A regimentation of terror forces?
A training center of suicide attackers was detected and dismantled in 2014 in Peshawar. The items recovered from the place included injections and nerve relaxing medications for easing mental pressure on the potential suicide attackers
The recent suicide attack in capital city district Lahore on 24 July 2017 in which 26 persons lost their lives and more than 50 were injured is indicative of a complex terror situation in the country. According to media reports a special group of suicide attackers has been trained for inflecting maximum damage to law enforcement agencies in Pakistan. These specially trained suicide attackers can be employed for lethal missions in which police and other paramilitary forces can easily be targeted. The raising of a special team of suicide attackers indicates a novel idea in terror operations which hints towards introducing specialisation in suicide attacks. It further points toward regimentation of terror forces. An analysis of such a special group of suicide attackers needs to be examined for the purpose of understanding the dynamics and underlying principle of its engineering.
The data on suicide attacks and investigations of these incidents indicate multiple reasons of suicide attackers to commit such ultimate acts of violence. These can broadly be categorised into five groups. The first category involves those attackers who have been spotted at a tender age and may or may not have any personal link with any misfortune event. These attackers are usually simpletons, gullible and can easily be motivated through religious or ideological teachings. They are not reliable since at the time of detonating many of them become nervous and lose their concentration. For example, many suicide attackers are brain washed in order to convince them to undertake the suicide mission. The attacker involved inImambargah Zainabia in Sialkot in 2004 made couple of attempts before succeeding in exploding a brief case inside the religious seminary in which 31 persons were killed and more than 60 were wounded.
The second category of suicide attackers is the one who are unable to accomplish the task with indoctrination alone. They have to be administered with different types of drugs in order to pacify their reactions. Sometimes injections are given as nerve controlling tools to accomplish their task with high accuracy. Perhaps these suicide attackers are extremely young and a tinge of childishness makes it expedient for their handlers to doze their minds with haziness.
A training center of suicide attackers was detected and dismantled in 2014 in Peshawar. The items recovered from the place included injections and nerve relaxing medications for easing mental pressure on the potential suicide attackers. Another center was unearthed in 2014 in Miram Shah during the start of operations Zarb-e-Azab in which different techniques were used to lure teenagers from Afghan and Mehsud tribes along with young boys from Mohmand and Orakzai agencies for training purposes. They were psychologically blind folded through religious indoctrination and a mandatory stay of two months inside the center was also properly observed. During the period, a mentor was permanently attached with these would-be attackers who constantly invade their minds with base ideas and naive notions to achieve their objectives.
When Sakhi Sarwar Darbar was attacked in which the local forces got hold of a suicide attacker who later on confessed that due to the death of his father in a terror attack in Karachi he was constantly exploited and manipulated by his religious teacher
The third category of attackers is those who have lost their near and dear ones in one of the counter terrorism operations. They attribute their misfortune to foreign occupiers, their abettors and assisting forces in the country. These suicide attackers are those who have a history of personal loss or tragedy attached with a terror incident. For example, when Sakhi Sarwar Darbar was attacked in which the local forces got hold of a suicide attacker who later on confessed that due to the death of his father in a terror attack in Karachi he was constantly exploited and manipulated by his religious teacher in a local seminary at Mir Ali in North Waziristan which compelled him to undertake such a dangerous operation.
The fourth category of suicide attackers is rare and usually motivated by their ideology and objectives. They might be enjoying a good position in the group but due to high risk operation they intend to undertake it for leadership, personal glory and group cohesion. For example, on 22 July 2017 in southern Helmand son of a top Taliban commander detonated three Humvee vehicles, originally supplied to the local forces for Counter Terror Operations, laden with explosives. It was claimed by the Taliban that the vehicles were driven by a young man who was son of a Taliban commander and he exploded the vehicles at a military outpost. Once he did so, other suicide attackers followed suit. Here two important points are worth noting. First, the top leadership gives supreme sacrifice in presence of lurking dangers like disunity and desertion on account of financial incentives. Moreover, emergence of Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan has placed Taliban commanders in a tight spot for they have now a rival group to challenge their irregular warfare tactics for survival of the fittest. Second, they want to lead from the front. The local commanders are the battle-hardened individuals who have been fighting against the Afghan forces with consistency and perseverance.
The last category involves those individuals who have been specially trained for the specialisation in suicide missions. Now such specialisation cannot be imparted to an ordinary potential would-be attacker. Like in military where a mechanism exists for picking up recruits for commando operations, there must be a certain procedure for selecting human resource for special suicide actions if the news related to presence of special suicide attackers is correct. Extreme conviction should be present in the mind of such individuals like the kamikaze, infused with national spirit of sacrifice, in order to gain a superior objective. The presence of such individuals in the rank and file of Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Sawt chapter indicates an extremely dangerous trend for law enforcement agencies since the lethality of attacks will increase. Moreover, other innovative means may also be adopted by terror strategists for regimentation of terror forces for maximal destruction.