Counter-Terrorism: Terrorism Pioneers Recognized

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January 18, 2008: One of the major U.S. counter-terror organizations, the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) recently posted something of a reminder on their web site. It was all about the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), a separatist Tamil group from the island of Sri Lanka. The FBI pointed out that in three decades of operations, the LTTE has killed over 70,000 people and pioneered the use of suicide bombers. This included inventing the explosive belt. The LTTE has also killed two national leaders (of Sri Lanka and India) and many more senior government officials than Islamic terrorists. Al Qaeda learned quite a lot about terrorism from the LTTE, which is basically a secular organizations (although most members are Hindu).

But even more importantly, the LTTE pioneered fund raising techniques that have greatly aided Islamic terrorists. The LTTE developed methods which enabled them to raise large amounts of money from expatriate Tamils (who are native to southern India). The LTTE was also able to raise money from Tamils in southern India, but it was the techniques of pretending to collect money for charity work, then using it to fund terrorism, that really caught al Qaedas attention. It eventually caught the FBIs attention as well, leading to the LTTE being declared a terrorist organization, and many of its fund raising operations shut down.

 


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