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May 14, 1975
Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672 14 May 197 5 Statement by Mr Brian Crozier, Director of the Institute for the Study of Conflict, London, in testimony before the Sub- Committee on Internal Security of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate. TRANSNATIONAL TERRORISM am going to be On with definitions, for I believe that it is important that we should know what we are talking about. YPLI will notice that I use the term "transnational terrorism'', rather than "international terrorism". The distinction between the two may seem pedantic to some people, but to my mind it is a real one. "International terrorism" might imply the � existence of a "terrorist international" in the sense of an international body coordinating the activities of terrorists in different countries. There is really no such thing, although a number of terrorist groups are affiliated to the Trotskyist Fourth International with its headquarters in Brussels. However, a striking aspect of the new wave of terrorism that faces us today is that the great majority of the proliferating terrorist .groups receive help of one kind or another across international boundaries, either from other terrorist groups or from governments that support what they are doing or the objectives which they claim to be furthering. With these few preliminary remarks, I propose the following brief glossary: � Terrorism: motivated violence for political ends (a definition that distinguishes terrorism from both vandalism and non-political crime). Terror: measures of extreme repression, including torture, used by States to oppress the population or to repress political dissenters (the converse of terrorism). Extremist: prepared to break the law, with particular reference to political violence. Subversive centres: countries that provide assistance, whether with money, training, arms or various facilities, to extremist movements engaged in challenges to the security of other States. Guerrillas (urban or rural): groups or individuals practising guerrilla warfare. The term "urban guerrillas" is often a misnomer for "urban terrorists". Revolutionary war: a form of warfare in which the ultimate objective is the total destruction of the society in which the conflict is occurring, and of the government and administration of the area. Subversion: a systematic attempt to undermine a society with the -ultimate objects of bringing about a total collapse of the State by bringing Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672 a regime into disrepute, causing a loss of confidence on the part of the ruling establishment, institutions and government, and provoking a breakdown of law and order. Subversion and Terrorism It is very important to understand that terrorism, which is our main concern today, may or may not be a phase in a subversive campaign or in a revolutionary war. The relationship between subversion and terrorism is the same as that between the whole and the part. A revolutionary war, essentially based on the pattern developed by Mao Tse-tung in China and by Truong Chinh and Vo Nguyen Giap in Vietnam, and later practised in Algeria and other countries, usually goes through various phases. It will begin with the creation of a subversive apparatus; the second phase will consist of terrorism; there will be a third phase of guerrilla war; and a final phase of full-scale war leading (if the revolutionariesare successful) to the "revolutionary final offensive" � of which we have just witnessed a tragically successful example in Vietnam. Now the point I want to make is this, that terrorism is in the final analysis much more grave and important if it is a phase in a process of subversion or revolutionary war than if it is practised for its own sake as an isolated phenomenon. It is a very important element in the counter- action to terrorism to be certain in diagnosis of the challenge. If the terrorists have ultimate revolutionary objectives, they must be prevented from reaching Phase 3 and at all costs Phase 4. One of the most striking and curious aspects of the contemporary wave of terrorism, however, is that in a number of cases there appears to be no discernible ultimate political objective. Terrorism becomes a way of life. I am not making the mistake of suggesting that such forms of apparently unmotivated terrorism are unimportant. On the contrary, they contribute to the erosion of liberties and of the fabric of society. They must not be allowed to go on, but it must be borne in mind that the ultimate beneficiaries � if any � of such terrorism are unlikely to be those that actually practise it. The Objects of Terrorism I think it is fair to say that there is no absolute unanimity among specialists on the aims or objects of terrorism. I myself have always distinguished between two main categories of terrorism: disruptive and coercive. The aims of disruptive terrorism are: self publicity; to build up the movement's morale and prestige; to discredit and demoralise the authorities; to provoke the authorities into taking excessively harsh repressive measures, likely to alienate the population and force a rising spiral of official expenditure in arms, lives and money, resulting in Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672 ,� n Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672 public clamour for the abandonment of counter-action. 3. The aims of coercive terrorism are: to demoralise the civil popula- tion, weaken its confidence in central authority, and instil fear of the terrorist movement; to make an example of selected victims, by torture and/or death to force obedience to the leadership of the movement. There is an important observation to be made at this point: terrorism is a weapon of the weak. This, at any rate, was the normal experience in the recent past. Usually, terrorists graduated to guerrilla war and then to outright war when and if they felt strong enough. If they abandoned guerrilla war to return to terrorism, this could normally be taken as a sign of returning weakness. It must be stressed, however, that the con- temporary wave of terrorism provides many examples that do not conform to this facile rule; and it may well be that the readiness of terrorists to stick to terrorism even when they are visibly growing in strength, may help the security forces to determine whether the prevailing terrorist situation represents an end in itself or is a phase in a wider revolutionary action. There are many examples, but the ones that have struck me most forcibly are those of the Red Army Group (the Baader-Meinhof gang) in the Federal Republic of Germany; and the prolonged terrorist activities of the Ejercito Revolucionario del Pueblo (ERP) and the Montoneros in Argentina. Two more observations are called for at this point. One is that terrorism is a barometer of success or failure, and a fairly precise indicator of public support or its absence. Whenever terrorists find it necessary to kill more people on their own side than on the enemy side, it must be presumed either that their cause is widely opposed, �or that at least it leaves the population indifferent. In many situations I have studied, the terrorists normally killed more of their presumed supporters than of the supposed enemy. The other observation is that terrorism, in general, appears to be a useful auxiliary weapon rather than a decisive one. It may even be counter-productive, by alienating the population. The Main Strands of Terrorism Today Any classification of terrorist groups is bound to be arbitrary, in that overlapping is inevitable. In recent study groups and conferences of the Institute for the Study of Conflict, we have been in broad agreement on the following classification of the main categories of terrorist groups. We had Western Europe primarily in mind, but these categories are operative all over the world, including the Western Hemisphere: 1. Ethnic, religious or nationalist groups. In general, these are minority groups which feel themselves different from the majority of the population, on ethnic, religious, linguistic or cultural grounds. They include the Provisional wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the Palestinian group Al Fatah with its extreme terrorist wing, Black September, and on this side of the Atlantic, the Front de Liberation du -Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672��,,�,A�,,, Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672 4. Quebec (FLQ). At different times, of course, you have had Black extremist groups in this country as well. You will note that these ethnic or religious groups may be either "right-wing" or "left-wing". Initially, both the Provisional IRA and Al Fatah were to the right rather than to the left. On the other hand, the FLQ and the Official wing of the IRA, which is Marxist, are of course left-wing. 2. Marxist-Leninist groups. I should like to emphasise the im- portant point that although a number of revolutionary groups of the extreme left, such as the Trotskyists, are often at loggerheads with each other and usually violently opposed to the Moscow-line Communist Parties, they are all nevertheless branches from the same mother tree, in that they are all Marxist-Leninist. The same obviously applies to the so-called Maoist groups, which may or may not be affiliated to the Chinese People's Republic. The Guevarists and Castroites must also be considered in this group. The Official wing of the IRA certainly belongs in this group as well as in group 1; along with the Portuguese Maoist Reorganisation Movement of the Party of the Proletariat (MRPP), the Basque ETA (VI Assembly) and the Maoist Brigate Rosse in Italy. It should be remembered that most of the orthodox Communist parties are more or less responsive to the current Soviet line in favour of a ."consttutional path to power". Nevertheless, there are a number of striking examples of Communist parties that have latterly been involved in violent action. These include the Portuguese Communist Party (for about two years until May 1973, through the terrorist ARA); the North Vietnamese (Lao Dong); the North Korean and the Cuban parties. Nor should it be overlooked that Moscow, while in general advocating "constitutional" methods is nevertheless engaged in clandestine assistance for a number of terrorist groups, not limited to those of Marxist persuasion. 3. Anarchist groups. These are neither as numerous nor as important as the groups in our second category, but Anarchism may now be on the increase. In Spain, which has a strong Anarchist tradition, the Movi- miento Iberico Libertario has emerged recently in Catalonia. The German security authorities classify the Baader-Meinhof gang as "Anarchist", but this is arguable. The "ideology" of the gang is con- fused and eclectic. To the extent that it possessed an ideology at all, the Angry Brigade in the United Kingdom could be classified as "Anarchist' 4. Pathological groups or individuals. Where group violence appears to be a way of life, in that the political objectives are never clearly spelt out, it may be helpful to regard such groups as pathological rather than political. Some experts would hold that such American groups as the Weathermen or the Symbionese Liberation Army, are organisations that may he considered analogous to the group responsible for the Manson killings. The motivation may have more to do with personal inadequacy, hatred of family, or a specifically white middle-class guilt-feeling than with an acquired ideology. -- -Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672 5. 5. Neo-fascist and extreme right-wing groups. In Latin America in recent years, a number of groups that may be regarded loosely as "right- wing" and that appear to have enjoyed the tacit support of the authorities, have sprung up in reaction to left-wing terrorism. Examples include the Eye for an Eye (0jo por Ojo) in Guatemala and the Death Squad (Escuadrao da Morte) in Brazil. There has in fact been very little true right-wing terrorism in most Western countries, with the important exception of Italy, during the past two years or so. 6. Ideological mercenaries. This is a true "transnational" phenomenon. Traditionally, mercenaries sold their military talents for money; the ideological mercenaries are ready to cross international borders in pursuit of an ideological cause. A pioneer in this field is the Japanese United Red Army (Rengo Segikun). The Subversive Centres Relatively few terrorist movements are entirely home-grown and self- sufficient, although it is equally true to say that unless a group has roots in its home territory, it is unlikely to flourish, regardless of foreign support. The point, however, is that foreign support does enable such groups in many cases to increase their effectiveness and pursue their efforts until final victory. Recent history has brought dramatic examples of this proposition. For instance, the victory achieved by the North Vietnamese forces and the Vietcong would not have been possible without massive supplies of sophisticated armaments from the Soviet Union. This was equally true, incidentally, of the Vietnamese Communist victory over the French forces at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Again, the anti-Portuguese terrorists and guerrillas i.n Mozambique and elsewhere would probably not have achieved their final political victory without substantial support in money, arms and training from the Soviet Union, China and certain Western countries, among them Sweden. As my earlier glossary puts it, countries which provide such assistance for movements in other countries must be regarded as subversive centres. By far the greatest subversive centre in the world is the USSR, which is actively supported in Eastern Europe, especially by East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria. The Chinese People's Republic is also involved as a subversive centre in support of groups in South and East Asia, in the Middle East and in Africa. North Vietnam is similarly involved, in Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. North Korea's involvement in subversive support has had a bizarre geographical spread, including Mexico and Chile. Cuba under Fidel Castro has likewise exported subversion and terrorism to most other countries in Latin America, on a very minor scale in the United States, and in certain African countries, and even in the Middle East. It should not be supposed that the activities of these Communist countries are necessarily coordinated. On the contrary, they are often conducted in rivalry with one another, and I have termed this phenomenon - Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672- Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672 "competitive subversion". There has been competitive subversion :between China and Russia, especially in Africa and the Middle East. � But it would be a mistake to suppose that these rivalries are entirely to the benefit of threatened countries. The Russians and Chinese may currently be pursuing policies of mutual hostility, but all Communist states that are involved in subversion are aiming at the same objectives � - the elimination of "colonialism", "neo-colonialism", "imperialism", and "capitalism". The proliferation of revolutionary groups, regardless of their allegiance or the degree of their autonomy merely complicates the job of security forces and intelligence services in the target countries. Apart from the Communist countries, a number of other countries, mostly of left-wing or revolutionary tendencies, have also been involved in the export of subversion and terrorism in recent years. These include, or have included, Algeria, Tanzania, Zambia, the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) and Zal:re; the Popular Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY), Iraq, Syria and the Lebanon (the latter probably involuntarily). An important newcomer in the field has been Libya under the Ghadaffi regime, which has involved itself in terrorism in many places, including Northern Ireland, Chad, and even the Philippines. I am now going to tread on more controversial ground. The terrorists of yesterday quite often turn into the respected citizens of today. This is clearly happening in Mozambique, and in Guinea-Bissau, and will shortly happen in Angola. It is a curious fact, nevertheless, that during the period when such movements as FRELIMO wer e involved in terrorist activities against the Portuguese authorities, a number of private organisa- tions - most prominently, the World Council of Churches - and various Western governments provided financial assistance to the terrorists. These included Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Norway and Finland. In all cases, the aid provided was said to be "humanitarian" in character (that is, destined for medical supplies, schools, etc.) and not military. To the extent that such assistance relieved the budgets of FRELIMO and other organisations, they were enabled to increase their purchases of military material. lend this section with some remarks about Soviet bloc involvement in support for terrorist movements. The year 1968 was a turning point. In that year, three major events focused the attention of Soviet ideologists and policy-makers on political violence and in particular on the so-called New Left. These events were: the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia, which in a sense brought a New Left government to power, forcing the Soviet armed forces to occupy the country; the TOt offensive in Vietnam and President Johnson's decision not to seek re-election, which could be attributed at least in part to the protest movement; and the disorders in Paris in May and June, which almost brought down the government of General de Gaulle. A new policy and attitude towards the extreme left originated in Moscow at that time. It was a very sophisticated policy, which amounted to this: that the orthodox parties everywhere could denounce the extremism of the left and advance their own credentials as the alternative Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672 7 government and the party of order; whereas Soviet assistance to terrorist groups, including some ideologically incompatible with the Moscow line, could continue on a clandestine basis. A striking exam- ple of this came to light with the seizure at Schiphol airport in Holland in the autumn of 1971, of a large shipment of Czech arms destined for the Provisional (that is, non-Marxist) wing of the IRA. The Russians have also been involved in support of terrorist activities in Portugal, in Mexico, in Colombia and in Chile, among other places. The Portuguese example is particularly relevant. I have already mentioned the Portuguese Communist Party's involvement in violence through the ARA. The point is that the PCP has always been entirely responsive to Soviet directives. It has never questioned Soviet, policy, even on such traumatic issues as the Nazi-Soviet pact, the invasion of Finland, the occupation of Hungary or the occupation of Czechoslovakia. The Soviet Union was also involved for many years in the training of .terrorists and guerrillas from African countries, including the Portug- uese territories. In addition, Soviet weapons have reached the Palestinian groups and the Turkish People's Liberation Army some year s ago. In fact, the USSR offers courses in terrorism, sabotage and guerrrilla warfare in two distinct streams, according to whether the candidates are members of a Moscow-line Communist party or of a "national liberation movement". The Communists attend courses run by the Lenin Institute, otherwise known as the Institute of Social Sciences, the Institute of Social Studies and the International School of Marxism-Leninism � the terms being interchanAble and all referring to the same organisation controlled by the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party. Each course lasts about six months and at any given time between 300 and 600 men and some women are enrolled. The largest group is from Latin America; next come the Arabs, but Europeans, Asians and Africans are present in smaller numbers. The second stream � national liberation movements � is channelled through the Patrice Lurnumba University in Moscow, and eventually finds its way to training camps at Tashkent, Odessa, Baku and Simferopol. I should add in fairness that the Russians hold ambiguous views on terrorism. They are on record as opposing the hijacking of international airliners, for instance � not least because this kind of action has happened in the USSR itself. But they are in the terrorist business on a large scb.le, and this fact should he remembered at a time when "d�nte" is supposed to be the order of the day. The Response to Terrorism In all advanced industrial countries, there are wide and deep divergences of opinion about the nature of society and the desirability of change. But there is a broad consensus that terrorism cannot be tolerated. Even if Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672 _ Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672 8. change is needed, it cannot he change imposed by the force of a fanatical minority. If society tolerates the assassin or the bomb- thrower or does not react to terrorism with sufficient awareness and determination, then by degrees the terrorist may appear to be the spokesman for legitimate pressure groups. Terrorists act in defiance of the law and of the social consensus; the rule of law must be enforced against them. It may well be that the terrorist group has s.fastened on a genuine social or minority grievance. Any intelli- gent counter-action must take steps to remove the grievance that is exploited by the terrorist group, as well as to suppress those practi- sing terrorism. Inevitably, the terrorist has the initiative, since they can attack places of their own choosing and in their own time. It is essential, therefore, to penetrate the terrorist organisation or acquire reliable intelligence about its plans. The terrorists must be isolated, by being denied the essential aids they need, such as food, money, medical treatment and safe houses. A successful counter-action must be coordinated. The brunt of it will fall on the national police force and on the internal security and - external intelligence services. But paramilitary organisations of the state, and other state organisations - such as immigration control, frontier and coastal guards, and any official information services that may exist - will also be involved. In the last resort, the armed services may also have a part to play, when the incidence of terrorism has escalated to a level that is beyond the competence of the police to deal with. In terms of organisation, the various ministries and agencies involved must be brought under a single authority, who may be the Prime -Minister or the President or Head of State. The role of intelligence is absolutely crucial. All intelligence gathered .by separate agencies must be pooled, computerised if necessary and centrally assessed. In any anti-terrorist campaign, it is desirable to set up a national task force drawn from the various agencies involved, and dedicated to research, investigation and the coordination of counter- measures. One of the most successful examples of anti-terrorist action in recent times was the incident in Holland on 31 October 1974. Fifteen hostages held by armed criminals in Scheveningen gaol were released by a commando assault by a Dutch counter-terrorist squad. The psycho- logical methods included noise, flares, smoke bombs and sirens, and skilled marksmanship played its part. A ,particularly important aspect of a counter-campaign is information and publicity. Especially in an open society and a representative demo- cracy, the public must be fully informed about the need for counter- action and - as far as is consistent with security - the need for certain measures. In practice, the media, especially television, have usually provided a one-sided account of terrorism and the response to it - one- sided in favour of the terrorists. This is not entirely the fault of the Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672 professional media people, but is inherent in the nature of television. All counter-measures can be presented, with a special focus on any- thing that may be described as police brutality, or excesses on the part of the authorities. The terrorists, on the other hand, do not normally invite television teams to witness people being beaten up, or tarred and feathered or (as in Vietnam) the disembowelling of recalcitrants. Certainly, television interviewers have been known to present terrorists in a sympathetic light. ;But if society is to be protected from terrorism, it is incumbent on the authorities to make the extra effort needed to enlist the cooperation of media personnel � not to present a distorted view in favour of official action, but merely a fair presert ation of the need for counter-measures in the common interest. Much remains to be done in preventing terrorists from gaining access to explosive materials and to weapons. I realise that in the United States you have a special problem because of the wide availability of .guns. But the availability of explosive materials can be limited. Companies, entitled to stockpile such materials should be required to guard their supplies. � As regards such crimes as the hijacking of passenger aircraft, very inadequate progress has been made in international law. The use of new technology and the rigorous enforcement of security measures, especially in the United States, has drastically reduced the incidence of hijacking on internal flights. On international flights, no real progress will. be made until countries offering a safe refuge for hijackers are suitably penalised. This statement does not, of course, pretend to be exhaustive. I have sought to analyse the problem in its principal aspects. It is a problem that is still growing in scope and danger. And it is a problem that can- not be solved in one country alone: international as well as national action is required. Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 CO2221672