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Military

Terrorist Suicide Operation Analysis

 

CSC 1985

 

SUBJECT AREA General

 

 

 

 

 

I. INTRODUCTION

 

In the second half of the twentieth century terriorism has

 

become a critical issue all over the world. It is no longer

 

limited to small and remote countries or to historically explosive

 

regions such as the Middle East. Terrorism has managed to flourish

 

in almost every democracy in the world: the PLO in Lebanon and

 

Israel, the Corsican movement in France, Armenian terrorists in

 

Turkey and North America, the Provisional IRA in Ireland and Great

 

Britain, the Red Brigade in Italy, the Red Army in Japan, the

 

Baader-Meinhof Gang in West Germany, the Libyan state-sponsored

 

"death squads" in the Middle East and Europe, the Tupamoros in

 

Uruguay, and recently the Maoist Shining Path movement in Peru and

 

the Shiite fundamentalist groups in Iran and Lebanon. Most of

 

these organizations have found it convenient to cooperate with each

 

other, forming what the author Claire Sterling has accurately

 

depicted as a "terror network." These groups do not restrict their

 

operations to their original country or area and have spread a mesh

 

of terror over the entire world. A quick glance at the map of

 

terror in the world shows that the groups concentrate on and appear

 

to cooperate to some extent on missions in democratic countries,

 

countries where public opinion has significant influence on

 

goverment policy.

 

Terrorism has become a weapon by which the fear of masses of

 

innocent civilians exerts a pressure on the governments responsible

 

for their safety, a pressure which often forces unwilling

 

compromises with the terrorists and which yields them an indirect

 

but quite potent form of political power. What motivates groups

 

towards terrorism? We can classify terrorist groups as follows:

 

Nationalist motivations (e.g. the PLO), ideological motivations

 

(e.g. Marxist groups such as elements of the IRA and Maoist groups

 

such as the Shining Path), religious motivations (e.g. Shiite

 

funadmentalist groups), and motivations that extend the power of an

 

existing nation state (e.g. the Libyan "death squads"). Some

 

groups appear to have a narrow focus, such as the abortion clinic

 

shutdowns attempted by some pro-life groups in the U.S. or the

 

Shiite groups in Iran and Lebanon. Other manifest several

 

tendencies at once such as the Marxists national liberation groups.

 

During a June, 1977, conference on international terrorism held in

 

France, Professor Dror of Israel's Hebrew University defined the

 

six trends that have assisted the growth of terrorism into a first

 

degree, strategic problem in the second half of the 20th century:

 

1. The rapid development and proliferation of all kinds of

 

weapons and the ability of terrorist organizations to acquire large

 

quantities of efficient and destructive devices.

 

2. The modern socio-technological system which has developed

 

and created numerous highly vulnerable targets such as

 

transportation nets, power grids, and dense concentrations of

 

populations.

 

3. The development of mass media which now permits terrorists

 

rapid and direct access into people's homes, allowing them free

 

advertising of their goals, grievances, and power. In a sense, the

 

media have transformed many butchers into media stars, often

 

permitting greater media access to the Daniel Ortegas of the world

 

than to the Sister Theresas.

 

4. Modern transportation, especially aircraft, which serve as

 

a tool for rapid evacuation and mobility for the terrorists. It

 

also permits the selection of targets which are diverse and widely

 

separated, allowing the PLO in Lebanon to hit targets such as the

 

Lod Airport massacre using Japanese Red Army terrorists flown in on

 

commercial jets.

 

5. Controversies and disagreements in the international system

 

which result in either active or passive support. This is

 

especially troublesome with countries which behave as if they were

 

paranoid creations instead of national legal entities and who use

 

terrorists as tools for their political, ideological, or religious

 

goals. Examples here include the Soviet Union, Libya, Syria, Cuba,

 

and Iran, who support avrious groups with funds, weapons, training

 

instructors and bases, and even diplomatic cover.

 

6. Finally, the Western emphasis on a tradition of political

 

liberalism and a sensitivity to human rights issues. While

 

acknoledging the positive aspects of these traits, it must be

 

accepted that they place a great burden on Western nations' ability

 

to effectively counter terrorism.

 

Terrorism, like any major sociological phenomenon, is a very

 

broad and complex subject. In this research paper, I chose to deal

 

with two dimensions of terrorism found in the PLO: terrorist

 

training and suicide missions which spring from nationalist

 

motivations. The concept of premeditated suicide training and

 

operations is strange and quite difficult for most individuals

 

brought up in a Western Free World culture. For that purpose, I

 

will use an operation conducted by the "Fatah", a component of the

 

PLO, on 4-5 March 1975 in Tel-Aviv... the "Savoy operations." The

 

goal of the analysis of this operation is to familiarize the reader

 

with this special type of terrorism so as to provide a better

 

understanding and knowledte of how to deal with this plague of

 

modern societies. Knowledge such as this is a key ingredient to

 

success in military operations so it is perhaps fitting here that

 

we remember the words of a classic Chinese military thinker seen

 

through the pen of his modern day counterpart, Mao Tse-tung:

 

"We must not belittle the saying in the book of Sun Wu Tzu, the

 

great military expert of ancient China, 'Know your enemy and know

 

yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.'"

 

Each terrorist operation is different, unique due to the

 

familiar characteristics of battle and men. Thus, one Fatah

 

mission will be somewhat different than another. I have chosen a

 

"typical successive" suicide operations but again I must emphasize

 

that is only one example from Fatah and not necessarily typical of

 

other terrorist organizations.

 

The analysis of this operation has been conducted from a

 

military perspective and the investigation was only looking at the

 

terrorist side of the operation. In order to understand the

 

motivations of these terrorists, it is impossible to avoid touching

 

on some broader issues such as the political aspects of the PLO. I

 

will attempt to avoid these issues, including the social psychology

 

of the Palestinians, to the extent possible. These issues are

 

naturally a part of the operations mainly as they affect the morale

 

and motivation of the terrorists. In this work of limited scope,

 

they will be dealt with as necessary.

 

The first part of this research paper will describe the

 

training of the PLO: military, political, ideological, and

 

psychological. I will examine this as a generic topic, without

 

tying it specifically to suicide type missions. This will provide

 

the reader with some background on terrorism, the PLO as an

 

organization, and its people. The second part of the paper will

 

analyze the specific operation which occurred on 4-5 March 1975 and

 

which was described by the Israeli State Radio as follows:

 

"On the night of March 4th, 1975, at 11:00 PM eight terrorists

 

in two teams were landed by rubber boat on Tel-Aviv's beach.

 

Shooting and throwing grenades, they captured the Savoy Motel near

 

the center of the city, capturing the guests as hostages. Early in

 

the morning of March 5th, an Israeli paratroop unit penetrated into

 

the motel, killing seven terrorists and capturing one. Five

 

hostages were freed and five were killed by the terrorists. A few

 

hours later the ship that transported the terrorists was captured

 

and its crew (including another terrorist commander) were taken as

 

prisoners."

 

II. THE PALESTINIAN LIBERATION ORGANIZATION (PLO)

 

Background of the PLO

 

The PLO was founded during a convention in East Jerusalem in

 

May, 1964. In June, 1964, the PLO declared its resolutions,

 

including the goal of the liberation of Palestine: "Palestine is

 

an Arab homeland." The so-called Palestinian problem stems from

 

1948 and the Israeli War of Independence when 600,000 Palestinian

 

refugees spread over the Arab World during the conflict with the

 

Arab countries. Most of these refugees found temporary homes in

 

Jordan and Egypt. The Fatah was also founded in 1964 and was

 

initially sponsored by Syria. Fatah is the largest and most

 

influential group in the PLO. Since February, 1969, Yasser Arafat

 

has served as the Head of the PLO. See Figure 1 for a current PLO

 

Organizational Chart.

 

Since its inception, the PLO has conducted its fight with

 

Israel using both political and military means and supported by all

 

of the Arab states. The resulting guerrilla war with Israel peaked

 

in 1982 when Israel invaded Lebanon, and the Israeli Defense Forces

 

(IDF) destroyed the PLO's bases and forced them to be evacuated to

 

other Arab states. The war between the Palestinians and the Jews

 

is not just the fighting of two nations over the same piece of land

 

but also involves a battle between two distince cultures. The PLO

 

represents an oriental society with its traditions and habits.

 

Israel is basically a Western-style democratic society on a

 

socialist model. This last sentence, emphasizing the cultural as

 

well as the national basis of the conflict, should be kept foremost

 

in the reader's mind as he/she follows the rest of this paper.

 

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TRAINING

 

Terrorism as a form of political expression has no

 

meaning unless it is supported by physical and moral terrorism.

 

Throughout the century until the mid-1960's terrorists

 

believed that they had only to give a man a bomb or a revolver

 

and encourage him to throw it or fire it at "the enemy." These

 

agents provocateur gave their agents no training in how or where

 

to use their weapons and it was not even considered essential

 

that they should know how they worked. Fatah was the world's

 

first organization to embark upon systematic training for

 

terrorism and the other groups within the PLO soon followed.

 

From the military point of view, such training made good sense:

 

for terrorisim to thrive, it must be seen to be successful and

 

greater success could only come from efficient training.

 

Training includes few different areas. In this work, I

 

will deal with the following areas of training: military

 

trainings, political and ideological training, and psychologist

 

training. Each area of training is completed with the other

 

ones and those all have the same final goal: to build a

 

structure of military force in order to fight Israel.

 

Military Training:

 

The early extensive training of Palestinians was

 

carried on in Algeria. Later on, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon

 

became centers of training activity. After the Jordanian

 

civil war on September 1970, training camps were moved out

 

of Jordan, mostly into Syria and Lebanon, which became the

 

major locus of training camps, supply depots, and repair

 

facilities. In 1971, Libya began to fund and organize

 

training camps. At the high point of PLO-Libyan relations

 

in early 1972, there were said to be as many as 8,000

 

commandos training in Libya. Specialized training is given

 

in Algeria, Egypt, and Libya. Palestinian frogmen are said

 

to have been trained in Ras Hilal near the Libyan-Egyptian

 

border since 1971.

 

Selected trainees have been sent to the People's

 

Republic of China and Vietnam. Palestinians are trained

 

also in Iraq, Yemen, Kuwait, Uganda, the Soviet Union, East

 

Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. The

 

training camps are usually in rear areas, often in

 

mountainous terrain and are kept as inconspicuous as

 

possible. Installations usually consist of nothing more

 

than ordinary buildings or tents.

 

The instructors are not always themselves terrorists.

 

Many come from regular army units and are specialists in the

 

use of explosives and booby traps, small arms, camouflage,

 

field survival, attacks against underwater targets, and in

 

assassination. Secured from the armies of Libya, Algeria or

 

Syria, these men do a tour of duty in some terrorist camp

 

and then return home. Other teachers are Palestinians who

 

have been specially trained as instructors in Arab

 

countries. By 1976, progress in training had reached a

 

point where a "War College of the Palestinian Revolution"

 

was graduating officers to serve in the "al-Asifah forces."

 

The Soviet Union and other eastern block countries,

 

especially East Germany, are training Palestinian

 

instructors and also sending selective men from special

 

units who visit terrorist camps to impart particular

 

knowledge about the recognition and killing of enemy

 

intelligence agents, for instance. South Yemen has become a

 

major training center, mainly because its geographically

 

isolated position gives it a high degree of invulnerability

 

from attack and security from spies. At any moment in South

 

Yemen, in the three camps at Hanf, Mukalla and Al-Gheidha,

 

about 700 Cubans, backed up by 1,500 Russians and 116 East

 

Germans, are training terrorists from all over the world.

 

Trainees have included members of the German Red Army

 

faction and the South Moluccans of the Netherlands. The

 

Egyptian magazine October reported on May 16, 1978:

 

South Yemen has turned the island of Socotra

into a stronghold for the Palestinian terror

organizations and for terrorists from many

countries. Soviet experts are also operating

on the Island.

 

The Russians initiated their intensive training in

 

1978. Hundreds of Palestinians were being given advanced

 

terrorist training in 40 top security schools, mostly in the

 

Moscow suburbs and also at Baku, Tash Kent and Odessa. A

 

course is attended by up to 60 PLO trainees, drawn from the

 

various groups according to a quota system. The routine is

 

well established. Carrying doctored Jordanian, Iranian or

 

Lebanese passports, the recruits travel to Moscow, where

 

they are met by the Director of the PLO office.

 

The first lectures are about the achievements of the

 

Bolshevik Revolution and the advantages of the Soviet

 

order. After aptitude tests, those Palestinians considered

 

above average are transferred for special courses to KGB

 

schools, though they are not allowed to meet the

 

intelligence officers from Libya, Syria, Iraq and South

 

Yemen who are trained there.

 

Between 1974 and 1979, at least 1,000 Palestinians had

 

been trained in the Soviet Union or other eastern block

 

countries.

 

There is a description of a training camp at Sanprobal

 

near Simferapol on the Black Sea and it says:

 

There for six months, the Palestinians--along with

activists from Libya, Iraq, South Yemen and Algeria--

are given an arduous course of study, including basic

military field exercises, communications techniques and

lectures in theory. But at the heart of all this

instruction comes extensive 'engineering classes' . . .

The syllabus includes the following:

Study of regular and electronic detonators

Production of incendiary devices

Preparation of an electrical charge by means of a

detonation

Study of exploding metals

Crossing rivers by rubber or wooden boats

Study of fuse types-detonating card red;

instantaneous fuse red; safety fuse black

Blowing up of vehicles, ammunition dumps, petrol

tanks

Preparation of anti-personnel minefields.

 

In an Arab country, a typical camp contains from 100 to

 

150 recruits. A Fatah camp in Syria, for example, had 120,

 

ranging in age from 17 to 25, with five military

 

instructors, a physical training instructor, and a political

 

commissar. The rank and file of the recruits are made up

 

predominantly of peasants and members of the lower middle

 

class with the great majority coming from the refugee camps.

 

A volunteer that is accepted is sent to a training camp

 

for a trial period of 20 days, during which his stability,

 

obedience, and capacity for self discipline are assessed.

 

About a third of the volunteers are said to fail. Those who

 

pass go on to take the regular course, lasting two months,

 

as full fledged guerrilla terrorists. Physical training

 

includes long distance running, jujitsu, and karate.

 

Military training starts out with instruction in the

 

use of a variety of weapons, such as automatic rifles and

 

pistols, bazookas, rockets, mines, and "white weapons"

 

(daggers and bayonets). Tactical training includes

 

simulated individual and group attacks on enemy

 

installations, ambushes, laying mines, crossing minefields,

 

crossing electronic fences, and hand-to-hand combat.

 

Seasoned recruits go through maneuvers with live ammunition,

 

and run over obstacle courses which include barriers of

 

flaming kerosene. Night marches are often undertaken and

 

many hours are spent on guard duty. Special attention is

 

given to familiarizing the recruits with use of the terrain,

 

which is often not well-suited for guerrilla operations,

 

except for mountainous areas. Discipline in the camps is

 

strict; alcoholic drinks are prohibited and meals are

 

usually eaten standing up. A man found asleep on guard duty

 

three times in a row is summarily discharged. The typical

 

training schedule is as follows:

 

4:00 A.M. Reveille, a run, physical training

 

4:45 A.M. Breakfast

 

5:15 A.M. Wash, clean up camp

 

7:30 A.M. Assembly for discussion, day's program

distribution of tasks

 

9:30-10:00 A.M. Free time

 

10:00-12:00 Noon Physical training, close combat

training, reading

 

12:00-1:30 P.M. Lunch

 

1:30-3:00 P.M. Free time, cleaning equipment, weapons

training, target practice

 

3:00-5:00 P.M. Political education

 

5:00-6:00 P.M. Free time

 

6:00 P.M. Supper

 

8:00-9:00 P.M. First night watch begins, lights out

 

In addition to the commando subjects, there are few

 

schools that have full size dummy aircraft for practicing

 

the art of hijacking. Detailed plans of every type of

 

passenger aircraft are available from the PLO's central

 

intelligence department and the movement of cabin staff has

 

been studied and reported.

 

Other subjects that are being taught in foreign

 

countries include photography, forgery, languages,

 

cryptography, oratory and disguise.

 

Terrorists chosen for a raid against Israel in which

 

they have little chance of surviving are not of high

 

intellectual calibre. Their training has been largely

 

military with a heavy emphasis on indoctrination, based on

 

the duty they owe to Islam. Many leave on their mission

 

expecting to become "martyrs" and, therefore, to reach

 

paradise immediately after death at the hands of Israeli

 

soldiers. Their main aim is to kill as many Israelis as

 

possible. To this end, their training has been designed to

 

make them persist in the face of all the odds against them

 

and not to surrender. Certain terrorist coups, such as the

 

raids and massacres of children at the towns Kiryat Shemona

 

and Maalot show that the training has been horrifyingly

 

successful.

 

The PLO has neglected no aspect of training. It

 

includes aviation in Syria. Its major terrorist amphibious

 

training center is at Benghazi, Libya, which is far enough

 

from Israel to deter the Israelis from striking at it. They

 

used to have an amphibious warfare school at Tyre, Southern

 

Lebanon, until the War in 1982.

 

Training is so diverse and is taken so seriously that

 

the PLO in 1978 created an affiliate organization, the

 

Palestinian Administrative Development Institute (PADI) to

 

run management training courses. Graduation ceremonies are

 

held and a high ranking PLO official always attends. PASDI

 

is partly designed to give the PLO a respectable face in the

 

management-minded West and is an integral part of a master

 

plan which can only be seen as extraordinarly sophisticated.

 

Political Training

 

In keeping with their ideological conceptions of

 

insurgent war, all commando groups provide some form of

 

political training. The rationale behind this attitude is

 

expressed by a Fatah leader: "In a liberation movement,

 

political policy springs from the mouth of the rifle, and we

 

in Fatah are fighters in the political field as well as in

 

the military field. Each of these fields serves and

 

complements the other with Fatah's general strategic plan.

 

Thus, we do not differentiate between political action and

 

military action, and to emphasize this we refrain from

 

sending to the armed resistance field any combatant unless

 

he passes through our political organization."

 

The same leader said that Fatah's basic rule is that

 

its men "should first be politicians, and then fighters."

 

The terrorist training camps devote as much as ten hours a

 

week or more to political indoctrination and discussion.

 

Each camp ordinarily has its own library containing Arabic

 

newspapers and periodicals, the Palestinian National

 

Covenant, the numerous publications of the PLO and Fatah,

 

and the writings of terrorist leaders like Habash and

 

Hawatimah. Instruction is given in subjects such as Arab

 

and Islamic history, the Palestinian cause, the goals of the

 

Palestinian Revolution, and the "evils" of Zionism and

 

imperialism.

 

A description of political training in Fatah camp says:

 

"Political formation is of a much lower standard than

 

military training. Certainly there are political books:

 

Castro, Guevara, Mao Tse-tung, Giap, Rodinson, General de

 

Gaulle's memoirs and also Mein Kampf. In view of my

 

surprise at the inclusion of the latter work, the political

 

commissar explained that it was necessary to read everything

 

and that, as the Israelis behave like Nazis, it is useful to

 

know something about the Nazis."

 

The general intellectual level is underdeveloped, and

 

if we do not consider the presence of revolutionary books as

 

the expression of an integrated political culture, it can be

 

seen during discussion on precise points (not general

 

declarations and stock phrases) that the theoretical tools

 

are embryonic and the ideology confused. From Fanon they

 

take the description of the psychology of the colonized and

 

the need to resort to violence: from Guevara, the test

 

advocating the need for armed conflict; from Mao, the

 

concept of the prolonged war; from Debray, whose works are

 

extensively translated into Arabic, the idea that the party

 

is useless, for "the guerrilla nucleus is the party in

 

gestation." The only elements which are in some way

 

integrated are those that can be integrated by a national

 

movement, which is what Fatah really is.

 

Another description of Fatah political training was

 

provided by Al-Sayyad. The school, called "The School of

 

political cadres," consisted of a corridor of a building.

 

It contained a blackboard, an emblem of Fatah, a map of

 

Palestine, and a blow up drawing of Kalashnikov. The

 

students were regular Fatah members and the instructor was a

 

Fatah unit leader. The curriculum consisted of: the study

 

of different revolutions, the historical background of the

 

Palestine conflict, the aims and ideologies of the movement,

 

the Zionist movement and Israeli military establishment, the

 

revolutionary awakening and revolutionary conduct, the

 

geography of Palestine, and training techniques which would

 

be used in helping Arab farmers.

 

Another visitor to the PFLP school (Habash faction)

 

described that the course lasted five months, longer than

 

those run by other movements. The training given both

 

political and military was directed to forming cadres

 

capable of running bases, creating and giving purpose to

 

clandestine cells and planning guerrilla action in town and

 

country.

 

The program was based on 45 hours of work per week, the

 

political and military studies alternative from week to

 

week. The political program was developed into four

 

sections with courses made up of factual lectures,

 

explanations and discussion of books. The status of

 

teachers varied: some had come to give only one lecture and

 

depart, while others were paid staff. The students, aged

 

from 18 to 30, were carefully selected and their program

 

covered these subjects.

 

1. Marxist-Leninist Theory:

 

Principles of Marxist Philosophy

 

The Communist Manifesto

 

Marx, Engels, Marxism, Lenin

 

Utopian Socialism and Scientific Socialism

 

State and Revolution

 

Origins of the Family, the State and Property

 

2. The Kind of Age We Are Living In:

 

Imperialism

 

Revolution and Counter-Revolution

 

National Liberation Movements and Neo-colonialism

 

The Socialist Camp and the Third World

 

The Revolution in China, Korea, Vietnam and Cuba

 

The Workers' Movement in Europe

 

The National Arab Liberation Movement

 

Arab Unity and Socialist Perspectives

 

3. Political Problems:

 

Israel and What it is Like

 

Imperialism and the Arab Reaction

 

The Strategy of the War for Popular Liberation

 

The Nature of the Regimes in Jordan, Lebanan, Syria,

 

Iraq, Egypt

 

The Palestinian Problem and the Arab World

 

4. PFLP:

 

The Birth and Development of the Movement

 

The First Split and its Causes (PFLP-High Command)

 

The Second Split and its Causes (PDFLP)

 

The PFLP as the Marxist-Leninist Party

 

The PFLP at the Military Level

 

Relations with Political Organizations and the Arab

 

States

 

The PFLP in Lebanon

 

The PFLP and the Arab Nationalist Movement

 

Comparing Fatah, the PFLP and PDF shows that PDF's

 

training ahead of any of the others, in sophistication,

 

including as it does exposure to the works of such western

 

thinkers as Maurice Dobb, Paul Ravah, and Charles

 

Bettelheim

 

PLO Psychological Training

 

Aside from the various other training functions one would

 

expect in a "shadow government" and a military organization, one

 

PLO training department deals specifically with terrorism, that is

 

to say, the psychology of terror as opposed to its tactics which

 

are taught separately. The PLO appears to have been first in the

 

specific use of psychological conditioning of terrorist forces.

 

Prior to the introduction of psychological training, the degree of

 

terror induced from a mission had been merely that which naturally

 

resulted from the individual act (e.g. raid, embassy seizure, or

 

aircraft hijacking). The PLO ensured that its schools were staffed

 

with psychologists who specialized in the "fear factor." The most

 

effective of these instructors were Soviets and Bulgarians

 

although, after 1978, Syrians, Iraqis, and Palestinians largely

 

took over psychological training from the Soviets.

 

Trainees are taught that the greatest degree of terror can be

 

induced in adults by making either explicit or implicit threats

 

against children. This technique has been used many times against

 

those Israeli Arabs who have not been eager enough to help the PLO

 

with safe houses, funds, and information. Students of terrorism

 

are also told that uncertainty engenders fear and, therefore,

 

hostages should never be given information of any kind so as to

 

heighten this aura of uncertainty. Discomfort also increases the

 

hostages stress, fear, and uncertainty; for this reason hostages

 

are normally not permitted the use of the lavatory or even to stand

 

up and stretch. Constant efforts at reducing the hostages

 

self-confidence are taught to students of terror tactics: again, it

 

is taught that he should be killed. Additional tactics are taught

 

concerning demoralization of hostages: hostages are never to be

 

allowed to comb their hair, to wash up, or to use cosmetics. it

 

can seen that these techniques, when taken together, tend to weaken

 

the will, the morale, the confidence and sense of identity of

 

hostages. These techniques come directly from the Soviet KGB

 

manual on the treatment of political prisoners.

 

Students are constantly reminded that "terror must be seen to

 

be terrifying;" making people half afraid means nothing. They must

 

really believe that their lives are in danger. Then, they will

 

never forget."

 

 

II. THE SAVOY OPERATION

 

This part is based upon facts and from the author's personal

 

knowledge the framework of the analysis of the operation will be as

 

follows:

 

A. Mission.

 

B. Concept of Operations

 

C. Biography of the Terrorists and Their Backgrounds.

 

D. Sequence of Actual Events.

 

E. Training.

 

F. Psychological Preparation.

 

G. Equipment.

 

H. Intelligence Gathering and Deception.

 

I. Comparison the Plan and Execution.

 

Now that we have studied the training of the PLO in military,

 

political, and psychological areas, we will look at their execution

 

of terrorist missions. We will look at terrorist operations from

 

the following perspectives:

 

A. Types of operations.

 

B. Reasons for chossing certain objectives.

 

C. Reasons for choosing the specific date of an operation.

 

A. Types of Operations

 

Terrorist operations can be generally divided into two types:

 

raids (i.e. limited objectives missions with planned withdrawals)

 

and suicide missions (i.e. missions where no planned withdrawal

 

exists... "one way" operations where the terrorist(s) are trained

 

for the mission execution and to kill themselves while doing the

 

mission). Raids may involve either killing missions, mining or

 

booby trapping operations, hostages kidnappings, hit-and-run mortar

 

or rocket attacks, or some combinations of the above. Suicide

 

missions may also involve kidnapping hostages so as to dramatize

 

the event with prolonged negotiations over certain demands to be

 

met for their release; in the final analysis, the tactics used

 

still inevitably call for suicide and involve murder of the

 

hostages...typical for the killing mission.

 

B. Reasons for Choosing Certain Objectives

 

Objectives for both raids and suicide missions are mainly

 

oriented against people even when the military objectives are set

 

as buildings. An objective can be chosen because it serves as a

 

political feature (e.g. Parliament), it is a religious holy place

 

(e.g. the mosque at Mecca), or will house an important function

 

(e.g. the IRA attack on the British conservative party convention).

 

An objective can be selected several times in order to force people

 

to permanently leave it (e.g. repeated PLO shellings and three

 

terrorist attacks on the northern Israeli city of Naharia). An

 

objective can be chosen because it is symbolic (e.g. Kibbutz

 

Hanitta was attacked four times because it represents a symbol of

 

the Jewish settlements in the far north of Israel). There are also

 

the reasons of proximity and intelligence: an objective is chosen

 

either because it is physically convenient (e.g. the recent attempt

 

to put a car bomb into Metullah on the Israeli-Lebanese border) or

 

because terrorist intelligence indicates that penetration to the

 

objectives has a high probability of success (e.g. the recent

 

tourist penetration of the White House should alert the reader to

 

the potential for a similar terrorist penetration of such high

 

political value targets).

 

C. Reasons for Choosing the Date of an Operation

 

Dates normally symbolize well-known historic events such as the

 

Israeli declaration of independence, date of the founding of the

 

PLO, or date of the start of the 1967 War. Some dates may not be

 

as obvious to all: the date of an Israeli retaliation raid which

 

occurred years ago and was not-highly publicized; the date of an

 

important event in a country which provides support to the

 

terrorists (e.g. May Day). Of course the date of an operation may

 

be closely tied to the objective, as in the case when there are

 

ongoing peace negotiations that the terrorists want to disrupt; in

 

those cases, the terrorists are providing a violent political forum

 

to remind people of their goals and power. A final reason is one

 

normally associated withy military operations: the date is one when

 

the forces are ready to execute, intelligence is adequate, the

 

weather is suitable, etcetera....

 

The Savoy operation represents a typical suicide killing

 

mission. It was planned to hit into the Tel-Aviv city center,

 

which is in the most densely populated region of Israel, in order

 

to create an impressive shock effect. The operation was in

 

retaliation for a surgical raid that the Israeli Defense Forces did

 

into Beirut in April, 1973, where they killed three of the top PLO

 

leaders. The Savoy operational group was named after one of these

 

martyred terrorists, Youssef Abu Nagar; a psyhological point that

 

the PLO'S Beirut radio station emphasized while the Savoy mission

 

was ongoing. The date of the Savoy operation was chosen because of

 

purely military reasons concerning team readiness and

 

transportation. The type of operation selected for the Savoy

 

operation, the suicide killing mission, related most probably to

 

the high risk involved in any attempted withdrawal from such urban

 

terrain located so far from terrorist safe havens, as well as the

 

fact that it was a sort of demonstration of faith in the memory of

 

martyrs, an auto da fe.

 

A. Mission

 

This was the mission briefed to the group on 20 February 1975

 

by "Abu Gihad":

 

Suicide mission to capture two objectives in Tel-Aviv: (1) the

 

Manshia neighborhood Youth Club, and (2) the Tel-Aviv Opera

 

Building. The group would gather as many hostages as possible and

 

then make demands for the release of prisoners in Israeli jails.

 

If the Israelis would not meet the demands in 4 hours the hostages

 

would be killed and the terrorists would commit suicide. In case

 

the two objectives could not be located, any alternate populated

 

buildings would be selected as targets. During the movement over

 

the beach and assault on the objectives, the group was directed to

 

kill as many Israelis as possible.

 

B. Concept of Operations

 

A small commercial ship would transport the group from its base

 

in Lebanon along a commercial route with a deviation to bring them

 

to a point 25 miles west of Tel-Aviv. The eight man group (there

 

were originally 10 in training) would be divided into two four man

 

teams, departing from the ship at night with each team in a rubber

 

boat. Four hours of motoring was planned with naviation by compass

 

and use of the light houses located north and south of Tel-Aviv.

 

After landing, each team would move to its assigned objective with

 

shooting in the streets. After seizure of the objectives and

 

hostages, negotiations were planned. If the Israelis would meet

 

the demand for the release of the 20 POW's, the terrorists and

 

their hostages were to be evacuated by commercial aircraft to

 

Damascus. If the Israelis would not meet the terrorists' demands,

 

which was anticipated, the entire Savoy group would commit suicide.

 

There was no alternative withdrawal plan.

 

C. Biography of the Terrorists and Their Backgrounds

 

1. Musa Juma El-Tallka, age 23. His parents were Bedouins

 

(i.e. desert tribesmen) who left the town of Beer-Sheba in the

 

south of Palestine in 1948, immigrating to Zarka in Jordan. Musa

 

was born in 1952. At the refugee camp in Zarka, Musa was taught in

 

school that he was from Beer-Sheba. At the age of 19, in 1969, he

 

joined the Palestinian Liberation Army (PLA) and went through

 

military training near Jarash. After a few months, he quit and

 

crossed the Syrian border to join Fatah. There he spent several

 

more months in training. His story picks up again in 1972 when he

 

tried to penetrate with four other terrorists into northern Israel

 

through the Golan Heights. The Israeli Defense Forces discovered

 

the penetration and, after an exchange of gunfire, the team

 

withdrew. In early 1974, Musa joined the special boat commando

 

(SBC) section of Fatah and was sent to the Syrian Navy camp called

 

Muaskar El Gabla which is located near the port of Latakia. He

 

underwent training in swimming, diving, and naval demolitions. At

 

another camp called Burg-A-Slam, also near Latakia, Musa was taught

 

boat handling, and sea navigation using a compass. This special

 

training took place in November, 1974. Following that, Musa was a

 

member of a four man team sent to Lebanon where they were briefed

 

about a killing raid by "Abu Gihad," the Head of Fatah's armed

 

forces. This killing mission involved swimming south along the

 

Mediterranean coast to attack the Israeli tourist city of Naharia.

 

The team failed to find Naharia and swam back. After two months,

 

Musa was again called to "Abu Gihad," and was told about a new

 

mission, the operation that would become the Savoy operation. Musa

 

was to become the only survivor of the Savoy Mission.

 

2. Muhammed Mashala was born in Tool Karem, a city on the West

 

Bank. He was raised in a healthy family environment and graduated

 

high school in 1969. Muhammed then went to study in Beirut

 

University but he soon decided to quit and to join Fatah. He was

 

recruited into the intelligence department of Fatah and sent to

 

special Hebrew language training in Damascus. In 1972, Muhammed

 

was sent into Israel across the Jordan River on the legitimate

 

pretext of visiting his family. He spent most of the time on

 

reconnaissance in Tel-Aviv. After that, he was sent to Kuwait on a

 

recruiting mission where he also did propaganda work and money

 

collection. Muhammed was described as an arrogant man who was

 

proud that he was the only one with a high school education in the

 

Savoy operational group.

 

3. Hader Muhammed, age 28, the oldest member of the Savoy

 

group. he was born in Gaza. The son of a fisherman, he had

 

natural expertise in seamanship. Hader joined Fatah when he was 16

 

and it had just been founded. He went to Beirut from where he was

 

sent to the Fatah Headquarters in Abasia, Damascus. From then on,

 

Hader devoted his life to fighting the "hated Jewish state." He

 

said that the Fatah was his only home. Hader was on one

 

penetration operation into Israel before 1967. In 1970, he was

 

wounded during an Israeli raid to Karame, Jordan. During the 1970

 

"Black September" fighting with the Jordanians, Hader escaped from

 

Jordan to Syria. Until the Savoy operation, Hader spent most of

 

his time as in instructor in camps in Syria and in southern

 

Lebanon.

 

4. Ziad Talk El Zrir. Ziad was younger brother of the

 

commander of Fatah in southern Lebanon. His brother, Azmi Zrir,

 

was killed later during Teh 1982 Lebanon War. Ziad made himself

 

responsible for morale in the Savoy group. Originally from Hebron,

 

Ziad was an extremely devout Moslem.

 

5. Musa Awad, age 19. Two months prior to the Savoy

 

operation, Musa escaped from the Gaza Strip. Like Hader Muhammed,

 

Musa was the son of a fisherman.

 

6. Muhammed El Masri. Originally from Nablus, a city on the

 

West Bank, Muhammed was an introvert and not a good team worker.

 

Hsi father died when he was young; Muhammed spent most of his youth

 

in the streets, never joining any school. He was a young criminal

 

who was under police surveilance. Muhammed joined Fatah as a way

 

of escaping from the police. He had a speech impediment, was a

 

follower. He saw Fatah as his home.

 

7. Abu El Lel, age 22. Abu's family is originally from Lydda,

 

Israel, although he was born outside of Israel.

 

8. Ahmed Hamid, age about 26. His family is orginally from

 

Ramalla on the West Bank where he was born. He was very

 

experienced.

 

There were few common links betwen the members of the Savoy

 

group. Here are a few examples of these links:

 

a. Most of them were connected to the land of Palestine by

 

having been born there or having parents who still lived there,

 

including the West Bank and Gaza.

 

b. All, except Muhammed Mashala, had no high school education.

 

At least three members of the group had no formal education.

 

c. All, except two, of the group came from sociologically

 

unhealthy family environments. Some had social problems, such as

 

juvenile crime, from their early childhood.

 

d. From the military perspective, there was varied levels of

 

operational experience in the group. Three had been on previous

 

raids. Two had no experience.

 

e. All members had been trained in Syria and Lebanon.

 

f. None in the group had a personal vengeful motive; none had

 

family members hurt or killed by Israelis.

 

Social Composition of the Group

 

The group was composed of two different social types:

 

Palestinians whose origin was the West Bank and those who came from

 

the Gaza Strip. El Gonfer, their instructor, noticed the tension

 

between these types which was due to the inferiority that the Gaza

 

Palestinians felt towards those who came from the West Bank. The

 

West Bank Palestinians held Jordanian citizenship and had restored

 

their lives from the refugee camps; they had a sound educaion.

 

Those who came from the Gaza Strip had been kept in the refugee

 

camps by the Egyptians who treated them as second class citizens;

 

they were forced to depend on the U.N. for aid. In Palestine, the

 

Gaza people had originally come from mud villages along the

 

Mediterranean beach; the West Bank people had lived in stone

 

villages. These two social types were suspicious of each other and

 

built their social infrastructure in the group within these

 

subgroups. Another aspect of the group's social composition was

 

the contrast between the young, inexperienced terrorists and those

 

who were relatively more mature with experience from previous

 

operations. "Abu Gihad" recognized these social differences and

 

personally decided on the membership of each team. Each team was

 

built from equal membership of these social types and commanders

 

from each sub-grouping. Hader Muhammed came from Gaza and Ahmed

 

Hamid came from Ramallah on the West Bank.

 

D. Sequence of Actual Events

 

28 December 1974: Musa Guma, El Tallka, and Ahmed Hamid were

 

called to the Headquarters of Fatah in Damascus, Syria, and were

 

asked to "volunteer" for a special, dangerous mission. The

 

commander who called and spoke with them was "Abu Gihad", the

 

commander of the military arm of the Fatah Organization.

 

29 December 1974: Musa Guma and Ahmed Hamid reported to the

 

headquarters of the special boat commando department (hereafter,

 

SBC) in Latakia, a Syrian port. They were received by the

 

commander of that department, Gallal Abdalla, whom they had known

 

from previous terrorist training. They were introduced to the

 

remainder of the group, which at that point was composed of 10 men.

 

30 December 1974: The group met "Abu Gihad" and were briefed

 

in general about the dangerous mission that they had volunteered

 

for; this was the first that the other eight of them had heard of

 

the mission. The mission described by "Abu Gihard" was:

 

"Every one of you has been chosen for a mission of penetrating

 

into Israel from the sea. You will have to train yourselves

 

intensively in boating, sea navigation, and swimming. Each one of

 

you was chosen for the mission due to your special talents and the

 

fact that the Organization has trust in you."

 

31 December 1974: Gallal Abdalla, the SBC department

 

commander, brought the group to a camp called Burg-A-Slam near the

 

Latakia beach. There they met their instructor "El Gonfer"

 

(literally, "the lion cub"). "El Gonfer" was 19 years old.

 

1 January 1975: Training began and lasted a month.

 

31 January 1975: The group, including their instructor, was

 

directed to be moved to the refugee camp Sabra in Beirut by

 

telegram from the Fatah headquarters in Damascus. They were driven

 

from Syria into Lebanon in civilian clothing carrying special

 

certificates signed by Syrian Intelligence.

 

3 February 1975: The group reported to the Sabra camp

 

commander, Azmi Zrer, who was also the Fatah commander of South

 

Lebanon. The terrorists were briefed in greater detail about the

 

mission by "Abu Gihad":

 

"You will sail in a ship which normally carries fuel cargo for

 

Cyprus. Your direction will be south towards Egypt. The ship's

 

captain will bring you to a spot 30 miles west of Tel-Aviv's beach.

 

The rest of the way you will motor with two rubber boats so that

 

the Israeli radar will not discover you. When you arrive at the

 

beach you will capture two public buildings with hostages. Later

 

on, you will be briefed about the exact buildings, the way to deal

 

with the hostages and the Israeli government."

 

"Abu Gihad" then named the commanders of the two teams that

 

were to take the buildings: Hader Muhammed and Ahmed Hamid. The

 

group was moved to a base of the SBC in Sarafend, about 8

 

kilometers north of Tyre, and remained there. The camp is located

 

in an isolated house 1 kilometer from the beach highway. The

 

instructor "El Gonfer" got two Zodiak boats from Azmi Zrer, the

 

Sabra commander, and was made responsible for preparing the boats

 

with the help of an aide. "El Gonfer" also brought the guns and

 

the rest of the assault equipment, storing it in the camp near

 

Tyre.

 

15 February 1975: This day had been designated as D-day but

 

because due to the lack of a transport ship the operation was

 

delayed. That day the administrators of the "El Asifa" (literally,

 

"the sword") group of Fatah was looking for a ship in Beirut using

 

an Egyptian intermediary. The Egyptian was an engineer who worked

 

in a Beirut insurance company and was paid for his role.

 

16 February 1975: A ship named "Fahree El Deen", belonging to

 

a Lebanese, was rented in Beirut with its two man crew and an

 

Egyptian navigator for 1000 Lebanese pounds.

 

20 February 1975: The group received a very detailed briefing

 

by "Abu Gihad". Immediately after the briefing, "Abu Gihard"

 

interviewed each on the 10 men. He asked each of them if they

 

didn't want to quit and be freed from the mission. After the

 

private interviews, two of the men were relieved from the mission.

 

It was later claimed that they had been caught in a homosexual

 

affair.

 

20-26 February 1975: Training Continued. The groups morale

 

was considered ver low.

 

26 February 1975: "Abu Gihard" appeared again and gave an even

 

more detailed version of the 20 February briefing.

 

Monday, 3 March 1975: D-1

 

1200 hours: A message was broguth by Azmi Zrer's driver:

 

"Today, 1600 departure."

 

The group then made the last equipment

Inspections.

 

1630 hours: "Abu Gihad" and Azmi Zrer joined the group.

 

They proceeded to the beach at Sarafend Base.

 

That same morning the ship sailed from Beirut and at noon

 

arrived at the Sidon port. In Sidon, the crew received further

 

instructions: "Continue south to Sarafend (near Tyre). Be there at

 

night and signal yourselves."

 

1800 hours: The group gather on the Sarafend beach dressed

in civilian clothes. The last briefing was

given by "Abu Gihard". The team commanders

 

were given a list of prisoners and were

 

instructed to demand their release from

 

Israeli jails. They were also given

 

Propaganda papers writted in Hebrew, both

 

Israeli and Jordanian money, a small

 

Commercial transistor radio, and a Japanese

 

Radio for communication with headquarters.

1900 hours: The group and its instructor left the beach

and sailed in their boats to the ship, which

 

had arrived and signalled.

 

2000 hours: Loading was completed. This ship departed

 

Sarafend.

 

Tuesday, 4 March 1975: D-day

 

0100 hours: The ship changed course from west to

south-southwest. They continued to try to

 

contact headquarters but failed. A Hebrew

 

voice was heard on their frequency.

 

Morning Hrs. "El Gonfer" rehearsed the boat departures from

the ship and discovered that on had a broken

 

motor. Another attempt was made at contacting

 

headquarters but also failed. After some

 

confusion, "El Gonfer" decided that both teams

 

would go ashore in one boat. The other boat

 

was cut up and thrown overboard.

 

1700 hours: The ship reached the boat departure point.

 

1900 hours: The group launched and motored towards

 

Tel-Aviv at sixteen knots.

 

2330 hours: The group landed on the beach and captured the

 

Savoy Motel within minutes. Three people were

 

killed, two were hidden in a cabinet, and

 

eight more were held hostage. Three Israelis

 

escaped. An IDF soldier was killed preventing

 

the terrorists from moving to a second

 

objective.

 

Wednesday, 5 March 1975: D+1

 

0420 hours: An Israeli Defense Forces unit assaults the

 

motel. Seven terrorists are killed and one is

 

captured. Five hostages were freed (including

 

the couple in the cabinet) and five were

 

killed by the terrorist during the operation.

 

Later on the ship and its crew were caught by

 

the IDF Navy.

 

E. Training

 

Military Training

 

The first session of training for this special mission lasted

 

about four weeks. It was conducted in Latakia, Syria. In the

 

mornings, it included two hours of motoring with the rubber boats

 

with emphasis on compass navigation. During the afternoons, there

 

were two hours of weapons training and exercises capturing houses

 

with fighting in built-up areas (urban terrain); during this time,

 

demolitions was practiced. At night, ideological discussions were

 

held about the goals of Fatah and the great achievement of becoming

 

martyrs. These nightly discussions included sessions about the

 

"crimes of the Zionists."

 

The second session of the draining was conducted in Sarafend

 

near Tyre, Lebanon, and lasted about two weeks. Their main efforts

 

were directed at exercises in built-up areas (urban terrain),

 

fighting to capture a house using the exact teams that "Abu Gihad"

 

had designated. Each terrorist was assigned a special task such as

 

searching rooms, covering the steps, etcetera....Two of the

 

terrorists received special training in demolitions, including

 

electric explosives.

 

F. Psychological Training and Preparation

 

Beyond the fact that during training the group conducted

 

ideological discussions with its instructor El Gonfer, it is

 

important to note that both teams were briefed together by "Abu

 

Gihad" who gave them a feeling of self-importance regarding their

 

mission. The exact nature of the mission and its suicide character

 

were told to the group only in a late stage of their preparation.

 

On 30 December 1974 before they started training, the group was

 

told by "Abu Gihad" about a "dangerous mission." The next day,

 

they met again with him for a more detailed briefing...still no

 

mention that this was to be a suicide mission. The first time that

 

it was disclosed that this was a suicide mission was on 20 February

 

1975 when "Abu Gihad" said: "That is the reason that you were

 

chosen for that mission--we trust you. The danger will not make

 

you regret." Before he proceeded with his mission briefing on 20

 

February 1975, "Abu Giahd" spoke with them about how their mission

 

would change the political situation in the Middle East. H e gave

 

them the feeling that they were important and made them proud of

 

their mission. He described the negotiations between President

 

Sadat and Prof. Kissinger, mentioning that Kissinger "is a Jew and

 

does what Israel wants him to do. They will try to bury the

 

Palestinian problem. If Sadat succeeds, Syria may follow him. We

 

have to break this conspiracy and you were chosen to fulfill this

 

holy duty. You will attack the enemy in his heart and prove to the

 

whole world that no steps will be taken without the Palestinians."

 

Later on, he interviewed each man personally and asked him if he

 

regretted being in the mission help was offered to the men's

 

families....

 

A code word "sharafe" - "self-pride" in Arabis - was used a lot

 

during the psychological training. Self-pride is important to

 

every combatant but sharafe has an especially big role in Arab

 

tradition. "Abu Gihad" said: "The sharafe will be stronger than

 

the fear of suicide." Later in the operation we can see several

 

times when this term drove the group to carry on its mission and

 

not to give up. During the ship's movement phase, the men were

 

very quiet, introverted, each one within himself. When they found

 

that only one rubber boat was left for the mission, few of them

 

tried to withdraw with excuses such as: "one boat isn't enough" we

 

won't have the ability to work in two teams." The instructor El

 

Gonfer played on their sharafe and through that he forced them to

 

continue on their mission. During the negotiations with the

 

Israelis, it was suggested that they give up"...and anybody will

 

get hurt." They refused to surrender and during the assault all

 

but one of the terrorists were killed. In different terrorist

 

operations, the men have proven far less decisive.

 

After the briefings by "Abu Gihad", the group's morale dropped

 

very low. El Gonfer tried to speak with the group. Rest periods

 

were abandoned. They were obviously sullen but dangerous.

 

Training on Treatment of the Hostages

 

In his 26 February 1975 briefing, "Abu Gihad" emphasized the

 

brutal treament that he expected for the hostages. "Don't treat

 

them with comparison. Shoot each one that moves." In execution,

 

they followed that order, shooting the old man in the reception

 

room and two other guests, hitting an old French lady on the head.

 

In conclusion to the training chapter, it is obvious that the

 

group was provided basic training in boating and weapon fighting.

 

Their psychological motivation was based on their social

 

background. In order to secure their devotion to the suicide

 

mission, they received high level Fatah briefings from "Abu Gihad"

 

which used the techniques of bringing them gradually into the exact

 

mission -suicide - so they were accustomed to the atmosphere of

 

dangerous mission and in the late stage they were informed about

 

the suicide mission - it was easy for them to accept it - it didn't

 

come as a big shock. In addition, they were encouraged to

 

volunteer for the mission. The long briefing of the political

 

situation and the big change that their mission will do was

 

important to encourage the team who suffered from personal

 

inferiority and underestimated themselves. This psychological

 

training worked well enough; during the tense seige of the motel

 

they repeatedly stated that they were ready to die; seven out of

 

eight of them did,

 

G. Equipment

 

The equipment required by the group consisted of weapons, food,

 

first aid, explosives, propaganda and the POW list, money, and

 

communications gear.

 

a. Weapons. Each terrorist was armed with the Soviet AK-47

 

Kalishnikov rifle with six magazines as well as a pistol with a

 

spare magazine. In addition, the terrorists carried four hand

 

grenades each and electric demolitions which were used when the

 

Israeli Defense Forces stormed the motel. The demolitions included

 

two TNT boxes and detonation cables.

 

b. Food and First Aid. The group had brought no food with

 

them. During the negotiations they said that they were very

 

hungry: "We haven't eaten for three days." During the

 

negotiations, they also said that they had bandages but when one

 

was actually wounded, an Israeli woman was treated with a sheet

 

because there were no bandages. The lack of such basic

 

preparations certainly increased the stress and feeling of

 

isolation of the group and was perhaps intentional on the part of

 

Fatah in order to assure a short suicide mission.

 

c. Propaganda. The teams were issued propaganda leaflets

 

written in Hebrew which they dropped outside the Savoy after

 

seizing it. The propaganda was basically about "the legitimate

 

fighting of the PLO to free Palestine." In addition, each team

 

received a list of 20 POW's which was given to the Israelis during

 

negotiations.

 

d. Money. The teams were provided with money in both Israeli

 

pounds and Jordanian dynars for use as required. This is

 

interesting because it implied that some purchases were possible in

 

Israel; yet the very nature of the mission made such transactions,

 

at least in Israel, unlikely.

 

e. Communications Gear. Each team was issued a radio

 

transistor radio manufactured in Japan. As far as we know, no plan

 

for frequency monitoring, stations, or time tables existed. Just

 

prior to departure from Sarafen, the group was also issued a small

 

Toshiba brand radio transmitter. They were told that its range was

 

60 miles, permitting contact with the headquarters during the night

 

of the attack. No one received any training on this radio.

 

H. Intelligence Gathering and Deception

 

There were two main areas for intelligence gathering - the

 

overall movement to the objective area and the objectives

 

themselves; in addition, there was the need for operational

 

deception to cover the penetration into Israel.

 

a. Movement and Deception. We do not have enough information

 

to conclude how much the terrorists really knew about the Israeli

 

sea and beach patrols. They probably had no special efforts aimed

 

at securing such information. From previous operations, however,

 

they were aware that such patrols existed; there was no concerted

 

effort to get exact details of patrolling operations. In order to

 

deal with the problem of patrolling, the terrorists decided to use

 

deception: a commercial ship carrying cargo from Limasol, Cyprus,

 

supposedly bound south enroute to Port Said, Egypt. The ship

 

hoisted in its sails when within 50 kilometers of Tel-Aviv, using

 

only its engine in order to keep its visual and radar signatures as

 

small as possible. This was also the reason for using rubber boats

 

for the long voyage from the drop point into the beach. This

 

deception was a success and contrasts with the failure of a

 

previous mission near Nahariya, Israel, where the sea movement was

 

discovered by Israeli patrol boats. It was only after the Savoy

 

operation was over that the mother ship was located and detained by

 

the Israelis.

 

b. Intelligence About the Objectives. As described

 

previously, one of the terrorists, Muhammed Maslaha, had served as

 

a Fatah agent reconnoitering Tel-Aviv in 1972. He knew the area

 

and had recommended the choice of objectives. During the 20

 

February 1975 briefing by "Abu Gihad" a tourist map of Tel-Aviv

 

with English print data was brought to the group. Only one of the

 

group could read this map. That is all the intelligence given the

 

group about their objectives. The group was obviously lacking

 

critical information: how big were the buildings, how many people

 

would be there at the time of the attack, what kind of enemy would

 

they face, and, perhaps most importantly, how were they to get to

 

the objectives?

 

c. Covering Story in the Event of Capture. As the end of his

 

briefing on 26 February 1975, Abu Gihad" emphasized the group's

 

"covering story" in the event of capture by the Israelis: "If,

 

unfortunately, one of you will fall as a POW you have to say that

 

you came from Egypt. We want the Israelis to retaliate against the

 

Egyptians and not the Lebanese. Maybe this will contribute to the

 

failure of the negotiations between Israel and Egypt." The rubber

 

boat that was blown up by a booby trap on the Tel-Aviv beach was

 

found to be marked with Egyptian markings and colors; apparently,

 

this was also to support the "made in Egypt" cover story. This

 

additional deception was poorly planned and would not have

 

withstood a serious investigation.

 

I. Comparing the Plan and Execution

 

We will now compare the operational planning with the way it

 

was actually conducted. The Savoy operation was executed in four

 

distanct phases: (a) sea movement to Zodiak boat drop point, (b)

 

ship-to-shore movement and beach landing, (c) assault and capture

 

of the objectives, and (d) operations in the objectives.

 

a.    Sea Movement Phase

 

Planning Execution

 

1. Embarkation. Embarkations The ship sailed from Beirut

 

was to be conducted at night with the at 0800 and arrived as

 

signalling itself with special lights. Planned off Sarafend. The

 

The ship would transit from Beirut commando found the ship

 

during daylight and anchor next to without problems. During

 

Sarafend. The Zodiak boats would the loading of the boats,

 

then load on the ship one was hit in its engine,

 

rendering it inoperable.

 

There were no spare boats

 

2. Ship's Movement. The The ship departed Sarafend

 

course was to head west as if to at 0830 and sailed west

 

Cyprus and then turn south along until 1300, then turning

 

the Port Said, Egypt route. Sails south. They arrived at

 

would be taken in, using engine the drop point at 1700

 

only, when they were 50 kilometers which was too early, so

 

off Tel-Aviv. On arrival at the they continued south and

 

drop point, the boats were to be backtracked for a 1900

 

debarked and the ship would pro- drop. On debarkation, the

 

ceed west to Cyprus. Ship sailed to Cyprus.

 

3. Rehearsal. None During the ship's movement,

 

planned for debarkation. El Gonfer, who was both

 

instructor and commander

 

during movement, ordered

 

the captain to stop

engines and practice

 

debarkation just before

 

1200.    At that point, they

 

discovered that the damaged

 

boat was no good. They

 

removed the engine and cut

 

the boat up, throwing it

 

into the sea. This was to

 

reduce suspicions if they

 

were stopped by an Israeli

 

patrol boat. After some

 

confusion, El Gonger

 

ordered the mission to con-

 

tinue with one boat.

 

4. Communication. The After departure from Sara-

 

ship's departure was to be radioed fend, they tried to contact

 

back using a special code on a headquarters but failed

 

certain frequency. They were surprised to hear

 

a Hebrew voice on the fre-

 

quency. Later they tried

 

again without luck. They

 

had been given only one

 

frequency.

 

Conclusions from the Sea Movement Phase. The ship's crew was

 

well trained and had no problems with sailing and navigation. On

 

the other hand, the terrorists had problems with loading, damaging

 

the boat, and with communications. Although they eventually

 

decided to proceed, El Gonfer had to force them after they had

 

decided to abort the mission. El Gonfer was able to do this by

 

talking to their Arab pride and hatred of the Jews.

 

b.    Ship-to-shore Movement Phase

 

Planning Execution

 

1. Movement to the Beach. The teams sailed in only

 

Each team was to motor in one boat. One boat at 16 knots. As

 

Movement to the shore would take four planned, the trip took

 

hours. The lighthouses north and about four hours. They

 

south of Tel-Aviv would assist in landed as planned

 

navigation to a point ashore between

 

the lights.

 

2. Beach Landing. The On landing, they opened

 

terrorists were to open fire immedi- fire, wounding some

 

ately on landing and booby trap the civilians on the beach.

 

boats prior to moving on the objec- The boats were booby

 

tives. The Israeli security forces trapped and exploded an

 

were to be surprised by the booby hour later, injuring no

 

traps. one.

 

Conclusions from the Ship-to-shore Movement Phase. the

 

movement and navigation, which wasn't planned to a precise location

 

on the beach, was conducted well. The penetration of Israel's

 

coast was covert until landing. The teams followed orders and

 

booby trapped their only boat.

 

C. Movement to and Capture of the Objectives

 

1. Movement on the Objec- On landing they opened fire

 

tives. Hader's team objective was in all directions. They

 

the Manshia neighborhood Youth Club, were very excited, rushing

 

located south of the landing beach. into the first beachside

 

Hamed's team was to move north of the street. They quickly lost

 

landing beach and capture the Opera their way and their agent

 

Building. Muhammed Maslaha, the forgot his directions.

 

agent who reconnoiterred Tel-Aviv in After a few minutes, they

 

1972, would direct them to their stopped trying to find the

 

objectives. In the event that they objectives. They remem-

 

couldn't locate the objectives, they bered "Abu Gihard's order

 

were to seize any other buildings to capture any other

 

including as many hostages as building. They met an

 

possible. The distance between the Israeli policeman who fired

 

planned objectives was 150 meters. on them, forcing them to

 

move on the nearest pop-

 

ulated building.the

 

Savoy Motel. Both teams

 

moved on the one objective.

 

2. Assualt of the Objec- The terrorists basically

 

tives. "Abu Gihad" had briefed the followed their planned

 

teams on capturing the objectives. tactics. They killed an

 

The teams were to burst through the old man in the reception

 

door, firing on anyone staying in the room, firing indiscrimi-

 

reception rooms. Two men were to nately as they searched the

 

guard the door and the rest would go rooms. Four more people

 

to the second floor, searching the were killed or wounded, all

 

rooms and gathering all hostages in civilians, including an old

 

a single room on the highest floor. lady and a 13 year old boy.

 

The hostage roon would be booby They gathered the hostages

 

trapped prior to starting in southwest room on the

 

negotiations with the Israelis. third floor. Two men

 

guarded the hostages while

 

two guarded the roof and

 

two guarded the entrance

 

steps. The rest moved

 

between the third floor and

 

the roof. The hostages'

 

room was booby trapped very

 

late, about 0400.

 

Conclusions from the Ship-to-shore Movement phase. Criticism

 

of this phase involves land navigation, individual discipline, fire

 

control, hostage treatment, and timeliness following orders.

 

Regarding land navigation, the terrorists made the mistake of

 

relying on one man who had been in the area three years earlier;

 

using a tourist map, they immediately became disoriented after

 

landing and couldn't find their objectives. They had poor

 

individual discipline, under great personal tension they fired

 

indiscriminately without the orders of their team commanders.

 

Their fire discipline itself was poor as they opened fire too

 

early, warning the police and resulting in a prompt confrontation

 

near the Savoy; this forced them, again under great stress, to

 

seize the first populated building without plans for follow-on

 

objectives. Their brutal treatment of the hostages follows "Abu

 

Gihad's" order to show no compassion..."if someone moves, shoot

 

him;" but by this indiscriminate killing, they reduced their

 

hostages by four. Finally, although they generally followed their

 

assault tactics, they were late in booby trapping the hostages'

 

room. In summary, due to bad navigation and stupid shooting, they

 

missed their objectives, capturing only one building. Later, when

 

they realized that they only had eight hostages, they tried to move

 

out of the Savoy but were trapped inside by the fire of a young

 

solider who live nearby and was home on leave. The soldier was

 

killed in later fighting. The terrorists prime error was to focus

 

on killing as many as possible, without realizing that it could get

 

in the way of capturing hostages and negotiating a POW release.

 

c.    Operations in the Objectives

 

Planning Execution

 

1. Negotiations. "Abu Gihad On landing, they killed the

 

had given specific direction on how to Israelis as described deal

 

with the Israeli government. He above. After capturing the

 

said "it is important to kill a few motel, they used an Israeli

 

Israelis after landing to demonstrate woman who spoke Arabic as

 

your sincere goals. After capturing their moderator. This

 

the hostages, order the Israelis to woman did most of the

 

free 20 POW's. Their names are on the speaking with the Israelis.

 

list that you will pass to the The terrorists passed the

 

Israelis. These POW's they have to POW list along with their

 

Send in an airplane to Damascus or demand to speak with the

 

Cairo. Make it clear that if this foreign ambassadors. The

 

demand is not met, you will blow up Israelis replied that they

 

the buildings with everyone inside. were complying with the

 

None of you will fail and become a demand but needed more

 

POW." After giving the Israelis the time. The terrorists tried

 

list of POW's, the teams were to to find radio messages by

 

demand to see the French, U.N. and listening to Arabic and

 

Vatican ambassadors. They would Hebrew broadcasts but were

 

Confirm the ambassadors' identities unable to get relevant

 

with their passports and have them news. They became dis-

 

escort the departure of the terrorists appointed and felt let

 

and hostages to the airport. At the down. (Earlier, Israeli

 

airport, they were to free the Radio had reported about

 

hostages but keep the ambassadors the operation at 0050

 

on the flight to Damascus, Cairo hours. At 0100, the PLO

 

or even Paris. When the ambassadors station from Beirut

 

arrive at the objectives, they were reported on the mission,

 

to become the only negotiation moder- dedicating it in retalia-

 

ators. The terrorists were to give tion for the Israeli April

 

the Israelis an ultimatum of four 1973, raid on Beirut.) The

 

hours to bring the ambassadors. terrorists demanded the

 

release of 20 POW's and

made other propaganda

 

statements. They gave a 10

 

hour ultimatum. From time

 

to time during the

 

negotiations, the

 

terrorists said that enough

 

time had passed and that

 

they wanted to die.

 

 

2. Fighting in the Objec- The terrorists only booby

 

tives. After four hours of negotia- trapped the hostages' room

 

tions, they had planned to set the at 0400. four hours after

 

demolitions and blow themselves and they captured the motel

 

the hostages up. During the night, there

 

were exchanges of fire; one

 

team commander was killed

 

and the other wounded. One

 

of the deputy commanders

 

took charge and acted

 

aggressively. Suspecting

 

that the Israeli lady

 

moderator had told the

 

authorities which room

 

they were located in, he

 

had them moved to another

 

room. At 0420, Israeli

 

commandos assaulted and

 

the room was blown up. All

 

of the terrorists,

 

excepting one, were killed.

 

Conclusions from the Operations in the Objectives Phase. The

 

terrorists were devoted to their mission, even though they were

 

late in booby trapping the room and lengthened the ultimatum from

 

four to ten hours. These deviations can be explained by their

 

confusion and the fact that the Israelis gave a good explanation of

 

the need for a delay; the terrorists obviously wanted to give the

 

negotiations a chance. If the Israelis ahd assaulted earlier, the

 

late booby trapping would have made the assault easier and perhaps

 

greatly reduced casualties. The terrorists demonstrated

 

operational flexibility when they combined teams and shifted

 

commanders when the original men were taken out of action. Despite

 

the suicide nature of this mission, it is interesting to note that

 

a few bullets from one Israeli soldier were sufficient to stop the

 

terrorists from escaping from the Savoy and capturing a better

 

objective; this says something about the terrorists individual

 

bravery. Ultimately though, the terrorists blew themselves up

 

during the assault by the Israelis. They were devoted to the end,

 

refusing Israeli suggestions to surrender "peacefully." In some

 

other "suicide missions, devotion had failed but in this group the

 

social combination had provided itself...at least from "Abu

 

Gihad's" point of view. Even though the terrorists were listening

 

for radio news, it is very clear that they gave up trying to

 

contact their headquarters and fully expected that the end result

 

would be suicide.

 

case Tel-Aviv. Once in Tel-Aviv, it is of less importance that the

 

terrorists capture the planned objectives; it is sufficient that

 

they capture any objective as long as there are a reasonable number

 

of hostages.

 

In order to achieve the first goal of penetration into Israel,

 

the first phase of the mission must be well planned and

 

accomplished. With the lower importance assigned to the second

 

goal of killing and capturing, the effect on the mission planning

 

was basically just to "get in" and let the attack phase take care

 

of itself. This certainly makes such an operation much more

 

flexible for both planning and execution: not a great deal of

 

detail was required in planning, training, control, and

 

coordination during the execution phase. If the group was able to

 

merely penetrate Israel from the sea, they had already succeeded in

 

large measure. Looking closely at the penetration phase of the

 

operation, despite the equipment problems with one of the Zodiak

 

rubber boats along with the communication problems with the radio

 

transmitter, both the sea movement and the ship-to-shore movement

 

were accomplished according to the plan. Deception planning for

 

the ship's transit worked; no one suspected the true purpose of

 

this "coastal commerce ship". Israeli sea patrols did not

 

intercept the ship and it arrived at the right spot offshore on

 

time. This may not seem like a major achievement, but in Israeli

 

waters it was! On most sea penetration missions prior to the Savoy

 

operation, Israeli sea patrols had intercepted the terrorists prior

 

to landing or during crossings which occurred just beyond the

 

border, interception occurred on the border crossing itself. So,

 

despite the obviously low navigational abilities of the Savoy group

 

(remember, they immediately got lost after landing!), it was

 

sufficient to accomplish the primary goal of getting to Tel-Aviv.

 

Just as in the case with the ship's transit, this appears to be a

 

simple matter (i.e. "get in"), but in the 1978 "highway bus"

 

operation, the terrorists also tried to sea land at Tel-Aviv and

 

came ashore 40 miles north; even in that mission, the broadest

 

Fatah goal - penetrating anywhere into Israel - could still be

 

regarded as successful.

 

Having achieved the first goal of penetration, accomplishing

 

the second goal of killing was relatively simple given the beach

 

landing in a densely populated area. This broaden the target area

 

enormously so that "every bullet finds its target and even a blind

 

man becomes a sniper." For this goal, it was not necessary to

 

seize the planned objectives and, at any rate, the terrorists did

 

not seize those objectives simply because they got lost. Unlike

 

well-trained commandoes, the terrorists did not know how to orient

 

themselves by landmarks and street signs; once off their planned

 

route, they could not retrace their steps to it. This was probably

 

inevitable given their lack off training in land navigation in an

 

urban area as well as the fact that they only had one map, a

 

tourist map and that one in a foreign language. Their only other

 

hopes were a good deal of luck and the man who had been in the city

 

briefly three years prior to the mission. Fortunately for the

 

people in the Youth Club and the Opera House, the group possessed

 

neither luck nor a knowledgeable reconnaissance member.

 

The group demonstrated its low standard of discipline by

 

opening fire too early and without good reason. This resulted in a

 

nearly immediate confrontation with Israeli police, further

 

complicating the group's attempts to find a suitable target. They

 

were forced to pick a nearby building, the Savoy Motel, which was a

 

disappointing objective for them ue to its small number of

 

hostages. So, through poor planning and training for their second

 

goal, they had already programmed themselves for failure in that

 

they could not "kill as many as possible" because they could not

 

find many targets even though they were in the midst of a sea of

 

people. From earlier comments though, it is evident that the exact

 

number killed was not a sensitive issue; even in killing only a few

 

Israelis instead of a few dozen they had achieved their second goal

 

to a degree. Of course, nowhere yet do we see a goal of

 

negotiating POW releases...this was never a part of their training,

 

nor was it well addressed in planning. Perhaps this is because

 

goals are something that is possible to achieve; negotiations with

 

the Israelis had proved futile given their policy against it.

 

The suicide part of the definition of this operation had

 

significant influence on the entire mission. Suicide is an act

 

that is done against the most powerful basic natural instinct of

 

survival. By accepting a suicide mission, a soldier crosses the

 

line of reasonable fear that normally restricts his actions in a

 

combat environment; he becomes a war machine, a robot (a recent

 

movie, Terminator, illustrates this point as a robot is "killed"

 

several times before his components are crushed out of

 

electro-mechanical action). To stop the suicide solider you must

 

kill him. Because of the absolute extremity of the consequences of

 

suicide missions, a soldier's reasons for volunteering for this

 

type of mission must be extremely deep emotions or convictions; in

 

the case of the Savoy mission, it was the group's deep hatred of

 

the Israelis. The Palestinian terrorists' personal background was

 

reinforced by long and constant ideological and psychological

 

education and conditioning. Their decision and actions cannot be

 

simply explained by strong nationalistic motivations.

 

Psychological testing of these kinds of individuals reveals deep

 

personality problems, such as inferiority complexes, which hold the

 

promise of being surmounted by an operation that will be give that

 

solider importance and respect, if not a type of immortal fame.

 

"Abu Gihad" was careful to concentrate on the aspect of importance

 

and martyrdom during his many briefings to the group and individual

 

terrorists; in fact, the number of his briefings suggests that he

 

realized the need for repeated conditioning. The terrorists'

 

leaders met with them just minutes prior to their final departure,

 

reemphasizing the political importance of the mission and playing

 

heavily on the terrorists' sense of sharafe (pride).

 

The terrorists, including the instructor El Gonfer, were

 

trained against self-resistance to suicide. During the sea

 

movement, when it was discovered that one boat was inoperative,

 

members voiced thoughts of withdrawing; this also happened several

 

times later when ashore. But, their long education and

 

conditioning process was quite effective, especially the recent

 

briefing by "Abu Gihad"; thus, these men drove themselves to

 

suicide on purpose not out of typical desperation. This has not

 

always been the case in such operations. On many occasions, groups

 

gave up and went to prison, especially when they were intercepted

 

before capturing any hostages. Thus, it seems that hostages tend

 

to provide the potential suicide killers a tangible object of their

 

emotions, justifying their sacrifice and giving them motivation to

 

continue with the mission to its horrible concluion.

 

As we saw before, a part of the success of the Savoy group was

 

due to its special social characteristics. Another part of its

 

success was that it was composed of two four man teams - twice the

 

usual strength of such operations. There were two teams naturally

 

because two objectives had been planned. Their numbers increased

 

the internal group stress factor so that no one individual wanted

 

to be the first to show his fear and that he had no sharafe. Thus,

 

the Israelis were confronted with an usually large number of

 

"fearless" warriors with very flexible objectives.

 

From a military point of view, suicide missions are

 

distinguished from common raids due to the dogged determination of

 

the terrorists and the simplicity of their plans and conduct,

 

mainly due to the lack of evacuation and withdrawal phases. The

 

withdrawal phase of typical raids is often the most complicated

 

part and normally involves a high degree of planning and training

 

of the unit and any supporting units. A second point is that the

 

parent terrorist organization, in this case Fatah, has implicitly

 

placed a higher value on its raiders than on those selected for

 

suicide missions, knowing that in the end they will be destroyed

 

(this thought would be shocking for those who have been conditioned

 

for sharafe in such "important" missions). Therefore, should the

 

group be intercepted and killed enroute to the objectives on a

 

suicide mission, Fatah does not consider the mission a disaster,

 

merely an unfortunate loss of war tools or potential fighters, not

 

a loss of valuable human lives. As the Fatah radio usually

 

broadcasts in such instances, "they pave the way for the just

 

struggle for Palestine." So, such an attitude permits the

 

terrorist leadership to gamble much more on suicide missions than

 

it would on other operations. It also permits a broader range of

 

targets encompassing much higher risks than are acceptable in

 

routine raiding missions. This, added to the low cost of equipment

 

associated with such missions (i.e. a few rifles, pistols, radios,

 

and rubber boats), explains much about the shallow planning and

 

training for the Savoy operation. Here the high degree of

 

individual and group motivation and dedication to the cause cover

 

the large gaps created by lack of skills, careful planning and

 

training, good equipment, and supporting forces.

 

The evacuation of the terrorists in the Savoy operation was

 

evidently not considered a realistic option. This occurred because

 

of two main reasons. First, Israel had previously demonstrated a

 

high resistance to any negotiating tactics. Second, withdrawal was

 

not essential to motivating the terrorists or achieving mission

 

goals. In the event the terrorists had to blow themselves and

 

their hostages up, Fatah could and did say that there had been a

 

"peaceful alternative" that had been rejected by the Israelis.

 

Thus, the withdrawal plans, such as they were, were merely to give

 

the group some hope that the Israelis could be forced to release

 

POW's. This is a very sensitive area for the Fatah because its

 

terrorists are not religious zealots like the Shiite terrorists.

 

The mirage of a withdrawal provides the Fatah a means of helping

 

its people rationalize. Fatah terrorists are less fanatic than

 

Shiites; for that reason, many suicide teams have not rationalized

 

suicide and have given up when confronted. It is apparent that

 

"Abu Gihad" had no real intention to withdraw his troops,

 

particularly when one considers the type of radio, without either

 

back-up transmitters or alternate frequencies and totally lacking

 

in communications training and troubleshooting skills. It is

 

doubtful that there was anyone listening for the Savoy group on

 

their assigned channel which was too close to commonly used Israeli

 

channels to be useful in long range transmissions. Another clue to

 

Fatah's attitude was the lack of any broadcasts to the group over

 

the regular Fatah radio, despite the fact that they had been

 

provided transistor receivers. Thus, when all facts are considered

 

regarding the sincerity of Fatah's plans for the group's

 

withdrawal, it is clear that "Abu Gihad" and his superiors wanted

 

the group dead with the blame on the Israelis for preventing a

 

"peaceful" solution and no blame cast on Fatah for the killing and

 

injury of civilians.

 

The fighters of the Savoy group did demonstrate a relatively

 

good standard of soldiering despite their poor fire control

 

discipline. This is not a common feature with other terrorist

 

groups. As directed, they booby trapped their rubber boat,

 

destroying their only immediate means of withdrawal. When

 

disoriented, they did not panic; they showed good flexibility by

 

changing their objective. Their conduct of the assault on the

 

objective and subsequent consolidation while holding the hostages

 

and attempting negotiations was according to their limited training

 

and planning. Their treatment of the hostages was exactly as they

 

had been instructed...brutal. The group's action during the

 

Israeli commando storming of the motel was also "correct;" they

 

demolished the building, killing themselves and half of the

 

hostages. This last action was one of the few incidents of its

 

kind that had worked as planned. The group acted quickly and in a

 

good soldierly manner when the two team commanders were hit by

 

Israeli fire; a deputy team commander immediately took charge and

 

the operation continued. All of the above occurred because "Abu

 

Gihad" had been careful in selecting a mixture of both experienced

 

and inexperienced terrorists for the mission.

 

The factors that have been described in detail all contributed

 

to the success of the Savoy operation from Fatah's viewpoint.

 

Fortunately for societies, this group was not representative of

 

terrorist teams. Unfortunately, the PLO's struggle in the Middle

 

East as well as the struggles of other terrorist organizations will

 

not end in the near future. The PLO will continue its raids and

 

suicide missions even if the ultimate goal of achieving a

 

Palestinian state seems remote and unlikely.

 

In the last few years we have also seen the emergence of and

 

new type of terrorist, the religious zealot whose faith supports

 

martyrdom for his cause. As we have seen in Iran during its war

 

with Iraq and, separately, in Lebanon, religious fanatic groups can

 

sponsor individual terrorist suicide operations (e.g. the truck

 

bombing of the U.S. Marine Headquarters in 1983), small team

 

suicide operations, and even operations by large numbers of

 

suicidal people (e.g. reported use of masses of youths and

 

untrained personnel exhorted into combat aginst Iraqi troops by

 

Iranian Revolutionary Guards). This is a new phenomenon. The

 

world as yet has no effective means of facing and stopping the

 

earlier forms of terror so this new and apparently more dangerous

 

from leaves societies extremely vulnerable.

 

In summary, I wish that I could be more optimistic on this

 

subject instead of being merely descriptive. There does not seem

 

to be any ready prescriptions. Sooner or later a terrorist

 

organization is likely to acquire a nuclear weapon by theft or from

 

one of the outlaw nations that supports such actions. As the

 

terrorist must work his craft primarily against people, preferably

 

defenseless civilians and especially children and women, the use of

 

threat to use a nuclear device will be directed against a

 

population center. The more sensitive the area and the greater the

 

likelihood of access to the media for propagandizing their cause,

 

the more likely a target becomes. So cities such as Tel-Aviv,

 

Paris, Rome, New York, and Washington become attractive targets

 

when their nations oppose the goals of the terrorist organization.

 

There seems to be no limitation to the madness of human beings when

 

they define their morality and ethics as simply those things that

 

further the cause of their ideology, organization, or faith.

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

 

1. Golan, Aviezer, The Long Night

 

2. Amos, Palestinian Resistance

 

3. Sharabi, Palestinians and Israel

 

4. O'Nell, Bard E., Armed Struggle in Palestine: A Political Military

Analysis

 

5. Chaliand, Palestinian Resistance

 

6. Dbandt, William B., Palestinian Nationnalism; Its Political and

Military Dimensions

 



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