...The intensity and significance of the terrorist operations were skillfully concealed through a massive campaign of disinformation and deception. From Beirut to Damascus, political and spiritual leaders, including Sheikh Fadlallah, repeatedly brought up offers for compromises and promised solutions to the cyclic crises-if Paris cooperated.
...At first he asked them to safe-keep innocent, and later not so-innocent, items in their apartments. Most became ideologically committed to the cause. Those who wavered or were frightened were intimidated by being told they were already accomplices to violent bombings because they had unwittingly stored bombs or guns.
These sleepers were "wonderfully anonymous" and abundant. The members of most of these Iranian networks remained dormant. Their members continued their normal lives and were activated only when the expert bomb makers arrived and needed lodging and transportation.
...The entire bombing campaign in 1985-86 was conducted by a 10-man network, all of them included Islamists recruited from diversified walks of life. They included taxi drivers, subway peddlers, university students, a restaurant owner and a perfume company manager. The entire network and its fringe support system did not go beyond some 50-60 members, all of them Lebanese, Iranians, Algerians, Moroccans and Tunisians.
...Special attention was paid to the recruitment of taxi drivers, who could provide easy and non-descript means of transportation.
...Another recruit was a Tunisian restaurant owner, Muhammad Aissa, a hard-liner who provided a safe meeting place...Other key elements of the "sleeper" support system were providing the expert bomb planters with safe living places. PP. 236-237
..the intensity of operations was causing strains in the Iranian network. In the middle of the bombing campaign in September 1986, Bassam needed to retrieve additional explosives from a buried stockpile. Some material was also stored With Badaoui and Agnaou. However, Agnaou panicked, shocked by the carnage he saw on TV, and refused to cooperate any longer...The leadership was apprehensive about these incidents and the network's ability to continue operating safely. P. 240
The DST learned of the existence and specific locations of the cache only when Aroua volunteered the information. Though every method of search, from metal detectors to space-based sensors, was used to locate the huge cache, only the testimony of a terrorist followed by extensive manual digging by large numbers of personnel led to the ultimate discovery. Thus, the discovery of the cache in the Fontainebleau Forest confirmed that it is virtually impossible to discover concealed explosives without precise intelligence and a massive effort by security forces. PP. 243-242
...A most important component of the expected escalation of the terrorist operations in Western Europe is the placement of new high quality commanders. The new field commanders of the Islamist terrorist operation are drawn from a small and highly professional group composed of former junior officers and NCOs of Arab armies, primarily from technical service and elite units. Many of the participating Egyptians, Syrians and Iranians underwent extensive training in the commando and special forces of their countries as well as overseas. P. 250
...For back-up, logistical support and services, the terrorist groups rely on local supporters or criminals in order to limit the number of foreigners involved in the conduct of the operation. Further, the key professional elements of the terrorist operations, such as operation officers, sabotage and communications experts, must be installed in Western Europe, in the general area of their intended operation, for at least a year with a credible and clean, non-diplomatic cover, so that the local security authorities will lose interest in them while the operatives get to know their area of operation. Commanders stay in the background during the strike itself. Perpetrators arrive on the scene at the last moment.
The terrorist leaders who gathered in May 1986 pointed out that it was impossible to prepare an operation and carry it out without the active support of at least one embassy or other diplomatic institution.
...The most important recommendation on security issues was the realization that after 15 years of operational experience in Europe, the terrorist organizations had streamlined their operations and have acquired valuable experience to the point that they are basically invulnerable to conventional surveillance-wiretaps, photography and other kinds of surveillance.
It is evident that it is relatively easy and extremely inexpensive to establish a clandestine network in a Western European country. When they have the support of Syria, Libya and Iran, groups such as ASALA, Islamic Jihad, the Fatah Revolutionary Council or the Orgainization for Armed Arab Struggle encounter no particular difficulty in establishing an efficient network overseas. The Middle East states support terrorism in a constant manner and have long-term oversight.
The terrorist groups proved extremely stable, some having been active for 15 years despite attempts to penetrate and break them. However, there is no sure protection against well placed human sources, no defense against good spies. The most professional networks are those which are compartmentalized, organized into isolated cells so that no one has the entire picture. No one is then capable of identifying senior commanders, etc. Their presence should always be taken into account when establishing an operational net overseas.
...In Western Europe, Muslim communities will constitute 25% of the population by 2000. At present, Muslims constitute 7-9% of the population in England and 8-10% in France. Moreover, the Muslim emigre community, and especially the younger, European-born, generation is rapidly becoming militant Islamist. Since the mid-1980s, Iran and the HizbAllah have successfully conducted a massive recruitment drive amon these locally-born Muslim youth. Many have received advanced terrorist training in Iran. It is a formidaable threat because, by a cautious estimate, about 3%-6% of the over eight million Muslim emigres in Western Europe are actively involved in Islamist activities that border on or are outright, subversive. This means around 250,000-500,000 potential terrorists and their supporters. P. 256
...Abbas al-Mussawi emphasized that recent developments in the Middle East constituted a major factor for the escalation of such a struggle:
...Everwhere, in French, German, English, and Belgian cities, soldiers of God, sincere activists, are waiting their hour of revenge in order to move into action. It will not be Saddam who will avenge us. He is an atheist who issued his appeals for a holy war only as a ruse and in order to save his regime. But let the word of Allah resound everywhere in Europe, which has long humiliated us and held us under its yoke.
...In the summer of 1992, Tehran and Khartoum dedided that special emphasis in the Islamist international movement should be put on funding and supporting al-Jihad groups in Western Europe and the U.S. The center for European operations is in London.
...In the winter of 1991-92, the first expert terrorists of "The Islamic Tide Brigade in Europe" began arriving at their destinations. In addition to being well trained in clandestine and terrorist operations, they were specially prepared for sustained operations and the living conditions of modern Western society. Their appearances and living styles were to be totally Westernized in order to avoid attracting the attention of the local security forces.
...Beginning in early 1992, the Islamists' commitment to Jihad against the West come to be tested in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in what was formerly Yugolavia...The "Muslim Forces" include several hundred volunteers primarily from Iran, Algeria, Egypt, Sudan, Persian Gulf arab states, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria and Turkey...In early November 1992, more than 50 expert terrorists and instructors of the HizbAllah and the Tawhid (its Sunni counterpart under Sheikh Sha'ban) were sent from Baalbak to Bosnia-Herzegovina to train local cadres and launch operations on their own... Indeed, since the summer of 1992, there has been a marked escalation in provocations by the Muslim forces, the goal of which is to secure the military intervention of the West against the Serbs (and to a lesser extent, the Croats). Initially, these provocations were mainly senseless attacks on their own Muslim population. The UN concluded that a special group of Bosnian-Muslim forces, many of whom had served with Islamist terrorist organizations, committed a series of atrocities, including "some of the worst recent killings", against Muslim civilians in Sarajevo "as a propaganda ploy to win world sympathy and military intervention." P. 275-276
With so much at stake, little wonder that Iran continuously tightens its control over the Islamist international terrorist movement, ensuring that it remains an instrument of Tehran's policy. P. 292