FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09-17-91 0130 HRS
THE FUTURE OF TERRORISM IN THE 90'S
By Clark Staten
Chicago,IL. Strangely, the disintegration of the Soviet Bloc may have a
detrimental affect on the future of the United States. That statement may
seem contradictory on its face, but, it is also true. The uninitiated reader
may ask, "How can the breakup of our greatest enemy [sic] be cause for fear"?
The ironic answer to this question is as complex and bewildering as the nature
of the threat. Put simply though, the loss of control by the Soviet Union, of
it's surrogates in the Third World, could be cause for alarm. In fact, in
recent years, the limited number of terrorist acts can probably be contribut-
ed, at least in part, to the conservative influence of the Soviets. As the
Soviets moved toward reform and peristroka, no longer suited their image to be
seen as enthusiastic supporters of worldwide terrorism.
During their internal struggle for autonomy and reform, experts within the
intelligence community suggest that the Soviets may have discouraged or even
forbidden some terrorist acts. Intercepted materials and radio transmissions
would suggest that the Soviets actually withheld monetary and logistical
support to terrorist factions during the Iraq/Kuwait war. At the same time,
it was noted that they were attempting to resolve the conflict though
Today's turbulence in the Soviet Union has, in fact, fostered terrorism within
their own country. This development was practically unheard of within recent
years, largely due to the efficiency of the Soviet Secret Police (KGB).
However, at least two recent skyjackings [sic] and multiple attacks on military
garrisons throughout the Soviet Republics would suggest that the intelligence
community within the Soviet Union is in disarray. This inability to monitor
and control both internal and external dissidents and insurgent operatives
demonstrates that they may not be able to control terrorist events as in the
past. Therefore, the independance and reform in the Soviet Union has, in
effect, unleashed their former substitutes and left them feeling abandoned and
Secondary in importance, and also heavy with irony, is the fact that the
Allied Coalition victory [sic] in the Middle-East may also contributed to
the future spector of terrorism. While it was clear that America and her
allies won a clear military victory [sic] over Saddam Hussein and his
minions, the effort surely did not limit the capability of Hussein or
his allies to carry out Terrorist activities.
In reality, our victory [sic] has left several factions of the Palestine
Liberation Organization (PLO) and other splinter groups with even less to
lose than before. The PLO's decision to side with Hussein during the Middle-
East conflict, has severely damaged their credibility as peaceful negotiators
for the Palestinian cause. The inverse is probably true. The valued opinions
of several moderate Arab countries have seemingly decreased, for the PLO, with
their support for the unprovoked [sic] attack on Kuwait.
This further divergence with the Islamic and Arab community serves to isolate
and harden the resolve of the "hard-core" revolutionary organizations that
were previously somewhat moderated and controlled by the influence of money
and sanctuary. Again, this situation contributes to the possibility that they
will strike out in desperation and anger at not being able to fulfill their
Thirdly, consideration must be given to the regime' of Saddam Hussein and his
tremendous desire and propensity for revenge. During the Persian Gulf War, he
was reported to have gathered any number of internationally known terrorists
and provided them with money and weapons, in order to open the "third front of
Terrorism". Fortunately, for the Allies, his command and control mechanisms
were often so badly damaged that he was unable to mount a coordinated terror-
ist campaign against the Kuwaiti supporters.
Had Hussein been further able to threaten and exploit the fear of the popula-
tions of the democracies and commit greater atrocities in Europe and the
Americas, mhe [sic] hoped that political pressures would have been brought
to bear against the Allies to quit the war effort even sooner. Hussein's
revenge motive is undoubtedly a tangible factor to be considered for the
Fourth, and most recently in the news, is the probablity of "Narco-Terrorism".
As President Bush's war on drugs continues and continued pressure is put on
the Mendellin Drug cartel and others, the chance of a terrorist attack against
America or her leaders increases. The arrest and extradition to the United
States, of several reputed "Drug Lords",(including General Manual Noriega),
has reportedly caused threats to made against American leaders. Drug Enforce-
ment Administration (DEA) and unnamed military officials have indicated that
classified intelligence reports describe large sums of money being offered to
kill drug enforcement personnel and even larger amounts to paid for the deaths
of elected U.S. representatives. As greater U.S. resources and urgency are
given to the problem, the greater the odds of retaliation by the drug dealers.
The combination of these factors and the ready availability of several
"Terror Masters", who find themselves unemployed and without a "homeland"
should warn us that the likelihood of major insurgent attack grows by the day.
Terrorist organizations live and grow by the publicity that they receive.
Without a regular spectacular act of barbarism or the impression that they can
project fear, they lose converts and financial support from those countries
that are still engaged in the "revolutionary struggle".
People and organizations like Abu Nidal, Abul Abbas, Al- Fatah, PFLP, Irish
Republican Army, the Japanese Red Army Faction, Peru's "Shining Path",
Columbian M-19 organization, Cuba & Castro, the Basque Separatists and a
multitude of lessor known terrorist planners are currently looking for work.
It is likely that Hussein, the Mendellin Cartel, Mohammar Qadaffi or some
other disgruntled would-be despot will undoubtedly provide them with the arms
and money to attack again.
Unfortunately, the eventuality of "soft" or "limited warfare" grows with the
prospects for the larger peace between the superpowers. While we probably
will not have to be so concerned with the possibility of a Global Thermonucle-
ar War, the contingency of "brushfire" conflicts in the Middle-East, Central
and South America, Turkey, Northern Ireland, Spain, India, Pakistan, The
Phillipines, and even the United States are increased.
The likelihood of the use of chemical or biological weapons also appears to
have increased with the discovery of them in Iraq and other "revolutionary"
countries. Confirmed reports go back to 1980 and a raid on a safe-house in
France, where strains of Botulism and literature describing the use of
biological weapons were found. In 1984, a Cuban defector described the
presence on that island of stocks of toxic agents "for use against an
invasion by America".
The use by Iraq of chemical and biological weapons in it's long running war
against Iran is almost common knowledge. Terrorists seem most attracted to the
use of these weapons due to the the possible widespread affect of the toxins
and the fear that they can breed. Finally, most terrorists know that the
civilian populace has little defense against biological or chemical agents.
The use of these weapons of horror will potentially take terrorism in the 90's
to new heights of atrocity.
American and Allied Intelligence and Anti-Terrorist organizations have done
an outstanding job of preventing or thwarting insurgent operations within our
borders, but the seemingly peaceful future of this decade may also be cause
for alarm. America can not let down her vigilance or preparedness in light of
the rapid changes in Eastern Europe or our victory in the Middle-East.
In light of this situation, we need to be prepared to fight a different
"This is a new kind of war, new in it's intensity, ancient in it's origin...-
war by guerillas, subversives, insurgents, assassins; war by ambush instead of
combat, by infiltration instead of aggression, seeking victory by exhausting
the enemy insted of engaging him". "It requires....in those situations where
we encounter it...a new kind of stategy, a wholly different kind of force, and
therefore, a new and wholly different kind of awareness and training."
John F. Kennedy, President of the United States West Point, New York - June,
Truer words were never spoken on the subject of terrorism. Not in 1962, nor
today. America must be prepared for the challenges of terrorism in the coming
By Clark Staten, 1991
Emergency Response and Research Institute
Author of "Emergency Response Guide to Terrorism", 3rd Ed.
Manuscripts available on Emergency BBS - 312-631-3467