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March 07, 1986 - Image 45

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-03-07

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certifiable, but problematic," says Dr.
The terror organizations operating
throughout the Middle East maintain
vigorous recruiting operations and are
constantly seeking out suitable candidates
for special training. The "brains" behind
each terror offensive -- the men who plan
the operations — know precisely the kind
of recruit who can be trained to kill
ruthlessly and sacrifice himself if need be.
"They select very carefully the men who
will carry out their orders," says Dr.
Merari. "Each one is hand-picked because
he has the appropriate personality profile."
Once selected for a special operation, the
young recruit undergoes a period of inten-
sive military and psychological prepara-
tion, a process that can take up to a year.
The Abu Nidal faction, which is widely
credited with responsibility for last De-
cember's airport attacks and which is
estimated by Israeli intelligence sources to
have carried out more than one-hall of all
Palestinian terrorist attacks in the Middle
East and Europe during 1985, has bases
and training camps in Syria, Lebanon,
Libya and, possibly, in Iran. According to
sources in Israel, indoctrination is the
critical aspect of the preparation and is
usually undertaken by very high-ranking
members of the organization. Frequently,
the trainees are given the clear impression
that they are expected to sacrifice them-
\ Experience has shown, says Dr. Merari,
that young terrorists do not need a relig-
ious motivation for such self-sacrifice.

"None of the Palestinian groups, and
certainly not the Abu Nidal people, are
overtly religious.
"In any case," he adds, "we have seen
that people don't die more readily for Allah
than they do for Assad, Arafat or for Abu .
According to some sources, the indoc-
trination of terrorists is accompanied by
deliberate acts of brutality: one British
journalist who visited a PLO training
camp reported seeing teenage boys tear-
ing apart live chickens with their bare
hands. Other reports speak of men being
plied with sex, drugs and pornography
during the course of their training in order
to hasten the process of indoctrination by
warping their perceptions of reality.
During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon,
Israeli troops captured 250 "RPG Kids,"
aged between 12 and 14, who had been
recruited by the PLO and trained to use
Soviet-made rocket-propelled grenades.
Many of these children, according to
Israeli reports, told their captors that they
had been sexually abused by their com-
manders, supplied freely with drugs and
been shown pornographic films as "re-
wards" after training drills.
No one knows precisely how many
Palestinians and others who have rallied
to their cause are now undergoing train-
ing for terrorist operations. But it is
known that there is a widespread network
of "schools for terror" operating in such
diverse places as Syria, Iraq, Yemen,
Libya, Algeria, Kuwait, Iran, the Soviet
Union, East Germany, Czechoslovakia,

Last January, the Israeli Army
spokesman released a 23-page report on
"Libyan Support for Terror and Subver-
sion Throughout the World." According
to the report, since Colonel Kaddafi came
to power in 1969, Libya has provided
assistance to almost every terrorist
group in the world.
Among them are the Irish Republican
Army, the Basque separatist movement
ETA, the Red Brigades in Italy, the Red
Army Faction in West Germany, as well
as the Palestinian groups and "move-
ments of national liberation" in Africa,
Asia, Latin America and Oceania.
"As a political entity, Libya is a source
of local and global instability," said the
report, noting that Colonel Kaddafi is
currently hosting some 7,000 terrorists
trom all over the world who are receiving
m 20 camps scattered through
Instructors are drawn Iron. *
any and Cuba. They ' also
finer CIA and FBI agents from''
Libya b
'to hereport,
million year for fin


Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. \
The best among them are reported to
combine the functions of a guerrilla war-
fare instruction center and a commando
training unit. Many of the instructors are
seconded from the regular armies of the
host countries — specialists in the use of
explosives and booby traps, small arms,
camouflage, field survival and underwater
At many of these bases, Palestinian
fighters are joined by comrades from
European terrorist groups, which in return
provide logistical support for Palestinian
operations in Europe.
The end-product is a small army of ter-
rorists — albeit under the control' of
disparate and often competing leaders —
prepared to inflict a reign of terror on
a world that seems unable to deal with
the problem.
And, according to Dr. Merari, who
predicted the current upsurge in terrorism
several months before the airport attacks,
the incidence and severity of terrorist
attacks, both in the Arab world and in
Europe, will increase still further. In par-
ticular, he says, it will take a quantum leap
if the Middle East peace process fails, if
Palestinian moderates are swept aside and
if the PLO returns to international ter-
rorism with a vengence.

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