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Want to learn about suicide terrorism?

September 13, 2004 13:59 IST

With terror groups increasingly taking to suicidal attacks, the internationally-renowned Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School in Vairengte, Mizoram, has introduced a course on suicide terrorism to teach security agencies how to tackle the menace.

"Insurgency is fast graduating to terrorism, with militant groups increasingly taking recourse to suicide squads to achieve their objectives. To help security agencies counter the menace, we have introduced a course this year on suicide terrorism," CIJWS Commandant Brigadier B K Panwar told a group of visiting newsmen.

According to Panwar, the course is divided into several segments. "We teach the trainees how to analyse the psychology of a terrorist and find out how he has been brainwashed into carrying out suicide attacks, his likely targets and the steps to protect them".

While analysis is done through case studies of incidents in the United States, the United Kingdom and West Asia, those are supplemented by lessons in intelligence gathering and identification of suicide terrorists, Panwar said.

A number of trainees from Indian security agencies, as also from abroad including the US, have already taken the course, the Brigadier said.

The CIJWS, which has 12 'ranges' to impart lessons in all possible aspects of counter-terrorist activities and jungle warfare, will soon have its own counter-terrorist encounter range, complete with an unoccupied multi-storeyed building to train candidates in countering hold-ups in high structures, Panwar said.

The visiting reporters were given demonstrations of counter-terrorist drills, including night patrol, hostage-freeing, room intervention and jungle survival skills. During the demonstrations, Lt Col D S Yadav, senior instructor at the Courses Wing of the CIJWS, cautioned against forming a template in identifying suicide terrorists as they often merge into the crowd.

However, he said, they are usually male, aged between 18 and 27 years, unemployed and hail from a poor family. They are mostly devoted students of religion, he added.

Commenting on the behavioural pattern of suicide terrorists, Yadav said, "They are often known to be unusually courteous, use perfume and are clean-shaven. They are also generally known to wear unseasonal clothes with protruding bulges, sweat profusely, mumble and fidget nervously. They handle parts of their clothing and walk in a slow-pace while focussing on the sides."

Such terrorists may be driven by family benefits like improved social status and financial rewards, besides the personal goal of eternal life in paradise, he added. "The suicide terrorist is not usually a volunteer, but motivated and indoctrinated to carry out the attack. His prime motivation is religious fanaticism, combined often with nationalist extremism and a wish for revenge, but never personal despair," Yadav said.

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