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Home  >  Topics  >  SWAT

October 02, 2001
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A Comparison of Islamic Terrorist Training; Why Professionals Need To worry

Islamic terrorist training is both long, and intensive, encompassing a wide range of subjects.

(From the Informed Source Newsletter, published by Profiles Threat Countermeasures Group.)

The primary goal of these (training) schools is the selection of the most suitable candidates for terrorist training and operations, and transforming aspiring terrorists into professional operators.

Some of the early training schools in Iran during the early 80's ran programs that ranged from three to six months in duration. This training consisted of Commando Operations and intense Islamic indoctrination. Other Iranian terrorist training schools ran curriculums which included Irregular Naval Warfare Techniques such as ship-mining , underwater Sabotage, Sabotage Techniques Against Oil Installations, Expedient Explosives Manufacture, and Civil Aviation Terrorism.

One school was constructed to run programs dedicated to the Disruption of Western Aviation. The training school was conducted at a Western-built airport, and the latest aviation equipment was purchased and installed there. The facility even boasted a Boeing 707, a 727, and a 747.

Some of the training exercises run at this school included an Islamic Jihad squad, and hijacking an aircraft. Trained Islamic terrorist aircrews would then crash the aircraft into a specified target. Other exercises involved terrorist teams storming air terminals and assaulting parked aircraft to capture hostages and inflict massive human casualties. Specialist training included the placing of bombs on aircraft.

Another school ran programs dedicated to espionage and counter-espionage techniques which helped "graduates" run clandestine terrorist networks overseas. Those selected to become top-level terrorists received training in Foreign Languages, Principles of Espionage and Counter-intelligence, Code Making and Deciphering, Low Intensity Warfare, deep penetration into, and survival behind enemy lines, Sabotage and Assassination.

Candidates also received two years of extensive Intelligence and terrorist training as well and intense indoctrination to maintain their loyalty despite being immersed in Western comforts and temptations when sent to Western countries such as the United States, Western Europe, and Canada.

Terrorist schools in Libya have conducted training in Assassination, Sabotage, Low Intensity Conflict and other terrorist techniques. The instruction was provided by Russian Spetznaz personnel. Libya, at the same time, had an annual budget of $100 million for maintaining 20 training bases, and supporting, training, and sustaining over 7000 terrorists worldwide.

In Sudan in 1991, there were 30 terrorist training schools. The programs were several months in duration, and general training included Advanced Sabotage with SEMTEX, Armed Ambushes, Clandestine Activities, and Counter-political Operations (subversion and political disruption activities). Some of the special-purpose schools in Sudan taught subjects such as Small Arms Combat, Unarmed Combat, Explosives Manufacture, Laying of Ambushes, Topography, and The Use of Night/Vision Equipment.

As one can see, the level of training of Islamic terrorists in comparison with modern Western programs appears to be light years ahead. In terms of both program content and duration, the terrorist training schools have the advantage. The longer training time allows for a greater amount of direct practical skills transfer, as well as Anti-Western indoctrination. This means that there are a lot of terrorists who are better trained and more committed to their cause than governmental and private sector security/protection specialists. As far as program content, the terrorists unfortunately, have the advantage again.

Their specialized training schools, such as those conducting training in Assaults on Oil Installations, Aviation Terrorism, Subversion and Counter-political Operations, Ship-mining, and Extensive Intelligence Operations, simply have no Western counterparts in the private sector.

Why Should Executive Protection Specialists Worry? The facts previously mentioned should worry modern Western executive protection specialists. Today's global economy has forced Western Businesses to establish overseas international operations in high-risk emerging markets.

Some of the largest emerging markets are those in Africa and the Middle East. Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Yemen (where the recent bombing of the USS Cole occurred), and even Libya, are now announcing to the world that they are "open for business".

There has been considerable Western investment in these countries (especially in the oil and gas, mining, and technology sectors, and various business and economics publications indicate that Western investment in these geopolitical regions will continue to increase.

This means that those responsible for the safety and security of Western corporate assets will increase in the future. This also means that those responsible for the safety and security of Western corporate assets will be more likely faced with threats from Anti-Western operators in these regions, namely Islamic terrorists and former Islamic terrorists "for hire".

What can be done to mitigate this threat? First, Western protection specialists must endeavor to gather more Intelligence on terrorist training, indoctrination, and capabilities. An in-depth study of Islamic fundamentalist doctrine would serve to shed light on their motivations and goals.

Second, Western protection specialists must continue to constantly upgrade their training, and corporate management should be made to realize the value of continued training and pay for it.

Private executive protection and specialist security training schools must endeavor to offer more diverse and specialized programs such as oil installation (on-shore and off shore), sub-surface (underwater) ship security, civil aviation security, advanced intelligence & counterintelligence operations, anti-maritime piracy, operational security (OPSEC), and nuclear facility security.

Executive protection specialists must realize that these groups operate in a highly unconventional manner, thus, they must endeavor to obtain unconventional training. There are too many protection specialists operating in regions in which they do not have the capabilities of operating effectively.

They must realize that their skills are sub-par for the region, and not accept these assignment as they may get others injured, or worse, killed. In the author's opinion, few protection specialists understand the extensive nature of Islamic terrorist training, even those operating in Islamic regions.

Protection specialists must evolve to meet the new threats posed by those who would wage Jihad (holy war) against the Western world. If they don't, the Western world and Western corporations may not survive to employ them.


This article is dedicated to the memory of C.M., Professional Soldier, who was killed off the coast of Northern Africa. He was the victim of bad Intelligence supplied by morons who were supposed to be trained by America's "best". He died repelling a waterborn assault while trying to evacuate a downed teammate. He was a hero. --Author


This article is reprinted with permission from Informed Source Newsletter at www.profiles-threat.com.

Profiles Threat CounterMeasures Group serves clients both nationally and internationally with protective services, training and educational seminars, products, threat assessment evaluations and educational information - from small start up companies to Fortune 500 and 100 companies, to Professional Consulting and Investigative firms, Executive, Dignitary and Tactical Protection Teams, Law Enforcement, Local, State and Federal Governments both domestic and foreign.

Not to be reprinted or published without the express consent of www.profiles-threat.com. Contact newsletter@profiles-threat.com for subscription information.






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