Iran and Syria proved their basic argument in the ashes in Beirut - that international terrorism is an effective vehicle capable of delivering dramatic results that no other instrument of foreign policy could. The success of the Beirut bombings sent a surge through the ranks of the Islamists and their supporters. P. 43
Consequently, the cooperation between Iran and several terrorist organizations throughout the world entered a new phase. With Palestinian help, representatives of 28 terrorist organizations arrived in Tehran to discuss and plan how to achieve better mutual cooperation.
Soon afterwards, Tehran delivered diversified arms and ammunition worth millions of dollars to terrorist organizations all over the world. P. 47
In 1986, the new international terrorist movement was further consolidated at two conferences in Tripoli, Libya. The objectives of these conferences were to formulate the specifics of the forthcoming terrorist and revolutionary campaigns, and to finalize the responsibilities of the various participating organizations. Special attention was paid to facilitating the escalation of the terrorist campaign in Western Europe and the U.S. Several training seminars on, and demonstrations of, weapons and explosives were conducted during the conference under strict security, especially for the non-Arab and non-African delegations. These included the providing of SPETSNAZ (Soviet special forces, which utilized highly specialized weapons optimized for terrorist operations) arms and training to additional groups and organizations. P. 49
The Second International Conference of the International Center for Combating Imperialism, Zionism, Racism, Reaction, and Fascism convened in Tripoli, Libya, on March 14 - 18, 1986. Some 1,000 participants from over 300 states and organizations took part in the conference of "international revolutionary forces..."
By then, Libya had an annual budget of $100 million for the maintenance of 20 training bases in Libya and the support, training and sustaining of over 7,000 terrorists all over the world.
Syria's importance in the emerging terrorist system was also growing.
These diversified terrorist organizations became "mere pawns on the chessboard of Syrian intelligence, which is the real one pulling the strings." However, the highly proficient Syrian intelligence did its utmost not to leave its fingerprints while making full use of the large diversity of groups available for credible deniability in overseas terrorism. P. 51
Sheikh Abbas al-Mussawi was fully aware of the issue of hurting innocent people in the course of terrorist attacks and bombings and argued that they should not constitute a hindrance to the realization of a divine objective. "There are mistakes sometimes, of course, but our actions are justifiable because we are defending all Muslims in Lebanon against the United States and Israel." All victims, innocent bystanders, and Hizbollahi are parts of the Shi'ite myth of martyrdom.
The Shi'ite collective exaltation of the martyr as an emulation of the legacy of Imam Hussein is at the foundation of the HizbAllah's approach to suicide terrorism. Sheikh Fadlallah provides the clear definition for the justified and international martyrdom at the heart of suicide terrorism:
The martyr constitutes an offering to sacrifice himself for a cause worthy of struggling for. He contains the concept of sacrifice that is all the values of liberty in the world. The difference between [martyrdom and] suicide is in the goal, not in the act in itself. He who commits suicide kills himself for his own private reasons, such as a desperation with life, financial problems, or comparable reasons. If the suicide is motivated by the defense of a cause, it becomes martyrdom. Within the religious vision of martyrdom there is a political dimension. The par excellence example is that of Imam Hussein who fought far numerous enemies for the values of justice, liberty, and the truth.
Indeed, Sheikh Fadlallah asserts that one's death is determined as martyrdom on the basis of the original intentions rather than the actual cause of death. P. 63
Tehran believes that the West, especially the U.S., is still committed to the eradication of the Islamic revolutionary movement. P. 66
Unlike the Muslim Brotherhood, who believe that violence against apostates at home should precede an Jihad against the infidels, the World Islamic Popular Command decreed that Islamic terrorism should not be directed against Arab regimes or the killing of Muslims, but rather concentrate on the killing of Jews and/or Israelis who are the source of evil. P. 68
In the late 1980s, Mansuri was made Ambassador to Pakistan, a center for the export of the revolution into the U.S. He was then assured by Ali Khamenei, Iran's spiritual guide, that the apparatus he had set up to export the revolution would remain under his control and that Iranian embassies abroad would continue their work according to the programs that Mansuri had especially designed for each of them.
Indeed, Prime Minister Mir Hussein Mussavi complained on September 5 or 7, 1988 in his resignation letter to Ali Khamenei that the terrorist campaign was being run by Khamenei and Hashemi-Rafsanjani without the participation of the government.
External/Overseas operations are carried out without our knowledge and without our orders. You know how damaging the effect of this situation has been for our country. Only after an airplane is hijacked are we informed. Only when a machine gun opens fire in a Lebanese street and the sound of it echoes everywhere do we find out about the incident. Only after explosives are discovered in the possession of our pilgrims in Jiddah [Saudi Arabia] do I find out about it. Unfortunately, and in spite of the damages and harm caused by these actions to the country, such operations can take place, at any hour in the name of government.
Mussavi confirmed in his letter that these terrorist operations were being conducted under the direct command of Khamenei, and that consequently Mussavi and others are "deprived of any power in the foreign policy sphere." P. 74
Since 1988, the Iranian-controlled terrorist high command has remained fairly stable. P. 75
In mid-1985, Iran decided to markedly increase its terrorist training program. By then, there were already some 37 training bases for terrorists in Iran. The instructors for general subjects were already mainly Syrians, Libyans, and Palestinians.
Indeed, since mid-1985 Iran was increasing its specialized terrorist training program for foreigners prepared for high-risk operations overseas. Among the first to receive this training was a group of Afghan mujahideen in the Mashhad area who were transferred to a camp in the Quchan district and given intensive terrorist and clandestine work training under the command of Muhammad Ali Kolahduz. P. 79
Since the late 1980s, Tehran continued to significantly expand the training infrastructure for highly sophisticated clandestine and terrorist operations in the West. Most important is the new SAVAMA school established in 1986 at the Aqdassiah base near Tehran. It is the training site for death squads and assassination teams for the elimination of the regime's enemies overseas, mainly in Western Europe and the U.S.
The special Imam school in Shiraz, whose opening was announced by Rayshahri, specializes in espionage and counterespionage techniques aimed at helping the graduates run clandestine networks overseas. Each class has an average of 250 students, 200 of whom are members of the security-intelligence service of the IRGC. The other 50 are from Persian Gulf countries, mainly Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain who return to their home countries after completing their training...
The IRGC operatives also receive in Shiraz specialized training in foreign languages, principles of espionage and counterintelligence, code making and breaking, low intensity warfare, deep penetration into and survival behind enemy lines, and sophisticated terrorist operations such as sabotage and assassination. P. 80
In the fall of 1989, Tehran decided to further expand the high quality terrorist and guerrilla warfare training of the IRGC, and established a dedicated battalion that would specialize in such operations.
Kuwaiti, Lebanese, and Iraqi terrorists also have training bases in the Mashhad area where they are taught various subjects ranging form sophisticate sabotage techniques against oil installations to ways to strike civil aviation.
Since early 1988, there has been a surge in the Iranian preparations and training for terrorist strikes against Western civil aviation. Terrorists specially trained in surveying and preparing terrorist attacks on civil aviation (aircraft and airports) are deployed as crew members on Iran Air aircraft for flights all over the world. They also recruit airport workers or neighbors and create cells for future operations. Highly trained expert terrorist hit teams [men and women] are deployed as Iran Air stewards so that their official uniforms would enable them to move freely around the airports. They arrive unarmed on Iran Air flights and retrieve their weapons and explosives from operatives and/or caches on-site. P. 81
Tehran allocated $90 million in late 1987 for the "military enhancement" of HizbAllah that "will bring about a comprehensive change in the nature of HizbAllah's military actions in the near future..." P. 84
As part of its deniability policy, Syria tried to minimize the presence of large terrorist-related installations on its soil and instead concentrated them in the Syrian-controlled Biqaa, ostensibly Lebanese territory.
Syrian intelligence holds the Palestinians under tight control through their Damascus headquarters. When the Syrians need an overseas terrorist operation, they call in a terrorist leader and order the operation. The Palestinian will ultimately get some favors. Now the Palestinian leader pulls out some "sub-contractors" from among the foreigners in his training camps and uses them for the expendable aspect of the operation. In return, the foreign terrorist organization will receive additional weapons, false documents, and shelter. Thus, the Syrians are capable of conducting deniable operations from Damascus. Similarly, and for security reasons, some of the most sensitive Iranian operations are also conducted from Syria. P. 85
Syria has always been an ardent supporter of Palestinian terrorism. The bulk of the Palestinian terrorist organizations that joined the anti-Arafat Rejection Front maintain headquarters in the Palestinian Quarter of Damascus. P. 86
An emerging trend in Syrian direct support for international terrorism is the providing of highly specialized services, both in Syria and overseas. Terrorists sent for operations in the West go for their final preparation in Syria.
Syria also expanded its role in mediating between the USSR and the terrorists. KGB experts continue to direct, assist, and support terrorist training and operations in the as-Sayda Zaynab camp near Damascus.
Training includes basic intelligence work, small arms usage, sabotage and hand-to-hand combat. P. 87