NATO science programme examines origins, trends and methods of tackling suicide terrorism

  • Last updated: 20 Sep. 2010 17:06

To support one of NATO’s key priorities, combating terrorism, an Advanced Research Workshop from 23 to 26 September in Astana, Kazakhstan, will look at suicide terrorism in the theatre of war. Around 35 experts from NATO, Partner and Mediterranean Dialogue countries will examine this form of terrorism at the levels of society, the organization and the individual.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants attend a Nakba rally in the central Gaza Strip May 14, 2010. Palestinians will mark "Nakba" (Catastrophe) on May 15 to commemorate the time when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled or fled from their homes in the war that led to the founding of Israel in 1948. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

According to the 2009 Annual US State Department Report to Congress on “International Terrorism”, almost 300 of the 10 999 terrorist attacks that killed 14 971 people were perpetrated by suicide bombers.

The phenomenon will be analyzed and interpreted in an Islamic as well as Western context, as many ‘Jihad’ supporters were born and/or raised in NATO member states. Studies have shown that many suicide attacks carried out by international terrorist networks are often perpetrated by second generation Muslim immigrant men.

Participants will also closely examine the concept of ‘Jihad’, originally used to illustrate a Muslims internal and continuous struggle for peace, evolving into an ideology used to justify politically-motivated terrorist attacks against the ‘enemies of Islam’.

Experts agree that the study of jihadist suicide terrorism should be conducted in close relation with other concepts, such as:

  • achievements and limits of multiculturalism,
  • the contact and clash of civilisations,
  • the situation of Muslim immigrants in Western societies,
  • mechanisms of integration, and
  • emigration policies.

There will be 17 speakers at the event including world renowned experts from the International Security Review Journal (Morocco), the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (Israel) and the Human Security Institute (Canada).

For more information please visit www.nato.int/science (see “Calendar” for organizers’ contact details).