Strong Hand Urged in Fight Against International Terrorism
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Strong Hand Urged in Fight Against International Terrorism

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Terrorism expert Michael Ledeen told the international affairs committee of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith Wednesday that the solution to international terrorism is quite simple: kill or be killed.

“In terrorism, either they’re going to kill you or you’re going to kill them and it’s not much more complicated than that,” Ledeen said at the opening of ADL’s National Commission meeting in New York. Ledeen, Senior Fellow for International Affairs at the Georgetown Center for Strategic Studies, advocated an official U.S. policy which would single out individual terrorists for assassination to combat terrorism.

His suggestion that the government repeal laws prohibiting officially sanctioned assassinations provoked some ADL members who spoke out strongly against Ledee’s approach.


Ledeen said killing the terrorists before “they kill us,” is in his opinion, “a more moral approach than dropping bombs on Tripoli and Benghazi.”

A second obstacle to Americans’ battle against terrorism is the lack of reliable intelligence on terrorists. Because terrorists are the only people who can give you accurate information on this topic, Ledeen said, the government has two choices: infiltrate terrorist organizations or recruit terrorists already in them.

“Our intelligence on terrorism is not nearly as good as it should be,” he said. “We do not have a realistic approach to the problem because of laws (against assassination) and a lack of understanding.”

Terrorism also serves the interests of the Soviet Union, a patron of many of the most devastating terrorist groups, although the terrorists’ objectives are of little importance to the Soviets, he said.

Neither Syria or Libya, the two heavy hitters of state-sponsored terrorism, want to see the Palestinians establish a homeland according to Ledeen. But nevertheless, they give moral and physical support to Palestinian terrorists.

“They are supporting terrorism for national political reasons” Ledeen said. “Qaddafi believes he is sent by Allah to avenge the Crusades,” Ledeen said citing the ###yan leader’s manifesto of Islamic terrorism, the green book published in Libya in the 70s.

“The greatest myth of terrorism is that you cannot eliminate terrorism unless you eliminate the root cause,” Ledeen said.

The Western world and especially the media too often, he said, give terrorists credit for acting out of ideological motives and portrays them as poor, oppressed, miserable people driven by desperation to make their lives better.

This image is false, he said. He also faulted the Western media for playing into the terrorists’ hands. and interfering with official efforts to fight terrorism. The ADL conference continues until June 8 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York.

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