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A Military Historical Perspective on Terrorism, Guerrilla Warfare and their Impact on Society



The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 refocused world attention onto the  asymmetric character of non‐state organised violence. Escalation had gone on  for years, and the United States had been men tally prepared for something to  happen. But the U.S. were as surprised as most of the rest of the world by the  ferocity, the cynicism and the ‘military precision’ of the atrocity. Though  method and scope of these attacks were astonishingly odious, they merely  were the continuation of a long tradition, which spans the Spanish guerrillas1  through the Boer and Second World Wars on to the present day’s political and  religious terrorism. This paper will discuss three aspects of asymmetric threats:  the conceptual aspect of guerrilla warfare, the operational perspective of the  perpetrator of terrorist attacks, and the impact on the victimized society. The  method used is a critical review of three opera, each of its distinct type: a  theoretical‐empirical work, military‐style manual, and a compilation of  research and committee papers.2 The works, though disparate in quality and  form, shed light from different angles on the armed struggle of non‐state  actors. While none of these works ‐ not boasting academic status ‐ provide any  references, On Guerrilla Warfare and The Al Qaeda Manual bear no witness of  academic research at all. Straight identification of evidence, therefore, is  hardly possible. Mao’s work is to a large extent free speculation with a basis in  his empirical studies and own observations, whereas the Manual appears to be  based on experience and material from other ‘handbook’ like sources. Evidence  to support the content of Super Terrorism obviously exists. But, apart from the  casual reference to a matrix, graph, etc., it is not to be clearly identified.  Finding evidence ‐ which might have formed the basis of these opera ‐ will,  therefore, be attempted through use of other sources, deemed to be relevant  to the themes of the respective texts.  


The Historical Context 

‘Guerrilla’ is an expression originally used to characterise the popular rising in  support of the British regular army fighting French presence in the Iberian  Peninsula 1807‐12.3 Similar popular and irregular warfare has since played an  important rôle in toppling autocratic regimes and foreign occupation. The  French retreat from Moscow in 1812 was severely hampered by peasant  guerrillas and bands of Cossacks debouching on French columns wherever an  opportunity arose. In the ‘War in South Africa,’ 1899‐1902, the Boers ‐ fighting  ‘regularly’ up to and including Colenso and Spion Kop ‐ employed a similar  approach towards British forces from the beginning of 1900. In On Guerrilla, the  historical context is the chaos following the demise of the last Imperial Chinese  dynasty, the Manchu, in 1912; the internal war between local warlords; Chiang  Kai‐shek’s ascension to central power in 1926; and the Japanese occupation of  China. The book’s politico‐military advice should be seen in the light of Mao’s  long‐term goal of replacing Chiang with the intermediate objective of ridding  the country of the Japanese army of occupation.  

The other face of the irregular fight is terrorism: a battle being fought by  instilling fear among non‐combatants, thus indirectly influencing the  leadership by swaying public attitudes. Terrorism is primarily of an either  political or religious nature. Development in recent years has shown a trend  towards the latter; and since ‘9/11’ Islamic extremists dominate the scene of  religious terrorism, which has become almost synonymous with the Al Qaeda  network. Islamic terrorism has developed through three phases: 1928‐1978,  1978‐1991, and 1991‐today. The first phase followed the dissolution of the  Ottoman Empire in 1923 and the subsequent establishment of secular Turkey,  which replaced the comprehensive and united Muslim state. This phase witnessed ‘internal’ assassinations of politicians and generals but no terror  against other citizens or targets outside the Muslim world.4 The second phase  was brought about by the revolution in Iran. In this phase, to create chaos  aimed at toppling the Shah, Islamists set a theatre on fire: terror against  civilians had become reality. Also, in this phase, suicidal attacks were  introduced, the first being committed by the Lebanese Hizbollah in  Beyrouth/Beirut in October 1983. The third phase is the one of Osama bin  Laden and the most notorious and spectacular one. It is linked with the victory  of the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan (1989), the Gulf War, the presence of  American troops in Saudi Arabia (1991), and the Oslo Agreement (1993). In this  context, it is important to distinguish between ‘Muslim’ as meaning  phenomena associated with the creed of Islam, and ‘Islamic’ being related to  the holistic politico‐militant view aiming at reestablishment of the Caliphate by  violent means.  


The Conceptual Aspect of Guerrilla Warfare 

Like Carl von Clausewitz, who had obviously provided the theoretical basis for  his thought, Mao was a firm believer in the notion that policy avails itself of  various means ‐ war being but one.5 When Mao wrote his work, China was still  in a semi‐colonial state of development, the fight “. . . against imperialism . . .  must have a clearly defined political goal.”6 Being a nation of conventional  arms inferiority, China had to employ guerrilla methods against the more  powerful Japanese foe. However, a gradual development of the guerrilla forces  into something more orthodox had to take place as combat progressed, thus  facilitating co‐operation with the country’s regular forces (the Kuomintang) in  complete accord with national policy. Clausewitz as well as Machiavelli would  have agreed. Clausewitz professed that as policy created war, policy must  maintain a directive influence throughout battle. Describing guerilla warfare,  Mao goes one step further prescribing for guerilla units both military and political leadership.7 Wisely, he stresses voluntary participation, suspicious ‐ of  course ‐ that any member, forced to join, will be prone to a less sympathetic  and less reliable attitude towards the cause.8 This concept of freedom of  choice, though obviously right, is practically restricted by the group pressure,  which will always apply where units are formed from the population of  geographically close societies.  

Mao sees policy in war slightly differently than Clausewitz, as he regards  the efforts directed against enemy morale and political cohesion as being  equally important as armed combat.9 He develops the Clausewitzian concept ‐  of ongoing political direction as the war progresses ‐ claiming a need for  political consciousness with the soldiery. Not only must they know why the war  is being waged, they shall actively preach the gospel of their organisation.10  This interesting concept of total identification with the cause, so commonly  found in revolutionary armies, is a long way from Wellington’s dictum that  “soldiers are [merely] the scum of this world.” The insight and dedication  required can possibly be found in a guerrilla, but hardly amongst ordinary  soldiers in a traditional army, and it is questionable for how long it can be  sustained as the guerrilla gets increasingly ‘orthodox’.  

Mao’s work, though written in the early decades of the twentieth century,  has not lost its relevance. The British seemed to understand it and acted  accordingly in their counter‐insurgency operations during the period of  decolonisation. The Americans did not fully understand its substance ‐ though  excellently translated and commented by one of their own officers ‐ and  suffered a humiliating defeat in Vietnam.

Tactically, Mao bases guerrilla warfare on mobility, attack and alertness.11  In guerrilla warfare, select the tactic as if seeming to come from the east  and attacking from the west; avoid the solid; attack the hollow; attack;  withdraw; deliver a lightning blow, seek a lightning decision. When guerrillas  engage a stronger enemy, they withdraw when he advances; harass when he  stops; strike him when he is weary; pursue him when he withdraws.12  

These principles combine the Clausewitzian notion of defence being the  stronger form of combat with Sun Tzu’s emphasis on the subtle indirect  approach. It is a concept that was proven as early as the battle of the Lago  Trasimene (21 June 217 B.C.), where the unlucky advancing forces were lured  into an ambush in a defile between the lake and the mountains leaving no  escape route open.  

As to tactics, the terms ‘front’ and ‘rear’ refer to enemy only, as the  guerrilla itself operates without such delineation and primarily in the enemy  hinterland. The guerrilla execute ambushes on small units and lines of  communication, harassment of larger formations and establishment of own  bases, thus eliciting dispersal of enemy forces.13 During the years of occupation  by Japanese forces, where a regular Chinese army existed alongside the  guerrilla, their activities had to be planned and executed as harmoniously  concerted efforts.14 Thus, the guerrilla becomes a useful auxiliary to the  orthodox formations.15  

Mao asserts that guerrillas do not apply the tactics of decisive battles,  reconnaissance, and deployment for attack. That, however, is a matter of  terminology. Guerrillas certainly reconnoitre as we have seen in Yugoslavia and  Vietnam; they do have to deploy before their attacks as did Lawrence’s Arab  warriors against the Turks; and some battles are very decisive indeed, such as  Napoléon’s withdrawal across the Berezina in 1812, where Cossacks and local  peasants attacked and annihilated the French rearguard. Thus, guerrilla tactics,  generally, differ from that of the regular army but, in a number of fields,  similarity prevails.  

Like tactics, also leadership differs from that of regular forces. Central  direction is required in orthodox units: locally recruited commanders constitute  the leadership with guerrillas.16 Mao argues that leadership must be based on  the unit members’ own choice among people who command local respect, and  local authorities must be engaged playing a supportive rôle.17 Units, which he  forms up in a rather traditional, military, hierarchical manner, then will be   formed by “farmers who leave their farms to become freedom fighters,”  exactly as the Boers did. However, to praise guerilla ‐ as Mao does ‐ as the  “University of War” seems tantamount to declaring the Home Guard the  epitome of strategic outlook.18

The organisational chapter of On Guerrilla outlines five possible  compositions of guerilla units ranging from purely popular well disciplined  groups to bands of former criminals with a variety of military expertise  interspersed at levels in between.19 A regular army, having been rendered  impotent as an orthodox fighting force, must detail its units to fight along the  lines of the guerrilla concept.20 As to political organisation of guerilla‐held  territory, Mao advocates a regional structure, where ‐ within each region ‐ the  fighting force and the political leadership are indigenous to the area.21  

He concludes that guerrilla operations should aim at retaining the  initiative, complementing the regular army, establishing bases, using mobile  operations and maintaining ‘correct command’. The basic tactical modus  operandi should be one of disperse to operate, attack in a violent and deceptive  form, and counterattack where ground is lost. It is astonishing how much this  concept resembles the tactics of highly mobile modern units. It is natural to  conclude that, though much wisdom is taken over from Sun Tzu as well as  Clausewitz, Mao has contributed to the ‘Art of War’ giving the guerrilla a place  in its own right. In some tactical contexts, his ideas will even reach beyond the  guerrilla concept benefiting regular army tactics, as well.  


The Operational Perspective  of the Perpetrator of Terrorist Attacks 

Whereas the French, the British, the Japanese, the Germans and others have  been participants in guerrilla wars almost for two centuries, the primary targets  for the terror acts of recent years have been those allegedly profaning the soil  of Islam, and most prominent among these are the citizens of the U.S.A.  

Though the Al Qaeda Manual22 is set in a different historical context, it is as  military and as normative in its approach as is Mao’s On Guerrilla Warfare. The  philosophical element is substituted by a substantial religious admixture telling  of Islamic aspirations to depose ‘renegade regimes’ in order to found,  presumably, a new caliphate. The Manual’s aim seems to be instruction of Al  Qaeda groups and individuals on how to accomplish operational tasks,  upholding security standards, and ascertaining success; though this purpose is  partially obscured by ‐ only marginally relevant ‐ allusions to Islamic scriptures  or interpretations. The intent of the author23 is, obviously, to provide the Al  Qaeda with an operational guide allowing the network to function smoothly  and with military efficiency. However, the Manual appears unfinished, and  lends itself to breaking up and rearranging in a logical order.24

The author defines the objective set in its religious and political contexts:  to fight the non‐believers. In a politico‐religious statement ‐ opposing Islamic  values to Greco‐Western civilisation ‐ the Manual informs us that: the  confrontation that we are calling for with the apostate regimes does not know  Socratic debates, Platonic ideals, or Aristotelian diplomacy. But it knows the  dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing, and destruction, and  the diplomacy of the cannon and machine‐gun.  

This is phraseology not totally dissimilar to that of the levée en masse  ordinance,25 which ordered the old men, unfit for fighting, to give speeches in  public places encouraging citizens to take on the battle against the enemies of  la République. Taking his point of departure in the fact that an Islamic state has  never been established but by violent means,26 the author beseeches Islamic  women, “covenant, o Sister, to make their women widows and their children  orphans.”27 It seems highly doubtful whether such call for brutality is  legitimised by the Qu’ran. Mohammad Mustafa al‐Muqra28 concludes in his  work on an Islamic ‘code‐of‐conduct’ that “in accordance with interpretations,  which have been in effect for centuries, Islam does not allow killing of  civilians.”29 Perceiving Allah as a just god,30 one would assume that Muslims  were expected to exercise reasonable discretion with respect to whom they  slay.

The Manual emphasises the need to unite to gather strength fulfilling  Allah’s demands.31 It, also, defines some ‘Principles of the Military  Organisation’ subdivided in military organisation commander and advisory  council, soldiers, and strategy. This seems to be an attempt to establish a  coherence ad modem ‘the warfare cycle’ (organisation‐doctrine‐technology),  though the idea is not further developed. Following these principles, the  Manual lists a number of ‘requirements’ and ‘missions’. The ‘requirements’ are  doctrinal issues falling thematically in 7 categories.32 On the question of  member qualifications the text becomes specific. These issues, though put in a  rather casual order, are relevant and dealt with in a militarily sound manner.  They include membership conditions and a list of other qualifications, which  could be a point of departure for an ‘entrance examination’ or screening of  ‘candidates’. The required qualifications also hint at suicidal working methods  alluding to martyrdom, strict discipline and secrecy33. Though the Manual’s  casual structure deprives most of the text of the clear, closely reasoned train of  thought of a military directive, the importance attached to the ‘requirements’  demonstrate a wish to establish a smoothly functioning battle organisation.  The aim is to obtain precision in performing its tasks, and achieve the longterm goal of establishing an Islamic state ‐ ‘the Caliphate’.34 This brings us a  little closer to an understanding of the creed of the organisation, which is  neither altruistic nor universal. The aim is exclusively to enforce Al Qaeda’s  interpretation of Islamic values, which in many ways, and not entirely  surprisingly, resembles the Saudi puritan Wahabi interpretation

The security aspect as a whole takes up a considerable part of the Manual.  The Al Qaeda is obviously an organisation, which is aware that surprise and  mission success depend on meticulously planned secrecy and operational  security measures. Not surprisingly, precautions with respect to telephones,  personal meetings, letters, and messengers receive special attention. The  precision of modern weaponry homing on users of mobile phones seems to  justify this. Though most relevant security aspects are addressed, it is evident  that the text would benefit from a somewhat more logical sequence.  

Among the central qualifications required for Al Qaeda members is the  understanding of the need for intelligence, ‘caution’, and ‘prudence’. Caution  seems to be what modern military forces would call ‘operational security’,  whereas prudence coincides largely with the Clausewitzian notion of  ‘cunning’.35 Ability to observe and deduce from the matters observed are emphasised as prerequisite for preventing misjudgements and mistakes in  operational matters: exactly what intelligence analysis is about.  

Intelligence, espionage, interrogation and investigation are dealt with  theoretically as well as practically. Apparently, Sun Tzu’s observation  concerning the employment of spies has provided some of the intellectual  background.36 Much prudent intelligence thinking is provided interspersed with  bits of ‘Islamic Supremacy’ phraseology; and in one case this takes the author  somewhat astray, as he tells the reader that “since Islam is superior to all  human conditions and earthly religions, it permits spying for itself but not for  others.” Against this piece of Islamic self‐delusion stands Clausewitz’s logical  observation that the force opposing us will always be as human (living) as are  our own. Thus, in this instance the Al Qaeda rhetoric does not appear  conducive to providing the user with realistic guidance for future action.  

Further to intelligence, in the section on ‘Beating and Killing Hostages’ . . .  we find permission to interrogate the hostage for the purpose of obtaining  information. It is permitted to strike the nonbeliever who has no covenant until  he reveals the news, information, and secrets of his people. The religious  scholars have also permitted the killing of a hostage if he insists on withholding  information from Muslims. They permitted his killing so that he would not  inform his people of what he learned about the Muslim condition, number, and  secrets providing services and expertise to the Muslims.  

This is obviously an ‘Al Qaeda adaptation’ of the Qu’ran and does not go  unchallenged by Muslim scribes (cf. above p. 10 and note 28). Under the  heading ‘Importance of Information’, the Manual lays out a number of rules  similar to what can be found in western intelligence manuals. However, it is  doubtful if Al Qaeda has had access to such manuals while writing these  chapters. The Manual lacks sophistication as it is obviously remiss in fields such  as prioritisation of intelligence needs, description of agencies (collection  means) and analysis. Sophisticated it is nevertheless, appreciating the  usefulness of ‘all‐source’ as well as ‘open source intelligence’ in a way not  totally dissimilar to what might be found in western military writing.  

Summing up, the Al Qaeda Manual can be described as being, possibly, a  draft, or unfinished, operational guideline for all levels of a network, wishing to  see itself as a cohesive military organisation. This organisation has strategic  goals rooted in Islam and operational missions, whom it wishes to deal with in  an orderly, efficient and diligent manner. However, incomplete as it is and  trying to embrace every aspect of operations, in a number of fields it actually  provides limited support for their planning and execution.  


The Impact on the Victimized Society 37  

Facing opponents operating asymmetrically vis‐à‐vis its own modus operandi,  society must adapt its security and response concepts accordingly. Addressing  biological threats, Super Terrorism ‐ compiles possible answers to that need.  These are provided through U.S. committee reports and academic research  papers all published before 11 September 2001. Nonetheless, this compilation  is a well orchestrated effort to present reports which are mutually supportive  and relevant also after that key terror incident. Mostly, institutions concerned  with security agree amongst themselves that the biggest possible  organisational effort should be made to secure the population and vital  government functions. Contrary to this, individual scientists have warned not  to go to too great lengths with costly measures against threats which might  never materialise.38 That dichotomy, however, does not occur in this  compilation.  

As pointed out by U.S. State Department, Congress and Government  repeatedly since 1996, the U.S. takes terrorism seriously.39 The official committee reports’ primary object is the organisational aspect of possible  prevention and response; whereas the research papers, naturally, concentrate  on possible scientific approaches to the challenge.  

Publishing the U.S. ‘National Defense Panel’s’ report in 1997, the then  defence secretary, William Cohen, said about super terrorism that “the  question is not if but when.”40 The committee reports cover possible terrorist  employment of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and chemical, biological,  radiological and nuclear weapons (CBRN) on a lesser scale. They address the  technical obstacles to developing missiles as the means of delivery of WMD  and find that these difficulties appear a likely reason for terrorists to find other  ways and means of employing such weapons, thus also rendering a possible  missile defence irrelevant.41 Further, if the terrorists’ aim at less than  apocalyptical damage, WMD are not necessarily their ‘choice weapons’. CBRN  weapons and high explosives are likely to inflict both abundant casualties and  widespread panic. A series of simultaneous actions will instil general fear to  sufficiently undermine government authority.42 And there are non‐state actors,  who have both ill intent and sufficient means to carry out such actions.43  Terrorists used to be aware that weapons of apocalyptical damage would  alienate their potential constituencies. However, in recent years the nature of  terrorism has changed, because religious objectives have replaced secular or  political ends, prohibiting any prediction as to the scope of perpetration.44  Although basic materials can be bought legally or illegally all over the world,  inflicting casualties on a mass scale will require an advanced technology and  considerable resources.45 Thus, while the manufacture of chemical and  biological agents is not beyond non‐state group capabilities, it will be too  simplistic to say that it is easy.46  

Proliferation is trans‐national, biological weapons pose a serious threat to  all living creatures,47 and the risk of infection of farm livestock or crops pose a  similar threat to economy.  

Prevention is difficult. In the efforts to limit damage, the response after bioattacks is crucial. Effective co‐operation between health authorities, hospitals,  laboratories, and others is important and must be trained.48  

Incidents of bio‐terror, where bacterial pathogens and lethal plant toxins  have been used, demonstrate that society is vulnerable; and as some agents  are highly contagious (smallpox, variola virus) the effects cannot even be  limited to the person(s) first infected.49 Ways of reducing vulnerability will  include improving the epidemiological capacity to detect and respond;  diagnosis; communication programmes; education; availability of vaccines and  drugs; and research.  

The scientific research papers allow for some hope based on the  observation that bio‐weapons are difficult to handle, disperse, and ‘keep alive’.  Luckily, bacterial and viral weapons are as dangerous to the terrorists working  with them as they are for the prospective victims. Development requires highly  skilled scientists and expensive laboratory facilities. And also diffusion might  not be easy.50 There seems to be reason to believe that, while viral infections  are complicated to manage, science will beat the bacterial infections sooner or  later. Further, the existing international treaties provide us with a means of  control hampering illegal acquisition and easing the inquisitive access to plants  all over the world; and the global battle against infectious disease is a tool to  the same effect.51 However, though military use of bio‐weapons may bforestalled by good intelligence, terrorist use is far more unpredictable as to type and method of employment. Because of that unpredictability, specific  vaccines will seldom be adequate. What is needed, therefore, is development  of the right non‐specific medical systems.52 In other words: more research, and  larger funds.  

Traditionally, damage control depends on ‘first responders’ like fire  fighters, police and rescue workers. These are, however, not adequate in a bioterrorist attack, as effects do not materialise until days after the perpetration.  First responders, therefore, should rather be public health and medical  personnel, experts in diagnosis, hospitalisation, care and laboratory work.53 In a  situation where a bio‐threat is imminent a number of precautions should be  taken. A co‐ordinating authority should make local emergency responders  work together with appropriate elements of the health and defence  departments, initiate an assessment at the scene of the incident and ask for  necessary assistance at the national level.54

To sum up, bio‐terrorism is a very real threat, and the question might well  not be ‘if’ but ‘when’. Bio‐warfare poses a truly asymmetric threat, which can  be used for punishment or revenge, undermining coalitions, disrupting power  projection forces, etc. The potential consequences of major bio‐attacks against  one or more cities are far reaching. Though the immediate effects of 11  September 2002 were not ‘mass casualties’ the mass disruption caused in civil  society, commerce, economy and exchange of goods influenced life far beyond  the scenes of physical damage.  



It seems worthwhile to try and look for the main thread through these works.  The two first tally historically with each other. The guerrilla concept was the  logical response to French conventional superiority, renewed under similar  circumstances during the Boer and Second World Wars as well as in many other  conflicts. But as the opponent’s traditional superiority becomes increasingly  impenetrable, the guerrilla instrument needs sharpening. Thus, unconventional  warfare against enemy conventional forces changes into an indirect approach  of unconventional combat by ‐ basically psychological ‐ means of terror against  the enemy non‐combatant society. Super Terrorism deals with the damage  control, thus necessitated. It stares one in the face that we are witnessing a sad  

confirmation of Clausewitz’s interaction of extremes: one party craves for  something and goes out of his way to get it; the other side wants to keep his  treasure and goes to extremes to defend it. And so on and so forth, until  unreasonably huge amounts are allocated in preparing for something which  may never happen, and Herculean efforts are put into planning and preparing  for counter‐strikes even worse than the assault anticipated. If the enemy  cannot be conquered in face to face battle, guerrillas will debouch on his rear  using primitive but unexpected and efficient means. If that does not appear a  viable solution either ‐ perhaps, because of increasing desensitisation of  modern society ‐ harsher asymmetric approaches are applied, and terrorists ‐  super or otherwise ‐ draft manuals, train and behave like members of any well  trimmed army perceiving their cause to be just. Guerrilla tactics have come to  stay, it must be realised,  but a guerrilla war, by comparison with terrorism, is a harmless event which can  be contained. Super terrorism and terrorism, in general, must be dealt with by  preparing the threatened societies as best we can, but like any other kind of  conflict it will not disappear until the underlying quarrels are solved.  



Alexander, Yonah and Hoenig, Milton. Super Terrorism ‐ Biological, Chemical  and Nuclear. Ardsley, NY, U.S.A., Transnational Publishers, 2001.  Al Qaeda. The Al Qaeda Manual (computer file impounded by British Police in  Manchester). From internet www.disastercenter.com/terror/ondex.htm.  Andersen, Lars Erslev. ”Asymmetrisk krig, ny terrorisme.” Militært Tidsskrift  (March 2002).  

Bramming, Pernille. ”Hvorfor frygter vi Islam?” Militært Tidsskrift (March 2002).

Cameron, Gavin. ”Multi‐track Micro proliferation: Lessons from Aum Shinrikyo  and Al Qaeda.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Taylor and Frances # 22 (1999).

Clausewitz, Carl v. On War. Princeton, New Jersey; Princeton University Press,  1984.  

Machiavelli, Nicolo. The Prince. London, UK; Penguin Books, 1999.  

Mao Tse‐tung. On Guerrilla Warfare. Urbana and Chicago, U.S.A.; University of  Illinois Press, 2000.

Mozaffari, Mehdi. „Bin Laden and Islamist Terrorism.“ Militært Tidsskrift (March  2002).  

Muir, Angus. “Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Case of Aum  Shinrikyo.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Taylor and Frances No. 22 (1999).  

Rosenau, William. “Aum Shinrikyo’s Biological Program: Why did it Fail?” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Taylor and Frances No. 24 (2001).

Sprinzak, Ehud. The Great Terrorism Scare.  

Sun Tzu. The Art of War. “The Denma Translation”, Boston, Massachusetts,  U.S.A.: Shambhala Publications Inc, 2000.  



1 The Spanish people rose against Napoléonic French occupation in support of  British forces. Hence the word Guerrilla was introduced meaning ‘little war’.

2 Mao Tse‐tung, On Guerrilla Warfare (Urbana and Chicago, University of Illinois  Press, 2000); Al Qaeda, the Al Qaeda Manual. (www.disastercenter.com/terror/ondex.htm); and Yonah Alexander & Milton Hoenig, Super  Terrorism; Biological, Chemical and Nuclear (Where focus will be on the BioThreat; se note 40, below) (Ardsley, NY, U.S.A., Transnational Publishers,  2001).

3 Josef Bonaparte was crowned king of Spain in 1807. The French rule came to  an end following the defeat at Vittoria in 1812, on which occasion Beethoven  wrote his orchestral work Wellington’s Victory. The British operations are  known as ‘The Peninsula War’.

4 Mehdi Mozaffari, “Bin Laden and Islamist Terrorism,” Militært Tidsskrift, Nr 1  (March 2002), pp. 36‐40  

5 Carl von Clausewitz, On War (Princeton, New Jersey; Princeton University  Press, 1984), passim  

6 Griffith: “because its purpose is to destroy an existing society and its  institutions and replace them with a completely new structure.” In Mao, On  Guerrilla, p. 42

7 Mao, On Guerrilla, p. 44  

8 Ibid., pp. 82 & 86

9 Ibid., p. 45  

10 Ibid., pp. 88 f

11 Ibid., p. 46  

12 Ibid.

13 Ibid., p. 53  

14 Ibid., p. 55

15 It is important, however, not to confuse this use of the term ‘auxiliary’ with  the similar word with Machiavelli, to whom it implies allied troops, which he  thinks should be avoided.  

16 Griffith in Mao, On Guerrilla, p. 33  

17 Mao, On Guerrilla, pp. 72 ff

18 “Guerrilla hostilities are the university of war, and after you have fought  several times valiantly and aggressively you may become a leader of troops . .  .” Mao, On Guerrilla, p. 73.

19 Mao, On Guerrilla, pp. 71‐76  

20 Ibid., p. 74  

21 Ibid., p. 77

22 The Manual was discovered in 2001 during a police search of an Al Qaeda  member’s flat in Manchester, UK. It is, or is going to be, a part of a series called  the military series related to the Declaration of Jihad.  

23 There might well have been more authors, but for stylistic reasons the  singular is chosen throughout this article.  

24 A logical new lay out of the manual would be: (1) Theoretical Superstructure,  (2) Doctrinal Manual, (3) Aide‐Memoire, (4) Training Manual, and (5) Sample  Operations Plan. The Manual’s layout makes one reflect whether the manual  might be a ‘first draft’ still waiting for further ‘toiletage’ before being adopted  as the organization’s official doctrine. Though no proof for that hypothesis, one  reason for its being found in Manchester (of all places) might be that Al Qaeda ‐  as any efficient organizations would do ‐ has circulated the draft among ‘end  users’ for consideration and comments before finalizing it.  

25 The decree commonly associated with the introduction of ‘National Service’  in revolutionary France 1793.

26 This may be true, but the only remaining truly Islamic (as opposed to Muslim)  state is Iran, which is not as Islamic as it once was.  

27 Al Qaeda, The Al Qaeda Manual, Introduction  

28 Member of the Supreme Council for Egyptian Groups, who gave up armed  fight in 1998. Al‐Muqra is in exile in London.  

29 Pernille Bramming, ”Hvorfor frygter vi Islam?” Militært Tidsskrift, Nr. 1  (March 2002), p. 30 (my translation)  

30 Muslims distinguish the characteristics of deities in the following manner:  Yahweh is a judging god, the Christian God is a forgiving god, Allah is a just god  

31 Al Qaeda, Al Quad Manual, First Lesson

32 e.g.:  Operations and Training  Intelligence  Logistics and transport  Admin  Security  Communications and signals  Finance

33 “This secrecy should be used even with the closest people, for deceiving the  enemies is not easy. Allah says, "Allah's messenger ‐God bless and keep him says, “Seek Allah's help in doing your affairs in secrecy.” It was said in the  proverbs, “The hearts of freemen are the tombs of secrets “and "Moslems’  secrecy is faithfulness, and talking about it is faithlessness."[Mohammed.” [sic]  

34Al Qaeda, The Al Qaeda Manual, Chapter 2  

35 Clausewitz, On War, p. 202, “the term cunning implies secret purpose . . . The  use of trick or stratagem permits the intended victim to make his own  mistakes, which . . . change the whole situation. . . ”

36 Sun Tzu, The Art of War. “The Denma Translation” (Boston, Massachusetts,  U.S.A., Shambhala Publications Inc, 2000), p. 59

37 The following component essays concerning bio‐threats have been analysed:  Preface, Joshua Lederberg ‘The Diversity of Bio Weapons’, John Huggins  ‘Bacterial and Viral Terrorist Weapons’, DoD Threat and Response 2001,  Transnational Threats to Agriculture and Livestock’, Louis J. French ‘Threats to  U.S, National Security’, Joseph F. Pilat ‘The Bioterrorism Threat’, Richard E.  Hoffman & Jane E. Norton ‘ Lessons Learned from Full‐Scale Bioterrorism  Exercise Operation TOPOFF in Denver, Center for Disease Control and  Prevention ‘Biological and Chemical Terrorism: CDC Strategic Plan for  Preparedness and Response’, Donald A. Henderson ‘Bio‐terrorism: Our Front  Line Response Evaluating U.S. Public Health and Medical Readiness’, Janet  Reno ‘Organization of the Federal Government to Prevent and Respond to  Terrorism and Larry Dubois ‘Advanced Bio Countermeasures at DARPA.  

38 To further elucidate the independent scientists’ view see Sprinzak’s “The  Great Terrorism Scare.” ”Money should be allocated instead to early warning  systems and preemption of tactical chemical and biological terrorism”  

39 Lars Erslev Andersen, ”Asymmetrisk krig, ny terrorisme og den postmoderne  verdens(u)orden,” Militært Tidsskrift, Nr. 1 (March 2002), p. 57

40 Transforming Defense. National Security in the 21st Century (Pentagon  December 1997) in Lars Erslev Andersen, “Asymmetrisk krig, ny terrorisme”.  

41 Alexander, Super Terrorism, p. 5  

42 Ibid., pp. 12‐14

43 It is evident that Aum Shinrikyo and Al Qaeda both have the intention, the  financial capacity and the academic know‐how to launch acts of superterrorism. Also, the ‘American Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord’  has proven to have intention as well as capabilities. Osama bin Laden has  declared that “we don’t consider it a crime if we tried to have nuclear, chemical  or biological weapons. Our holy land is occupied by Israeli and American forces.  We have the right to defend ourselves and to liberate our holy land.”  

44 David Rapoport, in NSSQ, Summer 1999.  

45 Alexander, Super Terrorism, pp. 16‐17

46 Angus Muir, “Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Case of Aum  Shinrikyo.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Taylor and Frances # 22 (1999),  p.83  

47 Alexander, Super Terrorism, pp. 29‐31  

48 Alexander, Super Terrorism, pp. 90‐93. Exercises have been held e.g. in May  2000 in Denver to make the various hospitals, emergency management  organizations, laboratories and others develop new working relationships

49 Ibid., p. 101  

50 Ibid., p. 28

51 Ibid., pp. 18‐22

52 Ibid., p. 25

53 Ibid., pp. 106 ff  

54 Ibid., p. 133