Friday, April 24, 2009

Groundbreaking feats of LTTE

LTTE is the terror father of the world. It was formed centralizing the village called Valvettithurai, Jaffna in 1976. But its roots go back to 1972. Group of boys with rebellious thoughts gathered around Velupillai Prabakaran and launched their fight called 'freedom fight'. It came into existence with no money, no arms, simply nothing but rebellious thoughts. Since then, the status it has gained, innovations it has made and atrocites it has claimed are unimaginable. While it is in its brink of defeat, I thought of summing up the groundbreaking feats it gained in its 33 year old history.

• The LTTE have perpetrated more suicide bombings than Hamas and Hezbollah combined.

• The LTTE’s suicide vest design has been copied by nearly a dozen organizations.

• The LTTE is an equal opportunity employer: the LTTE has used female bombers in a more than 3-2 ratio. The LTTE fields a conventional women’s corp.

• The LTTE has used suicide bombing as a weapon of choice in terms of targeted assassination, including the 1991 assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, 1993 assassination of Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa and the near assassination of Sri Lankan President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratanga in 1999. The LTTE assassinated nearly 50 prominent moderate Tamil leaders, and is estimated to have killed thousands of moderate and anti-LTTE Tamils.

• The LTTE has used suicide frogman and other special operatives to penetrate far behind enemy lines.

• The LTTE targeted pillars of the Sri Lankan economy, including bombings of the Central Bank in 1996 and Columbo’s World Trade Center in 1997. In 2001, LTTE operatives penetrated the international airport and destroyed three jetliners, half of Airlanka’s fleet, in addition to 23 military aircraft.

• The LTTE was the first organization to post martyrs’ posters for the “Black Tigers” their suicide corp.

• The LTTE is the first sub state actor to use suicide naval vessels. There have been over 40 suicide naval attacks since June 1990, seven years before the USS Cole attack.

• The LTTE had a full-fledged navy, and many of their craft were indigenously designed and built.

•The LTTE is the only terrorist organization to possess submarines.

•The LTTE was the only terrorist organization to attack enemy using underwater scooters.

• The LTTE was one of only two terrorist organizations to use a WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction) (the other being Aom Shinrikyo). The Tigers used a chlorine gas bomb against Sri Lankan forces in 1990.

• The LTTE became the first sub-state actor to acquire an air force. Though used in desperation, in two attempted "kamikaze" attacks, the LTTE has used their Czech trainers 9 times since March 2007 Sri Lankan forces captured six airfields in LTTE territory.

While their innovations on the battlefield were remarkable, it is nothing in terms of their innovations in finance and logistics. In short, the LTTE wrote the book on terrorist financing. Originally supported by India, the Tigers, turned on their patron in 1987, and since pursued a policy of self-reliance. The "Snow Tigers" under the leadership Tharmalingham Shunmugham aka Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP), have funded themselves through legal and extralegal means and have procurement operatives based in around the world.

The LTTE have used arms dealers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Lebanon, Egypt and Cyprus; shopped black markets in former war zones – Cambodia (Thailand), Afghanistan, Mozambique and the former Yugoslavia; and shopped the countries of the former Soviet bloc - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Slovakia and Kazakstan, as well as North Korea and China. In one famed case, China North Industries Corp (Norinco) sold the LTTE two consignments of assault rifles, light artillery, rockets and ammunition, each large enough to fill a 230-foot cargo ship. The purchases in September 2003 and October 2004 were arranged through a middleman and certified with North Korean “end user” documents. The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa personally appealed to Chinese leaders in Beijing in February 2007 to halt a third consignment. One senior procurement officer arrested had a laptop with spreadsheets detailing more than $13 million in payments in the summer of 2006 for military equipment, including anti-aircraft guns and 100 tons of high explosives. His passport showed more than 100 trips in the past five years to countries such as China, Kenya.

The Tiger’s revenue stream has been estimated to be between $50 to $80 million per year. The money was diversified and invested around the world in money and stock markets through an array of front companies.

The LTTE invest directly or front money for supporters as a terrorist venture capitalist, in freight forwarding, gold and jewelry shops, restaurants, magazines and video sales, stores, bus companies, telephone and computer services. At one time, the Tigers owned and operated 11 merchant ships, flying under the flags of Panama, Honduras and Liberia, repeatedly changing the name of the ships, and manifest details.

More money came from illicit sources, including, racketeering, extortion, drug smuggling, money laundering, gold smuggling, and human smuggling. The LTTE have been behind some of the largest human trafficking rings in the European Union.

Perhaps the single-most important revenue stream is a baseline tax on the 800,000-strong Tamil Diaspora, known as the Tamil Tax. They are most active in countries with large Diaspora communities, especially, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, UK, US, Scandinavia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Canadian security forces estimated that the LTTE earned $6.5 million from investments in Canada between October 1998 - October 1999. The Canadian intelligence report estimated that Tamil communities in the UK, Canada and Australia, alone, provided $1.5 million per month. In Canada, the tax began as roughly C$1/day per family, though was increased. In the UK it’s roughly £300 per year.

These facts evidently show the superiority of LTTE in the world of terrorism. That's why Sri Lanka should be proud of eradicating it with her single handed pursuit.


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