Friday, March 28, 2008

Transparency and mirrors in terrorism causing moral blindness

Reading about some of the information released in the Canadian terror trial that recently started, I ran across the name of the informant in the case, Mr. Mubin Shaikh.  Born and raised in Canada, he has a cultural affinity for it even after spending a couple of years living in Syria.  After returning from that time in Syria during 2002-2004, one of his friends was picked up on terrorism charges and the CSIS folks wanted to talk with him.  Here is how he approached it as seen in a CBC Interview with him by Linden McIntyre, 15 JUL 2006:

Mubin Shaikh: So what happened was I go to Syria 2002 to 2004. I come back in March 2004, and I read in the paper Mohammad Momin Khawaja is arrested on terrorism charges. I know the family very well. We grew up together. His father taught us when we were younger. And so we have a good connection with the family.

So what happened was I contacted CSIS. I phoned them and I said, "Listen, I know the family, I know this guy, Momin, is there some way that I can help, you know, give some information in that, look, I've grown up with him, you know, I don't know him to be like this or his brother, definitely not his family, like his parents are not extremists."

So they're like, "Oh, Momin Khawaja, first terrorism case, sure, we'll talk to you." The guy comes down, he was head of the unit supposedly. We met at Timmy's, and, you know, I'm wearing my pin, the Canadian flag and the Metro police pin, because I was also doing I guess you can call it ethno-cultural religious awareness with the Toronto police, and just to let them know, you know, different things that could be of use to them, and so I met with the CSIS guys, and they were very interested in me now. So basically, you know, they put to me the prospect of working with them, giving information on people, certain groups, getting to leaders of certain groups, talking to them, seeing what kind of views they had and reporting on those views because I am convinced that I'm the best guy for them to have to comment on the different groups, because I have a solid foundation in Islam, you know, I'm born and raised here.

I mean, Toronto's home. So I understand what concerns they have, but at the same time as a Muslim, I understand what concerns Muslims have. So I felt that I could be a link between the two sides.

Beyond the understanding that he has and his ability to put the need to stop radicalism, he demonstrates one of the most extremely sophisticated views on how to put people at ease who might otherwise not be so.  First is his outreach to CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service), which itself marks him as something a bit different than those muslim communities that harbor radicals and something much closer to the Anbari's in Iraq who have realized that the evil represented by violence soon comes home to roost in one's own house.  Next he gave the proper signals by wearing the flag/police pin and meeting with the CSIS in a haunt that many would know:  Tim Horton's donut shop.  That Canadian chain of donut shops, which had spread down to my native Western New York, is not a Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts, though in the same ballpark as them.  Only in the well-worn donut shops from the area does one get a similar sense of familiarity that a brand-new Tim Horton's gives you.  Thus he had chosen not only neutral ground, but seemingly positive ground for the police.  He calls that 'ethno-cultural religious awareness' but to actively realize it and utilize it requires something a bit out of the ordinary.

That sort of outlook was similar to that used by al Qaeda in the 9/11 and other attacks:  blend into the culture, be non-threatening and be seemingly 'normal'.  Here it is clearly explained as something that can be known and utilized to set others at ease and quickly, although being Canadian born, Mr. Shaikh also has that affinity as part of his personal experience.  As he points out, however, there is also a personal part of this that is, at heart, untrainable: you either have the ability to say the right things at the right time or you do not.  That is how he went from being on the outside of the group planning a terrorist plot to being on the inside, as he relates further down:

Linden McIntyre: How do you do that without making yourself a little bit too conspicuous?

Mubin Shaikh: It's hard to say. There is a part of me that is like that. You know, right, like I have that in me so that they can see. It's very easy for me to do it. I don't really need to act. It's just the way that I am. You know, I like — I'm sociable, I like talking to people, I'm extroverted, you know, so with these guys, what happened was, I'm telling you, the divine hand is behind all of this. I go to this — there was a program that was going on, and I go to the banquet hall and I'm sitting at the table. There was nobody there, and a guy comes across, and of all the tables to sit next to, he sits next to me. So he asks me a question, is jihad... [speaking foreign language] What he's asking me is, is jihad a communal obligation or an individual obligation? If I say it's a communal obligation, I'm implicitly saying I don't need to be a jihadi. But if I say it's an individual obligation, then I'm saying I can be a jihadi.

Linden McIntyre: You should be a jihadi.

Mubin Shaikh: Yes, right, because otherwise you're not anything proper, really. So I told him exactly what he wanted to hear. I said, no, it's... [speaking foreign language] and that did it. I got pulled over to the side. They gave me the lines, what's happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, they're raping our women, killing our children, and that's the thing, the emotional thing they use. So you feel angry, you want to do something about it. Your mind is clouded. Now, you're young, physically, you're fit. You can physically do something. You need somebody to push you, to motivate you. You got that anger, the emotion, the desire to protect the honour of women, right. And the way this guy was talking, I had really my comment to my CSIS handler at that time afterwards was, "This guy is an effing time bomb waiting to go off."

Linden McIntyre: When did you know that this fertilizer or the ammonium nitrate was in the equation?

Mubin Shaikh: Just before it was made public.

That is, perhaps, one of the most amazing bits of insight into how the recruitment of individuals goes: it seeks those who have some affinity and then offers a line that pushes emotional buttons to make them receptive to recruitment.  That Mr. Shaikh could actually stand above that and distance himself from it, and then analyze it is amazing.  As he points out you cannot 'act' your way through that, but neither can you buy into the line being given.  The police were very lucky to have an individual so capable of that work come to them.  And yet the organization, itself, has built-in 'firewalls' as he was not trusted easily nor readily as that last bit shows.  He did not know of the plot or its moving into an active phase as he had not demonstrated himself as reliable.  Perhaps as an unwitting bomber, yes, but not as someone trusted with actual plans and logistics.

While he was, and possibly *is*, still supporting radical groups, at least vocally, Mr. Shaikh has also come to some realization that what the end result of that radicalism gets is not very good at all.  Basically it is a man with a conflicted spirit and view of the world, plus having a past drug habit that has included LSD and cocaine (Source: Macleans 10 SEP 2007), but who can see his way, at minim, to self-preservation and love of country to do the right thing.  One can only act like a jihadi in such a convincing way if the leanings are there, but kept under some restraint, which is how those who seek to do terror acts must lead to in the opposite direction so as to mask their inner feelings and keep actions at bay until the appointed time for them.  For Mr. Shaikh the idea of supporting Sharia in Canada and yet supporting the current system of law and order are not in conflict, no matter how much those around him may see them as being so.

His friend, Mohammad Khawaja was picked up due to leads in the UK that led to the discovery of a bomb plot there which had progressed to the point of having a half-ton of ammonium nitrate fertilizer intended for bomb making (Source: CBC 08 APR 2004).  That plot was linked to men having Pakistani background and Mr. Khawaja had just arrived back from London after visiting those picked up in the plot there.  Prior to that Mr. Khawaja had met up with Mohammed Junaid Babar in Pakistan, who would later be picked up in the bomb plot and would admit to having been part of plots to assassinate Pakistani President Musharraf and having ties to Abu Hamza and Omar Bakri Mohammed.

Omar Bakri Mohammed had been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood by attending schools run by them from age 5 and cementing his ties with them at age 15 (Source: Jamestown Foundation interview 23 MAR 2004).  Omar Bakri Mohammed has been involved in more than one uprising, not only wanted by Syria for his participation in the Hama revolt, but also found guilty in Saudi Arabia of arranging similar there.  Also he was part of Hizb ut-Tahrir when it sent a proposal to Ayatollah Khomeini that they would recognize him as head of the Caliphate, which Khomeini turned down having different theological views from HT.  His support for HAMAS and Hezbollah in the areas of funding and activism continue, and his son was caught trying to smuggle cash out of the UK to him in Lebanon for that purpose in 2006. 

Abu Hamza, on the other hand, was the #3 man in al Qaeda when he was killed on 30 NOV 2005 by an explosion in North Waziristan due to a US missile strike (Source: South Asia Intelligence Review, Weekly Assessments & Briefings, 12 DEC 2005).

Thus the idea of Mohammad Khawaja helping from Canada has support both from the infrastructure and logistics end (Omar Bakri Mohammed) and from the operational end with Abu Hamza (from al Qaeda).  As Bakri himself would point out in the Jamestown Foundation article:

Q: How come we have not seen a dramatic attack in the West since 9/11?[5]

A: Al-Qaeda is not interested in small attacks. Of course al-Qaeda freelance supporters carry out such attacks in places like Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, but the real al-Qaeda is not interested in these minor attacks, they go for massive operations. When they want to strike they will strike. Also bear in mind that the Americans are not holding any al-Qaeda people in Guantanamo Bay.

Of course he then discounts KSM, Abu Zubaida and Ramzi bin al-Shibi as either not part of al Qaeda, actually killed in Pakistan or that an imposter is the one taken in by the Pakistani ISI.  Still, the basic concept of al Qaeda being centered on the sophisticated and larger attacks was essentially correct for the pre-Iraqi version of al Qaeda.  Since then al Qaeda has had to change direction and severely, to counter its losses in the 'little attacks' arena in Iraq and Pakistan.  It is not that they don't carry them out, which they do, but that they are getting an unexpected backlash from them. 

That pre-9/11 al Qaeda would, indeed, spend months or years establishing camps, agents, casing targets, and slowly using a multi-cell operation with mutual deniability between cells to attempt very sophisticated attacks.  Mohammad Khawaja's work, then, meets up with that older system of work even as al Qaeda was coming to realize that all of the skills and tactics it had to deploy against the USSR were not only not serving it well against the US, but is counter-productive when deployed with savagery.  That he was approached is indicated by the first meeting with Bakri and Hamza, and then his meeting up with the London group thereafter.  His role may not have been determined at that point, but that he was part of the group is without question.  While Mr. Shaikh's connection to him is incidental, it is enough to put him in the spot of 'someone who knew someone' and worth being approached thereafter.

One of the individuals who best put this into context is Mark Steyn with a quick posting at The Corner on NRO, on 27 MAR 2008,(h/t: Instapundit) in which he looks at his previous article of 26 JAN 2008 on the group rounded up in Toronto due to Mr. Shaikh's work and the revelations given out by the court in Canada where their trial is taking place.  In that he points to an article in The Star (Toronto) of 26 MAR 2008 and what this group was doing in Canada:

According to the allegations, the so-called Toronto 18 were attempting to secure a safe house to store weapons and practise military drills, and embarking on a mission to destroy the West – one they should be willing to die for.

Details of the alleged plot, which also included storming Parliament Hill and beheading politicians, emerged in a factum filed by the Crown that described the case against the accused as "shocking and sensational."

The document contains transcripts of wiretaps and videotapes that include one conversation in which one of the accused speaks of the group's ambitions.

This is not your normal, run-of-the-mill terrorist wannabe that so many complain about as 'not being real terrorists'.  I have looked at that in the past in connection with a group in Florida, and looked at the sorts of things going on with terrorism in general and Florida in particular.  With just a bit of digging connections to the late Zarqawi's european terror group could be found in London, which the plotters in Florida were in contact with.  Further a more localized organization in Trinidad, Jamaat al-Muslimeen, had ties to Florida to stage its 1990 Islamic coup with guns purchased and shipped via Florida.  Additionally ties to Pakistan showed up in the trial of Shueub Mossa Jokhan and Imran Mandhai, who were plotting to attack power infrastructure in the US along with Jewish businesses.  Beyond that, the basing of a black market arms dealer in the area by the name of Jean-Bernard Lasnaud (Source: NISAT transcript of a Frontline documentary) gives a ready resource to any who could were in contact with him.

Thus the problem with trying to discount individuals as 'not being professional terrorists' points to the problem that it is very, very easy to get in contact with professional terrorists and start doing their work.  The connections Canada has with transnational terrorist groups is clearly seen in testimony given to Congress on 13 DEC 2000.  The first of these is by Frank J. Cilluffo, Deputy Director, Global Organized Crime Program, Director, Counterterrorism Task Force, Center for Strategic & International Studies (Source: Globalsecurity document cache) looking at the problem of organized crime and terrorism:

The overlapping of terrorism and the narcotics trade is not new either. Many groups have always been involved in the drug industry. But many ideologically bankrupt terrorist groups shed their moral righteousness and turned towards the drug trade to further their tainted causes. Whether the terrorists actively cultivated and trafficked the drugs or "taxed" those who did, the financial windfall that the narcotics industry guarantees has filled the void left by state sponsors.

Organized crime and terrorism have two differing goals. Organized crime’s business is business. The less attention brought to their organization, the easier their job is. The goal of terrorism is quite the opposite. A wide-ranging public profile is the desired effect. Despite this, the links between organized crime and terrorism are becoming stronger in regards to the drug trade. Organized crime groups often run the trafficking organizations while the terrorists and insurgent groups often control the territory where the drugs are cultivated and transported. The relationship is mutually beneficial. Both groups use funds garnered from the drug trade to finance their organizations.

Funds from states that support terrorism are dwindling, but by no means depleted entirely. The fall of the Soviet Union ended the stream of money that funded terrorists. As a result, terrorist organizations had to search for new sources of funding for their wars. Some organizations such as the Shining Path have always look towards indigenous forms of funding. Others like FARC cooperate with overseas criminal enterprises. Nevertheless, it is evident that the distinction between terrorist groups fighting an ideological enemy and criminal organizations’ pragmatic pursuit of profit is quickly becoming blurred.

Involvement in the drug business is almost a guarantee of financial independence from a state sponsor. Groups are no longer beholden to outsiders. That brings the realization that whatever restraint those state sponsors could impose, has now vanished. Likewise, traditional diplomatic or military measures that the United States could subject state sponsors to curb terrorist actions is diminished.

The blurring of these lines pose new challenges to the United States. The traditional organization of the US national security apparatus used to combat the troika of the terrorist, organized crime, and narcotics trafficking threat is no longer applicable. In order to work towards a solution to the problem of narco-terrorism, it is important to identify its implications to US policymaking and its implementation.

On many levels this is what we have seen in Pakistan, Iran, and the extension of terror groups throughout South and South East Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas.  It is quite telling that the one set of contacts not mentioned about Mr. Shaikh are *not* the terror ones but the drug ones.  While his addiction is brought up as a 'social ill' and he goes into rehab, he only does so AFTER the group he has infiltrated has been brought down.  That leaves a high and distinct possibility that not only was he recruited by terrorists but that he helped make vital connections between them and the trafficking side of the equation, too.

The second man to address the House Congressional Judiciary sub-committee on 13 DEC 2000 (Source: Globalsecurity document cache)was Ralf Mutschke, Interpol's Assistant Director, Criminal Intelligence Directorate, and it is that testimony that is the most chilling to anyone trying to discount a difference between 'professional terrorists' and mere drug traffickers.  Soon after introducing himself he presents this as an example of transnational terrorism melding with organized crime:

I would like to draw the particular attention of the Committee to the Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA), considering the events of December last year. On 14 December 1999, Ahmed Ressam, was arrested near Port Angeles, Washington State, while trying to enter the United States from Canada. He was in possession of a timing device, explosive materials and false identification documents. Ahmed Ressam is known to have shared a Montreal (Canada) apartment with Said Atmani, a known document forger for the GIA. It has been established that before Ressam attempted to enter the US, he was in the company of Abdelmajid Dahoumane in Vancouver (Canada) for a 3 to 4 week period. An Interpol Red Notice was issued regarding the latter. The investigation has revealed links between terrorists of Algerian origin and a criminal network established in Montreal and specializing in the theft of portable computers and mobile telephones. The group in Montreal was in contact with individuals involved in terrorist support activity in France, and with several Moudjahidin groups who are active in Bosnia.

Subsequent to the arrest of Ressam, the Montreal police arrested twelve persons who were committing theft of valuable goods in cars in the Montreal downtown area. The proceeds of these criminal activities were sent to an international network with links to France, Belgium, Italy, Turkey, Australia and Bosnia.

The events in Canada and the United States should be seen in a wider perspective. Indeed, intelligence shows that several Algerian terrorist leaders were present at a meeting in Albania, which could also have been attended by Usama bin Laden, who was believed to be in Albania at that time. It was during this meeting that many structures and networks were established for propaganda and fund raising activities, and for providing Algerian armed groups with logistical support. The arrest at the Canada-US border in December 1999 may indicate that the Algerian terrorists are prepared to take their terrorism campaign to North America.

The GIA is a very active and deadly terrorist organization operating mainly in Algeria but which has also mounted several terrorist attacks in France, including the hijacking of an Air France jetliner in 1994 and a bombing campaign in 1995. Their aim is the overthrow of the Algerian Secular Government and its replacement with an Islamic state. They have developed large scale support and financing activities in Europe and other parts of the world. An analysis recently conducted at the Interpol General Secretariat has revealed GIA involvement in a number of criminal activities in several European countries. Although the information received is fragmented, it has been established that GIA support networks are involved in extortion, currency counterfeiting, fraud, and money laundering.

This is not what one expects of the GIA: to operate a highly sophisticated criminal organization in support of terrorism.  The interconnects of the GIA via Albania take root in the concerns of the region, especially Kosovo.  In listing the problems engendered in Albania that permit groups like the GIA to join up with organized crime, he looks at the following:

1. Concerning Albanian organized crime in the United States, the 1986 break-up of the "Pizza connection" made it possible for other ethnic crime groups to "occupy" the terrain which had until then been dominated by the Italians. For Albanians this was especially easy since they had already been working with, or mainly for, Italian organized crime.

2. Due to a highly developed ethnic conscience - fortified by a Serb anti- Albanian politics in the 80’s and 90’s, Albanians, particularly Kosovars, have developed a sense of collective identity necessary to engage in organized crime. It is this element, based on the affiliation to a certain group, which links organized Albanian crime to Panalbanian ideals, politics, military activities and terrorism. Albanian drug lords established elsewhere in Europe began contributing funds to the "national cause" in the 80’s. From 1993 on, these funds were to a large extent invested in arms and military equipment for the KLA (UÇK) which made its first appearance in 1993.

3. From 1990 on, the process of democratization in Albania has resulted in a loss of state control in a country that had been totally dominated by the communist party and a system of repression. Many Albanians lacked respect for the law since, to them, they represented the tools of repression during the old regime. Loss of state structures resulted in the birth of criminal activities, which further contributed to the loss of state structures and control.

4. Alternative routing for about 60% of European heroin became necessary in 1991 with the outbreak of the war in Yugoslavia and the blocking of the traditional Balkan route. Heroin was thus to a large extent smuggled through Albania, over the Adriatic into Italy and from there on to Northern and Western Europe. The war also enabled organized criminal elements to start dealing arms on a large scale.

5. Another factor which contributed to the development of criminal activities, is the embargos imposed on Yugoslavia by the international community and on the F.Y.RO.M. by Greece (1993-1994) in the early 90’s. Very quickly, an illegal triangular trade in oil, arms and narcotics developed in the region with Albania being the only state not hit by international sanctions.

6. In 1997, the so-called pyramid savings schemes in the Albanian republic collapsed. This caused nation-wide unrest between January and March 1997, during which incredible amounts of military equipment disappeared (and partly reappeared during the Kosovo conflict): 38,000 hand-guns, 226,000 Kalashnikovs, 25,000 machine-guns, 2,400 anti-tank rocket launchers, 3,500,000 hand grenades, 3,600 tons of explosives. Even though organized crime groups were probably unable to "control" the situation, it seems clear that they did profit from the chaos by acquiring a great number of weapons. Albanian organized crime also profited from the financial pyramids which they seem to have used to launder money on a large scale. Before the crash, an estimated 500 to 800 million USD seem to have been transferred to accounts of Italian criminal organizations and Albanian partners. This money was then reinvested in Western countries.

7. The Kosovo conflict and the refugee problem in Albania resulted in a remarkable influx of financial aid. Albanian organized crime with links to Albanian state authorities seems to have highly profited from these funds. The financial volume of this aid was an estimated $163 million. The financial assets of Albanian organized crime were definitely augmented due to this situation.

I have looked at this previously in special regards to Kosovo and its environs, and the amount being made in the drug trade is astronomical due to the percentage of Europe that is supplied via the Albanian Mafia Families.  Even with things simmering down in the Balkans, Albanian organized crime and its affiliates were the ones who were armed and connected enough to profit by any relaxation of border security.  Looking later on, Mr. Mutschke points to links with cocaine, heroin, forced prostitution and human trafficking, beyond arms trafficking and money laundering.  Further on he looks at the transnational alliances between various narcotics cartels and syndicates spanning the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia, which, when combined with terrorist support, gives terror organizations a distributed web for logistical supply and support.

These gangs do not just stay in those venues, however, and branch off into the lucrative field of tax dodging of import duties and sales taxes.  One of these areas is cigarette smuggling, that not only seeks to avoid international controls, but controls within Nations.  On 19 JUL 2006 Andrew Cochran at Counterterrorism Blog looks at some of the cases then in the works relating to terrorism:

Racketeering, Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing:

* U.S.A. v. Mohamad Youssef Hammoud et al., Charlotte, North Carolina: 25 individuals charged in connection with cigarette smuggling, money laundering, credit card fraud, marriage fraud and immigration violations. Four individuals were charged with providing “material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization,” Hizballah, specifically providing “currency, financial services, training, false documentation and identification, communications equipment, explosives, and other physical assets to Hizballah, in order to facilitate its violent attacks.” In 2003, Mohamad Hammoud was sentenced to 155 years in prison, while his brother, Chawki, was sentenced to 51 months.

* U.S.A. v. Elias Mohamad Akhdar et al. (pdf), Dearborn, Michigan: 11 co-defendants charged with racketeering related to the Charlotte, North Carolina scheme. In January, 2004, Akhdar was sentenced to 70 months in prison and was fined over $2,000,000 after having pled guilty in July, 2003.

* U.S.A. v. Imam Mohamad-Musbah Hammoud, et al., Michigan, Canada (Ontario, Quebec), Lebanon: In March, 2006, 19 co-defendants charged with a racketeering scheme involving contraband cigarettes, counterfeit Zig Zag rolling papers and counterfeit Viagra, counterfeit cigarette tax stamps, transporting stolen property, and money laundering. A percentage of the profits derived from the illegal enterprise were given to Hizballah. On July 7, two of the defendants, Imad Majed Hamadeh and Theodore Schenk, 73 pled guilty (pdf). Hamadeh and Schenk face a maximum possible penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

This is *not* your father's Hezbollah, that's for damned sure.  This set of rings were set up by the Exterior Security Organization of Hezbollah run by the late Imad Mugniyah, and yet it follows the classical lines of organized crime groups.  As another case points out, this goes far beyond cocaine, heroin, cigarettes and such:

Drug Running:

* U.S.A. v. Mohammad Shabib, Cleveland, Ohio: Federal prosecutors charged Mohammad Shabib with hiding his role in a drug ring which profits were funneled to Hizballah. Shabib, a gas station owner, had $8,000,000 in a Chicago bank account, which authorities say Shabib amassed by shipping roughly 3 tons of pseudoephedrine from Canada to California, which he would sell to Mexican gangs who would use the drugs to produce methamphetamine. (See: Amanda Garrett, “Terrorists’ Money Takes Convoluted Path in U.S.,” The Cleveland Dealer, January 18, 2004).

Yes, purchase the sudafed from Canada, ship it to California with its lax controls over just about everything save taxes, sell it to Mexican drug gangs a mark-up and pocket the profits.  When you are caught with having shipped 3 tons of sudafed illegally and netting $8 million in profit, you are no longer talking about minor crime or support of it.  Even the 'supporters' of Hezbollah are getting into the act:

* Hizballah-linked Counterfeit Goods Ring in Los Angeles (pdf), Los Angeles, CA: Testimony of Lieutenant John C. Stedman, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, May 25, 2005: “There are also indicators that some associates of terrorist groups may be involved in (Intellectual Property Right/)IPR crime. During the course of our investigations, we have encountered suspects who have shown great affinity for Hezbollah and its leadership. The following are just two examples: during the search of a residence pursuant to an IPR related search warrant, I saw small Hezbollah flags displayed in the suspect’s bedroom. Next to the flags was a photograph of Hassan Nasrallah whom I recognized as the leader of Hezbollah. The suspect’s wife asked me if I knew the subject of the photograph. I identified Nasrallah and the wife said, ‘We love him because he protects us from the Jews’. Also in the home were dozens of audio tapes of Nasrallah’s speeches. During the search, one of my detectives also found a locket which contained a picture of the male suspect on one side and Sheik Nasrallah on the other. In 2004, detectives served an IPR search warrant at a clothing store in Los Angeles County. During the course of the search, thousands of dollars in counterfeit clothing was recovered as were two unregistered firearms. During the booking process, the suspect was found to have a tattoo of the Hezbollah flag on his arm.”

So, how can a terrorist organization that wants to spin up a camp quickly do so?  Contact your local pushers until you find someone associated with one of the gangs related to Hezbollah or GIA and, soon enough, you can get a nice pipeline of work going and with a bit of extra work via GIA, you will be in contact with al Qaeda agents or they with you.  Getting money and support to individuals is not much of a problem, as the multiple penetrations of the 'secure' banking networks has demonstrated, and have indicated a secondary set of networks of funds transfers between financial institutions that aren't banks being near autonomous in their ability to do similar.  What is worse is the inherently person-to-person fund transfer networks that I looked at concerning the Middle Eastern hawala system and the Black Market Peso Exchange Systems.  These networks are more difficult to stop as they are ethnic based and trust networks: based on p2p trust.  Worse is that funds, themselves, do not actually exchange hands across the networks, but white market goods can and do.  In one of the most ingenious and nearly impossible to detect and stop ways of doing business, by separating out cash and goods and only transferring goods, cash is exchanged across the network.  Throw in a bit of smuggling to move white market goods to restricted markets and you get an added profit from the transaction.

Back to Mr. Shaikh and what was going on in Canada, then, with the group that was forming up a conspiracy to commit terror attacks:

While some of the allegations have already surfaced in public reports, a great deal in the factum had never been published. Some of that expected evidence includes:

  • Videos of terrorist indoctrination, in which the accused are exhorted to wage battle in the new empire of "Rome" in North America, "whether we get arrested, whether we get killed."

  • Wiretap surveillance in which they discuss their desire to "establish the religion of Allah and to get rid of the oppressors" and the need for funds to finance their goals of building a "team" to "go make an attack."

  • The construction of a "radio frequency remote-control detonator" that needed to be improved because its range was nine metres.

  • Allegations the accused attended two training camps. One was a 12-day camp near the town of Washago, Ont., where they practised military-style exercises in camouflage gear and undertook firearms training with a 9-mm firearm. The second was a two-day camp at the Rockwood Conservation Area, where they donned camouflage clothing and made a propaganda-style video of their military drills.

According to the Crown's factum, the alleged terrorists first popped onto the radar of police in August 2005, when two of the adults were stopped at the Canada-U.S. border in a rented vehicle while attempting to smuggle firearms and ammunition into the country.

Based on the rental agreement, weapons history and intercepted telephone conversations the duo had while in jail, police expanded their investigation. They homed in on a few individuals and contacted Mubin Shaikh to act as a police agent.

This group would then case various areas to see if it was feasible to set up a 'safe house' for storage of arms and explosives in a planned called 'Operation Badr':

On the way back to Toronto they discussed Operation Badr, a plot to storm Parliament Hill, take politicians hostage and demand the removal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan and the release of Muslim prisoners in federal institutions, police allege. If their demands weren't met, they'd "kill everybody," said an adult, who also reminded the others that the prime minister wasn't "Paul Loser" or "Paul Martin" – as they suggested – but was in fact "the other guy, Harper."

After their return, an adult reported he had built the "first radio frequency remote-control detonator," but pointed out it only had a range of 30 feet (nine metres), "which is not good." In response, another man pointed out "30 feet away? So you have to get blown up? Might as well sit in the car." He explained that if they could get the detonator to work from 300 metres, "then we'll do it." He then said that when the bomb went off on Front St., innocent people would be killed, which would be "too bad for them," according to the Crown's factum.

To those who miss the point: they don't care about politics and being nice to anyone based on political alignment.  The nature of terrorism is to exploit weaknesses and demonstrate strength, not to take a political 'side' as their side is 'above politics'.  To these individuals the actual 'victory' is the action itself, even if they get killed:


In a video, Person 1, shown sitting in the dark under what appears to be a tent, speaks to the group:

"We're here to kick it off man. We're here to get the rewards of everybody that's gonna come after us, God willing, if we don't (get) a victory, God willing, our kids will get it. If not them, their kids will get it, if not them, the(n) five generations down somebody will get it, God willing. This is the promise of Allah. . . .

These are not 'militants', they are cold blooded killers looking to kill their way to power for their cause even if it consumes them in that doing.  This is 'killing your way to promised rewards' which, in case anyone has missed it, is the exact reason Aum Shinrikyo decided on methodical mass killing: to bring about the promised end by just helping it along.  The causes and verbalizations are starkly different, but the end result is unrepentant slaughter of innocents.

Beyond the obvious with individuals educated beyond the basics, these people have knowledge of technology, a rudimentary concept of terrorist combat and were getting up to speed on logistics and funding.  They were not 'poor and uneducated' and are, very likely, middle class and possibly even college students or graduates.  Terrorism is only for the 'poor and uneducated' as 'muscle', which is why al Qaeda recruits amongst slums and such: they need individuals to actually protect their operations while the operations, themselves, are carried out by skilled individuals. 
Which makes yet another small piece by Mark Steyn, just prior to the others (Corner NRO) , even more troubling, as the western idea behind the causes of terrorism, not just the Islamic Fascistic sort but all terrorism, is severely myopic:

Yesterday, round about the time Andy and Derb raised this, I was giving a talk to the Hudson Institute gang and Monica Crowley asked me a question about the presidential candidates and radical Islam. I replied that I had no doubt that John McCain was fully committed to the military campaign - if only for personal reasons and tribal loyalty, he's not going to let this generation of American warriors get stuck with a losing hand from Washington. But I added I was unsure the Senator grasped the scale of the broader ideological struggle. His words yesterday confirmed as much:

McCain said the United States' goal in fighting Islamic extremists should be "to win the hearts and minds of the vast majority of moderate Muslims who do not want their future controlled by a minority of violent extremists.

"In this struggle, scholarships will be far more important than smart bombs."

Really? Even as a theoretical proposition, trusting the average American college education (even if one does not draw Sami el-Arian or Ward Churchill as one's mentor) to woo young Muslims to the virtues of the Great Satan would be something of a long shot. But it isn't even theoretical anymore.

There's plenty of evidence out there that the most extreme "extremists" are those who've been most exposed to the west - and western education: from Osama bin Laden (summer school at Oxford, punting on the Thames) and Mohammed Atta (Hamburg University urban planning student) to the London School of Economics graduate responsible for the beheading of Daniel Pearl. The idea that handing out college scholarships to young Saudi males and getting them hooked on Starbucks and car-chase movies will make this stuff go away is ridiculous - and unworthy of a serious presidential candidate.

Indeed, nearly every leader of terror groups has been educated in western universities, be they Ivy League or purely technical academies, the 'muscle' of a couple of men per plane on 9/11 points out the other 'technical' individuals that actually carried out the hijackings and flew the aircraft.  Some of them had come with visas in their pockets to study at US flight schools in the 1990's, at the invitation of the US government.  When radicals come to speak in the US, they do not go down to poor neighborhoods or run down storefront mosques, then go upscale and talk to the middle class muslims.  As seen in testimony given to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims on 25 JUN 2000 (Source: Globalsecurity document cache), are some descriptions of the individuals actually let in or invited to the US and what they did when they got here [all spelling errors in the original]:

Islamic militants on the lecture circuit in the United States:

"The Jews distort words from their meanings…they killed the prophets and worshipped idols…Allah says he who equips a warrior of Jihad is like the one who makes Jihad himself." In Arabic, Wagdi Ghuniem, a militant Islamic cleric from Egypt, mesmerized his audience, with his relentless tirade against the Jews, reminding them of the Jews' "infidelity," "stealth" and "deceit." Known for his folksy deliveries and exhortations to commit violence against the Jews, Ghuniem did not disappoint his crowd, several of whom had come just to hear him. The conflict with the Jews, he said, was not over land but one of religion. "The problem of Palestine is not a problem of belief… suppose the Jews said 'Palestine--you [Muslims] can take it.' Would it then be ok? What would we tell them? No! The problem is belief, it is not a problem of land."

Ghuniem then led his rapt audience, which numbered as many as 500, in a special song, the audience responsively repeating each refrain:

No to the Jews
Descendants of the Apes
We Vow to Return
Despite the Obstacles

The administrators of Brooklyn College would probably have been surprised to learn thattheir campus was the site of an incendiary rally more similar to those held in Gaza than those held in the United States. On May 24, 1998, a special all-day program was held in the Walt Whitman Auditorium of Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, New York. Organized by the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), an American-headquartered front group for Hamas, the program was entitled "Palestine: 50 Years of Occupation." Eleven Islamic organizations co-sponsored the event, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development and the Islamic Circle of North America. To the outside world, this conference probably seemed like one of the many seminars held on campus. Conducted almost entirely in Arabic, the conference featured Islamic speakers from the United States and abroad.

Ghuniem has traveled to the US on a regular basis, giving lectures in large and small venues. In 1997 and 1998, Ghuniem appeared at the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA) (an Islamic group that supports the positions of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in the United States) and IAP conferences, as well as at smaller events in local mosques and Islamic centers across the United States and Canada. Part of his popularity may stem from the fact that he speaks in a local rural Egyptian dialect and peppers his talks with humorous anecdotes. His rhetoric espouses a deep hatred for Jews. He often praises terrorists and terrorist attacks.

Interestingly, Sheik Ghuniem was denied entry to Canada in early January 1998 and detained as he tried to enter Windsor from Detroit. Ghuniem was on a whirlwind US-Canada lecture circuit, with scheduled stops in Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey, Detroit, San Diego, D.C., Toronto and Montreal. But the trip was rudely interrupted, if only temporarily, at the Canadian border. The reason he was barred? "Our (computerized information) system indicated he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas," said Gerald Belanger, a Canadian immigration official as he was quoted in the Ottawa Citizen. Leaders of the Muslim communities in Detroit, Toronto and Windsor bitterly protested Ghuniem's detention, as evidence of an anti-Muslim bias, claiming that Ghuniem was a "man of peace." "He's a very reasonable man" declared Hussein El-Hennawy, a MAYA official quoted in the Ottawa Citizen, "He teaches people to be peaceful." MAYA has established the "Scholars Defense Fund," to pursue legal action against the Canadian Government for its perceived "humiliation" of Ghuniem.

Canadian authorities released Ghuniem back to the United States and he returned to his lecture tour on behalf of militant Islamic groups in helping them recruit new members, raise funds and coordinate strategies with other militant Islamic leaders crisscrossing the United States. US officials say they are virtually powerless to stop the influx of known militants into the United States for reasons ranging from lack of adequate intelligence to easy circumvention of the watch list to legal restrictions in stopping self-described religious clerics from entering the United States.
Still, the question raised by Ghuniem's numerous appearances in the United States is how do terrorists manage to enter the country?

One method has been those who deliberately overstay their student visas, some op who are dispatched from terrorist-supporting regimes. Some of these "students" have acquired visas for the purpose of attaining cover for their illicit activities as activists for terrorist organizations. Others receive advanced degrees in the US and return to their countries where some might work in nuclear, chemical or biological weapons programs. Although there is no official compilation of the number of student visas granted to would-be terrorists and agents of terrorist supporting regimes, one study currently in preparation shows that there are at least 200 terrorists or agents of terrorist regimes and organizations who have received student visas in the past decade to pursue undergraduate or graduate training.


Beyond the issue of how terrorists have been able to exploit student visas to stay in the United States for long periods of time, another major, even more frustrating, counter-terrorist problem is the ease in which terrorists and militants freely enter the US for shorter periods of time. The official purpose of such short visits is generally linked to invitations to appear at religious-based conferences and meetings at Islamic organizations in the United States attended primarily by American Muslims. The real purposes of these visits are to recruit new members of militant organizations; facilitate fundraising for militant activities, both in the U.S. and abroad; coordinate political and even military strategies with other militants leaders; indoctrinate new "foot soldiers;" and even participate in terrorist training sessions.

Every year, according to law enforcement officials and information obtained at Islamic conferences, dozens of militant Islamic clerics, officials, representatives and leaders of various terrorist organizations and movements come to the United States. These include Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Gamat Al Islamiya, Sudanese National Islamic Front, Jordan's Islamic Action Front, and Hezbollah. Visits by Islamic militants to the US are not a new phenomenon.

Some get into the United States using false identification, while others simply get in because they are not on any watch list. During these conferences, it is not uncommon to hear Islamic militants praise terrorists and terrorist attacks, attack the United States and the West, or call for the death of Jews and the destruction of the United States. For the most part, these incendiary lectures, almost invariably in Arabic, are not illegal insofar as the content, unless a specific act of violence is advocated, and fall under protected speech. Federal law enforcement is largely prohibited from attending the conferences at which these militants appear, because of the restrictions imposed by the Attorney General Guidelines against any surveillance of religious groups, unless there is ironclad evidence ahead of time that a crime or a conspiracy to commit a crime will take place. Of course, absent direct surveillance, it is almost impossible to obtain such evidence--which creates a Catch-22 conundrum. On the other hand, it must be remembered that the Attorney General Guidelines were issued in response to abuses by intelligence and law enforcement officials.

Even if the FBI were involved in greater surveillance, chances are that it would not witness the events going on behind the scenes--the most likely venue of any illegal activities--even though witnessing center stage activities would be considered shocking in and of itself. For example, the Islamic Association for Palestine held annual meetings in 1989 and 1990 in Kansas City where off stage, secret meetings were held with a pre-selected "class" of future Hamas terrorists who were taught car-bombings and other terrorist warfare. Meanwhile, at IAP's "plenary" sessions--held in the Kansas City Convention center-- several notorious militants and leaders of Hamas gave fiery speeches praising attacks by Hamas and other Islamic fundamentalist groups in language and rhetoric more familiar to Hamas rallies in the Middle East than to Kansas City.One of the most electrifying moments came when a keffiyeh-draped leader of the Izzadin Al-Qassem death squads--the military arm of Hamas--delivered a rousing account of the specific violent terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas.

The conferences mentioned above are but a few of the literally dozens of radical Islamic events held prior to the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993. Following the bombing and the subsequent investigations into the militant Islamic networks in the US and their ties to terrorist organizations abroad, it seemed likely that the US would seek to curtail the entrance of Islamic militants into the US.Yet conferences featuring prominent terrorist sympathizers and spokesmen for Islamic militancy have continued unabated.

Believe it or not that is a very *short* portion of the testimony given.

Yes, declare yourself to be a 'cleric' and you can preach all the hatred you want and couple it directly with appeals for military funding and action... illegally.  The reason they could, as mentioned, was that 'wall' set up by the Clinton administration between INTEL and just about everyone else, including the State Dept.  Somehow the Leftist claim that 'overstaying your visa is no big deal' suddenly doesn't look like such a good deal due to those that abuse this concept with intent to kill and undermine the US and its allies.  Even after the 1993 WTC bombing, the Clinton administration did nothing to stop this and, indeed, allowed such practices to get worse.

In case Sen. McCain has missed this: allowing terrorists in to train in western schools just makes them skilled terrorists, not western sympathizers.

This is not a visa problem, at heart, but one of actually making sure that the people applying for them are screened and vetted, and that they are held to their visa stays.  It is not that all of those coming on visas are bad, it is the few bad ones that can create disaster that need to be screened out.  Judicial Watch asked ICE to outline how many people are here on student visas and published their results on 16 FEB 2007:

Judicial Watch began investigating the student visa program following a Bush administration joint statement with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah in April 2005 increasing the number of Saudi students permitted to travel to and study in the United States. Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on March 24, 2006. According to records recently obtained by Judicial Watch, 9,952 “active Saudi Arabian students” were in the United States, on three different types of visas as of January 25, 2007.

The ICE documents obtained by Judicial Watch contain the following breakdown of the student visa program: 9,787 students possess “F-1” visas, which are designated for foreign students pursuing a full course of academic study. Nine students possess visa type “M-1”, which are designated for foreign students pursuing a full course of vocational or recognized non-academic program.  The remaining 156 possess visa type “J-1,” intended for foreign nationals who are selected by a sponsor to participate in an exchange visitor program.

According to other ICE official records dated September 6, 2005, at the time, there were a total of 611,581 active foreign students in the United States eligible for “F-1” and “M-1” student and vocational visas.  The same records indicated that there are 154,471 exchange visitors eligible for “J-1” exchange visas.

On September 11, 2001, 15 of the 19 terrorist hijackers carrying out the attacks were Saudi nationals. According to a CNN News Report, six months after the attacks, Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) issued visa approval/verification letters for two of the hijackers to the flight schools at which they were registered. Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi were approved for “M-1” vocational/non-academic visas by INS in 2000.

Yes, Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi had not only visas, but ones that indicated they were here for a vocation or trade, and by the numbers it is one of the hardest set of visas to *get* from KSA.  I doubt that they listed al Qaeda as their sponsor and 'flying aircraft into buildings' as their trade, although it was so good of ICE to issue them visas posthumously.  That's 'Compassionate Conservatism' for you!

What this points to is that the problem with terrorists in Canada is that they are a local manifestation of a much larger, global phenomena.  Transnational terrorism and organized crime are not things that make themselves suddenly apparent as an immediate problem.  Due to the nature of these organizations and how they work, their very intent is to remain in the interstices of international law and convince the law abiding peoples *not* to hunt them down as Nations should do.  When captured by civil means then, of course, demonstrate the inability of individuals to distinguish between what is and is not lawful and put them away for a good long time, perhaps a lifetime.  But do not blind yourself to the encouragement that can be given to it by just saying 'well they aren't *professional* terrorists/gangsters, so no harm done':  the dividing line between the 'professional' and 'amateur' has become damned thin and the intent and lawlessness are the SAME no matter the level of 'professionalism' involved.

The wheels of justice will grind slow, but fine, in the case of those in Canada and their associates in Georgia in the US.  Stopping them is all to the well and good, but that is not even the beginning of trying to tame this mess left to us by generations of self-deceit that these are organizations that we 'just can't deal with'.

We haven't even *tried* to properly formulate a response to them.

And inviting them to do worse by training them, is not only not helping, it is getting people killed.

It is a very Christian and highly moral thing to 'turn the other cheek' and seek that your attacker learn the error of his ways.... when he hits that one, what will you do?  Bend over to give him two more to beat?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

DIME, COIN and the National toolkit: Global COIN - pt. 3

Cross-posted from Dumb Looks Still Free as a standalone piece for The Jacksonian Party.

The following is considered a 'rough draft' or 'working paper'.

From the Field Manual FM3-24 Counterinsurgency manual:

1-1. Insurgency and counterinsurgency (COIN) are complex subsets of warfare. Globalization, technological advancement, urbanization, and extremists who conduct suicide attacks for their cause have certainly influenced contemporary conflict; however, warfare in the 21st century retains many of the characteristics it has exhibited since ancient times. Warfare remains a violent clash of interests between organized groups characterized by the use of force. Achieving victory still depends on a group’s ability to mobilize support for its political interests (often religiously or ethnically based) and to generate enough violence to achieve political consequences. Means to achieve these goals are not limited to conventional forces employed by nation-states.

1-2. Insurgency and its tactics are as old as warfare itself. Joint doctrine defines an insurgency as an organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through the use of subversion and armed conflict (JP 1-02). Stated another way, an insurgency is an organized, protracted politico-military struggle designed to weaken the control and legitimacy of an established government, occupying power, or other political authority while increasing insurgent control. Counterinsurgency is military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civic actions taken by a government to defeat insurgency (JP 1- 02). These definitions are a good starting point, but they do not properly highlight a key paradox: though insurgency and COIN are two sides of a phenomenon that has been called revolutionary war or internal war, they are distinctly different types of operations. In addition, insurgency and COIN are included within a broad category of conflict known as irregular warfare.
These outlooks give us a context for local insurgency on a localized scale, but does it offer a paradigm for translating modern events into a global scale?

To examine and define this the concept of 'constituted government' is a main stumbling block as there is no constituted global government at the global scale with anything like a constitution. What there is, however, is a set of systems that arise from having States, be they City States or Nation States, especially when there is contact between States. If 'constituted government' is the idea of government formed to meet a set of needs by those under it, then that constitution (be it written or unwritten) is the description of the means of how such government is allowed to act. Thus 'constituted government' is a description of that process of running affairs at that higher level of the State as opposed to purely local or municipal government interested in sub-State affairs. This is not only not unknown, but has been regularized in the 9th through 18th centuries via a concept known as the law of nations. What is the law of nations?

By having States and having to address both sub-State and State-to-State concerns there arises a need for functions to address these concerns. We are typically used to the form of State government that addresses us, as individuals, on the internal side of things as the State represents those within it, no matter what form of government it has. Thus from absolute dictatorship or totalitarian government all the way to representative democracy or direct democracy are the internal limits for how States may run their internal affairs. Externally, however, things are not as wide ranging as attempts to shift ruling government beyond the borders of a State bring that State into contact with other States who are often hostile to such changes. By the very act of having such a State and having contact the law of nations arises as the means to create such contact and regularize it. While the law of nations is 'voluntary law' on the actual citation of it as a ruling internal concept or for creating civil law, it is less than voluntary on the external side as other States are working to ensure that any any other State adheres to its agreements.

With that understanding it is very possible to instantiate that there is 'constituted government' at an international scale, and that it is a flat or non-hierarchical form of government: there is no higher law to appeal to than the law of nations. One could, in theory, have a State in absolute isolation and never need the law of nations as a concept, but the moment a State meets up with another State the law of nations appears. A State may not like nor want such a law of nations, but by being a State that is what it gets as part of its make-up. Just as individuals are born with inalienable rights, so are States and the work to define that took centuries and was instituted via a series of views and reviews of philosophy that slowly moved into legal and diplomatic context until a well established law of nations was finally written down and discussed deeply for decades thereafter.

The actual book Law of Nations, by Emmerich de Vattel, is a deeply interesting text as it precedes the formation of the US and was utilized by William Blackstone to examine the English Common Law in his Commentaries on the Laws of England. I have examined the import of these texts in overview previously (here for a look at those plus the Black Book of the Admiralty) and how they influenced the creation of the US (article here), and were discussed by Federalists and the so-called 'Anti-Federalists' during the 1787-89 period. Emmerich de Vattel was, himself, working on the views of others, particularly Hugo Grotius, who had done On the Laws of War and Peace with the then understood law of nations. From these we can then look at Law of Nations and examine just what a Sovereign State is:

§ 1. Of the state, and of sovereignty

A NATION or a state is, as has been said at the beginning of this work, a body politic, or a society of men united together for the purpose of promoting their mutual safety and advantage by their combined strength.

From the very design that induces a number of men to form a society which has its common interests, and which is to act in concert, it is necessary that there should be established a Public Authority, to order and direct what is to be done by each in relation to the end of the association. This political authority is the Sovereignty; and he or they who are invested with it are the Sovereign. (10)

§ 2. Authority of the body politic over the members.

It is evident, that, by the very act of the civil or political association, each citizen subjects himself to the authority of the entire body, in every thing that relates to the common welfare. The authority of all over each member, therefore, essentially belongs to the body politic, or state; but the exercise of that authority may be placed in different hands, according as the society may have ordained.

That re-cap is necessary to remind individuals that a State is created by society and the people within it, and not the other way around. States do not suddenly form and gather people to them, and are, instead, an organic arising of creating a society in need of self-defense and mutual support. Any necessarily large society, and this has differed in history from few thousands to multiple millions, that seeks mutual support, accord and safety will then form a State to help direct that larger set of needs. Indeed, the system of Nations is the most liberal ever devised as it allows each and every society to give rise to its defense and self-government to its greater ends, something which no larger government than that society, commonly known as Empire, can do.

What is exemplary about Law of Nations is that it spends its time defining just what Sovereignty is, what government is, and what it should set about doing in a general way for its Nation. Almost the entirety of the first book is spent on this *alone* including the duty and obligations of the government to its people and the people to its government and the necessity of piety. Not left out are federal states or elective states, each of which are seen as legitimate though each having differing ways to mete out Sovereign powers that are in accord with the society under it. It is rigorous in this view because the basic and understood internal mechanisms of States were quite visible by that time, and the necessity of stating them so that governments could have understanding of what other governments (and their own) were doing and why gave insight into exactly how interactions could take place between States.

In that way Law of Nations, both in the written form and in the lower case form of common understanding of State to State contact, is 'voluntary' but the necessities of having a State make it descriptive of all States and how they work. If a State does not do these things then it is on its way to not being a State any longer. Thus, when looking at globalized insurgency against the Nation State concept, the key things it will attack are those systems of understanding both inside and amongst Nation States. To break down States any insurgency must attack the Law of Nations so as to remove its understanding from the body politic of Nations and from individuals. When that understanding is undermined, then States will begin to falter without internal knowledge and accountability for their actions. And those actions may be internal or external to the State, and the lack of accountability may likewise be internal, external or both, simultaneously.

From this attacking the Nation State system via COIN, as seen in FM3-24 can be seen in as a politico-military struggle consists of a set of political and military views that work in concert, they fall into categories of political, military, and fused politico-military. These are, in actuality, three separate axes that intersect at the common insurgency point of weakening or destabilizing the current ruling system. Each of these axes can work independently, as in political views that do not coincide with direct action military views, and yet aim at the same end, or together so that there is outright coordination between military and political activities, as in the various 'armed wings' of insurgent organizations.

When taken in the military realm, the original view of law of nations was to differentiate between Public War and Private War. Here Law of Nations is a touchstone for the international system of treaties, as it properly defines these two things as separate spheres of warfare in Book III:

§ 1. Definition of war.(136)

WAR is that state in which we prosecute our right by force. We also understand, by this term, the act itself, or the manner of prosecuting our right by force: but it is more conformable to general usage, and more proper in a treatise on the law of war, to understand this term in the sense we have annexed to it.

§ 2. Public war.(136)

Public war is that which takes place between nations or sovereigns, and which is carried on in the name of the public power, and by its order. This is the war we are here to consider: — private war, or that which is carried on between private individuals, belongs to the law of nature properly so called.

§ 3. Right of making war.(136)

In treating of the right to security (Book II. Chap. IV.), we have shown that nature gives men a right to employ force, when it is necessary for their defence, and for the preservation of their rights. This principle is generally acknowledged: reason demonstrates it; and nature herself has engraved it on the heart of man. Some fanatics indeed, taking in a literal sense the moderation recommended in the gospel, have adopted the strange fancy of suffering themselves to be massacred or plundered, rather than oppose force to violence. But we need not fear that this error will make any great progress. The generality of mankind will, of themselves, guard against its contagion — happy, if they as well knew how to keep within the just bounds which nature has set to a right that is granted only through necessity! To mark those just bounds, — and, by the rules of justice, equity, and humanity, to moderate the exercise of that harsh, though too often necessary right — is the intention of this third book.

§ 4. It belongs only to the sovereign power.(137)

As nature has given men no right to employ force, unless when it becomes necessary for self defence and the preservation of their rights (Book II. § 49, &c.), the inference is manifest, that, since the establishment of political societies, a right, so dangerous in its exercise, no longer remains with private persons except in those encounters where society cannot protect or defend them. In the bosom of society, the public authority decides all the disputes of the citizens, represses violence, and checks every attempt to do ourselves justice with our own hands. If a private person intends to prosecute his right against the subject of a foreign power, he may apply to the sovereign of his adversary, or to the magistrates invested with the public authority: and if he is denied justice by them, he must have recourse to his own sovereign, who is obliged to protect him. It would be too dangerous to allow every citizen the liberty of doing himself justice against foreigners; as, in that case, there would not be a single member of the state who might not involve it in war. And how could peace be preserved between nations, if it were in the power of every private individual to disturb it? A right of so momentous a nature, — the right of judging whether the nation has real grounds of complaint, whether she is authorized to employ force, and justifiable in taking up arms, whether prudence will admit of such a step, and whether the welfare of the state requires it, — that right, I say, can belong only to the body of the nation, or to the sovereign, her representative. It is doubtless one of those rights, without which there can be no salutary government, and which are therefore called rights of majesty (Book I. § 45).

Thus the sovereign power alone is possessed of authority to make war. But, as the different rights which constitute this power, originally resident in the body of the nation, may be separated or limited according to the will of the nation (Book I. § 31 and 45), it is from the particular constitution of each state, that we are to learn where the power resides, that is authorized to make war in the name of the society at large. The kings of England, whose power is in other respects so limited, have the right of making war and peace.1 Those of Sweden have lost it. The brilliant but ruinous exploits of Charles XII. sufficiently warranted the states of that kingdom to reserve to themselves a right of such importance to their safety.

A lengthy piece, but necessary, as it sets the bounds and limits for who can and cannot make war. Do note the relegation of those making Private War to the law of nature, which is a much rougher play of liberty that is only given when one is attacked. Those that operate outside of the Public sphere of State to State intercourse and diplomacy in this area are practicing Private War, not Public War, as they consider themselves to be beholden to no one in their assaults on Nations. No matter what the perceived foul, the perceived transgression, the perceived slight by an individual or people, waging war outside the Public sphere is Private War. Self-defense of communities is one, thing, but proceeding, from there, to counter-attack, unless all other forms of civilized protection are no longer available, is something that cannot be done.

This high right of a State is, actually, allowed to the States of the United States if the federal government cannot or will not respond to invasion or threat that will not brook delay as seen in Article I, Section 10 of the US Constitution:

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

This language is a basic restatement of the autonomy of the States within the Union having given to the National government those things to protect the whole of the Union, but still giving those States the right to protect themselves during times of duress or federal neglect. At that point, when National government cannot or will not do its duty, that duty then devolves to the State(s) involved to defend themselves.

In the US system of government, the ability to distinguish between those making Public War and Private War has devolved upon the Commander in Chief with the input of the Congress on the treatment of those waging Public War. In Private War, however, the Laws of War break down as those waging it have no right to do so and are, thusly, outside of the framework of the Nation State system of interaction. This, too, is part of the law of nations view, again from Book III, here distinguishing lawful from unlawful war:

§ 67. It is to be distinguished from informal and unlawful war.

Legitimate and formal warfare must be carefully distinguished from those illegitimate and informal wars, or rather predatory expeditions, undertaken either without lawful authority or without apparent cause, as likewise without the usual formalities, and solely with a view to plunder. Grotius relates several instances of the latter.5 Such were the enterprises of the grandes compagnies which had assembled in France during the wars with the English, — armies of banditti, who ranged about Europe, purely for spoil and plunder: such were the cruises of the buccaneers, without commission, and in time of peace; and such in general are the depredations of pirates. To the same class belong almost all the expeditions of the Barbary corsairs: though authorized by a sovereign, they are undertaken without any apparent cause, and from no other motive than the lust of plunder. These two species of war, I say, — the lawful and the illegitimate, — are to be carefully distinguished, as the effects and the rights arising from each are very different.

§ 68. Grounds of this distinction.

In order fully to conceive the grounds of this distinction, it is necessary to recollect the nature and object of lawful war. It is only as the last remedy against obstinate injustice that the law of nature allows of war. Hence arise the rights which it gives, as we shall explain in the sequel: hence, likewise, the rules to be observed in it. Since it is equally possible that either of the parties may have right on his side, — and since, in consequence of the independence of nations, that point is not to be decided by others (§ 40), — the condition of the two enemies is the same, while the war lasts. Thus, when a nation, or a sovereign, has declared war against another sovereign on account of a difference arisen between them, their war is what among nations is called a lawful and formal war; and its effects are, by the voluntary law of nations, the same on both sides, independently of the justice of the cause, as we shall more fully show in the sequel.6 Nothing of this kind is the case in an informal and illegitimate war, which is more properly called depredation. Undertaken without any right, without even an apparent cause, it can be productive of no lawful effect, nor give any right to the author of it. A nation attacked by such sort of enemies is not under any obligation to observe towards them the rules prescribed in formal warfare. She may treat them as robbers,(146a) The inhabitants of Geneva, after defeating the famous attempt to take their city by escalade,7 caused all the prisoners whom they took from the Savoyards on that occasion to be hanged up as robbers, who had come to attack them without cause and without a declaration of war. Nor were the Genevese censured for this proceeding, which would have been detested in a formal war.

This, one would think, is obvious about Nation State conduct and those individuals who move outside of the protection of the law of nations and into the law of nature: they have brought their ends upon themselves willingly. On the battlefield no Congress can or should attempt to break with this view, that those fighting, actively in combat or otherwise attempting to do so and then pass themselves off as mere civilians, are due to any recompense on the battlefield. Their ends are left up to the Commander of the Armies and the Navies, that being the Commander in Chief of the US forces. That singular individual is given play, here, as the Sovereign right of a Nation to deal with such outlaws is paramount for the protection of those soldiers operating by the formal rules of war. This is not only the view of the law of nations but has precedent in the United States. The following is exactly how Abraham Lincoln authorized the US Army to deal with things in the Field Manual - 100, of 1863-81, last reprinted in 1898:

Art. 82.

Men, or squads of men, who commit hostilities, whether by fighting, or inroads for destruction or plunder, or by raids of any kind, without commission, without being part and portion of the organized hostile army, and without sharing continuously in the war, but who do so with intermitting returns to their homes and avocations, or with the occasional assumption of the semblance of peaceful pursuits, divesting themselves of the character or appearance of soldiers - such men, or squads of men, are not public enemies, and, therefore, if captured, are not entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war, but shall be treated summarily as highway robbers or pirates.

Do note the language used to distinguish between normal soldiers, due the full treatment of lawful war, and those committing unlawful war. As President Lincoln established this as the law of nations instantiation by his powers of the Admiralty (to distinguish piracy from normal lawful raiders) and that of the Army, he is given the full panoply of determination on land and sea just who is and who is not legitimately waging war against the US. And the summary treatment of highway robbers or pirates, in those days, was no different than the Genevese visited upon those that attacked them unlawfully.

Also note that it is a perfect description of 'terrorist'.

With this we can now form the distinction between those who are 'Revolutionaries' and put on uniform, create government, and are accountable to their activities, from those that are mere insurgents who feel no compunction to be held accountable for anything they do and see themselves as above and beyond all law of man. Congress can create civil law to deal with these individuals, if they are caught outside of the battlefield after joining an organization actively waging Private War on the US. This hard and fast distinction between civil and military law has lasted for centuries and with good reason: it is needed to remove human predators from endangering society.

These definitions now help to define global insurgency as to what its activities will be:

  1. The attacking of any State via means of Private War.
  2. The attempt to remove the distinction between Public and Private War so as to return mankind to the Law of Nature.
  3. Aid given by donation, acquiescence, harboring, aiding, trading or in any way supporting in a physical or monetary way those waging Private War.

This covers immediate military concerns, in point 1, political concerns, in point 2, and their fusion in point 3. These are immediate insurgent views necessary for direct assault on the State system as described by law of nations views. There are also, however, the indirect assaults to weaken or delegitimize the State, and those are usually not just or only military in nature. Also the sorts of attacks are not limited to just externals of States but to the internal workings of them, as in classical insurgency against a State, but carried out as a systemic attack on the law of nations system.

Here the useful paradigm to think about is that promulgated by the 'Greens' groups and parties: "Think Global - Act Local".

The shift to push political systems to direct action is one that is militaristic in bent, if not in direct military support. Indeed, the actual push of 'agendas' may be to weaken or delegitimize State based military groups so as to weaken the defenses of the State for its people. Internally to Nation States, this is a process that seeks to polarize, delegitimize and then shift the power of the State from its normal, accountable, State based system to one that is amenable to the 'action' sought. Normal political based attacks against traditional State military systems then serves the wider purpose of State-to-State intercourse becoming less accountable by the weakening of States, themselves. That shift away from classically described State based systems to one that is pushed to direct action and control by those who have caused the polarization is then one of authoritarianism: by utilizing the push to action to circumvent normal accountability within the State, those seeking to undermine the Nation State system under the law of nations are furthering a non-State, authoritarian system as their outcome.

Classically, these are described as Empires in which a ruling individual or body has direct control over the lives of those within the State and allow only minor and usually ineffective means of feedback. That said, Empires are usually not alone in the world and have other States that they need to act with, thus the basic structure of law of nations re-asserts itself unless that Empire has overwhelming power or capability to over-run or absorb surrounding States. Those forces that seek to delegitimize internal order and accountability to create such an Empire often do not realize that this outcome, in which they will be forced by circumstances to either over-reach or recreate those structures, then puts in charge those least able or capable of shifting that chaos in the position of having to do so.

Classical Empires of Greece, Rome, Egypt, Babylon, and the multiple ones of China, all found that to keep the Empire stable amongst surrounding States (even barbaric ones with rudimentary State concepts) required the creation of internal systems to sustain the Empire, that tended towards direct action and cruelty. No matter how benign the group causing the problems may consider themselves to be, the actual need for a State is to utilize common power to restrict the excesses of society. Those in charge of Empires tend to see even modest dissent as an 'excess' and thus punishable by the State. To create a 'perfect Empire' requires near perfect isolation and no other meaningful State based contacts.

This has only been achieved in a meaningful way in the instances of the Greek Empire under Alexander, multiple instances in China, and Japan during its withdrawal from the world until the arrival of Perry. China, due to its geography, has been able to stage different forms of isolation and create long-lived bureaucracies that then become the true source of sustainment, no matter how much the Sun Emperor is worshipped. After the successful insurgency of post-WWII, China supplanted its traditional, Imperial based system with one that was Communist in name, but Fascistic in design. That traditional bureaucratic State re-asserted itself near instantaneously, and even with the charismatic Mao, it was the bureaucracy that continued on and is now the controlling organization of the State, no matter what the Party itself does. While China has had multiple internal revolts, it has normally taken exterior forces to remove one ruling elite and install another, and no matter who that elite *is* the bureaucratic necessities of the State shift the power from the Elite to the bureaucrat.

The Greek Empire lasted fleetingly under Alexander and, with his death, quickly decayed back to its constituent States. Here the military commanders quickly found themselves overwhelmed by culture and personal power, and those diplomats who had been put aside under Alexander (when not just eliminated) soon found their roles re-instated after his death. The Nations re-arose even if they all did speak Greek for a time, as their ethnic outlooks caused the welds formed by successful military campaigns to fracture under competition between the inheritors of the Empire. Alexander did not have the time nor foresight to create the bureaucracy that China found as necessary to establish internal control and cohesion over varying ethnic groups, so the actual time that the Greek Empire lasted was measured in years, not decades or centuries.

Japan, being an island State, found that its aristocratic class formed a powerful minority far larger in proportion to the peasant population than in Europe. While that class may only have been 1% or so in Europe, in Japan it was approximately 10% and swung that weight around heavily as the aristocracy was greatly militarized to start with. Japan's problem was in the adoption of gunpowder based weapons, and the democratizing effect of them as it takes far less skill to load, aim, shoot, clean and reload a firearm of that era than it did to wield a sword. When the commander of a military expedition in Korea called for more peasantry armed with muskets and no more Bushido, the campaign, itself, was brought back and Japan outlawed firearms as they were far too dangerous to the ruling class to have around. When a barely trained youngster can take down a veteran Bushido with one shot, the power shift had gone unpleasantly against the aristocracy and they would not, as in Europe, accede to this new reality. The centuries of isolation that followed could only happen with an island State able to enforce that isolation and ban trade.

None of these offer useful goals for the modern insurgent, anti-law of nations view, as they each are demonstrably delimiting by events (Alexander's unpreparedness and Geography in the cases of China and Japan) to allow useful replication in an outright form. Thus the modern insurgent must aim to create a global Empire with the necessity of a hard and powerful bureaucracy that, again, shifts control from the hands of the Elite that comes to power to the actual daily functionaries that wield this power. The pathways of computers, robotics and automation do not offer easy solutions to those seeking insurgent ends as these are all labor savings devices in a situation where having too much labor available is a problem. They may try to rely on the Orwellian concept of continual warfare, but they have so delegitimized that in their rise to power, that the actual functioning of the military, itself, comes into question. A shifting to the need of military force during their rise would obviate that, but would also destroy the facade of 'peaceful' and anti-military stances taken during that rise and cause a backlash. The last thing an insurgency wants when it is rising is a new insurgency against *it*, while battling against the COIN of the State(s) involved in trying to retain power.

State based backers of political insurgency against the law of nations and States, then, will garner the following characteristics:

  1. They will attack the legitimate use of arms and traditional military systems of the State. In doing this they will utilize any means necessary to counter support for States and claim that support, itself, to be Fascistic in nature even when it is adhering to classical, liberal State based needs.
  2. They will attack the legitimate functions of the State in areas relegated to the State at the National level. This will include such things as: diplomacy, commerce, immigration, and defense of the Nation.
  3. They will create a 'crisis atmosphere' about problems that cannot be solved, and yet they will call for them to be solved by the State. Thus, in any economic system which has any competition, the outcome is that there will be poor. To end that competition must be ended in the name of 'fairness' and 'equality'. As was done in Soviet Russia and modern China, so, too, will these insurgents call for the increase in State control to meet the exigencies of these 'crises' until the State, itself, becomes the only power allowed to deal with anything, and personal choice and accountability of the State is removed.
  4. On State-to-State functions of diplomacy, these insurgents will demand that treaties be seen either as 'worthless' or 'unequal' or that they must be adhered to when they go against the survival of the State. By changing views on the utility of diplomacy to fit immediate needs and 'crises' created by political views, these insurgents wish to demean and eliminate all normal State-to-State means of diplomatic recourse and normalization.
  5. On any military attempts to reign in other States, this will be depicted as 'imperialistic', 'fascistic', or 'totalitarian', even when all necessary law of nation safeguards have been satisfied. Because the organizing capacity of the military is both admired and feared, it must be destroyed by these insurgent views so as to remove the only effective organ of State-to-State accountability and engender more 'crises' and then claim that either military solutions are always in need, for those things that cannot be solved by military means, or openly attack those instances where all law of nations views are actually performed and to undermine them at every turn.
  6. In matters of trade, no ability of the State to leverage control over trade is supported and all attempts to make trade 'free' of any burdens of the State is supported. In this manner the normal classical liberal means of the State to express societal displeasure or gratitude is ended or undermined, so that trade will no longer serve as a function of State-to-State reciprocity and will always be open to any State no matter how bad or destructive it is.
  7. Insurgents will utilize ethnicity as trumping society and Nation, so that the needs of ethnic enclaves, even within States, are seen as 'more legitimate' than the States they are in. This is generally known as 'Balkanization' to fracture and remove traditional State means for societal adherence to a common ethos. By claiming this both within and amongst States, ethnicity is given as the only deciding factor, unless that actually supports a State or set of States, in which case it is decried as 'isolationism' or 'segregationist'.
  8. Immigration as the function of States is decried as 'discriminatory' and undermined by both State and international groups seeking to delegitimize the classical, western concepts of the State having power to enforce societal views on who can be naturalized into society and who cannot be accepted. By removing that legitimacy and forcing acceptance, the State is further weakened as a concept, until it can no longer control these things and is seen as illegitimate due to that lack of control.
  9. Religion, which as part of the Westphalian view is not to be controlled by the State, is then made into either a controlling State-based view. This is done either by trying to fuse religion with the State or supplanting traditional religions with the State, so that any religious view is automatically a political view. With this no aspect of religious life is outside the purview of the State to control.
  10. In all cases where the State is not given control over society, the political view is that the State must have this for general, nebulous 'good reasons' that fit certain 'crises' that are generated ad nauseam so as to justify the authoritarian views of those involved with promoting such 'crises' and views. Thus the 'ends' become the 'means' so that the activity, itself, is the justification for action and nothing higher is seen as legitimate for justifying action.

This listing is not and cannot be exhaustive, as any insurgency is to take up any means necessary to de-legitimize the State based system and the law of nations itself. Treaties are then put as something 'above the State' instead of merely being the contractual acceptance between States that can be broken by any State for classical, western law of nations reasons. In doing this the claim will be that such views are *supporting* these classical views, but then no actual tracing to such things as the law of nation, the laws of war or other such documents will be done and, instead, mere treaties or doctrinal works secondary to these founding works will be seen as primary.

A long-term insurgent campaign must remove these very works from normal public reading and understanding so that the public has little or no understanding of what classical western culture actually is, and can thus be swayed by rhetoric or hyperbole. By only being able to utilize secondary sources or claiming that there is some 'universal' set of rights that is not founded in the law of nature, laws of war and peace, laws of the admiralty, or the law of nations, can an insurgent campaign hope to be successful in the long run.

Further, science is seen as a tool to create society instead as a system of inquiry into the workings of nature. By trying to misplace the tools of physics, biology, chemistry and geology and fitting them into the non-scientific areas of sociology, psychology and politics, can these basic tools of creating a better world be corrupted and seen, then, as a source of ill instead of the creations of man able to ameliorate the problems of nature. Technology, then, becomes something to be decried as harming 'nature' even when the data will show otherwise. By using pseudo-scientific views of 'nature' and society that have no foundation in science but that have the trappings of science, can the insurgency have any hope of removing the few tools of technology and science available to the State for the betterment of its citizens. Here energy generation, in all cases save those supplied by nature directly, be seen as antithetical to the common use of ordinary citizens and any and all attempts to end such utilization must be pushed as ongoing 'crises'. Actual science, itself, is only used as trappings where it supports such views and then politically attacked when it does not do so.

These, then, are the forms of modern insurgency being waged against the classical, law of nations, Nation State system. It contains military parts (Private War going by the concepts of terrorism and piracy), political parts in support of removal of the legitimate State uses to uphold society (via political views such as Communism, Fascism, Progressivism, or anything which generally supports ideology over discourse and action over accountability), and the fusion of the two via 'political wings' of terror groups and 'action wings' of political groups.

This insurgency against the classical, western law of nations system has been brewing in forms of nihilism and totalitarianism for over a century and are now reaching fruition across the board to delegitimize the entirety of the Nation State system and call for global Empire. Those doing such calling have many voices: IslamoFascists, Progressivists of all stripes, those that promote economics as the only end to liberty, and those seeking to push ethnicity and its fusion with identity politics above the commonality of society to have a State. Be it Caliphate, Transnationalist, or Globalist in views, the concept of these being insurgents to the law of nations State based system are just the same. They will distort any text, any idea to reach their goal of a global Empire that will destroy individuality and put a single, ruling view in place of individual views and common accord amongst individuals.

To counter this requires a COIN campaign that counters it in particulars and changes the outlook of society to one that supports accountability and individualism along with the regularity of Nations as upholding the true diversity of societies on the planet.

That will be upcoming in future works.