Jenni Hesterman looks at some takeaways from today’s tragic suicide bombings in the Moscow subway.
– Although the Black Widows of the Chechen Rebels have been involved in many operations through the years, the use of female suicide bombers is on the rise worldwide
– 2 attacks, 30 minutes apart – perhaps targeting first responders, absolutely inflicting extra fear and panic among commuters
– Boldly attacking stations at the heart of the city, on a Monday morning during rush hour
– Has been 6 years since last attack in Moscow: enemy is patient
Officials in Israel are speaking openly about their recent success hindering suicide bombings that caused their country incalculable psychological and economic damage. Although the U.S. has been spared this particularly brutal and effective means of terrorizing the populace, law enforcement must be ever vigilant of the threat of suicide bombing in public areas such as shopping malls, amusement parks, sports venues, restaurants and hotels. Lessons learned by Israel and other countries combating suicide bombings are certainly applicable and worthy of analysis by all engaged in the war on terror.
The May 21, 1991 suicide bombing and assassination of Rajiv Ghandi, a former Prime Minister of India, gives a particularly useful blueprint for this type of operation. The assassination proposal originated with a senior officer in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who was angry about PM Ghandi’s decision to send Indian troops into Sri Lanka to assist their government’s battle with LTTE. Since Ghandi’s return to power was imminent, the officer was determined to kill him. He next recruited 4 lieutenants to execute the plan. One lieutenant went to a particular neighborhood and began recruiting locals who would harbor the assassination team. Another began to solicit explosive experts who could assemble the device. Another began recruiting the suicide bomber and accomplices that would carry out the mission.
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Jenni Hesterman is a retired Air Force colonel, a contributing editor for The Counter Terrorist magazine, a full professor of counter terrorism studies at American Military University and a senior Analyst for the MASY Group, a global intelligence and risk management firm.
In addition to this, she is the author of the blog: www.counterterrorforum.com and contributor to National Terror Alert.
Her blog, Counter Terror Forum highlights items of interest regarding threats to national security, terrorism, transnational crime, organized crime, and gangs.
The site also serves to support the law enforcement and intelligence community with open source reporting and analysis.