Saturday, April 16, 2005

Dr. Neil Livingston and the James Bond Fantasy World (Livingston's Brain Seems Shaken Not Stired)

The World Today - 'Lone wolves' also a terror threat: "'Lone wolves' also a terror threat PRINT FRIENDLY EMAIL STORY
The World Today - Monday, 24 February , 2003 00:00:00
Reporter: Nick Grimm
JOHN HIGHFIELD: There's a growing apprehension today that a US-led war in Iraq will actually increase the threat of terrorism. Renowned right-wing American commentators like Pat Buchanan are talking up the threat of imperialism being the root causes of terrorism.

And even the FBI has issued a warning that much danger exists from lone terrorists; those without links to Al Qaeda and other big organisations. The Confidential Intelligence Bulletin released by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation last week has been leaked to the New York Times over the weekend.

It warns law enforcement officials to be on guard for what it terms 'Lone Wolves'. And as Nick Grimm reports, it cites home-grown, not foreign terrorists, as the example.

NICK GRIMM: As their name suggests, lone wolves are out for themselves. Beyond that characteristic, they may have very little in common.

NEIL LIVINGSTONE: We've been worried about ‘lone wolves’ well before 9/11.

NICK GRIMM: In fact, in the struggle to classify ‘lone wolves’, security experts like Neil Livingstone are obliged to reach for cinematic references.

NEIL LIVINGSTONE: What we began to see in the mid-1990s were a variety of lone wolf terrorists that seemed to operate almost like in the James Bond movies where you had this organisation, SHMERSH, that played off the East against the West.

[audio excerpt, Bond film]

BOND: Do you expect me to talk?

SHMERSH AGENT: No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die.

NICK GRIMM: The author of nine books on terrorism, Neil Livingstone is the Chairman of the International Risk Management firm, Global Options. He says that while some ‘lone wolves’ are just plain mad, others take a far more calculated approach to terror.

[audio excerpt, Bond film]

SPECTRE AGENT: I'm a member of SPECTRE.

BOND: SPECTRE?

SPECTRE AGENT: SPECTRE. Special Execuctive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, Extortion.

NEIL LIVINGSTONE: We have a grey area, where a lot of people who are living on the fringes of major societies offer their talents and their capabilities to various terrorist organisations as mercenaries, and then add to that in addition, the kinds of people that might be reactive, or that they would become emotionally wrought over some type of particular action in the world that decide to take some type of violent action on their own.

NICK GRIMM: The FBI has warned in a classified intelligence bulletin that the United States will face an increased threat of attack from the so-called ‘lone wolves’ should it invade Iraq. That threat will be posed from individuals who may not in fact be associated with groups like Al Qaeda, but sympathise with their goals.

And the threat posed from angry individuals cannot be under-estimated. In the past, angry individuals have killed hundreds. Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh, who did have accomplices, is now regarded as a classic ‘lone wolf’.

Dr. Neil Livingston again.

NEIL LIVINGSTONE: Timothy McVeigh, we believe at this point, was a ‘lone wolf’, and yes, he would be an illustration of someone who was very wrought up. [In his] anger against the Federal Government, [he] decided to take matters into his own hands, went out and acquired the bomb-making materials ands so on that were necessary to carry out an attack, picked a target, and then enlisted in that process two other individuals to assist him.

NICK GRIMM: Typically, what's the profile of a ‘lone wolf’?

NEIL LIVINGSTONE: Well, a ‘lone wolf’ is someone in the past that we've seen that might be equivalent to Ramsey Yusef, the alleged mastermind of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre.

He appeared to be someone who's in the business for thrills or as a mercenary, but not someone who shared the deep religious convictions that the other conspirators did. So, it's someone who takes some other kind of either pleasure, remuneration or thrill factor from the work they're doing.

NICK GRIMM: Could it just be that's somebody who's just mentally disturbed?

NEIL LIVINGSTONE: Certainly it could be someone who's mentally disturbed, and some terrorists tend to be psychopaths or even sociopaths, but generally those kinds of people don't escape notice for very long.

They're usually not very effective terrorists, so we don't worry as much about the mentally disturbed person as we do someone who is careful and calculating and cunning, and who is able to blend into a society until they want to carry out some type of attack.

JOHN HIGHFIELD: Dr Neil Livingstone was formerly with the Washington-based Institute on Terrorism and Sub-national Conflict, a specialist there. These days he heads the firm, the International Risk Management Firm, of Global Options. Nick Grimm with that report."