LTTE shows the way in terror
SUICIDE KILLINGS: The 1983 suicide bombing of the Beirut barracks by
Islamic Jihadists which killed 241 US servicemen and 58 French
paratroopers is considered the decisive turning point of the entry of
the terrorist suicide killings into the field of modern conflict.
From that time until the rise of suicide killings in Iraq with the
emergence of the Iraqi insurgency against the US-led occupation there,
which has led to a huge daily toll in suicide killings, it was the LTTE
in Sri Lanka that has established itself as the largest single use of
suicide killings to achieve its military and sectarian objectives.
If those Islamic Jihadists blazed the new trail of terror in from
Beirut in 1983, incidentally the year of the Black July in Sri Lanka,
which did help nurture many a Tamil militant movement in Sri Lanka, as
well as spawn the LTTE, it is now seen that in the matter of terrorist
innovation, the LTTE has been showing the way to others engaged in
terror throughout the world.
Reports of terror
That LTTE in Sri Lanka has led the way in innovations for terrorism
in other countries too, says the important annual assessment of
terrorism worldwide submitted recently to the United States Congress.
"Many LTTE innovations, such as explosive belts, vests, and bras, the
use of female suicide bombers, and waterborne suicide attacks against
ships, have been copied by other terrorist groups," says US Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice in the latest - 2006 - Country Reports of
Terrorism submitted to the US Congress.
U.S. law requires the Secretary of State to provide Congress, by
April 30 of each year, a full and complete report on terrorism with
regard to those countries and groups meeting criteria set forth in the
legislation. This annual report is entitled Country Reports on
The US State Department has interesting observations about the LTTE
and its commitment to terrorism in its latest Country Report on Sri
In its South and Central Asian section the report said, while the
Maoists in Nepal signed a peace agreement in contrast the LTTE continued
with its terrorist attacks.
"In Nepal and Sri Lanka, terrorism carried out by the Maoists and the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) posed a severe challenge to
The report adds: "On an encouraging note, in November, the Maoists
signed a peace agreement with the Government of Nepal that provided,
under certain disarmament conditions, that the Maoists could be admitted
into an interim government.
In Sri Lanka, the LTTE continued attacks including targeted
assassinations against political and military opponents."
As reported in the State Department's web site, the Secretary of
State told the US Congress that, the LTTE financed itself with
contributions from the Tamil Diaspora in North America, Europe, and
Australia, and by imposing local "taxes" on businesses operating in the
areas of Sri Lanka under its control.
Using this money, LTTE weapons were purchased on the international
black market or captured from the Sri Lankan Army.
The report adds: "The LTTE conducted a campaign of targeted
assassinations against political and military opponents.
This included the April assassination attempt of Sri Lanka Army
Commander General Sarath Fonseka and the assassination of the Army
Third-in-Command; the August 12 assassination of the Government of Sri
Lanka's Secretariat for the Coordination of the Peace Process, Deputy
Director Ketheshwaran Loganathan; and the December 1 suicide bomber's
attempt on the life of Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the
The Karuna faction, a dissident faction of the LTTE, conducted its
own assassination campaign against the LTTE and pro-LTTE civilians in
The fact that the report to the US Congress had to be made by April
30 would have prevented mention of the LTTE's latest offensive and
hostile act, which is the use of aircraft for attacks on the Sri Lankan
Armed Forces and its targeting of economic centres.
In his recent address on the fourth anniversary of his now ridiculed
"Mission Accomplished" speech in Iraq, President George W Bush gave many
examples to show how the US and its allies had succeeded in making
headway in the war on terror that it launched shortly after the 9/11
attack on the World Trade Center in New York.
The US President made reference to the new Pentagon initiative in
seeking to have an anti-missile shield in Europe, which has already
earned the wrath of President Putin and Russia.
Interestingly, what President Bush says is that the anti-missile
shield is not against any states that have legitimate missiles but
possible terrorist groups or "rogue states" that may acquire them in the
All this remains in the realm of the imagination for us in this part
of the world facing our own problem of terrorism, which the US State
Department now realises has been showing the way to others by way of
There was a time the LTTE had some missiles which they did use on
aircraft, including those flying civilians. But at that time there was
the general belief that the Tigers of Sri Lanka were a Liberation
Funding of Tiger wings
It has taken some time for large sections of the world opinion to be
disabused of such an overly simplistic view of the LTTE. Many are the
countries that have now taken the step of naming the LTTE as a terrorist
organisation, banning it in their countries or regions, and initiating
action against its terrorism related activities.
Gladly, the United States of America is among the first countries,
other than India, to impose such restrictions on the LTTE. The LTTE
which at one time claimed to be the world's best guerilla organisation,
changed tune in the more recent past and paid greater importance to its
In fact, the leader of its Sea Tigers, Soosai, is on record stating
that the real battle of the LTTE will be won at sea and not on land.
This showed a major change of tactics, possibly with the realisation
that its guerrilla activity on land was not going the way it expected.
There is the new reality that with the operations of the LTTE at sea
being stymied by the increased strength and maneuverability of the Sri
Lanka Navy and Air Force, there is less being said of success at sea,
and more bombast being made about success in the air.
It will be left for time to show the actuality of the LTTE's boasts
about how its "air power" will bring about the birth of the ever evasive
However, there is one interesting thought about the LTTE and its
flying machines. It is that the LTTE would not have come to own them, to
threaten the Sri Lankan State as well as the South Asian Region and the
international community, had many a foreign country and government taken
serious note of what Sri Lanka was telling the world about the true
intent and purpose of the LTTE.
It was the money raised both legally and illegally, mainly in the
West, that provided the funds for the LTTE to purchase its knocked down
aircraft. The smuggling in of the parts for these aircraft was largely
done in gross violation of the Ceasefire Agreement with the Government
of Sri Lanka.
When dealing with a innovator in the field of terror, it is not too
late for the world to take serious note of what the LTTE is today, and
how it can threaten the world further if those who speak so often
against terror do not take more effective action to prevent it moving
onto the next stage of escalation in terror.
The US State Department has noted the LTTE's innovations in terror.
Is it not time for the world to stop this terrorist innovator in its
tracks today and prevent it introducing more innovations of terror to