Small Wars Journal

What the Tigers Taught Al-Qaeda

What the Tigers Taught Al-Qaeda - Mia Bloom, Washington Post opinion.

It took a pitched two-hour gun battle with Sri Lankan special forces. Then a rocket launched into his armor-plated ambulance. But last Monday, death finally came to Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Tamil Tigers separatist group.

Also gone are Prabhakaran's son and heir apparent, Charles Anthony, and as many as 300 cadres. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations on the planet, has been essentially wiped out.

But the Tigers' legacy remains intact. Their perfection of suicide bombings, their recruitment of women and children, their innovation in IEDs, have been emulated by other terrorist groups worldwide, from al-Qaeda to Hezbollah. Though they considered themselves superior to jihadi terrorists -- who regularly target civilians -- the Tigers opened the door to terrorism as a strategy of liberation and resistance to an unwanted government or occupying force. And they reached a standard of deadly efficiency envied by U.S. enemies and terrorists around the globe...

More at The Washington Post.


S.Sivakumaran (not verified)

Sun, 06/06/2010 - 11:38am

Mia Blooms idiotic Lies
Mia Bloom is an American academic (currently affiliated to Pennsylvania State University), and she is a terrorism bandwagon traveler. Her op-ed piece, captioned 'What the Tigers taught Al-Qaeda appeared in the Washington Post of May 24, 2009. First, to attract publicity and funding for her career, she opted for an attractive caption linking LTTE with Al-Qaeda. This is like a cretin equating water with alcohol, based on superficial similarities. Her premise is faulty. Physically water and alcohol are liquids and their similarity ends there. Chemically, water (H2O) and alcohol (C2H5OH) have one oxygen atom, and their similarity ends there. Alcohol has two carbon atoms, which water doesnt have. I deliberately choose this example for a reason: if LTTE is like water, the Al-Qaeda is like alcohol. The two 'Cs in alcohol (i.e., Al-Qaeda) can represent (1) CIA connection, and (2) carbon (petroleum) funds. Water (i.e., LTTE) is devoid of CIA connection and carbon (petroleum) funds. Even linking LTTE with Al-Qaeda was not an original idea of Mia Bloom. This was promoted by Rohan Gunaratna, a well-known CIA conduit. As other intelligence analysts have pointed out in print and electronic media, Al-Qaeda was CIAs baby. Can anyone say that about LTTE? To promote his career, Rohan Gunaratna fabricated this LTTE-Al Qaeda 'connection. One should also not forget that LTTE never ever targeted America or Americans in its career that was longer than Al Qaeda.
Secondly, Mia Blooms despicable 'terrorism research is based on secondary or tertiary sources. Even at this, her fact-checking skills are dopey at best. In the referred article, she mentions, " a female bomber Anoja Kugenthirarasah" who attempted to assassinate Lt.Gen.Sarath Fonseka on April 25, 2006. The location where this incident was supposed to have happened was 'inside a tightly guarded army headquarters and she (initially identified as aged 21, from Vavuniya) couldnt have entered that premise without an accomplice who was working there. By July, the Sri Lankan police had switched the assassins name to another Tamil woman Manjula Devi Kanapathipillai (aged 32, from Rambukkanna; see, Breakthrough in suicide bombings probe by Rafik Jalaldeen , Daily News, Colombo, July 6, 2006) recognizing its error in original report as a 'mistaken identity. But the July 6, 2006 story failed to mention the name Anoja Kugenthirarasah, and why this name was initially released to the media. Later, even there was suspicion whether the second identity of the assassin was true or not. Subsequently, the suicide-bomber story petered out. No proper investigations were concluded. Id suggest Mia Bloom to check with President Rajapaksa and his siblings, how far investigations on the Sarath Fonseka assassination attempt of April 2006 have progressed.