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Terrorism and Homeland Defense


Submitted By eireone
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Terrorism and Homeland Defense Fundamentals
Weekly Assignment 3.2

Part One:
1. Describe the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947.

For two years after the end of WWII, the world was in constant flux. New countries and boundaries were being drawn and one of the most contested and controversial was the creation of an Israeli/ Palestinian state. The Learning Network (2011) states the following:
On Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for Palestine to be partitioned between Arabs and Jews, allowing for the formation of the Jewish state of Israel.
Since 1917, Palestine had been under the control of Britain, which supported the creation of a Jewish state in the holy land. Sympathy for the Jewish cause grew during the genocide of European Jews during the Holocaust. In 1946, the Palestine issue was brought before the newly created United Nations, which drafted a partition plan.
The plan, which organized Palestine into three Jewish sections, four Arab sections and the internationally-administered city of Jerusalem, had strong support in Western nations as well as the Soviet Union. It was opposed by Arab nations.
US Central Intelligence Agency (para. 1-3)
2. Why do you think that Palestinian terrorists concentrate on soft targets?
The concentration on soft targets is a result of the need to draw attention of a global audience that is increasingly challenging to traumatize, the growing sophistication of the terrorists as a result of experience, and cooperation between terrorist groups whose causes and cultures may otherwise have little in common have increased their ability to successfully complete these soft target attacks. Palestinian extremists were some of the first who made widespread use of the suicide strategy, exploiting the terrifying advantage wielded by anyone who is perceived as not only willing but eager to die. Over the past decade human beings who turned themselves into walking bombs have devastated the region's peace process, and have killed many hundreds of Israelis, turning every cafe outing or bus ride into a high-stakes gamble.
Even though the Palestinians obviously go after the soft targets, a February 11, 2009 article in the Associated Press (AP, 2009) stated the following: The Quran admonishes the followers of Islam that not even the children of infidels should be killed. The Palestinian militant group Hamas contends its policy is not to target children, although it justifies attacks on civilians to avenge Israeli army attacks on ordinary citizens.
"We are freedom fighters, not gangs," a senior Hamas official in Gaza told the AP. "Women and children are not a target for Hamas. They have never been a target and they will never be our main target despite the daily killing of our women and children by Israel in cold blood."
Abu Mahmoud, a spokesman for the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank, said the group was "shocked by what we see on television" about the Russian school standoff.
"We would never agree to such a thing," he said. "We never did such a thing and never would. When there is an explosion and children are killed, we are sorry for this because this was a mistake, not on purpose." (para. 23) Is Abu Mahmoud to be believed? Is it really an honest mistake? I tend to believe it is not. If it were, it would cease happening time and time again. You can only accidently do something once. After that, it’s on purpose and intended.

3. List the Palestinian groups associated with the PLO.

The PLO umbrella contains several significant terrorist organizations, such as al-Fatah, Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP), Hawari Group, and Force 17. Other groups associated in some form with the PLO include:
➢ al-Saiqa -- Faction
➢ Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) -- Faction
➢ Hezbollah -- Ally
➢ Islamic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (IFLP) -- Faction
➢ Lebanese National Resistance Front -- Other Affiliation
➢ Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) -- Rival
➢ Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PSF) -- Faction
➢ Palestinian Revolution Forces General Command – Faction

It is important to note that the PLO’s objectives and political views have shifted over the years. Masri, M. (2010) states the following:

For the PLO, the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords was a watershed moment. In the eyes of many, it marked the beginning of the end for the organization and its revolutionary project. The Oslo Accords and the subsequent interim agreements between Israel and the PLO created the “Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority,” known as the PA. For the period prior to the establishment of a Palestinian State, the PA was to exercise those powers transferred to it by the Israeli Military pursuant to the Oslo agreements. As its policing authority was limited, most of the PA’s responsibilities were civil in nature, such as the provision of healthcare, education, and social services. (para. 8)

How solidly the PLO maintains the relationships with the more radical of the aforementioned groups are to be seen. Doing so will most certainly harm their objectives and in no way help their credibility with the international community.

Part Two:
1. What is al-Qaeda?

Bill Moyers, a contributor to Public Affairs Television, wrote a brief history on al-Qaeda and its founder, Osama bin Laden. In his article Moyers (2008) says the following about the organization and how it was started:
The true roots of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network stem from the decade-long conflict that plagued Afghanistan from 1979-1989. After Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviet Union, the Afghan Islamist extremists found a rallying call for their cause, as young Muslims from around the world came to Afghanistan to volunteer in what was being called a "holy war," or jihad, against the invading Soviets. One of these young Muslims was a 23 year old from Saudi Arabia named "Usama" bin Ladin. (para. 1)

In more specific terms, Al Qaeda (Arabic for “the base”) is a complex international Islamist terrorist network made up of regional affiliate organizations and clandestine cells with varying degrees of communication with Ayman al-Zawahiri, the group’s ideological and operational leader.

2. Describe the strategy of al-Qaeda attacks.

Since the death of Osama bin Laden, its new leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri has had to shift al-Qaeda’s method of attacks from the U.S. homeland to targets abroad. Intelligence garnered from bin Laden's computers showed that al-Zawahiri is especially interested in attacking U.S. interests in Iraq and East Africa. Most of al-Qaeda’s activities are carried out by independent cells and like-minded organizations with loose ties to its core leadership (ADL, 2012). It has also increased its reliance on the Internet for communication and propaganda.

3. Why is Osama bin Laden opposed to the United States?

Osama bin Laden’s chief complaint against the United States is our occupation of Islamic lands by our troops. Front Line published a timeline of edicts from Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden (1996) issued the following statement, it reads in part:
"Muslims burn with anger at America. For its own good, America should leave [Saudi Arabia.] ... There is no more important duty than pushing the American enemy out of the holy land. ... The presence of the USA Crusader military forces on land, sea and air of the states of the Islamic Gulf is the greatest danger threatening the largest oil reserve in the world. The existence of these forces in the area will provoke the people of the country and induces aggression on their religion, feelings and prides and pushes them to take up armed struggle against the invaders occupying the land. (np)

Part Three:
1. What is the purpose of the designation “state-sponsor of international terrorism?”

The U.S. State Department (2012) states the following:

In order to designate a country as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, the Secretary of State must determine that the government of such country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. Once a country has been designated, it continues to be a State Sponsor of Terrorism until the designation is rescinded in accordance with statutory criteria. (np)
The purpose of the designation leads to the following sanctions:
(1) A ban on arms-related exports and sales. (2) Controls over exports of dual-use items, requiring 30-day Congressional notification for goods or services that could significantly enhance the terrorist-list country's military capability or ability to support terrorism. (3) Prohibitions on economic assistance and (4) Imposition of miscellaneous financial and other restrictions. (np)

2. Which states are currently listed by the U.S. government as state-sponsors? Which are not?

According to the U.S. Department of State, the following countries are current state-sponsors of terrorism: Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria (State Department, 2012). Iraq, Libya, North Korea and South Yemen have all been removed from the list.

Part Four:
Conduct a Threat Analysis Paper on pages 134-135 of the Poland text. Follow the author’s outline and directions with the exception that all eight references may be derived from the Internet. A Threat Analysis of Hizballah – “The Party of God”

Hizballah is an Islamic freedom fighting movement founded after the Israeli military seizure of Lebanon in 1982, which resulted in immediate formation of the Islamic resistance units for the liberation of the occupied territories and for the expulsion of the Israeli forces. While al Qaeda has claimed the world headlines in recent years, Hizballah has established itself in a class of its own. Many terrorism experts are saying they have become the best in the business (Terrorist Groups, 2012). In 2006, Hizballah infiltrated Israel, ambushed an Israeli patrol, took two soldiers hostage, fought the Israeli Defense Forces for 34 days, and launched nearly 4,000 rockets into Israel (North, O. 2006). The organization is now flush with cash, receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from Iran annually (Caudill, S., 2008). Expanding its influence, the organization is now making inroads into Iraq and the Horn of Africa in an attempt to counter American foreign policy interests and further those of its main sponsor, Iran. In essence, this makes Hizballah’s presence and influence in the region even more dangerous.

Its philosophy was laid out in a 1985 “open letter” to the world, a document that has been updated and amended over the years to reflect the organization’s growing ambitions. In the letter, Hizballah commits itself to the destruction of Israel, the expulsion of Israelis and Western powers from Lebanon, and the removal of American hegemony in our land (Thomas, G., 2007). According to a 2010 Department of State report, Hizballah remains the most technically capable terrorist group in the world (Feltman, J.D., 2010).

Hizballah’s tactics and strategies for destabilizing actions also have a global reach. The past conviction of a Hizballah cell in Egypt for spying, plotting attacks on resorts frequented by tourists, and arms smuggling illustrates Hizballah’s growing regional reach and ambitions (Feltman, J.D., 2010). In Iraq and possibly Afghanistan, the U.S. is aware that Hizballah provides training and other support to Shia militant groups. This further complicates an already destabilized region.

Hizballah consists of approximately one thousand members who are mainly Nationalist/Separatist, and devoutly religious. They operate, train and recruit Middle-Eastern youths to fight for their cause. It is no secret that Iran provides training, funding and arms to Hizballah. All one has to do is connect the dots and they will see the money trail. START: National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (2012) states the following in reference to Hizballah’s past terrorist activities:

In the early 1980s, Hizballah popularized suicide bombings as an effective terrorist tactic. In April 1983, Hezbollah allegedly blew up a van filled with explosives in front of the U.S. embassy in Beirut killing 58 Americans and Lebanese. Then in October 1983, Hizballah is believed to be responsible for a truck bomb that detonated in the U.S. Marine barracks killing 241 American peacekeepers, and a simultaneous truck bombing at the French barracks that killed 58 French soldiers. These attacks contributed to the decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Lebanon the following year. Hizballah also carried out a number of kidnappings of Westerners in Lebanon during the mid 1980s, in which they executed the hostages or traded them for money or weapons. (para.2)

In testimony before the Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Feltman, J.D.(2010) states the following:
While Iran continues to provide a significant portion of Hizballah’s funding, Hizballah has also broadened its sources of financial support in recent years. Hizballah is now heavily involved in a wide range of criminal activity, including the drug trade and smuggling. It also receives funds from both legitimate and illicit businesses that its members operate, from NGOs under its control, and from donations from its supporters throughout the world. Hizballah also has established its own commercial and communications networks outside the Lebanese legal system that in essence rob the Lebanese treasury of the tax revenues that would come via legitimate licensing, registration, and tax reporting. A Threat to the Region’s Interests. (para. 8)

Feltman, J.D. (2010) goes on to say the following concerning the future threat and the way forward in dealing with Hizballah:
Time and again, we have seen that Hizballah’s weapons and Syria’s support for its role as an independent armed force in Lebanon are a threat, both to Lebanon and Israel, as well as a major obstacle to achieving peace in the region. Hizballah exploits the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict to bolster its own interests and influence. The group claims to maintain arms in order to defend Lebanon from Israeli “aggression” and derives much of its popularity from its image as a “resistance” group. In truth, Hizballah is actively using the conflict with Israel in order to gain regional popularity and justify its vast arsenal, acting as a point of leverage in the region for Iran. One of Hizballah’s rhetorical points regards Israeli over flights of Lebanese territory.
Hizballah’s insistence on remaining armed, aggressive, and unaccountable threatens important American interests and goals – especially our interests in Middle East peace and regional security, in containing the spread of destabilizing weapons and terror financing, and in a strong, democratic, and independent state of Lebanon. (para. 13& 16)

Hizballah’s intent is to destroy Israel and anyone who supports her right to exist. This organization has a long history of terrorist activity and shows no signs of slowing down. Although there are countries that do not see them mainly as a terrorist organization (Australia, Russia and the UK) and do recognize their political wing, as long as they refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist, they must be considered a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Tensions with Iran have never been higher than they are today. Iran’s is constantly seeking to obtain nuclear capability. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will have the world believe it is for peaceful purposes. Ahmadinejad will only admit to having intellectual ties with Hizballah. It is plain to see that this is a falsity. Although Hizballah has not attacked our homeland directly, our government will be wise to keep a vigilant watch on this dangerous organization.


(2012). Terrorist Organization Profile. START: National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. Retrieved December 18, 2012 from

(2012). Terrorist Groups. National Counterterrorism Center. Retrieved December 18, 2012 from

ADL. (2012). Terrorism: Al Qaeda. Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved December 16, 2012 from

AP. (2009). 'Soft Targets' Off Limits No More. CBS News. Retrieved December 15, 2012 from

Bin Laden, O. (1996). Who is Bin Laden? Frontline. Retrieved December 16, 2012 from

Caudill, S. (2008). Hizballah Rising: Iran's Proxy Warriors. DTIC. Retrieved December 18, 2012 from aPrefix=html&identifier=ADA516517

Feltman, J.D. (2010). Assessing the Strength of Hizballah. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved December 18, 2012 from

Masri, M. (2010). PLO and the Crisis of Representation. MUFTAH. Retrieved December 15, 2012 from entation-by-mazen-masri/

Moyers, B. (2008). Bill Moyers Journal. Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved December 16, 2012 from .html

North, O. (2006). Common Sense: Know Your Enemy. Fox News. Retrieved December 18, 2012 from,3566979,00.html

The Learning Network (2011). Nov. 29, 1947 | U.N. Partitions Palestine, Allowing for Creation of Israel. The New York Times. [Education]. Retrieved December 15, 2012 from 9-1947-united-nations-partitions-palestine-allowing-for-creation-of-israel/

Thomas, G. (2007). Suicide Bombers: Heroes or Villains? The Socialist Party of Great Britian. Retrieved December 18, 2012 from ard/2000s/2007/no-1235-july-2007/suicide-bombers-heroes-or-villains

State Department. (2012). State Sponsors of Terrorism. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved December 16, 2012 from

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...Running Head: LEADERSHIP Leadership David Berwanger Central Texas College Leadership Introduction The U.S. Army has established the largest active-duty armored post at Fort Hood. It was a major hub for troops deploying to or returning from military service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fort Hood is 100 miles (160 km) south of Dallas-Fort Worth, and near the town of Killeen. Its citizens deal with violence on their overseas missions. They don't ordinarily expect to encounter carnage in their home base, which lies in the pleasant hill-and-lake country of central Texas. Carnage is just what transpired on Nov. 5, 2009. The Fort Hood shooting was believed to be one of the worst mass shootings ever on a military base in the U.S.; a gunman killed 13 people and wounded some three dozen others (Bergen, 2011). The shooter was a 39-year-old military psychiatrist and was taken into custody after being wounded by base police. Officials identified him as Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a devout adherent of Islam. The incident triggered sharp debate on whether the shooter was a deranged individual, a terrorist, or perhaps both and whether authorities had paid sufficient attention to warning signs in his behavior that might have enabled them to prevent the tragedy (McCullough, 2011). This paper explores the leadership attributes displayed by the officials after the massacre happening. Part 1 Introduction to Crisis Situation On November 5, 2009...

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