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Abu Sayyaf:
Abu Sayyaf, meaning "Bearer of the Sword”, is the smaller of the two Islamist groups whose goal is to establish an Iranian-style Islamic state in Mindanao in the Southern Philippines. 

In 1991, the group split from the Moro National Liberation Front. With ties to to numerous Islamic fundamentalist groups, they finance their operations through kidnapping for ransom, extortion, piracy, and other criminal acts. It is also thought that they receive funding from al Qaeda. It is estimated that there are between 200 and 500 Abu Sayyaf terrorists, mostly recruited from high schools and colleges.

 

acid bombs:
Crude bomb made by combining muratic acid with aluminum strips in a 2-liter soda bottle. It is made from ingredients easily available.

 

aerosol:
A fine mist or spray, which contains minute particles.

 

aflatoxin:
Toxin created by bacteria that grow on stored foods,especially on rice, peanuts, and cotton seeds.

 

Afghanistan:
At the time of September 11, 2001, Afghanistan was governed by the Taliban and Osama bin Laden called it home. Amid U.S. air strikes, which began on October 7, 2001, the U.S. sent in more than $300 million in humanitarian aide. In December, 2001, Afghanistan reopened their embassy for the first time in more than 20 years.


agroterrorism:
Terrorist attacks which affect the food supply by destroying crops. Generally, such attacks use animal diseases (i.e., anthrax), natural pests (i.e. the potato beetle), molds or other plant diseases, or defoliation agents (i.e., Agent Orange).


Air Force One:
Any airplane that carries the President of the United States.

 

air marshal:
A federal marshal whose purpose is to ride commercial flights, dressed in plain clothes and armed to prevent hijackings. Israel's use of air marshals on El-Al is credited as the reason Israel has not had a single hijacking in 31 years. The US started using air marshals after September 11. Despite President Bush's urgings, there are not enough air marshals to go around, so many flights do not have them. Also known as sky marshals.

 

airborne:
Carried by or through the air.


al-Futuwa
Palestinian Arab militant group in 1948.

 

al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (The Islamic Group, IG):
Islamic which emerged spontaneously during the 1970's in Egyptian jails and later in Egyptian universities. After President Sadat released most of the Islamic prisoners from prisons in 1971, groups of militants organized themselves in groups and cells, and al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya was one of them.

 

al Jazeera:
Satellite television station based in Qatar and broadcast throughout the Middle East.al Jazeera has often been called the "CNN of the Arab world.


al-Najada
Palestinian Arab militant group in 1948.

 

al Qaeda:
"The Base." An international terrorist group founded in approximately 1989 and dedicated to opposing non-Islamic governments with force and violence. One of the principal goals of Al Qaeda was to drive the United States armed forces out of the Saudi Arabian peninsula and Somalia by violence. Currently wanted for several terrorist attacks, including those on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania as well as the first and second World Trade Center bombings, the attack on the Pentagon.

 

al Qaida:
"The Base." An international terrorist group founded in approximately 1989 and dedicated to opposing non-Islamic governments with force and violence. One of the principal goals of Al Qaeda was to drive the United States armed forces out of the Saudi Arabian peninsula and Somalia by violence. Currently wanted for several terrorist attacks, including those on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania as well as the first and second World Trade Center bombings, the attack on the Pentagon.

 

al Tahwid:
Palestinian group based in London which professes a desire to destroy both Israel and the Jewish people throughout Europe. Eleven al Tahwid were arrested in Germany allegedly as they were about to begin attacking that country.

 

alpha radiation:
The least penetrating type of nuclear radiation. Not considered dangerous unless particles enter the body.

 

American Airlines Flight 11:
Boeing 767 carrying 81 passengers, 9 flight attendants, and 2 pilots, which was highjacked and crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center at 8:45 a.m. Eastern Time on September 11, 2001. Flight 11 was en route to Los Angeles from Boston.

 

American Airlines Flight 77:
Boeing 757 carrying 58 passengers, 4 flight attendants, and 2 pilots, which was highjacked and crashed into the Pentagon at 9:40 a.m. Eastern Time on September 11, 2001. Flight was en route to Los Angeles from Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

 

ammonium nitrate-fuel oil:
A powerful explosive made by mixing fertilizer and fuel oil. The type of bomb used in the first World Trade Center attack as well as Oklahoma City bombing.

 

ANFO:
A powerful explosive made by mixing fertilizer and fuel oil. The type of bomb used in the first World Trade Center attack as well as Oklahoma City bombing.

 

anthrax:
Often fatal infectious disease contracted from animals. Anthrax spores have such a long survival period; the incubation period is short; disability is severe. All this combine to make anthrax a bioweapon developed by several nations.

 

antiballistic missile:
Missile used specifically for intercepting ballistic missiles.

 

antidote:
A remedy to counteract the effects of poison.

 

antigen:
A substance which stimulates an immune response by the body. The immune system recognizes such substances as foreign and produces antibodies to fight them.

 

antitoxin:
An antibody which neutralizes a biological toxin.

 

Armed Islamic Group (GIA):
Algerian Islamic extremist group which aims to overthrow the secular regime in Algeria and replace it with an Islamic state. The GIA began its violent activities in early 1992 after Algiers voided the victory of the largest Islamic party, Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), in the December 1991 legislative elections.

 

assassination:
Murder of leadership figures or other prominent people for political purposes.

 

asymmetric threat:
The use of crude or low-tech methods to attack a superior or more high-tech enemy.

 

Axis of Evil:
Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as mentioned by President G.W. Bush during his State of the Union speech in 2002 as nations which were a threat to U.S. security due to harboring terrorism.

© Michelle Anderson 2001-2016