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Behind the Terror
 
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COVER REPORT

Redefining Terms in Psychological Warfare

 M
ethods used by those shaping a terrorist network also involve psychological conditioning and indoctrination. Subjects are coaxed and/or drugged into a frame of mind conducive to violence, death and suicide. In addition, means of inciting and controlling masses by exploiting broad-based fears, hatreds and ambitions have been carefully honed by psychiatrists and their despots for more than a century—their efficacy a matter of record from Nazi-incited, anti-Jewish Germany in the 1930s to the anti-Islamic hysteria whipped up in the former Yugoslavia in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The techniques often begin with a standard propaganda tool: the redefinition of terms.

While Islamic law is interpreted to forbid use of “all intoxicants,” they are found in al-Qaeda and other terrorist networks, and in the Taliban.
Al-Qaeda abuses “jihad,” Noor Delawary said, noting it has “a very, very specific meaning” that allows people to defend themselves when threatened—but never to terrorize.

Jihad derives from an Arabic term meaning “to strive,” and, in one major sense, it denotes an individual’s spiritual striving against sin. Its meaning for group defense, however, was redefined by Ayman al-Zawahiri to mean an all-out campaign of terror against “Jews and Crusaders,” with Crusaders so loosely identified as to include Americans and, based on ample evidence of wholesale slaughter, ethnic Afghans (primarily from Northern Afghanistan) who did not support al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

“Jihad” thereby cloaked planned genocide—even against fellow Muslims—in a term of righteousness. It paved the way for mass deaths, uncounted rapes and sweeping violations of human rights.

Delawary described the subsequent actions of al-Qaeda and their willing Taliban pawns against native Afghans—which included skinning helpless captives alive—condemning them as the work of “animals” and not Muslims faithful to the teachings of the Koran.

But in looking beyond the religious rhetoric, the agenda was patently political. The September 11 murder of thousands of Americans by al-Qaeda operatives emanated from a political/terrorist “jihad” opposing the United States’ support of Israel and continuing presence in the Middle East—much as the death by torture of an American official, Bill Buckley, was driven by the political agenda to force the United States and Israel to withdraw from Lebanon.

Psycho-Politics

 T
hose experts controlling behavior usually seek to remain behind the scenes, but they are carefully trained, often by governments. Al-Abub, for example, learned his craft from KGB psychiatrists at Patrice Lumumba University (since renamed People’s Friendship University), a Moscow facility that allegedly taught others in such techniques under the communist regime.

Refugees
Refugees driven from their homes by Taliban and Al Qaeda forces found temporary shelter in the Panjsher valley, northeast of Kabul. At the approximate time this photo was taken, the U.S. State Department estimated that 2.8 million people remained displaced outside Afghanistan, while up to 750,000 more were “internally displaced” inside the country.

The use of psychiatry and its manipulating treatments for political ends, often termed “psycho-politics,” is an important factor impelling terrorist agendas.

Sophisticated terrorist “training facilities” reportedly have existed in Iran, including camps dedicated to “how to brainwash, control and activate suicide terrorists while in the West.”24 One Iranian source told Freedom that these camps include drugs in their arsenal to alter and control behavior.

According to Yossef Bodansky, an installation that operated in the 1980s near Persepolis in Iran “was manned by expert trainers” from such non-Islamic countries as East Germany, Bulgaria, North Korea and Vietnam. Bodansky, former director of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, noted, “The East Germans and the Bulgarians were responsible for the development of bombs, explosive charges and diversified detonators, as well as for preparing the technicians who would assemble the bombs on-site.... The North Koreans and the Vietnamese turned their trainees ‘into death volunteers thanks to brainwashing.’”25

Such camps appear to be fertile ground for creating what Dr. Colin Ross calls “Manchurian Candidates,” using drugs, hypnosis and other coercive means. “Terrorist organizations and governments around the world are using these techniques, right up to the present,” he said.

“Shooting Anything that Moved”

Cultural centers
Under the Taliban and al-Qaeda, cultural centers were looted and treasures sold or, as in the case of historical landmarks (above, top) or the world’s largest statue of Buddha (above, bottom), damaged or destroyed.

 W
hile the psychiatric weapons wielded by those dominating al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and other terrorist networks are only now coming to light, the ramifications of these dehumanizing and terror-inducing methods are obvious in their effects—including on the Afghan ethnic populations.

Enayat Delawary described to Freedom the genocidal tactics that al-Qaeda and the Taliban employed against native Afghans, including destruction of crops and food supplies, rounding up, jailing, torturing and killing men and boys, and gang-raping (and often murdering) women and girls.

Tens of thousands of Muslims from Northern Afghanistan were thus exterminated at the hands of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, according to Delawary. At the rate the slaughter proceeded, he said, all of the native peoples of Northern Afghanistan would have been wiped out within another year, if American and other forces had not intervened.

Such charges are mirrored in the U.S. State Department’s Afghanistan Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in recent years. The 1998 report, for example, released in early 1999, noted “large-scale massacres carried out by the Taliban” and stated that “Taliban forces committed a large number of political and other extrajudicial killings.”

At Mazar-i-Sharif, that report noted, “as many as 5,000 persons, mostly ethnic Hazara civilians, were massacred by the Taliban. ... Multiple witnesses reported a killing spree on the initial day of the Taliban’s invasion of Mazar-i-Sharif, with Taliban soldiers shooting anything that moved on the streets, including men, women, children and animals.”

The department’s 2000 report, released in February 2001, revealed continuing oppression: “The Taliban carried out summary justice in the areas they controlled, and reportedly were responsible for political and other extrajudicial killings, including targeted killings, summary executions, and deaths in custody. ... Violence against women remained a problem throughout the country. Women and girls were subjected to rape, kidnaping and forced marriage.”

In addition to describing widespread killings and terror under the Taliban regime, the 2000 document noted allegations of mass abductions and disappearances of ethnic Afghans, including girls and women, in Taliban-controlled areas. That report calculated that 2.8 million Afghans remained displaced outside the country as refugees, while up to 750,000 more remained “internally displaced” inside Afghanistan.

The latest annual report, released on March 4, 2002, catalogued “a greater number of abuses” in 2001: “The Taliban carried out summary justice in the areas that it controlled, and reportedly was responsible for political and other extrajudicial killings, including targeted killings, summary executions, and deaths in custody. ... The Taliban also indiscriminately bombarded civilian areas and harassed, detained and even killed members of relief organizations.” Torture, kidnaping, rape and other crimes continued.

Recent accounts from Afghanistan indicated that al-Qaeda and Taliban forces—contrary to their assertions that they protected females—had for years systematically rounded up the most attractive girls and women, abused them, forced many into short-lived “marriages,” and either abandoned them or sold them to bordellos or bondage in Pakistan. The State Department corroborated these accounts, noting that Taliban soldiers seized girls and women in 1999 and “reportedly trafficked [them] to Pakistan and to the Arab Gulf states,” and that other mass abductions took place between June and October 2000.

“He Has Caused a Catastrophe”

 T
he scenario that emerges is one of individual masters of psycho-political terror, like Ayman al-Zawahiri and Ali Mohamed, providing bin Laden and other supporters of militant operations with their motivation and conditioning—helping to convert veterans of the war with the Soviet Union and new recruits into international terrorists and genocidal executioners.

In a book published in early 2002, attorney Montasser El-Zayat blames Ayman al-Zawahiri for events in Afghanistan and for placing Islamic groups elsewhere on the defensive: “[H]e has caused a catastrophe, the biggest catastrophe that befell the Islamic movement. He made us a chewable morsel of bread under America’s jaws....”26

And just as similar strategies of the past have failed, so goes that of the modern terror masters—at woeful cost to their followers and others.

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