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Ken Grubb

What's Suspicious? How Terrorists Work

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The PKK is probably not very happy with the Turkish government right now, and they may be planning to express their displeasure this tourism season. I thought I'd share some info that might be helpful, but hopefully never needed, regarding how the typical terrorist operation goes. It's not as easy as just driving around with explosives and looking for a place to park! A lot of preparation is normally done, and it is in the preparation phases where terrorist acts are often stopped.Generally, a terrorist group consists of rings, with the founders, and most trusted people in the center. They Generally the do the planning and decision-making, but don't pull anything off themselves. Outside of that ring, is a ring of loyal members who can be counted on to carry out these kinds of acts and provide equipment, money, weapons, and explosives. Outside that is a ring of sympathizers, who provide information and financial support. They may also do some of the dirty work. Knowledge of any planned operations is mostly concentrated in the center, with those on the fringes carrying out seemingly simple tasks without asking any questions. Those on the outside ring may not be committing any "crimes" at all.The typical terrorist incident which might affect an expat area is a bomb placed in a place where tourists go. Even on simple operations, planning and intelligence collection is involved. People in the outer ring might supply info about the best places to hit, or the best way to do it. They may visit the places, unnoticed, and supply photos, diagrams, opening and closing hours, days and hours when most people will be there, what patterns the police use when patrolling, that kind of thing. This information would be collected on several establishments, in several areas. This phase can take some time, and there will probably be many planned operations in various phases going simultaneously.The planners in the center ring analyze that information, and make the decision on which place to hit and how to do it. Those in the second ring would arrange the logistics. They may even do a "dry run," that is, walk through the process to make sure they have it right, that routes they plan to use to escape are not blocked, and that things haven't changed since target selection.A person or people, probably someone who has never been to the establishment before and wouldn't be recognized but would fit in, would be selected to carry out the operation, typically carrying a bag or container of explosives, set on a timer or with a remotely-activated detonator, and leaving it in the right place, then making a getaway. The point is here that by the time this happens, quite a lot of activity and planning has happened beforehand.When things get to the final stages, especially the execution itself, it's difficult to stop unless the police have gathered enough intelligence to make arrests beforehand. So what can an expat do?You've probably heard the saying "look for anything suspicious." Which begs the question, "what's suspicious?" This is referring to those events which occur during the initial intelligence-gathering phase, the dry run phase, and perhaps even the initiation phase when a bomb is planted or other event is carried out. These parts require the group's members to be in certain places and carry out certain acts where they will likely be seen, but hopefully not noticed. Because many operations may be planned simultaneously but only one selected for execution, an operative being approached with a question "why are you parking here?" "Who are you?" "Why are you asking about (whatever)?" will make that particular operation less likely to be carried out, because the person may be remembered later. If you were in their shoes, and had one operation planned where everybody was completely oblivious to you, and another where someone took down your license number, which one would you execute? Instead, things may be postponed, canceled, or another operation selected instead. Now, I'm not recommending you run up to every suspicious person and start asking questions. A lot of this is something establishment owners or police should do, but they can't do that if you don't say anything to them, thinking it's probably nothing.Terrorists have some general objectives for what they do. Firstly, to influence people's minds and change their behavior, with horrible pictures in the news (like not visiting Turkey and spending your money here). Secondly, they want to show that the police can't protect you against them. Thirdly, they want to pull off a well planned, practiced, successful operation, getting in and out quickly and cleanly, so they can keep doing it. It's that last one we have the most influence on, if we are aware things or people which are out of place or unusual. In your area, you should probably have an idea of what "normal" is, that is, what goes on day to day. It will vary from place to place. It's the deviations from this which we need to be aware of.Unfortunately, there's no way to say what those deviations from the norm will be, what the meaning is behind what you're witnessing someone do in every case. But with a basic understanding of how terrorist acts are planned, organized, practiced, and carried out, and an awareness of what is normal for your neighborhood and what's not, it might make us all a little better at knowing and reporting "what's suspicious."

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Thanks Ben for that info. It gives us an idea of what to look out for.

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Ben, it is great all the information that you gave us about terrorist organization and how they work. I guess one thing you did not mention here. The idealogy. The ideology works also as un attractive support for recruting new members, doesn't matter how sofisticate, uneasy or simple, almost ridiculous the ideology can be. I would tell you one event with a possible kurd two years ago. I was telling him about the beauty of Turkey, tourist, the need of increasing the marketing effect an so on for starting from somewhere a conversation and making feel confortable. I was amazed because I was hearing no reply from him side a positive or negative answer. When he decided to talk, he told me that: "We do not need tourist, we do not need UE?", So, I asked then: "What do you need?". He replied: "We need something to change our policy. We don't want so much rich men to steal from us, we need here a communism country." I was quit shocked for a minute. So I repeated to be quit sure I understand it well: "Don't you want a democratic country?" He was becoming agressive with his tone. "No, we want here no poor men and no rich men! We want the shares to be equal. Everyone to be able to have what they really need. I don't want to see anymore expensive cars, fancy clothes and all this negative influence from west. We do not need west." I smiled thinking that I was coming for an ex-communism. "Ok. Do you know something about communism and how it works? Did you live it. Felt it. For being so sure that this is the key for the economical situation in Turkey?" Then he looked at me angrily. I was risking but I continued to speak. "I'm coming from an ex communist country. Do you know that in communism are still some people very rich and the rest is not having what to eat? The things don't change only some are more richers and powerful. So how can you be so sure that something like this works?" He did not reply to me. But after his red face i understood it was not pleasent what I was saying. "I just know." He answered. I was finding that he was coming from the south of Turkey, from a poor family and he once comment that he did not consider Turkey as his country... No comment after this episode. We did not say goodbye in good terms and after a time I realized that he could be a kurd. I thought what if many people thing as he do? What if the communist idealogy gives them a hope for their future life? Then this is a lian for traping others. And then how could think a terrorist then?Eva

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This is probably off-topic, but perhaps some of it is not.

The PKK, that is, the Kurdistan Worker's Party (they always have to bring workers into this) is a Stalinist, communist organization. Their founder, Abdullah Ocalan or "Apo," is a Stalinist. Thank God, he's been captured, and is in prison. But his organization continues to terrorize Turkey. Apo's brother is continuing this group's terrorism, and today you might hear the PKK name as KADEK. Here's their flag, if you have any questions about their political orientation:

Posted Image

I try to stay out of religion and politics as a moderator. But sometimes the temptation is too much to resist. Let me just display this photo, from the space shuttle, of North Korea and South Korea, at night:

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North Korea is today a Stalinist, Communist state. North Korea, above the 38th parallel, was given over to the Russians as a protectorate after WWII, as the spoils were divided after defeating the Japanese (the Russians, by the way, did very little to defeat the Japanese in comparison to what the British and the Americans did). South Korea, below the 38th parallel, was turned over to the Americans as a protectorate after WWII. Look and see the difference, today, between communism and central control of the economy, and democracy, capitalism, and freedom. This is simply fact, not my personal opinion.

Let me say something here of importance. The Turkish National Police (TNP), and the Turkish Intelligence services (MIT) are among the best in the World when dealing with terrorism. They have stopped probably hundreds of PKK terrorist attacks before they ever happened. Yes, we have terrorism here. There's no country, now, where you can escape it. But as far as terrorism, I'd rather be in Turkey. That's also fact, but also my opinion.

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A very good answer indeed.But I could not say that now somebody is the protector of North Korea. Russia has other interests right now and it is finished the communism for the moment there. North Korea, I guess is feeling very much alone.I hope the acts of terrorism in Turkey will not affect the Turkey tourist programmes. If tourist will stop going in Turkey, the PKK will win indirect. Because in the end what PKK wishes is attention and even more world attention. Eva

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Sorry, but I couldn't stop myself from posting this as well. While searching for something completely different,, I happened upon this photo of Kim Jong Il, The Glorious Leader, the Son of Heaven, the God of all North Koreans, in Tokyo, outside of the confines of the absolute perfection of his majestic kingdom.

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If you hate George Bush and say so, have a look at this man, and wallow in the joy of the freedom which is yours, in comparison to the strict control of the people in the country this man rules.

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If you want to talk about having power and enjoying it and have the people on your feet, look on this site. You would see each year shows which was made for Ceausescu with years ago. On that sports groud were thousand persons which were prepared with weeks ago to present the show in front of the president Ceausescu... In fact the same image you could had easily find it in other countries as wellhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wayi9HlVhgQSo, my question is where it stays the power of a person or a group of person to subjugate other ones? Fear, admiration, the circumstances, the ideology or only words...And returning to the Turkey... PKK is a separatist communist organization. My question is they know what means that? In real world? Communism as fascism as other forms of opression you should live it for understanding it.Eva

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