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Well I have no paper to present. I also wish I have been here earlier to benefit from what has been said and papers presented. But I hope the little, I might be saying may be a sort of contribution on the same topic: TERRORISM: IN SEARCH OF A DEFINITION. From what I heard in the last paper presented, the writer seems to be saying in a way, “all forms of violence are terrorism”. Striking terror, or putting people in a state of terror is equivalent to terrorism.
Well, if that is the case, it means terrorism has been part and parcel of mankind and mankind has been a terrorist, right from the beginning. We know from original History written in the Bible and Quran “among the sons of Adam, Habil and Kabil (also known as Cain and Abel), Kabil killed Habil in a violent way. Maybe Kabil was a terrorist. So if act of violence is terrorism, then actually we should sit down and give the word another meaning because as it is, it is not conveying the meaning of what we are discussing here. So, we should give it another definition, so that it will make sense.
“Terrorism”. Using that “ism” makes it a sort of ideology, a form of belief system or a certain concept which expresses specifically a meaning either in economics or sociology. The knowledge I have in Economics suggests there is nothing called terrorism. Maybe there’s “economic terror”, but terrorism in economics, as a concept doesn’t exist.
So if we attempt defining it in a narrow way, it will help us to see what is “terrorism” and what is not “terrorism”. Which acts of violence can be categorized as terrorism? And which are not? If you are put in a state of terror, does it mean whoever put you in such position is a terrorist? If that’s the case, then armed robbers are all “terrorists”, because they keep you in a state of terror, either in the night or in the day or along the highway, but (as we have it today) they are not called terrorists.
So, terrorism is actually defined as the use of violence to achieve a political goal. Yes violence is there; striking terror is there, but for what reason? It is either to establish a government or to destroy one, or to establish a state, or to create one, or to destroy a state. Now, when you have a political party, which adopts a way of striking terror either by kidnapping, sexual assault, bombing, striking or any form in order to intimidate the government to succumb to their demands, they are terrorists. I thought before the riot in September 11, 2001, terrorism used to be confined to its real meaning, as a means of achieving a political goal by a group. And it was used to refer to some specifically political entities or political organizations, that used violence in other to achieve their aims, except perhaps the misuse of the word by the Israelis, who actually happen to form a state through terrorism, and in fact one might say on the map of the world today, the only state created by terrorism is Israel. And it is a state where all the citizens, 100% of them are terrorists. But they call others terrorist, so they have defined P.L.O, Palestine Liberation Movement as terrorist.
When one uses it in its real sense, it should be the use of violence in other to achieve a political goal. Now, another question arises, is it justifiable or unjustifiable. Some might say: well, in a way, we are forced to do this, as there was no other way, some might say well it wasn’t right to do it. We all know that human beings fight what is called “war”, and it seems that war has been legalized by all known states, they have ministries that are in charge of it and allocate huge sums for buying weapons to fight, they have what is called “war colleges”. So it seems that somehow, war, though undesirable, has come to be part of human life, so rules and regulations are made on how war should be fought. Nobody will say that is how you should go to war, but if you are in a war, there are rules and regulations. It appears that terrorists do not use the conventional means of waging a war, and that is why they are also qualified as terrorists. Paharps if they use conventional means, it might be accepted as an act of war.
Now, perhaps I should not be concerned with the definition, a lot of people have defined terrorism in their own way. But I must be concerned about what should be called terrorism, but it is not called, and that is “state terrorism.” I’ve heard terrorism being mentioned but none of them have written a certain Government, which has been using terrorism as a weapon to sustain itself and to intimidate its opponent.
It seems that after September 11, some particular Governments have adopted the word and misuse it in a way that strike terror. In other words, use terrorism in order to sustain either their own policies in their countries or outside world. Typical of this, is the Government of the United States of America, which in itself is becoming more and more of a terrorist Government. I’m not saying all the people in the United States are terrorists, but the Government is becoming a terrorist one. What will you say of their own atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq? If it is not known, it is now accepted for an open secret indeed.
Somebody told me a story of Afghanistan, where a delegation from the United States had a meeting with the Taliban government long before the September 11, 2001 tragedy. They wanted to have some agreement, which will allow the United States government access to abandoned gas resources of Afghanistan. But the Taliban government refused. When the agreement failed they wrote them (Taliban government) that they either consent to US exporting their gas or they will litter the streets on top of the land beneath which is their gas with corpses of their people. And after sometime, we heard September 11 attack, and while the flames could still be seen burning and the smokes filled up the skies; they said it was Usama bin Laden! How did they know? And they kept on saying it was Usama bin Laden up till today. And the same person, the President of the United States of America, Mr. George W. Bush said the responsibility for the strike was from one man. His name was Usama bin Laden, with his network of Al-Qaeda. So he confined it to one man and his network, and he said his message to the Taliban Government was to deliver Usama bin Laden. A little after, they did what they did in advance, one would have thought that was the end of it.
Who is responsible for striking the World Trade Center on September 11 2001? The United States Government said it was from one man, his name was Usama bin Laden and his network of Al-Qaeda. So it proves that this man was a suspect, they were thinking he was a prime suspect. One might ask, if you are representing director of security. Somebody is suspected of committing a crime; whatever the crime, whatever the gravity of the crime, even if it is a matter of hundreds of people, but the suspect is inside a house. What do you do when you want a suspect? Does the rule allow you to destroy the house including everybody inside it? No! How much more when he is hiring a room in a hotel. Does the law say that you can go and destroy the whole hotel and the entire guest inside it because you want to destroy him? If that is the case, they should have shown if it is legally allowed. But this is what they did in Afghanistan – they destroyed the whole nation looking for one man. Worst still at the end of the day the man escaped! And they have destroyed the lives of so many millions of innocent people. If this is not state terrorism, what is it? Next time they will now come to Nigeria and say, they want all our oil for the next one hundred years or we will face the consequence like Afghanistan, if we decline. What do we do? Do we just say ok, come, and have it? Because we wouldn’t want to be like Afghanistan, who have been taken one hundred years back.
Now there’s no water, no electricity and people are riding on the back of donkeys. Now, if they say either you succumb for what they want, or they destroy you. What else is that, if not terrorism? But it is done in the name of “fighting terrorists”. A terrorist carrying out his terrorist acts in the name of fighting terrorism is what? Now having done what they did in Afghanistan, that would have been alright, it has finished. Bin Laden was not there, even if they want to continue bombing Afghanistan to get Bin Laden, believing that it is justified, alright they should continue, having said that only one man is behind it and that is Usama bin Laden. Now why did they go to Iraq? At the beginning they said that Saddam had connection with Al-Qaeda, and that, a meeting of one security agent of Iraq, took place somewhere in Europe, with one member of Al-Qaeda network. It seems the world did not believe them. Well even though they have not convinced us of the fact that Usama bin Laden was behind it, in any case, they said he was behind it and they did what we saw in Afghanistan. Now they failed to convince us that Saddam Hussein has any connection with Al-Qaeda or with Usama bin Laden. At one time they even said that, Usama bin Laden escaped from Afghanistan and they were suspecting that he was somewhere in Iraq. When the world was not convinced with what they made people believe, they said it was the weapons.
Well, we all know what happened. The United Nation Inspectors were there doing their inspection, because they have intelligence that the weapons were there. And they were there to destroy them because they could be used, within 48 minutes to destroy Europe and America from Iraq, so they went and they did what they did. Destroyed towns and villages, at the end of it all, there were no forms of weapons of mass destruction. Now they came to admit that there were no weapons of mass destruction that the attack was based on speculation, so they did what they ought to? They should get out of Iraq, and apologize there and then. They didn’t, instead, they now change the cause, they were there to hang Saddam, for what reason? We didn’t know! Saddam could be a dictator, it’s none of the business of the United States Government or any Government in the world for that matter. It is the business of Iraqi people. It is up to them to rise against their dictator, topple him and replace him with another government. That is not the business of any other nation. Now they got Saddam Hussein, so it should have ended there. No. They now said another thing, they were there to give Iraq freedom and democracy.
Of recent what was George Bush saying? He said that, yes they agree that there was no weapons of mass destruction, yes they agree that Saddam Hussein was a dangerous man and they toppled him, now they have given freedom to the Iraqis, but they have to continue to be there in order to give terrorists trouble so that terrorists would not have time to come and trouble the United States. So at the end of the day the whole thing changed, now they are engaging terrorists, who are the terrorists? Iraqis? So Iraqi people whom you have occupied and you are daily destroying? Are now terrorists in their own country? You’re taking their oil, still they are terrorists? Who are they destroying? So many times, you will see it in the district of Polluja, even yesterday they destroyed houses with families inside them, some of them are story buildings – many stories. And then they were bringing out corpses including those of babies, and then they said the reason for all this atrocity was that Al-Zarkawee of Al-Qaeda was believed to be somewhere in the building. According to the intelligence, he must be leaving around that house. So many families have been totally exterminated in the name of looking for Zarkawee.
Now judging by what Bush was saying, “his troubling terrorists”, are in many countries, it means that not only in Iraq but also in so many other countries, this could happen. After all, out of the nineteen people who struck on September 11, fourteen of them came from Saudi Arabia. So Saudi Arabia could be the next target, so that according to Bush’s philosophy; don’t give terrorists a chance, next they could also be in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt where Muhammad Attah came from and so on. So their own acts knows no bound – they can strike on any other country with the aim of giving the terrorists trouble so that they’ll not have time to go and trouble America. If what they are doing is not terrorism, what else is terrorism? Now you might say that you’ve heard that so many lives were lost in September 11, but compare it with how many lives they have destroyed also in the name of fighting or taking revenge. And yet they have not got at the man they said was behind it.
If America can occupy Afghanistan, usurp all its resources, and do the same to Iraq and all its resources, why shouldn’t other countries do the same? More so, what you need to do is evolve your September 11 and start to attack your neighbors in the name of fighting terror. And this I believe is what the Russian Federation had done on September 1 this year, in Southern Russia, where some terrorists took school children as hostage. At one time the children were playing and they were shooting them from behind. They said they were terrorists, they covered their faces, you couldn’t see who were the terrorists. But they surprised the world, I don’t know how people think. They wanted us to believe that these terrorists had a tape and they recorded the operation, just visualize it in your senses, with ordinary human sense, you’re not trained as himself in security matters. An armed robber for example, goes to robbery with a cameraman? And he’ll be busy stashing away the money and then the cameraman will be taping? And he’ll leave the videocassette behind so that people would know how he robbed the area?
I happen to see it as they were showing it in the television, my wife was even drawing my attention. One of the terrorists as they were taping him, was asking the man to video tape the bomb he was putting. Now I don’t have the proof, but I believe that the terrorists were with the KGB. They said that they killed 20 of them, they have not shown us a single corpse, and they said that ten of them were Arabs. We should see those Arabs. After all just about two years ago, one KGB agent defected to the West. I saw an interview BBC World did with him. He said that he made the bombings that took place in some three houses in Moscow about three years ago. First, they said that somebody rented the house, the three houses were rented by a tenant and was living in all the three houses. They even came out with the sketch of the man, and put all over Moscow asking people if they had seen the suspect. One woman was saying: this sketch look simply just like anybody in Moscow, or even looking like our doctor. It was just a sketch of typical Russian. Later on they turn it and said that it was Chechnya, and then they went and destroyed Chechnya. Now September 1st has become Russian version of September 11.
Those same cruel people perceived as terrorists, who have a goal, I don’t know what they’ll achieve by taking children as hostage and even by shooting down some of the children. Will that give them a free Chechnya at all? Well, if you configure, the only thing we can see for sure is the Russian state. The security people have set the whole area with explosives and possibly they had already put the explosives before the school was opened and buried them. And then at one time they blew the whole area up, but one thing survived “The Video Tape.”
So Russia is saying after September 1, now they’ll fight terrorism wherever it is in the whole world! Meaning if they for example want to reclaim their former states, they can strike and say they have come to understand that some of the terrorists have escaped there. And how are we sure that the September 11 was not also the work of CIA and FBI? They dodge the question each time you ask them. They said that before the September 11 a lot of terrorists removed their money from the banks and sold their stocks, but they didn’t give us the list of those terrorists. We know that they’re the people who did it, they were living within America and they withdraw their money from banks, and they sold their stocks. And we also know that nobody denies the fact that in the World Trade Center, it is known that about 5000 Jews worked in the center. On that faithful Tuesday 11th September, not a single Jew was there. Was it by accident? Not a single Jew was killed or have you heard them mention any Jew being a victim of the September 11 tragedy. Not a single Jew died! And you know it was not a busy Tuesday and the job of the Jews is bold. Was it a coincidence that, that fateful Tuesday all of them failed to go to work? And what is more? Also there are Muslims working there, they don’t even mention it because they want to blame Muslims. Two stories were filled with almost 100% of the Muslims workers mainly from around Bangladesh and Pakistan where you know that all of them died on that day. And then someone said it was in the news that somebody spotted some people video taping the incident and then they were in a sort of happy mood, laughing. So he immediately alerted the FBI, when they came they arrested the men, they were later found to be Israelis. The only charge they made against them was that they illegally entered the United States and then they sneak them out. And even their families appealed that the names of those people should not be released and it was not released.
Perhaps after 10 years or 20 years it might come to light; that the terrorist was no other people than the American Government itself. Because now they have used September 11 to further their cause in many ways. And just as the case of KGB member that detected mentioned that they were carrying out the bombings, so also after some time, it will come to light that they were behind the September 1st, his own version of September 11th, which they designed in such a way that everyone sympathized with the children. Indeed there was one channel which was showing hundreds of thousands of people matching in the red square against the CNN correspondent, who said that, those people who were chanting political slogans are now all United in one word, they’re all against the terrorists. The very unpopular president Putin has now become a hero. He killed children and he’s a hero. Now don’t be surprised, remember they have used this tactics several times before. When Israel was established and they were making campaign for Jews to come back home, a lot of them were not interested in coming back. Very few were going from Europe. At one time, a ship loaded with Immigrants from Britain, was about to barge at the harbor of Tel-Aviv when the security agents in Israel decided to sink the ship in order to make a campaign. They did it and took few of it, and then it was shown how the wave was carrying women and children and they were screaming.
And then Britain was accused of sinking the ship. And a lot of condemnation against the British Government and the British Jews started moving back to Israel. It achieved the purpose, it was ten years later that it became clear that they terrorized themselves; they were behind the sinking of the ship. And you remember also that is open secret: who killed John Kennedy? The CIA. It came clearly after ten years. And one might say also that in Nigeria there are some qualifying, well I didn’t say they call them qualifying. The last dictator has used his own form of government, you know how he set a false coup, and he nap all his colleagues. And two months later, Ba’are Mai Nasara in neighboring Niger, arrested some people somewhere and then those people were seen around the state house in the opposite direction over looking the gate, and then they were asked why were they there? They said that, one Muhammad Bazar asked them to bury bomb, and then they dug and the bombs were there. So they were arrested and then one of them came into the TV and said well Mohammad Bazar asked us to bury the bomb, and the following day he was seen moving around “The bomb area”. So why is it that only when the weak is forced to take arms, you call it terrorism? And then when the strong take arms against the weak, it is not terrorism. It is called fighting terror. It is indeed terrorism and the worst form of it. It appears that this world powers are now resorting to the use of the word “terrorism” and also did not only misuse the word “terrorism” but using terrorism themselves in order to achieve political goal.
And also similar is the bombing in Madrid. At first, the government immediately accused the Ether but later on, they saw that it is better to use it against Al-Qaeda and other so-called terrorists, so that they’ll now be called into their war against terrorism. Because Europe had refused to join the United States in what it called “war against terrorism” with the exception of perhaps Britain whose Government had given US its loyalty 100%. Wherever the United States Government goes, the British Government will go. So they changed it, they now said that well, they have found a car near the sea, and then inside the car there was a cassette with Arabic inscription in it. So there was some Arab connection. Later on they said that they saw the terrorist and they chase them, they were pursuing them and the terrorist were running. As they were running, they immediately seek shelter in a house in the outskirts of Madrid, and then they surrounded the area. There was a search of about two days. At the end they decided to blow the building with every body inside it. So it means all the terrorists burn and everything burnt with them. But, they now come to tell us that after bombing the house, they found about twenty explosives there, because the terrorists were hiding there, so maybe they were carrying them in their pockets.
So immediately they entered they started lynching them and all the bombings did not blow them. Try it with a petrol and one stick of match and see, or even kerosene. Now, if that does not satisfy you, a video tape was seen of the terrorist making statement that, that was the beginning, they will continue attacking different targets and it was spoken in Arabic absent. So they destroyed the whole building, all the people died but their videocassette survived. Remember they were chased from the middle of the city to the outskirts but they had time for building the seach to stage a camera and tape all their voice saying that they’ll now strike on different areas. I believed that the terrorists in the Madrid bombings were no other people than the Spanish Government, which sought to win the election. Had it been established that they wanted to blame the Government so that they will now use it to fight Ether. But the United States and its allies have different aim, they said no rather than use it against Ether, let us use it against Al-Qaeda. So it was changed, so now no one can borrow the leaf. Simply stated a state can now terrorize some people and accuse some others of terrorism. Unfortunately this is the most dangerous form of terrorism, where those who want to sustain themselves in power, instead of it they find out that they cannot do that, they result to terrorism in the name of fighting terrorism.
I’m not saying that there are no terrorists at all, all right, but it seems to me that this all noise about terrorism, seems to be a sort of instrument in the hands of those who use it, in order to further their own cause. And that should also be called terrorism. Now coming to the Nigerian state, by your definition all violence is terrorism, well there is a lot of terrorism in Nigeria. But I don’t think there is a sort of political party or political group, which aims to change the Nigerian states or system of administration through violence. Perhaps it might spring in the future I do not know, but at least for now, there is non. So if terrorism means all forms of violence, we have violence in religion, tribes etc. And we have the worse, that of armed robbers which is not terrorism (to them). They terrorize people but they are not terrorists. Because they terrorize people for economic gain, not for political reason.
So if we define terrorism as the use of violence in order to achieve a political objective, then we might say, for sure that the worst terrorists on earth today are the Government of the United States, and the Government of Israel which was established by terrorism, maintained by terrorism, surviving by terrorism and they are terrorists, and all the citizens of the country are terrorists.