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Thread: The Changing Nature of State Sponsorship of Terrorism

  1. #1
    Council Member
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    Oct 2005

    Default The Changing Nature of State Sponsorship of Terrorism

    Brookings Institution, May 08: The Changing Nature of State Sponsorship of Terrorism
    ....These new state sponsors are actually more dangerous to the United States and its interests than the remaining traditional state sponsors, because some of them are tied to Sunni jihadist groups such as al-Qa‘ida— currently the greatest terrorist threat facing the United States. The nightmare of a terrorist group acquiring nuclear weapons is far more likely to involve Pakistan than it is Iran or North Korea.

    The new state sponsors can also be harder to deal with than the old ones, not least because they often have a more complicated relationship with terrorists. In many cases, the government in question does not actively train or arm the terrorist group, but rather lets it act with relative impunity— an approach that, in practice, allows the government to claim ignorance or incapacity. Thus it can be hard to distinguish between Yemen’s willful inaction and cases like Jordan, where terrorist cells also operate but do so despite a fierce regime counterterrorism campaign. Many of the new sponsors are also U.S. allies. And some cooperate, albeit fitfully, with the U.S. war on terrorism even as they surreptitiously allow terrorists to operate from their soil.

    Because of this complexity, the answer to the problem does not lie only in updating the State Department’s state sponsorship list to reflect current relationships— swapping out Cuba for Venezuela, say, or replacing North Korea with Pakistan. The very concept of a binary list, with countries either on it or off, is flawed and often does more harm to U.S. interests than good. Once a country is listed it is hard to remove even if it does not support terrorism (as Sudan has found out),and the list provides little incentive for partial or incomplete counterterrorism cooperation (which is all several countries are realistically likely to give).....

  2. #2
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Hiding from the Dreaded Burrito Gang

    Default Just to pour fuel on the embers

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- An international smuggling ring may have secretly shared blueprints for an advanced nuclear weapon with Iran, North Korea and other rogue countries, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

    The now-defunct ring led by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan is previously known to have sold bomb-related parts to Libya, Iran and North Korea. A draft report by former top U.N. arms inspector David Albright says the smugglers also acquired designs for building a more sophisticated compact nuclear device that could be fitted on a type of ballistic missile used by Iran and other developing countries, according to the Post.

    The drawings were discovered in 2006 on computers owned by Swiss businessmen; they were recently destroyed by the Swiss government under the supervision of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency to keep them out of terrorists' hands. But U.N. officials said they couldn't rule out that the material already had been shared.


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