Saturday, February 16, 2008

Terrorism: Homeland Security - warns of copy cat LTTE terror tactics

Citing the LTTE suicide attack at the Colombo railway station on the 3rd of this month the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has warned of such tactics that can be adapted by other terrorist movements and reminded law-enforcement officials of the increased use of female suicide bombers disguised as pregnant woman.

They warn that women terrorists might hide explosives in devices "that mimic the look of a pregnant woman" The NBC News has obtained an unclassified DHS threat assessment released recently which shows photographs of "pregnancy prosthetics," hollowed-out devices that could hold explosive devices. The report says "female suicide bombers have used devices that make them appear pregnant to hide explosive devices."

The DHS report has said that terrorists are using female bombers more frequently, in part because these attacks generate "more widespread media exposure". Terrorists judge this tactic as effective in thwarting security measures, the threat assessment report states.

The report ticks off several recent attacks by women bombers in Iraq and Sri Lanka, and the recruitment of female suicide bombers in Chechnya, India, Pakistan, the Palestinian territories and Turkey. Why the increase in women bombers?

"DHS and the FBI assess that female suicide bombers may have an advantage over their male counterparts in accessing targets. The means to conduct a suicide attack vary widely, but a key element in maximizing the lethality of a suicide bombing is the bomber's ability to get close to the target," the report states. "Female suicide bombers may carry explosives devices in a backpack, briefcase, or purse, or hidden in an article of clothing worn close to the body, such as a vest, belt, long socks, or jacket.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS), commonly known in the United States as 'Homeland Security' is a Cabinet Department of the Federal Government of the United States with the responsibility of protecting the territory of the United States from terrorist attacks and responding to natural disasters.

Courtesy: Government Information Department