Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

Marketing Terrorism and Fear

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Marketing Terrorism and Fear

As we live in an era of fear market, where only ignorance drives our thoughts and responses, everyday, we observe many incidents of auctions in terror markets across the globe. These fear markets are being spread successfully because we do not do our homework. We have no specific counter-terrorism strategies.

In Pakistan and Afghanistan, terror market is run in different ways. If we deeply study the news of only one month suicide terror related incidents, we will find that terrorists use different techniques of killing in the region. The way of destruction and killing was the same but techniques were different.

I recently found some interesting and shocking stories of Pakistani, Afghani and Somali teenage suicide bombers who were captured during the military operation in Swat, Bajaur and Somalia. While their training is completed, in the tail end, suicide bombers are taken to mosques for congratulation for being chosen by God. On the day of the planned attack they are heavily drugged which make them forgetful and stop crying for mother, brother and relatives. In Somalia, Sudan and Nigeria, young children are threatened when they refuse to carry out suicide attacks.

Recently, a new video of marketing suicide bomber for the sectarian war in Syria appeared in YouTube. In the conference room of a Saudi Arabian hotel in Jeddah, the video shows that a Saudi father Abusaleh is offering his son, Khalid for sale to be used as suicide bomber. Abusaleh sold his son only for $400,000. However, Pakistani and Afghani fathers are also involved in the same business. Former ISPR chief, Major General Ather Abbas once said that Taliban in Waziristan buy and sell children. In Tank, Wana, and other parts of South and North Waziristan and in several Southern and Eastern Provinces of Afghanistan, suicide bombers training academies recruit young children. When they complete suicide training, then they are on their way to Europe or UK for a great religious job.

Terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabab, Boko Haram, Taliban, Arab extremists and Takfiri Jihadists in Britain, Europe, Pakistan and Afghanistan, marketing fear and terrorism through Face book, YouTube and Twitter, invite young people to join their networks and use various marketing techniques. These terror groups are marketers as well as consumers to a degree and the recruiters are marketing young boys in the market. They supply suicide bombers across Asia and Middle East just for $20.000 for each bomber. Religious and political vendettas are being settled by using suicide bomber against rival group or family in Pakistan. This generation of fear and panic is controlled by extremist elements and non-state actors in Waziristan, Kabul and Quetta. Fear and terror marketing systems are updated every year and new techniques of destruction are being introduced time to time.

Prominent American scholar Philip Bobbitt in his famous book (Terror and Consent) elucidates the way terrorism is marketed and says non-state actors can be best described as terror marketers. The way Afghan Taliban design their strategies for training and brainwashing suicide bombers is not different from the suicide techniques of Pakistani Taliban in Waziristan and FATA regions. They market fear and terror according to the market demands. If we deeply consider the terrorism marketing techniques of both Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, we will clearly observe similarity in their way of killing. Last week, Pakistani suicide bombers killed 90 innocent Hazaras in Quetta while Afghan suicide bombers attacked Afghan intelligence headquarters in Kabul, thus, terrorism was marketed in the same ways.

In Britain markets, videos and CDs of suicide terrorism are available in cheap prices--young Britons are the main customers. In these CDs, the way of suicide attacks, techniques of killings, religious zeal, accounts of events, explosion and the importance of time and distance have been described in detail.  These CDs are being imported from Pakistan, Somalia, Algeria, Nigeria and Afghanistan and sold secretly. Incidents in the past ten years indicate that Britain has long been an island under siege from terrorists who believe they can advance their aim through acts of violence. For over a century Special Branch, MI5 and MI6 have prevented terrorist atrocities but despite developing one of the world’s most sophisticated security architecture, successful terrorist attacks have occurred with alarming regularity.

Analysis of terror related incidents in Britain indicates a growing prevalence of attacks by sole individuals. Such attacks are difficult to predict and prevent, particularly if the attacker is not known by profile. The involvement of British citizens in ethnic and sectarian conflicts across Asia, Africa and the Arab World raised many questions when these young Britons were arrested by local counter terrorism police abroad. Recently, in such a case, on January 10, 2013, Scotland Yard arrested four Syrian British men trying to join opposition forces in Syria, BBC reported. This is not the only case, official figures show that arrests for suspected terrorism offences rose by 60% in 2012. Finally, experts understand that terror groups can export nuclear terrorists to international market as access to nuclear materials is easily available.  

Marketing terrorism challenges for ISI, RAW and Afghan intelligence (NDS) have entered a crucial phase as all intelligence and counter insurgency measures of international community failed to defeat Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. In a recent report, Pentagon has accepted intelligence failures and warned that without sweeping changes to intelligence gathering practices in Afghanistan, military success is impossible. Unfortunately, American and European intelligence agencies collect information about insurgents and their movements through weak sources. CIA and Pentagon are not satisfied with the intelligence sharing as it does not help NATO, ISAF and Pentagon in countering Taliban insurgency across the Durand Line.

Finally, I must suggest that a better and well coordinated intelligence is the only solution to all these problems.

The writer is author of Policing in Multicultural Brittan, can be reached at, zai.musakhan222@gmail.com.

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