Breaching the Fortress Wall

Breaching the Fortress Wall: Understanding Terrorist Efforts to Overcome Defensive Technologies

Brian A. Jackson
Peter Chalk
R. Kim Cragin
Bruce Newsome
John V. Parachini
William Rosenau
Erin M. Simpson
Melanie Sisson
Donald Temple
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 182
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  • Book Info
    Breaching the Fortress Wall
    Book Description:

    Technology systems play a key role within a larger, integrated strategy to target groups' efforts and protect the public from the threat of terrorist violence. This study draws on relevant data from the history of a variety of terrorist conflicts to understand terrorists' counter-technology efforts. Fully exploring adversaries' counter-technology behaviors can help make the best choices to protect from the nation from the threat of terrorism.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4247-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Figures
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xv-xxiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxvii-xxviii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)

    The level of threat posed by a terrorist group¹ is determined in large part by its ability to carry out the chain of activities needed to build its organizational capabilities and bring those capabilities to bear in violent action (Figure 1.1). In the effort to thwart terrorists’ efforts and protect the U.S. homeland, the components of that activity chain are key targets for intervention. Such interventions attempt to prevent groups from recruiting members and collecting resources and to detect efforts to plan and stage operations. They also aim to defeat operations in progress through intervention or defensive measures and to...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Palestinian Terrorist Groups
    (pp. 13-38)

    This chapter explores how Palestinian terrorist groups, both secular nationalists and religious nationalists, have attempted to adapt and respond to Israeli counterterrorism technologies. First, it provides a brief background on political violence in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip (WBGS) as well as on the militant groups themselves. The chapter then discusses Israeli counterterrorism technologies and militants’ responses, categorizing them as follows: (1) acquiring information about terrorist group members and their activities, (2) taking preventive action to undermine terrorist group capabilities, (3) denying terrorist access to targets through hardening measures, and (4) responding to terrorist attacks.

    Importantly, Israeli security...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Jemaah Islamiyah and Affiliated Groups
    (pp. 39-58)

    Since 2000, JI has undertaken terrorist activities in an effort to establish an Islamic caliphate extending from southern Thailand, through the Malay Peninsula, across the Indonesian archipelago, and into the southern Philippines (International Crisis Group, 2002). Founded in Malaysia in 1995 by Abu Bakr Baasyir and Abdullah Sungkar—radicals in hiding from the Indonesian government—JI relocated to Indonesia in the aftermath of dictator General Suharto’s fall from power in 1998.

    By 1998, JI had allied itself with al Qaeda (Arabic for “the base”). JI was never formally subordinated to al Qaeda. Some analysts view JI as subordinate in practice,...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
    (pp. 59-82)

    Sri Lanka is a small island located of the southern coast of India. The country is roughly 65,610 square kilometers and is split into nine administrative districts.¹ It has a total population of slightly more than 18 million, three quarters of which is Sinhalese. Roughly 17 percent of the population is Tamil, with Moors, Burghers, Eurasians, and Malays constituting the bulk of the rest. Approximately two-thirds of the population is Sinhalese-Buddhist; Hindus and Muslims together account for 14 percent of the total, with the residual made up of Roman Catholics and other Christian groups (Ministry of Finance and Planning, 1998)....

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Provisional Irish Republican Army
    (pp. 83-114)

    Over the course of its history, PIRA carried out a high-intensity campaign of terrorism, with the stated goals of bringing about unification of the six counties of Northern Ireland with the Irish Republic and the end of British involvement in Northern Ireland. Growing out of a much longer history of conflict, PIRA was born from a fracture in the Republican movement in 1969 when the group split off from what became known as the Official Irish Republican Army (Official IRA). Beyond the activities of Republican groups, the conflict also involves violence perpetrated by Loyalist organizations, which support continued English involvement...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Conclusions: Understanding Terrorists’ Countertechnology Efforts
    (pp. 115-134)

    The previous chapters examined the countertechnology efforts of four terrorist organizations in four distinct operational contexts. The conflict between the Palestinian terrorist organizations and Israel centered on the use of a comparatively limited number of tactics, with the primary threat to Israel coming from the structures and operatives based in the West Bank and Gaza. JI and its affiliated groups operate across a number of countries in Southeast Asia and, as a result, face a variety of countermeasures fielded by countries whose resources and technological sophistication vary significantly. Similar to Hamas, the components of LTTE’s activities in Sri Lanka that...

  15. APPENDIX Prominent Acts of LTTE Suicide Terrorism, 1987–2002
    (pp. 135-138)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 139-154)