Sutli bombs: To stay off radar, terror has gone from conventional to unconventional
New Delhi, Dec 29: A decade ago, following every terror act, investigators would look into the signature of the attack. Terror groups had an unwritten handbook and going by the composition of the bomb and the manner in which it had been triggered would give a general idea as to which group was behind it.
However outfits such as the Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State changed that with the use of unconventional weapons. There was a debate on the social media after the National Investigation Agency busted a module which was said to be inspired by the Islamic State.
The NIA shared images of the seizures and among the material seized were also sutli bombs. This had in fact generated a debate and even former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti had said that conclusions cannot be drawn after seizing such items.
The sulti bomb may not be a conventional weapon of choice. However terror groups these days have been experimenting with various items in a bid to create fear and panic. In today's world of terror, even a rope can be a weapon of choice. Groups such as the ISIS and Al-Qaeda have demonstrated how unconventional weapons can be used in acts of terror.
When the vehicles were used as a weapon of choice by the Hamas in Palestine, it came as a surprise to the world. A vehicle which was not considered to be a conventional weapon became a favourite for terror groups especially the Islamic State. The vehicle was used in terror attacks at Glasgow, Barcelona, France, London and also America.
What these incidents tell us is that terrorists are moving away from the conventional weapons of terror such as the gun or the bomb. A vehicle is a simple but a deadly choice of weapon. It is never on the radar and any person can create havoc by mowing down people in large numbers. It does give that element of surprise which has been a nightmare for security agencies to deal with.
Several security experts tell OneIndia that the intention is to carry out the act of terror without coming under the radar. There is no convention where these things are concerned any longer, the officer also explained.
The 2015 propaganda:
In 2015, al-Qaeda called on jihadists to attack with trucks. In a lengthy article that was written in its propaganda magazine, Inspire, it termed the truck as the 'ultimate mowing machine'. The article said "Pick up the truck not to mow grass, but mow down the enemies".
The other call was made by the Islamic State. In a statement released by Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, a leader of the group, said, "If you are unable to find an IED or a bullet, run your enemy over with a car".
In a more recent message, it once again called for the use of cars. The message read, "There are cars available and targets ready to kill. Kill them, spit on their faces and run them over with your cars."
These messages clearly suggest that terrorist groups are going beyond the conventional weapon. The weapons is no longer important. It is more important that the so called infidel is killed. Adnani not only speaks about cars in his message. He even says poison, rocks and knives can be weapons of choice.
Further he also says that it is fine if you push your enemy down from a high place. The message from Adnani reads, "If you are unable to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies.
Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him." The basic idea is to ensure that the terror spree continues.
Terrorist groups are going to use the more unconventional method to strike in the days to come. The intent is just one and that is to create panic and fear and for them the manner in which it is done is no longer important.