Defining Terrorism

Andy Grudko, Pretoria. September 23, 2017

Most people recognise ‘terrorism’ when they see it on TV or, hopefully not, in real life. But it can be difficult to get agreement on defining “terrorism”.

The greatest difficulty is agreeing on a basis for determining when the use of violence is legitimate; as is often quoted by those trying to defend terrorism, “One man’s Terrorist is another man’s Liberator’.

The use of violence or the threat of violence by both state and non-state groups for political ends is common and usually the victor tries to rewrite history. In former times the victor would burn history books and rewrite them. Luckily this is not so easy in the internet age and is why governments want to control and censor it and why the often shadowy would-be politicians behind terrorists try to do the same.

In a conventional war ‘Guerrilla’, ‘Underground’, ‘Resistance’ or covert military tactics are often used to describe acts that the other side might describe as terrorism. During the Apartheid government’s ‘Bush Wars’ the SADF referred to all of the enemy as ‘Terrs” as part of their psychological motivation directed at both SA’s troops and it’s tax payers. This was facilitated by the atrocities carried out against civilians by a few of those resistance enemies or criminals and the acts exploited by the geo-political psy-ops units of SA intelligence such as Stratcom, the secret propaganda apparatus of the apartheid era police’s Security Branch.

Many of the definitions in use have been written by agencies associated with government, and so are not independent. The modern use of the word “terrorist” is based on a lack of legitimacy and morality. It is worth noting that SA’s Past President Nelson Mandela and current Deputy President Cyril Ramaphsosa were on the US State Department Terrorist Watch List until 2008.

To further complicate matters in finding a Universal Definition is that at his Presidential Inauguration in 1994, Nelson Mandela’s honoured guests included the Heads Of State of some so-called ‘Terror States’. Such leaders as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Yasser Arafat and Fidel Castro were present or officially represented (Until his death, Mandela remained loyal to those who had extended a hand of friendship when the African National Congress was itself a demonised organisation).

SA law does not define terrorism per se but rather breaks it down into a complicated sequence of events called:

‘Terrorist activity’, with reference to this section and sections 2, 3 and 17 (2), means-

(a) any act committed in or outside the Republic, which-

(i) involves the systematic, repeated or arbitrary use of violence by any means

or method;

(ii) involves the systematic, repeated or arbitrary release into the environment

or any part of it or distributing or exposing the public or any part of it to-

(aa) any dangerous, hazardous, radioactive or harmful substance or


(bb) any toxic chemical; or

(cc) any microbial or other biological agent or toxin;

(iii) endangers the life, or violates the physical integrity or physical freedom of, or

causes serious bodily injury to or the death of, any person, or any number of


(iv) causes serious risk to the health or safety of the public or any segment of the public;

(v) causes the destruction of or substantial damage to any property, natural

resource, or the environmental or cultural heritage, whether public or


(vi) is designed or calculated to cause serious interference with or serious

disruption of an essential service, facility or system, or the delivery of any

such service, facility or system, whether public or private, including, but not

limited to-

(aa) a system used for, or by, an electronic system, including an information


(bb) a telecommunication service or system;

(cc) a banking or financial service or financial system;

(dd) a system used for the delivery of essential government services;

(ee) a system used for, or by, an essential public utility or transport


(ff) an essential infrastructure facility; or

(gg) any essential emergency services, such as police, medical or civil defence services;

(vii) causes any major economic loss or extensive destabilisation of an economic system or substantial devastation of the national economy of a country; or (viii) creates a serious public emergency situation or a general insurrection in the Republic,whether the harm contemplated in paragraphs (a) (i) to (vii) is or may be suffered in or outside the Republic, and whether the activity referred to in subparagraphs

(ii) to (viii) was committed by way of any means or method; and

(b) which is intended, or by its nature and context, can reasonably be regarded as being intended, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, to-

(i) threaten the unity and territorial integrity of the Republic;

(ii) intimidate, or to induce or cause feelings of insecurity within, the public, or a segment of the public, with regard to its security, including its economic

security, or to induce, cause or spread feelings of terror, fear or panic in a civilian population; or

(iii) unduly compel, intimidate, force, coerce, induce or cause a person, a government, the general public or a segment of the public, or a domestic or an international organisation or body or intergovernmental organisation or body, to do or to abstain or refrain from doing any act, or to adopt or abandon a particular standpoint, or to act in accordance with certain principles, whether the public or the person, government, body, or organisation or institution referred to in subparagraphs (ii) or (iii), as the case may be, is inside or outside the Republic; and

(c) which is committed, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, for the purpose of the advancement of an individual or collective political, religious, ideological or philosophical motive, objective, cause or undertaking;

Other organisations and countries have taken other approaches:

United Nations

The UN General Assembly Resolution 49/60 (adopted on December 9, 1994), titled “Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism,” has this rather fuzzy, long sentence in it’s conventions and protocols. to describe but not define terrorism:

“Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them.”

UN Security Council Resolution 1566 (2004) provides the definition:

“Criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act”.

In 2005 the UN panel described terrorism as any act “Intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.”

Despite growing world terrorism, at the time of writing the politically correct UN Member States still have no consensus on the definition of terrorism. This is a major obstacle to formulating. Agreement would be necessary for a single policy on terrorism. Governments which have recently used terrorism to seize power are blocking the resolutions of more progressive States.

The Arab League

In the 1998 Arab Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism , terrorism was defined as:

“”Any act or threat of violence, whatever its motives or purposes, that occurs in the advancement of an individual or collective criminal agenda and seeking to sow panic among people, causing fear by harming them, or placing their lives, liberty or security in danger, or seeking to cause damage to the environment or to public or private installations or property or to occupying or seizing them, or seeking to jeopardize national resources”.

European Union

The EU defines terrorism in Art.1 of the Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism (2002). Under it terrorist offences are detailed as criminal offences set out in a list of serious offences against persons and property:

“Which, given their nature or context, may seriously damage a country or an international organization where committed with the aim of: seriously intimidating a population; or unduly compelling a Government or international organization to perform or abstain from performing any act; or seriously destabilizing or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country or an international organization”.

United Kingdom

Soon to leave the EU, the United Kingdom’s Terrorism Act 2000 legalistically ‘interprets’ terrorism as:

(1)In this Act “terrorism” means the use or threat of action where—

(a)the action falls within subsection (2),

(b)the use or threat is designed to influence the government [F1or an international governmental organisation] or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and

(c)the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious [F2, racial] or ideological cause.

(2)Action falls within this subsection if it—

(a)involves serious violence against a person,

(b)involves serious damage to property,

(c)endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action,

(d)creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or

(e)is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.

This may have to be updated due to ‘Brexit’.

Interestingly the Act specifically includes an act “…designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system”, so violence is not even necessary under this definition.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, as the victims of the greatest act of terrorism of the 21th Century, thus far, America has it’s own array of definitions.

The United States Code of Federal Regulations defines terrorism as “The unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”

Title 18 of the United States Code defines terrorism and lists the crimes associated with terrorism. Section 2331 of Chapter 113(B) defines thus:

“…activities that involve violent… or life-threatening acts… that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State and… appear to be intended;

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.

The US Patriot Act of 2001 states that terrorist activities include;

Threatening, conspiring or attempting to hijack airplanes, boats, buses or other vehicles. Threatening, conspiring or attempting to commit acts of violence on any “protected” persons, such as government officials…any crime committed with “the use of any weapon or dangerous device,” when the intent of the crime is determined to be the endangerment of public safety or substantial property damage rather than for ‘mere personal monetary gain’.

The FBI definition of terrorism is: ”The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a Government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.

The U.S. Army Field Manual No. FM 3-0, Chapter 9, 37 defines terrorism as the “calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear. It is intended to coerce or intimidate governments or societies … [to attain] political, religious, or ideological goals” U.S. Army Field Manual No. FM 3-0, Chapter 9, 3

The US Department of Defence Dictionary of Military Terms defines terrorism as: ”The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological”.

State Terrorism

State terrorism can be defined as acts of terrorism conducted by governments or terrorism carried out directly by, or encouraged and funded by, an established government of a State (country) or terrorism practiced by a government against its own people or in support of international terrorism.

The intentional targeting of one’s own civilian subjects or citizens is a challenge when observers try to distinguish state terrorism from other forms of state violence.

Democratic Governments sometimes support state terrorism of populations outside their borders if that supports their own political goals, but they do not terrorise their own populations for fear of international isolation. However, dictatorships frequently oppress and terrorize their own populations.

If, as experts predict, South Africa starts to move from being a neutral conduit for terrorism to a victim, will our State Security Guardians adopt a more Conservative definition and take action in line with international standards or will we move towards the Nigerian situation?  It is this author’s opinion that this will require a difficult paradigm shift in government which the present Government will not face until the worst happens.

Hits: 205

Non- Nuclear Explosives Used By Terrorists

Explosives are materials that are designed to produce controlled violent reactions. These reactions generate large amounts of heat and gas in a fraction of a second. Shock waves produced by these rapidly expanding gases are responsible for much of the destruction caused by an explosion. Other materials are often added by terrorists to an explosive to augment the effect such as incendiary material, projectiles (ball bearings, nails, metal scrap) chemicals or biological contaminants to increase damage and/or casualties. Terrorists tend to not try to use explosives for demolition purposes as that requires considerable technical skill and knowledge. An example of such a failure is the right wing bombing of the Mtamvuna Bridge between the RSA and the former Transkei in 2002.

Certain elements can naturally produce a burning or explosive effect, notably the Alkali Metals (in order of reaction, starting low): Sodium <Na>, Potassium <K>, Rubidium <Rb>, Caesium <Cs> (both rare) and Francium <Fr> (a very rare and radioactive element). These will burn or explode if mixed with water.

Francium would react much more violently than this sample of sodium in water (Ajhalls, public domain)

The first known explosive is Black Gunpowder, a mix of carbon (charcoal) <C>, sulphur <S>, and potassium nitrate (saltpetre) <KNO3> with water <H2O>. When these chemicals are ignited a very rapid chemical reaction – expansion of high temperature gasses – takes place. The products of that reaction are four gases <43%>, water and two solids (56%), which forensic science investigators can easily detect, potassium carbonate and potassium sulphide.

The gases create shock waves that can knock down people, trees, buildings, and other objects and carries the hot gases, which can burn objects and initiate fires. This combination of shock wave and high temperature is characteristic of most kinds of explosives. However, the mixture used in gunpowder is fairly critical and if got wrong may do nothing or just create rapid burning. This may be what happened in the 15 Sept 2017 Parsons Green train ‘bomb’.


Gunpowder: An explosive mixture of charcoal, potassium nitrate, and sulphur often used to propel bullets from guns and shells from cannons. It is relatively easy to make.

Nitrocellulose: The propellant in modern firearm ammunition. It is relatively easy to make.

Dynamite: An explosive made by soaking an inert (inactive or stable), absorbent substance with a mixture of nitro-glycerine or ammonium nitrate, a combustible substance such as wood pulp, and an antacid. Not easy to make and dangerous.

Chemical explosive: A compound or mixture that will explode.

Binary Explosive: Two or more chemicals which, when separate will not explode, but when combined in the correct proportion will explode, either spontaneously or when initiated. A simple example which is well known and warned about on them is mixing pool acid with pool chlorine. When weaponised this mixture also produces toxic chlorine gas.

Nitro-glycerine: An explosive liquid used to make dynamite. Nitro-glycerine is highly dangerous as it is very unstable and explodes if subjected to shock. TNT can ‘sweat ‘ nitro-glycerine, due to heat or age.

TNT: Trinitrotoluene is a high explosive, one of the most commonly used explosives for military, industrial, and mining applications.

IED: An Improvised Explosive Device is a bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action. It may be constructed of military, commercial or home-made explosives. Commercial explosives are widely used in South Africa for mining use and are a popular ‘black market’ item, mostly for criminal use but equally illegally available to terrorists.

Classification of explosives

Explosives can be classified into one of four categories: primary, low, high, and nuclear explosives.

Primary explosives. Primary explosives are generally used to set off other explosives. They are very sensitive to shock, heat, or electricity and, therefore, must be handled with great care. Failure to do so has resulted in the death of many terrorist bomb makers.

Primary explosives also are known as initiating explosives, blasting caps, detonators, or primers.

Low explosives. Low explosives burn only at their surface. But this burn takes place very rapidly, just a few thousandths of a second. This property is utilised in guns and artillery because too rapid an explosion could cause the weapon itself to blow up. Fireworks also are low explosives.

High explosives. High explosives are much more powerful than primary or low explosives. When detonated all parts of the explosive blow up within a few millionths of a second. Some also are less likely to explode by accident. High explosives include ‘Anfo’ – an ammonium nitrate and fuel oil mixture – which is very popular with terrorists as it is very easy to make at home.

Others include dynamite, nitro-glycerine, PETN (pentaerythritol tetra nitrate), picric acid, and TNT (trinitrotoluene). They are the explosive force used in military hand grenades, bombs, and shells. C1 and Semtex plastic explosives are very popular military demolition explosives.

High explosives that are set off by heat or electricity are called primary explosives. High explosives that can only be set off only by a detonator are called secondary explosives. When mixed with oil or wax, high explosives become like clay and are called ‘plastic explosives’. They can be moulded into various shapes to hide them and so are a favourite weapon of terrorists.

Nuclear explosives

Nuclear explosives have not yet been used by terrorists due to the complexity of building them, international controls and lack of availability of the main components.

A SATAC Open Source Article By Andy Grudko

Pretoria 2017

Hits: 97

At least 50 South Africans killed by terrorists since 2010

From the Citizen, written by Nicky Abraham  ”

Responding to The Citizen’s enquiry, ISS senior researcher specialising in counter-terrorism Martin Ewi said South Africans were increasingly targeted by terrorist organisations in Mali, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Syria and Iraq.

According to the ISS, the risk of kidnapping for South African citizens is particularly high in Somalia by pirates and al-Shabaab.

Read More at:


Hits: 21

How is terrorism useful?

They say that terror is the anticipation and horror is the aftermath. While a tiny percentage will ever be caught up in a terror attack, the feeling that they might be impacts the moods, behaviour, expectations, values and even the physiology of billions of people worldwide. From this point of view, terrorism can be seen as a powerful form of mind control.

The anticipation of something bad happening  particularly of sudden, unexpected terror has complex and profound impacts on humans both individually and in groups and it is in these responses that we can see how terrorism is useful.

The anticipation of terror, the state of a background hum of anxiety (called angst by Sigmund Freud) causes the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline and cortisol. While Cortisol helps us ready for flight-or-fight, elevated cortisol levels have long term negative impacts on the immune system making people more available to disease. Adrenaline is also a neurotransmitter that is related to states of highly focused attention but it is also associated with dark, anxious thinking.. At a physiological level terrorism can cause adrenal fatigue, anxiety, diabetes.

Some other reasons how terrorism is useful

Terroristic acts catch media attention quickly – they can reach the mainstream media and provide immediate worldwide publicity for a terror group or cause on a tiny budget, By the same token, terroristic acts can be used to detract the media from other issues, agendas and causes pushing them into the background.

The anticipation of a terror act can impact lifestyle choices and consumption patterns which will have reverbatory effects on the community and the economy at large. Fear can literally drop someone from a level of actualisation into instinctual survival mode.

Terroristic acts are potent tools of social engineering that drive and accentuate divisions across boundaries. They can stimulate wars, population movements and the derailing of governments and social order. With increasing upheaval on many fronts in the world now, we can expect to see terrorism being used more often and closer to home.

A SATAC Open Source Article By SATACResearch Team

Hits: 172

Neuroscience explains rising Uber taxi ‘terrorism.’

By: Denise Bjorkman

Today Sandton experienced a violent attack on Uber taxi drivers by metred taxi drivers. Petrol bombing destroyed two cars. The scene was one of overt hatred, exclusion, loss and threat. NBI offers a partial explanation through neuroscience.

There are several possible factors driving taxi violence now in particular against Uber. Fear and threat run central to this and other similar events – but fear of what? The situation also suggests that experiences of social exclusion, rejection from the group or loss or patent are part of this action. This explanation does not make it right. But it does suggest a flawed society with few coping mechanisms coupled to primitive responses under stress or perceived threat. We saw it with Hitler’s ‘Jewish solution’ on a much larger scale. But unchecked we could go a similar way with or without the help of Bell Pottinger.

Is this a new terrorism?

To many it is an act of terrorism aimed to produce an overall effect. Yes, it is, but it fails in one dimension. Terrorists choose largely symbolic targets because they have maximum impact. Well chosen attacks and targets get them very high media coverage to enhance their ‘terrorist’ image and cause enabling further recruitment. This is a qualified act of terror however because it does strike fear in the hearts and minds of other Uber drivers. Its aim is palpable. But the perpetrators were not thinking of the bigger symbolic picture and media. Only the moment counted and a stern message to other drivers. It’s up front and personal. Our conception of terrorism is changing and the changes are becoming normative. Like the ‘terror death’ threats’ against members of the ruling party who fail to follow the party line.

Failed Connections

We have a hardwired need to connect with people, particularly those from family or those who share a common heritage. We are now seeing acts of disruption and breaches of the fabric of society Solid, beneficial connections are absent. But disruption does not only occur in economics. South Africa has seen its own biological disruptions with human slave trafficking, bouts of ethnic cleansing, taxi violence, riots and rape. That names a few categories. With our emotional attachments comes the need to protect. It is the result of this deep and enduring bond between us and others. We are hardwired for this.

An experience of exclusion or loss drives extreme pain however vague the perception. Neuro-researchers have found that loss of acceptance can lead to suicide. It has a profound impact on our well being and our beliefs about our right to live. We know that the same parts of the brain react to pain and rejection. Anger is a response to deep seated fear. We are often not given coping mechanisms to deal with this because this form of rejection can be so covert. The brain susses it out.

Metered taxi drivers belong to a group that engage them as ‘qualified’ members who are then controlled and directed in terms of policy, performance and profit. They belong there and the belonging provides degrees of safety, security and economic survival.

Feeling exclusion from this economic group which provides financial security is a flag for the brain’s amygdala. Its responses know no consequences. The enemy must be obliterated unless a strong moral upbringing has been inculcated.

The solution

Policing, heavier law enforcement and a stern judiciary are only part of the solution. It goes far deeper. The economic vulnerability of traditional taxi drivers to loss will not go away neither will those primitive responses of threat, fear or anger. Their life experiences and good emotions have not been shored up to deal with threat by the pillars of society.

We could argue that our morals and sacred values, with high level regard for human life will or should save the day. This is described as a cost-benefit analysis. It does not. But then are morals taught at school? No. Certainly not in the current government education system it seems. Little Prince George of the UK was introduced into school today to learn good morals we are told. They are learned at home kid. Your parents have other agendas.

Let’s look at brain functioning with decision making. Two different parts of the brain light up . Ask Sandtonians how much they would be prepared to spend on the Gautrain to and fro from work in preference to taxis and the parietal neo-cortex part of the brain lights up. A calculation of costs will take place. A ‘what do I lose and what do I gain scenario.’ But ask some taxi drivers if they would be prepared to kill or enact violence because of threats to their survival – the brain’s temporo-parietal amygdala does more than light up – it’s on fire. Emotions run rife.
A fundamental belief can emerge which becomes immutable. ‘Uber is taking away my business, I am powerless therefore they are evil.’ “An ‘us’ and ’them’ situation is not hardwired into the brain until about the age of 14” confirms Dr Eva Telza. “It is a myth that racial hatred is evolutionary. We are not hardwired to despise our community members. We need them.” Prof Anna Steyn, an erstwhile social science lecturer, hammered home a principle of racial hatred – look to the family and its influences – those who see ‘others’ and not valued members of our community. I have witnessed this indoctrination of children by parents in many towns and cities. After 14 years of age all hell breaks loose as newly discovered curved values take root. And South Africa has paid this price. We see it in Myanmar now as well.

If a deeper understanding of the free market and its processes were taught at school this may not be happening. If teachers and parents taught coping mechanisms in the face of adversity and threat this response would be diminished or non-existent. No military or police force will change this. The answer comes from balanced nurturing, tolerance learned at the mother’s knee and the education system. Look to a tragically flawed educational system (20% pass) the school and the parents (if there are any. So we also get a 20% pass to situations which require a humane response. What do you expect? Copy cat attacks are rife with all crime. It has to be nipped in the bud or else the new terrorism will become our way of life.

A SATAC Open Source Article By Dr Denise Bjorkman

Hits: 146

South Africa and terrorism: The links are real

South Africa has a history of very violent criminals who have easy access to weapons and to a lesser degree, explosives. So when the violence turns from crime to terrorism it has been, is, and will for a long time be simple for the aggressors to obtain anything they need. Crime and corruption are key tools that extremists look to take advantage of.

The last real ‘terror’ bombings that occurred in SA were done by the People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD), a vigilante group in Cape Town formed in the early 1990s buy the Pan African Congress (PAC) and local community leaders.

From 1996 PAGAD was influenced by more highly politicised and experienced people within it who associated with radical Islamic groups, mainly Qibla, a militant Shi’a and Sunni political organisation (an offshoot of Iranian Fundamentalism which avows a political jihad – US State Dept. Annual Report on Religious Freedom, 2004), that was previously seeking to remove apartheid along with all of the other organisations which were dedicated to the fight against apartheid. The PAC had similar objectives but were active in violent terrorism before the 1994 democratic elections. But even after democracy arrived and apartheid had ended the violence continued. In an address to Parliament in September 2000, the then Minister of Justice, Penuell Maduna, expressed his belief that Qibla was at the core of the violence, saying: “Qibla is at the core of the G-Force and the G-Force is at the core of PAGAD.”

This caused changes in leadership and formed tighter organisational structures. This succeeded in transforming PAGAD from a relatively non-religious popular mass movement into a smaller radical isolated group.

The bombings started in 1998, and peaked with nine bombings in 2000. Targets included South African authorities, moderate Muslims, synagogues, gay nightclubs, tourist attractions, and Western-associated restaurants. The most prominent attack during this time was the bombing on 25 August 1998 of the Cape Town Planet Hollywood.

The South African police, and Dept. of Justice came to regard PAGAD as part of the Cape crime problem and they were eventually designated a terrorist organization by the South African government and firm action by a special task group ended the organisations existence early in the new millennium.

When the dust cleared from the 11 September 2001 al-Qaeda attacks on the US there was no noticeable increase in security or intelligence operations in SA. But links continue between South Africa and international terrorism. In June 2017 the US embassy alerted its citizens in SA to possible terror attacks, and the UK and Australia also increased their travel warnings.

Official sources say off the record that there is evidence that SA has been used as a transit point for terrorists, as a place of refuge and as a base for planning and training.

Some examples include:

Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, a Tanzanian trained by al-Qaeda, was arrested in Cape Town in 1999 for his role in the US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 after a year in hiding here in plain sight, using forged identification.

The ‘White Widow’, Samantha Lewthwaite. was the widow of Germaine Lindsay, one of the terrorists responsible for the 7 July 2005 bombings in London. Her fingerprints and other identifiers were on record and she was wanted by the Kenyan authorities and Interpol for links to al-Qaeda and involvement in other attacks. But between 2008 and 2010, she lived and worked freely in SA and travelled overseas on a false South African passport.

Blank, genuine SA passports have been found in many countries – a boxful in the UK. In May 2017, fifteen unused South African passports, some containing pictures of South Africans on an international terrorist watch list, were found in Tanzania on an al-Shabab courier. A Hawks (SA’s FBI)’ source said, “All of the recovered passports are legitimate. They contain the images of several South Africans on international terror watch lists. Among the photographs is one of a woman who might very well be Lewthwaite”.

In 2015 it was reported that Lewthwaite had been killed in the Ukraine, but the source said the latest arrest suggests that she is still alive. He said the courier had proven links to Lewthwaite. He used the same networks that she did while in SA to obtain passports. “He is also believed to be linked to an al-Qaeda operative killed in Mali early last year. That man was also found with South African passports.”

Henry Okah, leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, lived in SA from 2003 to 2010 when he was arrested in Johannesburg and convicted on 13 charges of terrorism.

In 2011, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, leader of al-Qaeda’s East African branch was killed in Somalia whilst carrying a South African passport.

Applicants for a South African passport must submit biometric data, including fingerprints, which further indicates that those persons may have at least passed through SA.

There are many other reports of al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab members travelling through SA and these cases raise serious concerns about the country being used as a staging point and safe haven for extremists to hide out or plan operations.

At present the terror related activities are either at a low or are not being reported but we have a new generation of disaffected youngsters and our former revolutionary allies are dead or out of power. No one can be sure that our wealth, freedom, capitalism and tolerance are not going to change SA from neutral to a target.

A SATAC Open Source Article By Andy Grudko

Hits: 603

Terror Criteria & Targets

Terroristic Acts can be defined by using the following criteria

Criterion I: The act must be aimed at attaining a political, economic, religious, or social goal.

Criterion II: There must be evidence of an intention to coerce, intimidate, or convey some other message to a larger audience (or audiences) than the immediate victims.

Criterion III: The action must be outside the context of legitimate warfare activities, i.e. the act must be outside the parameters permitted by international humanitarian law (particularly the admonition against deliberately targeting civilians or non-combatants).

Typical Terror Targets

Abortion Related (mostly US )
Commercial Aircraft
Commercial Airports
Businesses (targeted nationalities or targeted industries/companies)
Educational Institutions
Food or Water Supplies (contamination)
Government (General)
Journalists & Media
Private Citizens & Property
Religious Figures/Institutions
Telecommunication sites

Attack Types include

Individual Armed Assault (‘Lone Wolf’)’
Group Armed Assault
Assassination (any method – defined target)
Hostage Taking (planned or oportunistic)
Hostage Taking (Barricade Incident)
Suicide Attack
Unarmed Assault

Weapons typically used by terrorists include

Blunt weapons
Edged weapons
Explosives (home made, commercial, military)
Fake Weapons (threat and intimidation)
Firearms (very available in SA)
Incendiary (including petrol bombs/dousing)
Melee/forced stampede (Fulham 15 Sept injuries)
Nuclear (potential)
Radiological (rare)
Vehicle (current trend)

A SATAC Open Source Article By Andy Grudko

Hits: 50