stayed in the US when his visa expired. He resided in an area known as Egyptian City New Jersey with 6 other Muslims (MIPT, Retrieved 31 May 2007). In March 1994 Salameh was convicted in a US court for his involvement of the 1993 WTC attack (MIPT, Retrieved 31 May 2007). He was sentenced to a total of 240 years imprisonment after evidence presented in court identified him as the individual who rented the Ryder van used in the attack (9/11 Commission Report, p.72). Additional scientific evidence identified chemical nitrates along with his finger prints on the van’s rental agreement (MIPT, Retrieved 31 May 2007).

Salameh’s ironic apprehension came as a result after he made several attempts to claim a refund on the deposit paid for the van after he had claimed it had been stolen, the FBI lured him into a sting operation which was based on the pretext that the rental company was going to actually refund his deposit, as such Salameh turned up to collect the refund and hence it lead to his arrest (9/11 Commission Report, p.72).

Ahmed Mohammad Ajaj, also known as Ibraham Salameh, Mohamed Azan and Khurram Khan born in the West Bank, and subsequently immigrated to the United States, where he settled in Houston Texas (Wikipedia, Retrieved 30th May 2007). Received training in the Khaldan camp in weapons and explosives during May 1992 (Wikipedia, Retrieved 30th May 2007). By June 1992 he was known to be involved in bomb building courses in Pakistan (Wikipedia, Retrieved 30th May 2007). Although Ajaj had been incarcerated in a US prison until three days after the 1993 WTC attack, the FBI in the pursuing investigations he was linked back to the original conspiracy and planning of the attack (Wikipedia, Retrieved 30th May 2007).

Ajaj’s involvement came apparent when the FBI investigation attained critical evidence which revealed that he had been engaged in telephone conversations with Yousef, whilst in prison (Wikipedia, Retrieved 30th May 2007).

The telephone calls had cleverly been diverted through the ‘Big 5 Hamburgers’ in Dallas (LA Times 14 November 2001), and Ajaj’s lawyer which allowed the two to communicate directly (Wikipedia, Retrieved 30th May 2007).

In one of the telephone conversation which were obviously recorded by US authorities and later translated after the 1993 attack it was revealed that Yousef had sought permission to take claim of Ajaj’s belonging, which had been the result of a court order, compelling the authorities to return such property to Ajaj (Wikipedia, Retrieved 30th May 2007).

The translated transcripts of the recordings it was revealed that initially Ajaja agreed to Yousef’s request (Wikipedia, Retrieved 30th May 2007).

However, Ajaja must have considered the implications of Yousef’s request in more detail. Ajaj changed his mind and suggested to Yousef that in doing so, he, (Yousef), might compromise the operation (9/11 Commission Report).

FBI investigations would later establish that Ajaj and Yousef traveled first class from Peshawar to Kennedy Airport, via Karachi (Wikipedia, Retrieved 30th May 2007). They were both subsequently detained upon arrival in New York, on the 1st September 1992, at which time Immigration officers noted a number of discrepancies on their passports (9/11 Commission Report). A search of their luggage revealed five additional forged, altered and or illegally purchased passports of Saudi, Iraqi, Swedish, British and Jordanian origins (9/11 Commission Report). Additional intelligence was found in their possession which consisted of identification cards, bank, educational and medical records (Wikipedia, Retrieved 30th May 2007).

Ajaj, during a second immigration interview had claimed that his name was Khurram Khan and that he was a member of the Swedish press core. In his luggage immigration officers found the Jordanian and Saudi passports and a plane ticket in the name of Mohammed Azan, bomb making manuals, videos, and further written material which depicted instructions on how to assemble weapons and explosives, documents which confirmed his attendance at terrorist training camps anti-American and Israeli literature, two rubber stamps which were designed to alter the seals on the passports, and documents on how to forge official documents (Wikipedia, Retrieved 30th May 2007).

Authorities would later conclude and suggest that Yousef had masterminded a plan in which Yasin would be used as a decoy with the US immigration officials, thus allowing Yousef free passage into the US territory (9/11 Commission Report).

It would later be revealed in the 9/11 Commission’s report, that after the scrutiny Ajaj and Yousef received upon their arrival, Yousef was released because he had explained away the passport forgeries by making a claim for political asylum (9/11 Commission Report). On the other hand Ajaj would remain in custody until 3 days after the 1993 WTC attack (9/11 Commission Report)..

Nidal Ayyard, was allegedly born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents in 1968, later immigrating to the United States and subsequently acquired a degree from Rutgers University in Chemical and biochemical engineering (MIPT, Retrieved 31 May 2007). Around March 1991 he attained US citizenship and in 1992 was in Amman Jordan getting married (MIPT, Retrieved 31 May 2007). He had been employed by Allied Signal a company situated in New Jersey which manufactured aerospace and automotive products. Ayyard was convicted for his involvement in the 1993 bombing in March 1994, receiving a 240 year sentence (MIPT, Retrieved 31 May 2007).

Ayyad’s involvement was traced back to a joint bank account he held with Mohammed Salameh (MIPT, Retrieved 31 May 2007). The bank account had received on at least one occasion s wire transfer of 8,000 US Dollars from a source in Europe.

Investigating officials established that Ayyad had accompanied Salameh on the 23rd February 1993 when Salameh rented the vehicle which had been used in the attack (MIPT, Retrieved 31 May 2007). Officials also later established that Salameh had telephoned Ayyard a total of four times the day before the WTC attack from the storage warehouse where the truck bomb chemicals had been constructed into their fatal compounded element (MIPT, Retrieved 31 May 2007).

Mamoud Abouhalima, resided with an Egyptian by the name of El Sayyid Nosair who had been responsible for shooting and killing of Rabbi Meir Kahane of the Jewish Defense League at the Marriott Hotel on the November 5th 1990 (Ragavan, 2003, Retrieved 29 May 2007).

Salameh and Abouhalima had come to the attention of the New York Police Department and the FBI after they had been found in Nosair apartment when a joint task force had raided the apartment almost immediately after the shooting of Kahane (Ragavan, 2003, Retrieved 29 May 2007)..

During the 1993 WTC attack investigation authorities further linked Salameh and Abouhalima when it was found that Salameh had used Abouhalima’s mail drop address, known as el-Gabrowny’s in Brooklyn on the rental agreement (Ragavan, 2003, Retrieved 29 May 2007).

Abdul Rahman Yasin, also known as Abdel Rahman Yasin, Abdul Rahman Said Yasin, Aboud Yasin, Abdul Rahman S. Taha, and Abdul Rahman S. Taher. Yasin was born in Bloomington, Indiana; USA shortly after is father had commenced his PhD studies (Wikipedia, Retrieved 28th May 2007). When Yasin’s father completed his PhD the family returned to Iraq.

On the 21st June 1992 Yasin applied for a passport providing his US birth certificate as proof of citizenship (Wikipedia, Retrieved 28th May 2007).

Yasin had been picked up in a combined police and FBI raid at his mother’s residence in New Jersey (Wikipedia, Retrieved 28th May 2007).

According to the Wikipedia profile on Yasin, he had been voluntarily involved in aiding the FBI with information on how and where the 1993 WTC truck bomb was manufactured and transported (Wikipedia, Retrieved 28th May 2007).

Even though Yasin was initially indicted as one of the seven men involved in the 1993 WTC bombing, unconfirmed reports suggest that the US attorney in charge of the WTC prosecution sanctioned his release from custody (Wikipedia, Retrieved 28th May 2007).

After his release from custody as early as March 5, 1993, Yasin apparently returned to Iraq, where he apparently was seen and identified by an ABC news report who had claimed that a neighbor said that Yasin worked for the Iraqi government (Wikipedia, Retrieved 28th May 2007).

Extreme controversy surrounded Yasin, in as much that he was released from custody and allowed to travel to Iraq, where he was reportedly to have resided freely for sometime, later ending up in an Iraqi prison (Wikipedia, Retrieved 28th May 2007). The controversy continues when attempts by Iraqi officials were made to extradite him back to the US (Wikipedia, Retrieved 28th May 2007). In any event he remained at large and unaccountable to this date for his alleged involvement in the 1993 WTC bombing, supposedly still in Iraq (Wikipedia, Retrieved 28th May 2007).

 Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) believed to have as many as twenty-seven aliases (Wikipedia, Retrieved 24th May 2007). Conflicting information is recorded for his date of birth, which is either the 1st March 1964 or the 14th April 1965 (Wikipedia, Retrieved 24th May 2007). Whilst in custody at Guantanamo Bay in March 2007 KSM is alleged to have confessed to a large number of terrorist attacks expanding over a twenty year period (Combatant Status Review Tribunal, transcripts).

 The attacks KSM is said to have confessed to, included the 1993 and 9/11 WTC attacks, and the Bali night club bombings, amongst others (Combatant Status Review Tribunal, transcripts).

 KSM is said to have been initially inspired by his nephew, Ramzi Yousef and his (Yousef’s) concepts and plans for future attacks, especially the idea that involved the use of airliners (9/11 Commission Report, p.73).

 Gradually the two appeared to bond closer in their notorious activities, evidence of this can be ascertained from KSM involvement in the 1993 WTC bombing and various communications the two had with each other during the planning stage of the attack (9/11 Commission Report, p.73). Additional evidence attained from the wire transfers KSM made to Yousef support the bonding and mutual aspirations, in addition to the time they spent together in Manila during 1994 (9/11 Commission Report, p.73).

The significance of this connection would change the world for ever, as KSM would later become the man the FBI identified as having played a part in the 9/11 attack (9/11 Commission Report, p.73), and eventually allegedly confessing to the attack (Combatant Status Review Tribunal, transcripts).


It is difficult to determine the exact course of motivation for Ramzi Yousef’s. Parachini & Tucker (2001) suggest that Yousef had an extreme “inchoate mixture of visceral hatred and personal affirmation, wrapped in a variety of geopolitical rationales” (unknown page number). The attack was designed to create a maximum civilian casualty count (USA v. Yousef et al, page 4721), and further for the attack to create maximum psychological disruption (Martin, 2003, p. 244). Thus creating a scene of total chaotic confusion, in which it was clearly anticipated that the mass media would en-capture, the predicted horror and chaos. Evidence is clearly visible of this, in Yousef’s own direct contact to various newspapers. Parachini & Tucker (unknown page number) add that Yousef had an extreme hated for the US support for Israel’s dominance in the Middle East. Yousef himself had conceded that his motivation was not a religious one, but rather an “anti occupation crusade against the USA and Israel (Parachini & Tucker, unknown page number)” Parachini & Tucker (unknown page number).

 It is clear that Yousef and his associates can be labeled as terrorist if only for their willingness to kill discriminately (Richardson, 2006). However it must be acknowledged that due to the lack of religious inspiration for all of Yousef’s attacks, he must be seen as an individual who is a materialistic inspired terrorist with an extreme hatred for the US and Israel.

 This is in direct difference to Abouhalima, Ajaj Ayyad and KSM who expressed religious support to the 1993 WTC attack during their trail (United States v Salameh et al). The prosecutions exhibit number 196, which was the original letter claiming responsibility for the 1993 WTC attack, showed that some of the fundamental motivations for the perpetrators had been in response to the US political, economical and military support to Israel and an expression of grievances towards other so-called dictators within the middle east region (Parachini & Tucker, unknown page number).


The 9/11 report revealed that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the others were not thought to be directly associated as members of and organization such as Al Qaeda. As far as Yousef was concerned evidence depicted him more of a freelance mercenary type that appeared to roam the globe offering his services for hire to extreme fundamentalists, (9/11 Commission Report, p.59). When President George W, Bush received his daily presidential brief on the 6th August 2001 (9/11 Commission Report, p.261),

 Yousef was depicted by Osama Bin Laden as a man who deserved immense praise for his actions (9/11 Commission Report, p.261). Furthermore Bin Laden in a television interview during 1997 and 1998 stated that Al Qaeda followers should follow the example set by Ramzi Yousef (9/11 Commission Report, p.261).

 It would be not until after 9/11 in which the motivation of the 1993 WTC attack would become more apparent. The similarities of Yousef’s 1993 target and object had become an interest to bin Laden and the Al Qaeda clan simply because of the common cause against the US and Israel.

Evidence in the 9/11 report also indicated that it was Yousef’s uncle who later joined targeted activities by Bin Laden after having had several meetings with Osama bin Laden during 1999 and other Al Qaeda associates (9/11 Commission Report, p.59). It is obvious that Yousef’s prior planes to utilize planes in an attack could have been conceptualized further as the basis for the 9/11 attack, from such meetings.

The ultimate question must be asked and that is, had the immigration authorities initially detailed Yousef and followed through in an investigation, could the 1993 WTC and 9/11 been averted?

 The sequence of events surrounding the allowance of Yousef to entering the US and the detention of Ajaj seem to be slightly tainted. Authorities had confirmed that the two were traveling together and that both men had in their possession not just forged identities but written material that can easily be assessed as material of interest. As such the authority’s suspicion either would have or should have been further alerted. However this was not the case, thus it can imply a number of scenarios, one that the authorities made a grave error in judgment; two that they lacked the professional assessment ability to conclude the nature of the legal immigration breaches the two had already obviously committed; three that the two had already come under the authorities radars so to say, and thus one was let go in order for the intelligence services such as the CIA or the FBI to follow through and establish further leads and intelligence.

In regards to the group’s activities to the 1993 WTC attack, this essay has shown that the perpetrators managed to conceal themselves easily within the Middle Eastern communities in the US. This essay has also shown that over time terrorist learn from previous attacks and go on to master their individual so-called par military talents for further attacks, and furthermore, that they are willing to attack a particular target more than once, if such a target has significant ideological meaning.

In the 1993 and 9/11 attacks the WTC was seen as Americas centre to economical dominance over them. This essay has also proven that not all terrorist are motivated by political or religious inspirations, as was the case with Yousef, and in that terrorist cells operate often independently to organizations such as Al Qaeda, but that an informal alliance exists in what they consider their over-all objective. Meaning that groups such as Al Qaeda lend support, to such groups, and subsequently also utilize the publicity generated from a successful attack in order to inspire further attacks for their own objectives, as was the case with Bin Laden’s public support for Yousef in relation to a number of the 1993 WTC group.

 In many cases terrorist organization such as HAMAS and the Tamil Tiger identify themselves as freedom fighters, and in such cases the circumstances could be debatable. However in regards to the 1993 Attack, the motivation and objective was not solidly associated to any group which claimed to fight and free a specific ethnic group from the control of another force. Although evidence in the statements and trial transcripts for the 1993 WTC attacks did display discourse with the involvement the US had with Israel.

Whether it is agreed or not by the 1993 WTC attackers, their actions could not be considered the actions of freedom fighters.

The end result found that the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York was able to conclude a guilty verdict against Ajaj, Salameth, Ayyard, Abouhalima, Mohammed and Yousef (9/11 Commission Report, p.72). Yousef as the mastermind behind the 1993 WTC attack received a life sentence, plus 240 years, a fine of four and half millions dollars and was ordered to pay 240 million US Dollars in restitution (United States v Ramzi Ahmed Yousef and Eyad Ismoil).

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 BBC.CO.UK (1993). World Trade Center bomb terrorises New York:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/26/newsid_2516000/2516469.stm: Retrieved 20th May 2007.

Bookrags.com (Retrieved 29 May 2007), http://www.bookrags.com/wiki/World_Trade_Center_bombing

Green, T. & O’Brien, N. (Comp.). History and Motivators of Terrorism. Readings. No:1 (2006).

Green, T; O’Brien, N. (Comp.) Charles Sturt University. Bathurst. Simonsen, C.E & Spindlove, J.R. (2004). Terrorism Today. Chapter 1. Defining terrorism. Pearson Education. Australia; In History and Motivators of Terrorism. Readings. No:1 (1999).

Martin, G. (2003). Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives and Issues. Chapter 10, p. 244, Tools of the trade, Tactics and targets of terrorists, Sage Publications. London: In History and Motivators of Terrorism. Readings. No:1 (1999). Green, T; O’Brien, N. (Comp.) Charles Sturt University. Bathurst.

MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base: Retrieved 31 May 2007. http://www.tkb.org/KeyLeader.jsp?memID=5624

MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base: Retrieved 31 May 2007. http://www.tkb.org/KeyLeader.jsp?memID=5625

Parachini. J & Tucker. J.(2001). CNS Reports. February 1993 Bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York City. In: United States v Ramzi Ahmed Yousef and Eyad Ismoil, S1293CR 180 (KTD), October 22nd, 1997, p.4721. Direct Examination of Brian Parr.

Parachini. J & Tucker. J.(2001). CNS Reports. February 1993 Bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York City.In: United States v Muhammed A. Salameh et al, S1293cr 180 (KTD), May 24th, 1994, pp.26-34, 41-49, 53-65, 65-113.

Richardson, L. (2006). What Terrorist Want. Understanding The Terrorist Threat. John Murray Publishing, Great Britain. In History and Motivators of Terrorism. Readings. No:1 (1999). Green, T; O’Brien, N. (Comp.) Charles Sturt University. Bathurst.

Wikipedia, (2007). Encyclopedia. Retreived 29th May 2007:


Christian P.W. Faust 94090109

Wikipedia, (2007). Encyclopedia. Retreived 30th May 2007:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmad_ Ajaj

Wikipedia, (2007). Encyclopedia. Retreived 28th May 2007:


 Wikipedia, (2007). Encyclopedia. Retreived 24th May 2007:


Commission Reports:

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon The United States (2004). The 9/11 Commission Report. Chaired, Kean. T.H: Retrieved April 10 2007, http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/index.htm, pages, 59,71, 72, 73, 147, 148, 261, 336, 345.

Tribunal Trancripts:

Combatant Status Review Tribunal. “Transcript: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confesses 9/11 role”, CNN, 14th March 2007. In: Wikipedia, (2007). Encyclopedia. Retreived 24th May 2007: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalid_Sheikh_Mohammed

 Newspaper Articles:

LA Times 14 November 2001 in; Wikipedia, (2007). Encyclopedia. Retrieved 30th May 2007: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmad_ Ajaj

Ragavan, C. (2003). Tracing terror’s roots: How the first World Trade Centre plot sowed the seeds for 9/11. Posted 16 February 2003. Retrieved 29 May 2007: http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/030224/24wtc_print.htm


United States v Ramzi Ahmed Yousef and Eyad Ismoil, S1293CR 180 (KTD).

 United States v Ramzi Ahmed Yousef and Eyad Ismoil, S1293CR 180 (KTD), October 22nd, 1997, p.4721. Direct Examination of Brian Parr; In: Parachini. J & Tucker. J.(2001). CNS Reports. February 1993 Bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York City. In: Parachini. J & Tucker. J.(2001). CNS Reports. February 1993 Bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York City.

 United States v Muhammed A. Salameh et al, S1293cr 180 (KTD), May 24th, 1994, pp.26-34, 41-49, 53-65, 65-113. Statement of Mohammed A. Salameh, Nidal Ayyard, Mahmud Abouhalima, and Amad Mohammad Ajaj. In: Parachini. J & Tucker. J.(2001). CNS Reports. February 1993 Bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York City.

TV Documentaries:

National Geographic. The FBI. Aired 1 June 2007, Philippines, National Geographic Satellite TV 6.00am.

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Would Al Qaeda (AQ) Ever Use A Nuclear Weapon, Even If They Had The Technology?

Seventy Thousand people dead in an instant, ‘quicker then a blink of the eye’, by the end of 1945, more than 140,000 people had suffered; became victims from a nuclear bomb they called the ‘little boy’; a bomb which was delivered by the B-29 Enola Gay (Hiroshima, Discovery Channel). Hiroshima was virtually flattened; more than seventy five percent of the buildings had either been totally destroyed or damaged beyond repair. The delivery of the ‘little boy’ on Hiroshima marked the public unveiling on nuclear technology (Hiroshima, Discovery Channel). The Hiroshima nuclear explosion measured 12 kilotons, which is equal to approximately 12 million tons of TNT (Allison, 2004; p.47).

What self assuring display of dominance and power such a weapon must have for the beholder of such an instrument? What would become of the world as we know of it today if Al Qaeda had this power? More importantly if they used it?

There are many horrifying stories that go into detail describing Hiroshima. The legacy of the nuclear bomb lives on in the aftermath, and in the scars of those who survived.

Fifty six years after the events of Hiroshima, America experienced the harsh reality of terrorism on home soil. The attacks of 9/11 by Al Qaeda would prove to America and the world that there are groups not formally associated to any one sovereign state that are willing to invest money for the development and execution of terrorist attacks in order to

savagely kill as many of their foes as it can. The world has already witnessed how Al Qaeda attacks are designed to gain the maximum amount of casualties in the most horrific way possible.

After 9/11 and the defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan in late 2001 reports started to surface that Al Qaeda had acquired the means to develop nuclear technology. Simultaneously additional news reports would claim that evidence had been discovered that proved Al Qaeda had already acquired the nuclear weapons from secondary sources; “The Al Qaeda terrorist organization was building a serious weapons program with a heavy emphasis on developing a nuclear device, according to an exhaustive review of documents discovered in Afghanistan”… “I don’t have any doubt that Al Qaeda was pursuing nuclear, biological and chemical warfare capabilities. It’s not our judgment at the moment that they were that far along, but I have no doubt that they were seeking to do so,”

U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton told CNN on Thursday. “It underlines just how serious the threat of the use of these weapons of mass destruction could be, and why it’s such an important part of the global campaign against terrorism”… A discarded letter, dated January 12, 2001, offered a clue to the importance of this address. It was addressed to Abu Khabbab, who coalition intelligence sources said is Osama bin Laden’s top chemical and biological weapons commander. A 25-page document filled with information about nuclear weapons included a design for a nuclear weapon that would require hard-to-obtain materials like plutonium to create a nuclear explosion… (Boettcher & Arnesen, CNN 2002; Retrieved: 1 October 2007).”

“…bin Laden has been in search of nuclear weapons and materials since 1992 when he was in the Sudan. At that time, he made several purchases from Pretoria. This was verified by testimony in federal court in New York, viz., U.S. vs. Osama bin Laden (1999). “…there is undeniable proof that AL Qaeda has nuclear weapons. In December 2001, as U.S. troops combed the tunnels near an Al Qaeda base in Kandahar, they discovered uranium-238 in a lead-lined canister. This was reported in every major U.S. newspaper, including The New York Times.

In October 2001, an al Qaeda operative was arrested as he attempted to enter Israel through the checkpoint at Ramallah. The operative had a bomb strapped to his back that Mossad first believed was a radiological devise but later discovered, as verified by UPI, that it was a tactical nuke. Early in 2001, two British agents, as reported by BBC on Nov. 26, 2001, managed to infiltrate an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan by posing as recruits from a London mosque. The agents eventually were sent to Herat where they saw nuclear weapons being manufactured.

Finally, Dr. Mahmood and Dr. Majeed of the A.Q. Khan Research Facility in Pakistan admitted upon interrogation that they provided assistance to Al Qaeda in developing nuclear weapons and that at least one weapon was forward deployed from Karachi to the United States…(Nyquist, 2005; Retrieved; www.financialsense.com)”.

Declan McCullagh wrote in a www.wired.com news article in 2001 that there have been  accounts and debates on the subject whether Al Qaeda had obtained nuclear technology. In his article McCullagh decribes instances in which an Al Qaeda operative was arrested in Germany trying to purhase enriched uranium (2001, Retrieved 1October; www.wired.com).

It is worth noting that designing and manufacturing a nuclear weapon outside the common concept of a state is not an impossible task. The required physics, chemistry, and engineering knowledge are freely available to the public on the Internet, or on the shelves of university libraries (Johnston, 2002). Furthermore there are unscrupulous individuals who have helped or would help Al Qaeda in their quest for nuclear power. For example, it is now well known that Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood an expert involved in Pakistan’s advanced nuclear weapons development, and a man who had access to top secret information had admitted assisting Al Qaeda clandestinely through one of his charities in providing technical information on building a nuclear bomb (Albright, et al, 2002).

Notably the trends of contemporary terrorism are ever changing and it is for this reason alone that that any assessment made on the subject needs to be re-evaluated constantly. Although the basic necessary information is readily available Al Qaeda would face a number of problems.

The evidence of the potential threat is clear and indisputable, the threat adequately depicts that Al Qaeda has the interest to persue a path to nuclear weaponry technology (Corera, G. 2006). However, the fundamental question this essay is focussing on is, would Al Qaeda use a nuclear device if they had one? Daniel Whiteneck (2005) writes;

“Unlike traditional states preoccupied with protecting territory and regime survival, terrorist groups use different scales to weigh costs and benefits, often calculating risks and evaluating rewards in ideological and religious terms. Evidence suggests, for example, that Al Qaeda might not only use WMD simply to demonstrate the magnitude of its capability but that it might actually welcome the escalation of a strong U.S. response, especially if it included catalytic effects on governments and societies in the Muslim world.”

One of the problems Al Qaeda would face in manufacturing a workable nuclear bomb is the problem associated to the handling of the explosives, (Barnaby, 2004, p.121). For example incorrect handling of the uranium or plutonium could lead to massive radiation exposure which could endanger the life of the individuals handling the explosives (Barnaby, 2004, p.122). Such a scenario is reduced but not excluded in the legitimate development of a nuclear weapon. Safety precautions in normal circumstances would be adhered too. Ensuring that no accidental discharge or leakage is set-off, that could injure or even kill innocent people.

The chilling question is however; could Al Qaeda be considered a reasonable organization that would undertake precautionary measures to ensure the safe handling of radioactive materials? Or is the perception of Al Qaeda being a mindless and cruel organization that just does not care true? The facts are that there is no evidence at hand that would suggest that Al Qaeda would exercise no precautionary measures when handling sensitive explosive material. There is no evidence to suggest that they are willing to take uncalculated risks in the development of nuclear weapons or that they are prepared to sacrifice their own lives in mass numbers in an accidental discharge of radio active material or an accidental explosion in order to completely destroy their enemies. We can be firm in our belief then that even though Al Qaeda wants to develop and use nuclear weaponry on its enemies, they are still mindful about their own safety. It is this mindfulness then that would make their objective for nuclear weaponry more difficult.

As stated already, there is sufficient evidence available that supports the theory of Al Qaeda seeking and having possibly ascertained nuclear technology. The past has shown how Al Qaeda terrorist cells have become more sophisticated. The efforts they have placed upon planning training and executing attacks are far more advanced, and thus it is logical to calculate that they would pursue advance technology in weaponry.

Allison (2004, p.46), stated that terrorist are more likely to use small type nuclear weaponry that were deemed to have been stolen from various nuclear capable states, such as the former USSR. One could reasonable conclude then, given the logistic problems Al Qaeda faced after the Afghanistan conflict, such as controlling or co-controlling a safe sovereign state to operate from, would make this type of nuclear weaponry a more attractive option. This type of weaponry would allow Al Qaeda to securely transport suitcase type nuclear weaponry across international boarders into their safe havens.

On the question on whether Al Qaeda would use a nuclear device; this is probably the most important question that poses the world at this present time, in relation to contemporary terrorism. It is from Al Qaeda’s past modus of operandi that we can reasonable conclude that Al Qaeda would be willing to use weapons of mass destruction in particular a nuclear bomb. Why? Simply because Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda network always strive to attain a high body count from their attacks? No. More importantly, Al Qaeda sees itself as the leader in the Muslim world in destroying what they call the infidel. After all, their objective is to kill all Christians, to kill all non Muslims, all non believers of Allah their God.

However conflicting theories exists, O’Neill & McGrory (2006, p.236) quote Abu Hamza;

“This is now what we ask the Muslims, to do that, to be capable to do that, to bleed the enemies of Allah anywhere by any means. You can’t do it by nuclear weapons; you have to do it by kitchen knife, no other solution. You can’t do it by chemical weapons, you have to do it by poison (Abu Hamza, In: O’Neill & McGrory 2006, p.235)”.

Jenkins further expanded on the above theory, stating in a 1977 paper that; “Scenarios involving the deliberate dispersal of toxic radioactive material…do not appear to fit the pattern of any terrorist actions carried out thus far…Terrorist actions have tended to be aimed at producing immediate dramatic effects, a handful of violent deaths – not lingering illness, and certainly not population of ill, vengeance-seeking victims…If terrorists were to employ radioactive contaminants, they could not halt the continuing effects of their act, not even long after they may have achieved their ultimate political objectives. It has not been the style of terrorists to kill hundreds or thousands. To make hundreds or thousands of persons terminally ill would be even more out of character (Jenkins 1975, p.6 & 7).”

However, it would be simply insane to rely on the explanation by the likes of Hamza, or more so Laquer’s, or Jenkins out dated theories’ that it is almost certain that terrorist groups would not resort to nuclear weaponry simply because it would defeat their political purpose (Laqueur, 1977; p.231). These theories were post 9/11 and prior to the sarin nerve gas attack in Tokyo during 1995 (Hoffman, 2006; p.270). Even Laqueur had reassessed the situation in 1996, quoting that not all terrorist would adopt the usage of weapons of mass destruction, in the foreseeable future, but that most certainly some would utilize this type of aggression “even in spite of all the militating against it (Laqueur, 1996; p.34).”

In aftermath of the original 1993 World Trade Centre attack, we learnt that the terrorist responsible for that attack had hoped the attack would kill at least 250,000 people (9/11 Commission Report, p.72). In this attacks there was evidence that linked the perpetrators indirectly back to Osama bin Laden.

Al Qaeda is an organization that plays on the ideology that it is doing what it is doing for the good of all Muslims that they are waging a war against America and its allies for the good of the suppressed and manipulated Muslims of the world, who according to them are under the influence and indoctrination of the west. They emphasize the fact that what they do is for religious reasons, and that no restraint is necessary when dealing with the enemy, therefore justifying their actions as blessed by Allah.

This twisted religious philosophy governs their willingness to expand their concept, to execute aggressively their enemy. Their philosophy includes the concept, that if you are not with them, then you are against them. Therefore anyone that stands against them is a legitimate target in their religious war. In their eyes they are the righteous soldiers of Allah embarked on a holy war, a war that has no demands of their enemy, a war in which they are not willing to negotiate surrender or compromise (Barnaby, 2004, p.127), surrender either of themselves or their enemy. The total alienation of their enemy is sought. This is Al Qaeda, and it is for this reason credibility is given to the thought that one day Al Qaeda would use a nuclear device on their enemy. They have proven by their action in 9/11 that they are willing to die, and to kill as many civilians as possible. They seek not the recognition of their enemy, nor want anything from them (Barnaby, 2004, p.128), as they do not recognize the legitimacy of their enemy.

The Koran and the ideology of Islam is all they acknowledge, Al Qaeda is changing, incorporating Shiat and Sunni principles (Barnaby, 2004, p.1292), and they strive to unite one common strand of Islam, one against the rest of the world. It is this ideology, which is sought in the life of Osama bin Laden, the founder of Al Qaeda that makes the realization of the potential threat of a nuclear strike by Al Qaeda eminent. The question should not be if? But rather when and where?

Hoffman (2006, p.273) concludes; bin Laden in 1998 proclaimed that; “it is the duty of Muslims to prepare as much force as possible to terrorize the enemies of God (Hoffman, 2006; p.273).”

In conclusion, it would unwise for any intelligence agency or head of state to conclude infinitively that Al Qaeda would not utilize nuclear technology. Al Qaeda has surprised the world in its determination and willingness to do what ever it needs to do in order to bring their objective into a realization. Prior to 9/11 no one ever thought that a fanatical fundamentalist terrorist group would ever attack America at mass, and in such a way that still sends chills down a person spin when the events of 9/11 are recounted. But yet Al Qaeda did it. Therefore, how can we ever be certain that they will not use nuclear technology if they had it? Are we to take their word on it?

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Albright, D. Buehler, K. & Higgins, H. (January & February 2002). Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. In: Assessing Al Qaeda’s WMD Capabilities. 2 September 2002. Al Qaeda and Nuclear Weapons. Retrieved 1 October 2007: http://www.ccc.nps.navy.mil/rsepResources/si/sept02/wmd.asp

 Allison, G. (2004). Nuclear Terrorism. The Risk and Consequences of the Ultimate Disaster. Constable & Robinson, London. Chapter 2, ‘What Nuclear Weapons Could Terrorists Use? pp 43-60. In: Readings GPM418 No: 2, (2007). O’Brien, N. (Comp.) Charles Sturt University. Bathurst, p.75, 76.

Barnaby, F (2004). How to Build A Nuclear Bomb And Other Weapons of Mass Destruction. Granta Books. Chapter 7, ‘Terrorism With Weapons of Mass Destructions’. pp121, 122. In: Readings GPM418 No: 2, (2007). O’Brien, N. (Comp.) Charles Sturt University. Bathurst, p.24, 25, 127, 128, 129.

Boettcher & Arnesen, (25 January 2002). CNN. Al Qaeda documents outline serious weapons program terrorist group placed heavy emphasis on developing nuclear device. Posted 11.41AM EST (1641 GMT). Atlanta, Georgia. Retrieved, October 2007: http://edition.cnn.com/2002/US/01/24/inv.al.qaeda.documents/index.html

Corera, G. (2006). Shopping For bombs, Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity, And The Rise And Fall Of The A.Q. Khan Network. In: Readings GPM418 No: 2, (2007). O’Brien, N. (Comp.) Charles Sturt University. Bathurst, p.8.

 Hoffman, B. (2006) Inside Terrorism. Revised and Expanded Edition. Columbia Press. New York, p. 268. Laqueur, W. (1977). Terrorism. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. London. pp. 231, 273.

 Jenkins, B.R. (1975). Will Terrorists Go Nuclear? Rand Corporation, p.5541. Santa Monica, California, USA. In: Hoffman, B. (2006) Inside Terrorism. Revised and Expanded Edition. Columbia Press. New York, p. 268. Laqueur, W. (1977). Terrorism. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. London. p, 270.

 Johnston, R. (22 September 2002). Osama bin Laden and nuclear weapons. Retrieved: 1 October 2002. http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/nuclear/osamanuk.html

 Laqueur, W. (1977). Terrorism. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. London. p, 231. In: Hoffman, B. (2006) Inside Terrorism. Revised and Expanded Edition. Columbia Press. New York, p, 268.

 Laqueur, W. (1996). “Post Modern Terrorism,” Foreign Affairs. 75, No.5 (September –October 1996; p.34). In: Hoffman, B. (2006) Inside Terrorism. Revised and Expanded Edition. Columbia Press. New York, p, 268.

 O’Neill, S. & McGrory, D. (2006. The Suicide Factory, Abu Hamza and The Finsbury Park Mosque. Chapter 16, ‘The Recin Plot’. p.235 In: Readings GPM418 No: 2, (2007). O’Brien, N. (Comp.) Charles Sturt University. Bathurst, p.42.

 McCullagh, D. (28 September 2001). Does Osama Have a Nuclear Bomb? www.wired.com. Retreived, 1 October 2001:http://www.wired.com/politics/law/news/2001/09/47158

Nyquist, R. (2005). Does Al Qaeda Have Nuclear Weapons? Part One. Retrieved, 1 October 2007: http://www.financialsense.comstormwatch/geo/pastanalysis/2005/0923.html

 Whiteneck, D. (2005).Deterring Terrorists: Thoughts on a Framework
The Washington Quarterly – Volume 28, Number 3, Summer 2005, pp. 187-199

Television Documentaries:

Hiroshima. Wilmhurst, P. Producer & Writer. Discover Channel Asia. Televised 8 October 2007.

 Commission Reports:

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon The United States (2004). The 9/11 Commission Report. Chaired, Kean. T.H: Retrieved April 10 2007, http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/index.htm, pages, 72.

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