Living to Bomb Another Day

[New York Times] Ronen Bergman - Seven years after 9/11, we may be witnessing the beginning of the end of suicide terrorism and a shift toward advanced technologies that will enable jihadist bombers to carry out attacks and live to fight another day. While we have failed to find a solution to the "poor man's smart bomb," attrition may be achieving what the experts have not. After years of battle in Iraq and Afghanistan, al-Qaeda's suicide-recruitment mechanisms are beginning to wear out. It is no longer uncommon to find jihadists in their chat rooms and interrogations, according to Western intelligence sources, stating that young men are reluctant or simply too scared to take part in suicide attacks. The startling cost in lives of its operatives has motivated al-Qaeda's technical experts to start seeking solutions that would render suicide unnecessary. These mostly revolve around remote controls - vehicles, robots and model airplanes loaded with explosives and directed toward their targets from a safe distance. Gadi Aviran, the founder of Terrogence, a company that gathers information on global jihad for intelligence agencies in Israel, the U.S. and Europe, said, "All of these secretive discourses in the password-protected cyber forums are of the same spirit....Mujahedeen's lives are fast becoming too valuable to waste and although this seems like good news, the alternatives may prove to be just as difficult to deal with." The writer, a correspondent for the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, is the author of The Secret War with Iran.

2008-09-10 01:00:00

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