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‘Filling the Moral Vacuum’
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A Special Freedom Report
The continuing search for answers

Assigning “religious motives” for terrorism leads only to a dead end in understanding, and thus in potential solutions. What is really capable of driving human beings to commit inhuman and heinous acts of murder and suicide?

International news continues to focus on terrorism, and Western response to it, following the anniversary of September 11, 2001. As time goes, more information is made available about the terrorism network and its mode of operation.

The attribution of the terrorist attack in September to “fanatic Muslims” and lurid publicity of Osama bin Laden’s statements led to the easy conclusion that motives for the attack were “religious.”

After all, the murderers themselves project their motives and actions as a “religious war” — “Jihad.” And the terrorists profess to be followers of Islam.

While sharp differences in belief have been known to foment violence, history has repeatedly shown other factors — chiefly political and economic — to be intrinsic in the motives for conflict. Laying the cause at the feet of religion is far too simplistic.

And whatever the motivations, terrorists are achieving unprecedented levels of malice and violence.

What has been missed in the current terrorist equation?

"What the brain is to the body"

While the international spotlight since September 11 has focused on personalities like Osama bin Laden, information now coming to light helps to explain how terrorists are created, clarifying their metamorphosis from zealot — into violent, seemingly inhuman killers.

A probe of the infrastructure of al-Qa’eda behind bin Laden brings one to the threshold of an understanding.

News accounts have depicted surgeon Ayman al-Zawahirias, bin Laden’s right-hand man and personal doctor. The facts, however, reveal him to be more.

Al-Zawahiri’s terrorist history is, in fact, far more formidable and extensive than bin Laden’s. According to Dia’a Rashwan, an Egyptian expert on militants, al-Zawahiri’s name “came up in virtually every case [of terrorism] involving Muslim groups since the 1970s.”*1

It was al-Zawahiri, trained in Cairo, who convinced bin Laden to establish al-Qa’eda*2, thereby providing “The Base” for training, supply and operations of militants from Egypt and elsewhere.

Attorney Montasser El Zayat, a former friend of al-Zawahiri’s who represented him in Egyptian courts, said that al-Zawahiri is to bin Laden “what the brain is to the body.”*3 According to El Zayat, al-Zawahiri “was able to reshape bin Laden’s thinking and mentality and turn him from merely a supporter of the Afghan Jihad [against the Soviet Union] to a believer in and export[er] of the Jihad’s ideology.”*4

The exact methods utilized by al-Zawahiri to influence bin Laden are as yet unknown, but more than one source has reported that the doctor is also a psychiatrist. Thus, it is not surprising that bin Laden has been known to be taking psychiatric drugs ("anti-anxiety pills")*5.

Al-Zawahiri has also consistently advocated that violence was “purifying” and should be utilized against the “enemies” of Islam.*6 Foremost among these enemies, he said, were Jews and Americans, and he called for “stepping up the jihad action to harm the U.S. and Jewish interests.”

Over time, it is obvious that bin Laden came to share his doctor’s view.

Refined Techniques of Mind Control

Al-Qa’eda and the Taliban perpetuated and encouraged genocidal crimes against the native Afghans.
“While political terrorism has captured the general attention for an adequate time, almost nothing has been publicized about the way doctors use their knowledge and skills to support it,” wrote Gordon Thomas, veteran foreign affairs correspondent and author, in his book, Journey into Madness.

“Nothing among what I have researched previously could prepare me for the dark reality of doctors who deliberately aim at the destruction of minds and bodies which they were trained to cure,” wrote Thomas, author of more than 20 books and a former producer for the BBC.

More specifically, as Thomas makes clear, psychosurgeons and psychiatrists as well as psychologists are the people who have put themselves to the service of terrorism, whether it is about politics, religion or terrorism for terror’s sake.

The degree to which psychiatric methods have permeated and shaped today’s terrorist networks, however, is only now beginning to come to light — along with the extent to which political and ethnic agendas have motivated “religious” conflicts.

As a closer examination of the terrorist network reveals, psychiatrists like Ayman al-Zawahiri use the tools of their trade to alter human behaviour — predominantly with drugs and psychological conditioning.

These techniques have been in use for decades. In 1984, psychiatrist and terrorist Aziz al-Abub, a member of the Iranian-based terrorist group, Hizballah, ruthlessly tortured the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s Beirut station chief, Bill Buckley, for 444 days, finally killing him. Aziz al-Abub, also known as Ibrahim al-Nadhir, injected Buckley with drugs on a daily basis, thoroughly breaking him down, until, as author Gordon described it, he “was close to a gibbering wreck. His words were often incoherent; he slobbered and drooled; and, most unnerving of all, he would suddenly scream in terror, his eyes rolling helplessly and his body shaking.”

Abub’s torture of Buckley demonstrated to what degree, nearly 20 years ago, terror masters were in command of — and willing to use — techniques capable of thoroughly altering a person’s behaviour or destroying his sanity.

Then there is top al-Qa’eda motivational leader and trainer, Egyptian psychologist and army officer Ali A. Mohamed. Throughout the late 1980s and the 1990s he instructed recruits in how to build bombs, blow up buildings, communicate in code, masquerade as “normal” Americans, and (in his words) “create cell structures that could be used for operations.”

Those Mohamed indoctrinated were responsible for some of al-Qa’eda’s most notorious operations, including the 1990 assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. (Mohamed is today waiting sentencing in New York after pleading guilty for his role in the 1998 American embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people and injured thousands more.)

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