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Global Jihad and the Tactic of Terror Abduction

A Comprehensive Review of Islamic Terrorist Organizations

Shaul Shay is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, and served as the Deputy Head of the Israeli National Security Council. Among his published books are: Islamic Terror Abductions in the Middle East, The Shahids: Islam and Suicide Attacks, Islamic Terror and the Balkans, and Somalia between Jihad and Restoration.

In recent decades, the taking of hostages has proven to be a particularly effective tactic for Islamic terrorist organizations worldwide, including al Qaeda. The 'global jihad’ movement regards citizens of foreign (mainly western) countries as prime targets for abduction, although in fact local residents have constituted the majority of kidnapping victims.

This book analyzes Islamic terror abductions over the last 30 years in the Middle East (Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia), Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and the Philippines), Africa (the Maghreb, the Sahel regions, and Somalia), and in Russia as a part of the Russian–Chechen conflict. Discussion also focuses on the abduction by Hizballah of Israeli soldiers, the ‘Second Lebanon War’ of 2006, the Mumbai terror attack (2008), the Chechen hostage crisis in Moscow and Beslan (2002 and 2004), the kidnapping of employees of the Algerian In Amenas gas facility by ‘al Qaeda of the Maghreb’ in January 2013 and the Nairobi “Westgate Mall” hostage crisis in September 2013

The role of Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism, and its patronage of terror organizations that utilize the tactic of abduction to promote Iranian interests in Lebanon and Iraq, is highlighted throughout.

Discussion focuses on the challenges faced by countries whose citizens have been abducted by Islamic terror organizations and their reactions to these challenges, and provides theoretical classifications of the phenomenon of terrorism in general and terror abduction in particular.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-611-0
Hardback Price: £50.00 / $64.95
Release Date: January 2014
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-697-4
Paperback Price: £27.50 / $39.95
Release Date: January 2015
Page Extent / Format: 256 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


Chapter 1: Terror and Abductions – Theoretical Background
Defining Terror
Defining Abduction
The Goals of Abduction
The Modus Operandi
The Timing of Abduction
Abduction: An Act of War or a Criminal Act?
The Dilemma of Hostages, POWs, and Prisoners
State Intervention in Abductions

Chapter 2: al Qaeda and Terror Abductions
al Qaeda and Abduction: The Financial Aspects
al Qaeda Abduction Manual
Reasons for detaining one or more enemy individuals
Requirements needed to form a kidnapping group
Types of kidnapping
Stages of public abduction
Security measures for public abduction
Stages of secret kidnapping
Security measures for secret kidnapping
How to deal with hostages in both kidnapping types
al Qaeda and the Use of Terror Abduction (2003–12)

Chapter 3: Iran and Terror Abductions
Iran's Use of Terror
The Iranian Terror System
The Islamic Revolution in Iran
The Crisis at the American Embassy in Tehran
The attack on the embassy (November 1979)
The rescue (Operation Eagle Claw)
The end of the crisis
Iranian Involvement in Terror Abductions in Iraq
The abduction of five Britons in Baghdad (May 2007)
Iranian capture of three British ships and crews (June 2004)
Iranian capture of two British ships and sailors (March 2007)
Iran's abduction of three American hikers (July 2010)
The kidnap and arrest of the hikers
The trial
The mediators
The release

Chapter 4: Hizballah and Terror Abductions in Lebanon
Hizballah Abductions Against Israel
The abduction of two IDF soldiers in Lebanon (February 1986)
The Ron Arad affair (October 1986)
"Operation Poplar's Whistle" (the Israeli SEALs' debacle) (September 1997)
The abduction of three IDF soldiers from Mount Dov (October 2000)
Hizballah abduction attempt at Rajar (November 2005)
The attacks
The abduction attempt
The Israeli response
The abduction of two IDF soldiers: The second Lebanon war (July 2006)
Hizballah's demands and Nasrallah's speech
Israel's response to the attack
Lebanese and international responses
UN resolution 1701
The Winograd Commission (April 2007)
Israel's Efforts to Obtain the Release of IDF Soldiers Held by Hizballah
The abduction of Sheikh Abd al Karim Obeid (July 1989)
Iranian and Hizballah attempts to release Sheikh Obeid
The abduction of Mustafa Dirani (May 1994)
The aftermath
Reciprocal Links Between Hamas and Hizballah Abductions
Israeli Policy Regarding POWs and Hostages
The Abduction of Foreign Nationals in Lebanon (1984–91)
Imad Muraniya and the attack mechanism
The United States
The abduction of William Buckley (March 1984)
The "Irangate" affair (September 1985)
The hijack to Lebanon of TWA flight 847 (June 1986)
The abduction of Colonel William Higgins (February 1988)
International Response
The end of the western hostages' affair in Lebanon
Links between foreign hostage abductions and Israel

Chapter 5: Terror Abductions in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India
Abductions in Afghanistan
Abduction of foreigners
The abduction of twenty-three South Korean missionaries (July 2007)
The kidnapping
The negotiations
The release
The first American soldier abducted in Afghanistan (June 2009)
The Taliban claims responsibility
The American response
Videos released by the Taliban
The abduction of two American soldiers (July 2010)
The abduction
The Taliban demands
The NATO response
The recovery of the two bodies
Abductions in 2010
French hostages in Afghanistan
Taliban prisoners escape from Afghan jails
Taliban abductions
Armed attacks on Afghan jails
Abductions in Pakistan
The abduction of Tariq Azizuddin, Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan (February 2008)
The abduction of John Solecki, head of Balochistan UNHCR (February 2009)
The abduction and murder of Daniel Pearl (January 2002)
The Pakistani Taliban abduct a Swiss couple (July 2011)
The TTP claim responsibility
The Swiss response
The release
The Aafia Siddiqui affair (December 2002)
The Bagram myth
Calls for the release of Siddiqui
An American aid worker abducted in Pakistan (August 2011)
The abduction
American-Pakistani relations
India and the Islamic Terror Threat
The abduction of Rubaiya Sayeed (December 1989)
The hijack of Indian Airlines flight 814 (December 1999)
The demands of the hijackers
The Mumbai terror attacks (November 2008)
The attacks
The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower and Oberoi Trident hotels
Nariman House
The captured terrorist, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab
The American-Pakistani terrorist, David Headley
Headley and Lashkar-e-Taiba
The arrest of Headley

Chapter 6: Terror Abductions and Decapitations in Iraq
Fallujah as a Hostage Center
The Coalitions' Approach to the Hostage Issue in Iraq
The Abduction of US Soldiers in Iraq
Plots to Kidnap US Soldiers in Iraq
Abduction and Massacre in a Baghdad Catholic Church (October 2010)
The rescue operation
An al Qaeda-affiliated group takes responsibility
New threats to the Iraqi and Egyptian Coptic churches
Abductions, Decapitations, and the Media
The Tradition of Decapitation in Islam
Abduction and Decapitation in Iraq from the Religious Aspect

Chapter 7: Terror Abductions in Saudi Arabia
The Siege of the Grand Mosque in Mecca
Juhayman ibn Muhammad ibn Sayf al Otaibi
Juhayman and the Mahdi
The takeover of the Grand Mosque (November 1979)
The siege
The Shiite rebellion in east Saudi Arabia
The American response
The American embassy crisis in Pakistan (November 1979)
The Iranian response
The response from the Muslim world
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (December 1979)
The assassination of Anwar Sadat (October 1981)
The assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II (May 1981)
Juhayman's movement and al Qaeda in Iraq and Jordan
The Abduction and Murder of Paul Marshall Johnson (June 2004)
The response of Saudi Arabia
The al Khobar Massacre (May 2004)
The al Khobar petroleum center
The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation building
The Oasis-3 compound
The rescue operation
Saudi Arabian Security Forces Free Two German Girls Kidnapped in Yemen (May 2010)
al Qaeda in Yemen Urge Kidnappings of Saudi Royals and Christians (June 2010)
The US embassy in Saudi Arabia issues a kidnapping warning to its citizens
A Saudi Diplomat Kidnapped in Yemen (March 2012)

Chapter 8: Terror Abductions in Yemen
Yemen and Islamic Terror
The Abduction of Foreign Residents in Yemen
The Arrest of the "British" Terror Network in Yemen (December 1998)
The Abduction of Foreign Tourists (December 1998)
Three French Aid Workers Abducted in Yemen (July 2011)
The French response
The release
Yemen and the "Arab Spring"

Chapter 9: The "Arab Spring" and Terror Abductions in Syria and Lebanon
The Abduction of Foreign Nationals in Syria
The abduction and release of Iranian pilgrims (August 2012)
The release of the hostages
The abduction of two Russians and an Italian (December 2012)
The abduction of a Ukrainian journalist (October 2012)
The abduction and release of UN peacekeepers (March 2013)
The release
The abduction and release of US journalists (December 2012)
Abductions and Beheadings in Syria
The "Spillover" of Terror Abductions from Syria to Lebanon
The abduction of eleven Lebanese pilgrims (May 2012)
The abduction of Hassan Salim al Miqdad (August 2012)
The abduction of twenty Syrians in Lebanon (August 2012)

Chapter 10: Terror Abductions in the Philippines
The Abu Sayyaf Terror Organization
US Involvement in Counter-terror Operations in the Philippines
Examples of ASG Abductions
The Sipadan kidnapping (May 2000)
The abduction and release of American Jeffrey Schilling (August 2000)
The Dos Palmas abductions (May 2001)
The abduction of three aid workers (January 2009)
The abduction of Australian Warren Richard Rodwell (December 2012)
The Australian response
The Philippine response
The abduction of Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani (June 2012)
List of ASG Terror Abductions

Chapter 11: al Qaeda and Terror Abductions in the Maghreb
GSPC and AQIM Abductions (2000–08)
The abductions of 2009
The abductions of 2010–11
The In-Amenas Hostage Crisis in Algeria (January 2013)
The target: In-Amenas gas field
The militants: The "Masked Brigade"
Mokhtar Belmokhtar
The Algerian response
The response of the United States
United Kingdom
Criminal and Terrorist Cooperation in Abductions

Chapter 12: Terror Abductions in the Horn of Africa
Terror Abductions in Somalia
French security advisors abducted in Somalia (July 2009)
The French rescue operation (January 2013)
The Abduction of Foreign Nationals from Kenya
British woman abducted in Kenya (September 2011)
The kidnapping
The response of al Qaeda–affiliated organizations
The response of the Kenyan authorities
The Somali response
The British response
The release
The abduction of a British couple from their yacht (October 2009)
Disabled French woman abducted in Kenya (October 2011)
The abduction
The Kenyan response
The French response
The death of the hostage
The Abduction of two Spanish aid workers (October 2011)
The abduction
The Kenyan armed forces offensive into Somalia (October 2011)
Piracy and Terror in the Gulf of Aden
Piracy in the Gulf of Aden
al Qaeda and the maritime jihad
Counter-piracy and Counter-terrorism

Chapter 13: Islamic Terror Abductions in the Russia-Chechnya Conflict
The Budyonnovsk Hospital Hostage Crisis (June 1995)
The hostage crisis
Resolution of the crisis
The Kizlyar-Pervomayskoye Hostage Crisis (January 1996)
The Kizlyar airbase raid
The Chechen terrorists' breakout
The hijack of a Turkish ferry
The Moscow Theater Hostage Crisis (October 2002)
The rescue operation
The Beslan School Hostage Crisis (September 2004)
Day one
The beginning of the siege
Day two
Day three
The assault by Russian forces
The identity of the hostage-takers, motives, and responsibility
The hostage-takers
The captured terrorist's interrogation and trial
Soviet Union and Russian Counter-abduction Doctrine

Chapter 14: Summary and Conclusions
Points of Emphasis and Lessons to be Drawn


Select Bibliography

The central focus of this work is on terrorist organizations and the use of the strategy of abduction in Middle Eastern, Asian, African, and Russian countries. It studies primarily Islamic terrorist organizations such as the Lebanese Hizballah organization, the Palestinian Hamas movement, and the Abu Sayyaf Group in the Philippines, who utilize kidnapping as a strategy to collect ransom and to promote the goals of their organizations and patrons. The book lays the foundation by explaining the theoretical backgrounds of this phenomenon, before launching into a series of chapters and subchapters organized first by country and then chronologically.

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