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Old 04-29-2004, 11:57 PM   #1
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Worldwide terrorist attacks down in 2003

Worldwide terrorist attacks down in 2003
Report: Iraq now 'a central battleground' in war on terror
From David Ensor and Elise Labott
CNN Washington Bureau
Thursday, April 29, 2004 Posted: 6:27 PM EDT (2227 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- International acts of terror in 2003 were the fewest in more than 30 years, according to the U.S. State Department's annual terrorism report released Thursday.

The Patterns of Global Terrorism report said 190 acts of international terrorism occurred in 2003 -- a slight drop from 198 attacks the previous year and the lowest total since 1969.

The figure marked a 45 percent decrease in attacks since 2001, but it did not include most of the attacks in Iraq, because attacks against combatants did not fit the U.S. definition of international terrorism.

Cofer Black, the State Department's ambassador at large for counterterrorism, told a news conference that he attributed the decrease to "unprecedented collaboration between the United States and foreign partners to defeat terrorism."

The report counted 82 anti-U.S. attacks around the world in 2003, up from 77 in 2002. Thirty-five American citizens died in terrorist attacks last year.

The highest number of attacks, 70, occurred in Asia, the report said.

The report said the war in Iraq has turned that country into "a central battleground in the global war on terrorism."

It said former regime elements conducting attacks against coalition forces have "increasingly allied themselves tactically and operationally with foreign fighters and Islamic extremists, including some linked to Ansar al-Islam, al Qaeda and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."

Black said while al-Zarqawi operates as an "independent actor," without orders from al Qaeda leadership, the United States considers him to be "sympathetic to al Qaeda" and part of the threat represented by that network.

The report warned that "several terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, increasingly look to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials as a means to cause mass casualties."

State sponsors of terrorism
The list of nations designated state sponsors of terrorism -- Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Sudan -- remained the same as the previous year.

But the report cited Sudan and Libya for taking "significant steps to cooperate in the global war on terrorism."

The report said that in 2003 "Libya held to its practice in recent years of curtailing support for terrorism, although Tripoli continues to maintain contact with some past terrorist clients."

It cited recent cooperation by Libya on dismantling its weapons of mass destruction, addressing the U.N. requirements to resolve the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, and recent statements by President Moammar Gadhafi about fighting al Qaeda. (Full story)

Sudan "deepened its cooperation with the U.S. government" last year in combating terrorism, including sharing information, strengthening anti-terror legislation, ratifying several terrorism conventions and arresting suspected extremists, the report said.

The United States is still concerned, however, about the presence of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in Sudan, the report said.

Iraq remained on the list because U.S. law requires a country to have a "government in place that pledges not to support acts of terrorism" before its removal, the report said.

The report said Syria has condemned terrorism and cooperated with the United States on al Qaeda, returned a sought-after "terrorist planner" to U.S. custody and attempted to tighten its borders with Iraq to limit movement of potential terrorists.

But, it said, Syria still provided political and material support to Palestinian terror groups and "continued to permit Iraq to use Damascus as a transshipment point for resupplying Hezbollah in Lebanon."

The report said North Korea "is not known to have sponsored any terrorist acts" since 1987 and has been attempting to deal with past terrorist actions such as returning hostages to Tokyo.

Nevertheless, it said, "Pyongyang has not taken substantial steps to cooperate" to combat international terrorism.

As in previous years, the report said Iran "remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 2003."

It cited that nation's Islamic Revolutionary Guard and Ministry of Intelligence as being "involved in the planning of and support for terrorist acts," and said Iran continued to support Palestinian terror groups.

It also suggested that Iran pursued policies in Iraq after the war that "ran counter" to coalition interests.

Those actions included providing safe haven for members of Ansar al Islam, advocating attacks against coalition forces and helping people with ties to the Revolutionary Guard infiltrate southern Iraq, the report said.

It said Iran's record against al Qaeda "remains mixed" and that it has failed to identify and transfer senior members of al Qaeda it claims to have in custody.

Saudi Arabia, Malaysia praised
The report praised Saudi Arabia's cooperation with the United States in combating terrorism after bombings in the country last May and November.

The kingdom was cited by Black in the report as "an excellent example of a nation increasingly focusing its political will to fight terrorism," including arresting terrorists, cutting funding and strengthening legislation.

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who was in Riyadh last week during the latest wave of attacks, said the past year's attacks did not have the intended effect -- to weaken Saudi resolve.

"That brutality only served to strengthen Saudi resolve -- inject more urgency into ongoing counterterrorism efforts and open entirely new avenues of cooperation," Armitage told the news conference.

The report also praised Malaysia's counterterrorism cooperation.

Although the report covered only terrorist attacks in 2003, Black reflected on the March 11 terrorist bombings in Madrid, Spain, which many believe tipped national elections against Prime Minister Jose Aznar.

"Terrorists have concluded, with the help of many others, that there may be a relationship between a terrorist action and an election in a democracy," Black said.

Asked if terrorists might attempt to affect the November U.S. presidential election, Black said, "These groups may decide that this is a good target date to look toward in all democracies."
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Old 05-17-2004, 04:16 PM   #2
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what is a terrorist attack?

can the perpetrator be a state?
can a victim be anybody?

its all meaningless in the absence of definitions.
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Old 05-17-2004, 10:38 PM   #3
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A Terrorist Attack is any unprovoked attack of anyone with the purpose of creating fear, panic and often the massive loss of innocent human life, usually designed to help achieve some political goal. 9/11 and the bombings in Spain are good examples.
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Old 05-18-2004, 06:20 AM   #4
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STING2: is a provoked attack no terrorism?
I'm thinking about the suicide bombers in iraq now and the palestinensians suicide bombers in israel.
I'd call them terrorists also i wouldn't call it unprovoked
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Old 05-18-2004, 10:42 AM   #5
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what about the responses of the israeli state to the palestinian bombers. is that terrorism? if no, why not?

if klaus defines the palestinian bomber as provoked then it must be the israeli state doing the provoking. obviously this discussion could go back ages, needless to say neither side is unprovoked at this point.

both sides of the israeli : palestinian situation seek to effect political change by causing massive loss of innocent human life and in doing so, they create fear and panic.
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Old 05-18-2004, 11:05 AM   #6
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kobayashi:
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Old 05-18-2004, 11:21 AM   #7
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I strongly disagree with kobayashi on this one. The IDF does NOT go out of its way to inflict civilian casualties, it is one of the most professional standing armed forces on the planet and has clear ROE (rules of engagement) as well as proper command structures to ensure civilian casualties are minimal. This does not allways work but for an army of that size operating in an area that hostile it does very, very well.

This professionalism is used against the IDF by the terrorists who will actively hide behind civilians and fire in order to provoke an Irsraeli response that will claim civilian lives. The myth that the IDF is equally as bad as Hamas of IJ is one of the most sickening moral comparisons I have had the displeasure to hear in my life.

The difference is really very simple. The Israeli state launches millitary operations against it's enemys (armed men who will kill Israeli civilians) and invariably a small proportion of those killed are civilians. This contrasts with palestinian terrorism which is murdering Israeli civilians deliberately through either homocide bombings or gunning them down. There is a clear distinction between launching a missile strike at a car carrying a Hamas leader and killing a civilian standing nearby unintentionaly and gunning down a pregnant woman driving a car, walking up to the car and then executing her daughters all the while filming it on video.

There is a saying that will clarify the violence begets violence argument for people as well.

If the arab's lay down their arms there will be no more carnage, if the Jews lay down their arms there will be no more Israel.

There will be a peace, the Gaza/most of West Bank pullout is being done as we speak, these millitary operations are all designed to root out the terrorist groups before it is all handed over to the PA, if anybody benefits the most it is Arafat who gains control over areas that were previously controlled by terrorist groups and the palestinian people who may look forward to a real state with a right to question their government (We offer Arafat all of Gaza and 98% of the west bank as well as limited right of return and his response is a frigging intafada, for the People who are looking for an obstacle to peace look no furthur).
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Old 05-18-2004, 11:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer

The difference is really very simple. The Israeli state launches millitary operations against it's enemys (armed men who will kill Israeli civilians) and invariably a small proportion of those killed are civilians. This contrasts with palestinian terrorism which is murdering Israeli civilians deliberately through either homocide bombings or gunning them down.
i didnt think it would take very long for this argument to appear.

this is a common line of thinking and also popped up in iraq regarding coalition forces. am i saying its not true? no, but am i agreeing with it? no. the truth is, its something that is often cited and rarely proven. youre argument, wanderer, could be the real ruse but it is a fruitless, and long, process of thought.

what is it that makes you believe it, as you steadfastly do?
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Old 05-18-2004, 11:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
This does not allways work but for an army of that size operating in an area that hostile it does very, very well.
Operation "Rainbow" (which means demolishing the houses of palestinensians in gaza with army-buldozers) has caused 15 dead people today and 30 injured.
Among the 15 killed were two children Ahmad Mughayer (13) and his sister Asma (16) were shot dead as they stood on the roof of their house. Both were hit in the head as they did their
washing.
Israel made more than 1100 people homeless in the last days without any compensation. According to ai israel demolished more than 3000 homes (2000 in the gaza-strip resulting in 11.000 homeless people!) of palestinensians since 2000.

I've heared Isreals diplomat in germany today live in TV he said this Operation is not limited in time but will be continued until Israels goals are reached (he couldn't tell the publich which goals that are exactly).
Jack Straw, Kofi anan and most EU countries condemed these actions.

ai calls "operation rainbow" a warcrime and violate 4th genova convention.
Quote:
in the vast majority of cases, it's wanton destruction - unnecessary, disproportionate, unjustified, and deliberate
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Old 05-18-2004, 07:15 PM   #10
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Can somebody show me pictures of Israeli helicopter gunships blowing up Schoolbuses? how about nightclubs or bars? Have the assasinations of Yassin and Rantissi made it better or worse for Israeli's and Palestinians?

The barbarity shown by these terrorist organizations knows no bounds, too often these groups practically run the "refugee camps" and use them for running arms in from across the border and hiding out other fighters and it is necissary to go out and clean them out before handing over authority to the PA.

In regards to terrorism I think that deliberate targeting of civilians is what makes the distinction (I disagree with what is essentially the collective punishment of buldozing houses) between a millitary operation and a terrorist action. Bombing civilians is not a legitimate act of resistance and it must not be rewarded, coming to the table to negotiate is the proper way (but as we have all seen the PA is hopeless when it comes to fighting terrorism) to do things.

The reason that incursions are right is because they reduce terrorism. Allmost every major policy that has been labled criminal has had a positive effect, take the barrier. Since it has been completed there has not been a single suicide attack within the state of Israel. Less terrorist attacks, less retaliatory strikes, less retaliatory strikes less Palestinians killed, less Palestinians killed the higher the chance for a peace settlement.
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Old 05-18-2004, 09:20 PM   #11
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A_Wanderer:
Your defense-strategy of Israeli and US behaviour is interesting, you just compare it to Criminal Terrorists and say "yep, we're not as bad as they are" but you forget that in this case the israeli military also kills innocent civilians and they know the risk (if you attack homes of civilists because of strategic thinking (building a wall or a trench) you can expect that there will be civilists who might be harmed.

If you are willing to kill innocent palestinensians to save innocent israeli lifes you don't have enough respect of their lifes.
If you tell me "well we save more israelis than palestinensians are killed" than... would you accept it that US civilians are killed to save isrealis?
If not, why? is the life of a palestinensian less worth? is he not human? maybe sub-human?

There is lots of blood on the hands of Israel and lots of hate against israel and the US (biggest supporter of mil. equipment for israel). And this hate will get more with every innocent who's killed in the name of anti-terrorism.
People like sharon don't understand (well i guess they do exactly understand but don't care) that, by the way they fight against terrorism they spread the seeds for more terror.

There are only 2 ways to get out of this conflict
1) kill ALL palestinensians
2) deescalation
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Old 05-19-2004, 10:16 AM   #12
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Where do I compare the actions of armed forces to that of terrorists? There is a clear distinction between killing millitants in an urban environment and having civilian casualties during the fighting and having somebody blow a busload of innocent people up to furthur a fucked up ideology.

The IDF has been fighting terrorism for more than 30 years, they know exactly what they are dealing with and they know that these men are not the type that negotiate.

Can you tell me of one terrorist organization that supports a two state solution?

Can you tell me one terrorist group that has killed less Israeli civilians than Israeli soldiers?

Can you tell me what violence against Israeli civilians does to help the situation of everyday Palestinians?

Can somebody tell my why a society that has become so entrenched with the concept of martydom and glorious murder can send their young men and women to kill civilians and die themselves by the hundreds becomes so outraged when a few civilians are killed in a retaliatory stike and tell the world that Israel has absolutely no respect for palestinan life when in fact it is Palestinian society that shows an utter contempt for palestinian life.

The most important rule when dealing with terrorism is to be ruthless. You cannot fuck around with these criminals, they will see any capitulation as a sign of weakness and sieze upon it, you will never be able to negotiate peace while Hamas is at the table, if you give a little then they will escalate terrorist attacks. The only way to get to peace is to remove the scourge of terrorism through direct action and then having a real political power to negotiate, this is what the entire Operaion Rainbow is about and this is why it is in the interests of everyone to get rid of the terrorists and then get back to peace talks. Sitting on your hands and letting the organisations and their structure stay in place is a recipe for disaster and it is the primary reason the terrorists have so much influence over the palestinian people, there is no chance of terrorism spreading if its tools are removed, that means breaking down the infrastrure and leadership of the organistations. This fragments the organisations which creates more small isolated risks but at least the threat of well orchestrated terrorist bombings and ongoing recruitment and indocrination is removed and the entire problem destroys itself.
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Old 05-19-2004, 10:24 AM   #13
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In addition I belive that Palestinian lives are equal to Israeli lives, it is simply unfortunate that terrorists seem to be real people magnets, were they go with guns a mob of rock throwing kids is bound to follow.


Victor Hanson's when we should no longer support Israel list

when…

Mr. Sharon suspends all elections and plans a decade of unquestioned rule.

Mr. Sharon suspends all investigation about fiscal impropriety as his family members spend millions of Israeli aid money in Paris.

All Israeli television and newspapers are censored by the Likud party.

Israeli hit teams enter the West Bank with the precise intention of targeting and blowing up Arab women and children.

Preteen Israeli children are apprehended with bombs under their shirts on their way to the West Bank to murder Palestinian families.

Israeli crowds rush into the street to dip their hands into the blood of their dead and march en masse chanting mass murder to the Palestinians.

Rabbis give public sermons in which they characterize Palestinians as the children of pigs and monkeys.

Israeli school textbooks state that Arabs engage in blood sacrifice and ritual murders.

Mainstream Israeli politicians, without public rebuke, call for the destruction of Palestinians on the West Bank and the end to Arab society there.

Likud party members routinely lynch and execute their opponents without trial.

Jewish fundamentalists execute with impunity women found guilty of adultery on grounds that they are impugning the “honor” of the family.

Israeli mobs with impunity tear apart Palestinian policemen held in detention.

Israeli television broadcasts—to the tune of patriotic music—the last taped messages of Jewish suicide bombers who have slaughtered dozens of Arabs.

Jewish marchers parade in the streets with their children dressed up as suicide bombers, replete with plastic suicide-bombing vests.

New Yorkers post $25,000 bounties for every Palestinian blown up by Israeli murderers.

Israeli militants murder a Jew by accident and then apologize on grounds that they though he was an Arab—to the silence of Israeli society.

Jews enter Arab villages in Israel to machine gun women and children.

Israeli public figures routinely threaten the United States with terror attacks.

Bin Laden is a folk hero in Tel Aviv.

Jewish assassins murder American diplomats and are given de facto sanctuary by Israeli society.

Israeli citizens celebrate on news that 3,000 Americans have been murdered.

Israeli citizens express support for Saddam Hussein’s supporters in Iraq in their efforts to kill Americans.

So until then, I think most can see the moral differences in the present struggle.
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Old 05-19-2004, 11:14 AM   #14
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You're acting as if you think there is a need to convince people here of how bad terrorists are. You can be against terrorists and still be critical about how the people in charge in Israel are dealing with the situation.

Quote:
The IDF has been fighting terrorism for more than 30 years, they know exactly what they are dealing with and they know that these men are not the type that negotiate.
After 30 years of work and experience, would have expected some better results. Thirty years of fighting and neither party have anything to show for it.
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Old 06-09-2004, 03:19 PM   #15
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Honest mistake, I'm sure

Quote:
US Will Revise Data On Terror
By Josh Meyer Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — The State Department is scrambling to revise its annual report on global terrorism to acknowledge that it understated the number of deadly attacks in 2003, amid charges that the document is inaccurate and was politically manipulated by the Bush administration.

When the most recent "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report was issued April 29, senior Bush administration officials immediately hailed it as objective proof that they were winning the war on terrorism. The report is considered the authoritative yardstick of the prevalence of terrorist activity around the world.

"Indeed, you will find in these pages clear evidence that we are prevailing in the fight" against global terrorism, Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage said during a celebratory rollout of the report.

But on Tuesday, State Department officials said they underreported the number of terrorist attacks in the tally for 2003, and added that they expected to release an updated version soon.

Several U.S. officials and terrorism experts familiar with that revision effort said the new report will show that the number of significant terrorist incidents increased last year, perhaps to its highest level in 20 years.

Continued
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