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Paris attacks: terrifyingly fatal layers of resources and tactics

No-phobia-here

Bomb methods, internet use and boxes of phones logistically aided the Paris massacres

Investigators found crates’ worth of disposable cellphones, used and discarded after being meticulously scoured of email data. All around Paris, they found traces of consistent and improved bomb-making materials. And they began sketching in the details of a multilayered terrorist attack that evaded detection or prevention until much too late.

In the immediate aftermath of the Paris terror attacks on November 13th, French investigators came face to face with the reality that they had missed the signs that the Islamic State was able to mount large and sophisticated international terrorist strikes.

Now, the arrest on Friday of Salah Abdeslam, the man investigators believe was the attacks’ logistics chief, offers a crucial opportunity to address the many unanswered questions surrounding how they were planned. Abdeslam, who was transferred on Saturday from a hospital to the Belgian federal police headquarters for questioning, is believed to be the only direct participant in the attacks who is still alive.

Much of what the authorities know is in a 55-page report compiled in the weeks after the attack by the French anti-terrorism police, presented privately to France’s interior ministry; a copy was recently obtained by the New York Times. While much about the Paris attacks has been learned from witnesses and others, the report has helped investigators in recent months come to a deeper understanding of the sophisticated nature of the attacks.

Weaknesses exploited

Investigators have come to realise that the Paris attackers, sent by the Islamic State’s external operations wing, were well-versed in a range of terrorism tactics – like suicide vests, gunmen in various locations and hostage-taking – to hamper the police response, the report shows. They have exploited weaknesses in Europe’s border controls to slip in and out undetected, and worked with a high-quality forger in Belgium to acquire false documents.

The scale of the network that supported the attacks, which took 130 lives and wounded 813 people, has also surprised officials, as President François Hollande of France acknowledged on Friday. There are now 20 people in detention in six countries on suspicion of assisting the attackers.

French officials have repeatedly warned citizens that more attacks are possible, saying security and intelligence officials cannot track all the Europeans travelling to and from Islamic State strongholds in Syria and Iraq. And western intelligence officials say their working assumption is that additional Islamic State terrorism networks are already in Europe, with more being formed.

The French police report, together with hundreds of pages of interrogation and court records, suggest there are lingering questions about how many others were involved in the terrorist group’s network, how many bomb-makers were trained and sent from Syria, and the precise encryption and security procedures that allowed the attackers to evade detection during the three months they lay in wait before deploying to Paris.

The documents and interviews with officials show the arc of the Islamic State’s growth from a group that was widely viewed as incapable of carrying out large-scale terror attacks. And they suggest that nearly two years of previous , failed attacks overseen by the leader of the Paris assault,Abdelhamid Abaaoud, served both as test runs and initial shots in a new wave of attacks the Islamic State leaders have called for in western Europe and Britain.

Night of carnage

Diners first saw the young man pacing back and forth in front of the bistro’s awning on Rue Voltaire. What drew their attention, they told investigators in accounts summarised in the police report to the French interior ministry, were the bulky layers of clothing he was wearing: an anorak on top of a coat with fur trim, over a vest that could be spotted through gaps in the clothing – excessive even for a chilly November evening.

Just after 9pm, he turned and abruptly walked into the bistro, past the covered terrace built around a curved bar. “He turned and looked at the people with a smile,” the French police report said, offering previously unreleased details. “He apologised for any disturbance he had caused. And then he blew himself up.” He turned out to be Ibrahim Abdeslam, a brother of the man arrested on Friday in Brussels, and his suicide bombing came near the start of a night of carnage that played out at cafes and restaurants, the national soccer stadium and a concert venue.

When the anti-criminal brigade of France’s national police arrived at the bistro, the Comptoir Voltaire, it found electrical wires in the bomber’s flesh. The wires were still attached to a white object, which in turn was next to a single alkaline nine-volt battery. Officials involved in the investigation say that the residue from the explosive used in the bistro tested positive for a peroxide-based explosive, triacetone triperoxide, or TATP. It has become the signature explosive for Islamic State operations in Europe, and it can be made with common products – hair bleach and nail polish remover – easily obtained over-the-counter across Europe.

In their investigation, the French police found traces of the same explosive formulation at each of the places in Paris where the attackers detonated their vests, including three times outside the stadium, Stade de France; once at the Comptoir Voltaire bistro; twice inside the Bataclan concert hall; and once in an apartment in a Paris suburb. Traces were also found in a rented apartment in Belgium occupied by the attackers in the weeks before the assault, according to forensic evidence detailed in the report.

Bomb ingredients

The reason the terrorist group uses this particular explosive, experts say, is the availability of the ingredients. But creating an effective bomb can be tricky, and the success in setting off bomb after bomb is indicative of the group’s training and skill.

“Their ingredients, when combined, are highly unstable and can explode easily if mishandled,” Peter Bergen, director of the National Securities Studies Program at the New America Foundation, said during recent congressional testimony. “To make an effective TATP bomb requires real training, which suggests a relatively skilled bomb-maker was involved in the Paris plot, since the terrorists detonated several bombs. It also suggests that there was some kind of bomb factory that, as yet, appears to be undiscovered, because putting together such bombs requires some kind of dedicated space.”

Since late 2013, records show Islamic State fighters have been training to make and use TATP in Europe. The first aborted attempt was in February 2014, when Ibrahim Boudina, a French citizen who had trained in Syria with the group that was about to become the Islamic State, was arrested in the resort city of Cannes. In a utility closet on the landing of his family’s apartment block, the police found three Red Bull soda cans filled with the white TATP powder.

Although he had successfully constructed the three bombs, at the time of his arrest he appeared to be struggling with how to set off the charge. In his court file, among several obtained by the New York Times, investigators said he had been conducting internet searches for “how to make a detonator”.

Terrorist protocol

Nearly two years later, the Paris attackers had clearly progressed. The police report and officials briefed on the investigation noted the uniformity of the parts in the bombs, suggesting a consistent protocol for preparing them. At the scene of one suicide bombing, at a McDonald’s restaurant about 250 yards from the French national soccer stadium, the police bagged the bomber’s severed arm. The autopsy showed that a piece of string with a flap of adhesive tape at one end, believed to be the detonation cord, was wrapped around the limb. Along with TATP residue, they again found electrical wires, a nine-volt alkaline battery to drive the detonation, and pieces of metal, including bolts, that had been mounted on the suicide belt as projectiles.

Seeking to blend in with the soccer fans, another bomber had been wearing a tracksuit with the logo of the German soccer team Bayern Munich. His severed leg was found still inside the tracksuit and, next to him, again a piece of white string.

All the previous attacks by Islamic State fighters dispatched from Syria had relied on a single mode of operation: a shooting, an explosion or an attempted hostage-taking. In Paris, the attackers set off to do all three, realising that this way they could overwhelm the country’s emergency response.

The attacks marked a subtle shift in the Islamic State’s external operations branch, which was first publicised in the group’s French-language online magazine, Daral-Islam, last March. In the previous small-scale attacks, the Islamic State, much like al-Qaeda before it, had taken aim at symbolic targets, including police and military installations and establishments with clear links to Israel or Jewish interests, like the Jewish Museum in Brussels. But in an interview published in the online magazine, a senior operative for the Islamic State, described as the godfather of French jihadis, advised his followers to abandon the symbolism.

“My advice is to stop looking for specific targets. Hit everyone and everything,” he said. The attackers in Paris appear to have moved easily between Belgium and France, and in some cases between the Middle East and Europe. Many European officials since have pointed to gaping vulnerabilities to the strategy pursued by the Islamic State. At least three of the Paris attackers were wanted on international arrest warrants before the attacks but were able to travel freely. And security services are constrained by the inability or unwillingness of countries to share intelligence about potential terrorists, for legal, practical and territorial reasons.

General targets

“We don’t share information,” said Alain Chouet, a former head of French intelligence, “We even didn’t agree on the translations of people’s names that are in Arabic or Cyrillic, so if someone comes into Europe through Estonia orDenmark, maybe that’s not how we register them in France or Spain. ”

The attackers also appeared to have studied how to exploit the limited capacity of local law enforcement. In Paris, the Islamic State for the first time pulled off a co-ordinated attack specifically designed to spread the authorities thin. The French police were already overwhelmed by the explosions at the stadium and the beginning of the cafe shootings by the time the terrorists attacked the Bataclan concert hall and took hundreds of people hostage. The police report offered extensive details about the siege, as recounted by those who survived it.

The headlining band had just started its set at the Bataclan when witnesses described first noticing a Volkswagen Polo with a Belgian licence plate approaching the hall, around 9.40pm, the report said. A security guard at the main entrance told the police that he had seen people falling around him, and that his reflex was to herd as many people as possible off the street and into the concert hall. He told the investigators that he had gone to the main concert area and began directing the panicked concert-goers toward the emergency exits, next to one of the bathrooms.

Before they could get that far, two of the gunmen pushed their way into the main hall, opening fire on the crowd as people hit the ground, lying flat on their stomachs. Those who managed to make it to the emergency exit threw it open, only to come face to face with the third gunman, who was waiting outside. One of the cellphones used by the attackers contained archived images of the Bataclan’s layout, suggesting they had planned their trap carefully, the police report said.

Through the emergency exit, the third and final gunman shot his way in. By then, the report said, people were shoving themselves into every space they could find. One group found refuge in a room used to store sound equipment. Others made it on to the roof. A few sprinted behind the attacker’s backs, managing to slip out.

Human shields

One hostage identified in the police report, David Fritz Goeppinger, who confirmed the account in a telephone interview, described how the gunmen had instructed the captives to sit in front of the closed doors “as human shields”, he said. “We were their protection in case someone tried to shoot from outside,” he said in the interview, confirming the report’s account that one hostage was forced to sit with his ear to the main entrance and was told to give updates on what he heard outside.

The attackers seized cellphones from the hostages and tried to use them to get on to the internet, but data reception was not functioning, Goeppinger told the police. Their use of hostages’ phones is one of the many details, revealed in the police investigation, pointing to how the Islamic State had refined its tradecraft. Court records and public accounts have detailed how earlier operatives sent to Europe in 2014 and early 2015 made phone calls or sent unencrypted messages that were intercepted, allowing the police to track and disrupt their plots. But the three teams in Paris were comparatively disciplined. They used only new phones that they would then discard, including several activated minutes before the attacks, or phones seized from their victims.

According to the police report and interviews with officials, none of the attackers’ emails or other electronic communications have been found, prompting the authorities to conclude that the group used encryption. What kind of encryption remains unknown, and is among the details that Abdeslam’s capture could help reveal.

Hostages’ phones

Using their hostages’ phones, the attackers attempted to reach police, but were initially frustrated by the “Press 1” or “Press 2” menu of options, said a 40-year-old woman whose phone was used by the gunmen, and who was interviewed on Saturday. She spoke on the condition of anonymity because she did not want to draw attention to her ordeal.

After numerous delays, one of the attackers began using a hostage’s cellphone to send text messages to a contact outside. At one point one of the gunman turned to a second and said in fluent French, “I haven’t got any news yet,” suggesting they were waiting for an update from an accomplice in another location. Then they switched and continued the discussion in Arabic, according to the police report.

At nearly midnight, two hours after they took over the Bataclan, the gunmen began negotiating in earnest with the police. “We want to talk to someone!” the gunman demanded, then turned to his demands for France to stop military strikes in Syria: “I want you to leave the country. I want you to remove your military. I want a piece of paper signed that proves it!” If not, he threatened, “I’m killing a hostage and throwing him out the window!”

Potential encryption

One of the gunmen pulled out a laptop, propping it open against the wall, said the 40-year-old woman. When the laptop powered on, she saw a line of gibberish across the screen: “It was bizarre – he was looking at a bunch of lines, like lines of code. There was no image, no internet,” she said. Her description matches the look of certain encryption software, which Isis claims to have used during the Paris attacks.

The tallest of the three attackers was 6ft 2in tall. He had an explosive belt strapped on to his body and held a detonator in his hand. At one point, he stepped into the orchestra pit and started playing the xylophone, the whole time “laughing sadistically”, according to witnesses quoted in the report.

They would identity him later from his mug shot: he was Samy Amimour, a former bus driver.

France’s anti-criminal brigade was the first law-enforcement team to break through the Bataclan’s doors. The division commander, Guillaume Cardy, and a colleague got in through the main doors and managed to shoot one of the attackers, who was on the stage. Wounded, he detonated his explosive vest, the report said.

The two remaining gunmen returned fire, forcing Cardy to take cover. Members of another Paris police division tried to reach the wounded hostages, but were also forced to take cover, the report said. Together the police charged the two surviving gunmen and, after a heavy barrage of fire, they killed the second before he could detonate his vest. The third gunman then blew himself up. In the end, it took four elite brigades to stop three gunmen, the report said.

As the bodies of the dead were being bagged, the police found a white Samsung phone in a bin outside the Bataclan. Inside was a Belgian SIM card that had been in use only since the day before the attack. The phone had called just one other number – belonging to an unidentified user in Belgium. Another new detail from the report showed that in the phone’s photo album police found images of the concert hall’s layout, as well as internet searches for “fnacspectacles.com” a website that sells concert tickets, as well as “bataclan.fr” and the phrase “Eagles of Death at the Bataclan”.

Logistical master

The phone’s GPS data led investigators eight miles south of the concert hall to a budget hotel in the Paris suburb of Alfortville. The address was that of a budget hotel known as Appart’City, which has a pilled, blue carpet running down halls lit with panels of fluorescent bulbs. Two studios were reserved in the name of Salah Abdeslam, the suspect who was arrested on Friday. Along with his brother, Ibrahim Abdeslam, investigators say, he appears to have been in charge of logistics for the group.

Everywhere they went, the attackers left behind their throwaway phones, including in Bobigny, at a villa rented in the name of Ibrahim Abdeslam. When the brigade charged with sweeping the location arrived, it found two unused cellphones still inside their boxes.

New phones linked to the assailants at the stadium and the restaurant also showed calls to Belgium in the hours and minutes before the attacks, suggesting a rear base manned by a web of still unidentified accomplices. Security camera footage showed Bilal Hadfi, the youngest of the assailants, as he paced outside the stadium, talking on a cellphone. The phone was activated less than an hour before he detonated his vest. From 8.41pm until just before he died at 9.28pm, the phone was in constant touch with a phone inside the rental car being driven by Abaaoud. It also repeatedly called a cellphone in Belgium.

Most striking is what was not found on the phones: not a single email or online chat from the attackers has surfaced so far. Even though one of the disposable phones was found to have had a Gmail account, with the username “yjeanyves1”, the police discovered it was empty, with no messages in the sent or draft folders. It had been created on the afternoon of the attacks from inside the Appart’ budget hotel.

Crouton DNA

DNA swabs taken at the villa, including on a crouton left behind, helped the authorities determine that at least one of the stadium bombers had stayed there, as had Salah Abdeslam. The other objects found there suggest it may have been one of the locations where the bomb was assembled, including a piece of cloth identical to one found on the remains of one of the bombers, a roll of the same kind of adhesive tape used on the devices, and two pyrotechnic mechanisms.

As France was plunged into a state of emergency on the night of the attack, the Islamic State’s external operations branch could claim that it had achieved all its goals. Abaaoud and Salah Abdeslam were still alive. But perhaps that was not part of the plan, because it was then that mistakes appeared, the police report shows.

Abaaoud’s rental car was last spotted leaving Paris for an eastern, industrial suburb. The car was abandoned near the Croix de Chavaux station at about 10pm. Ten minutes later, a security camera captured footage of two men walking nearby, including one in orange sneakers. During the attacks, the report showed, witnesses and video cameras again and again described orange shoes on an attacker who was identifiable as Abaaoud.

Starting around that time, police records show that a 26-year-old woman, Hasna Aitboulahcen, began receiving phone calls on her Paris number from callers in Belgium. She was Abaaoud’s first cousin, according to a close friend who was later questioned by the police and who later talked to French news outlets. At one point, she had been engaged to him and remained smitten with him.

On November 15th, she and a friend drove to a ring road near the A86 freeway and parked. Abaaoud came out of the bushes and joined them, the report said, quoting the account of the friend. According to the friend’s account to the police, Abaaoud regaled them with stories about how he had made it to Europe by inserting himself in the stream of migrants fleeing across the Mediterranean. He explained that he was among 90 terrorists who had made it back and who had gone to ground in the French countryside, the friend told the police.

Kamikazes-in-waiting

“Abaaoud clearly presented himself as the commander of these 90 kamikazes-in-waiting, and that he had come directly to France to avoid the failures they had experienced in the past,” the police said the friend had told them. Abaaoud would spend a total of four days and three nights camped in the bushes, while his cousin returned with cake and water. By the friend’s account, Abaaoud told Aitboulahcen that he and an associate would carry out further attacks. Aitboulahcen was sent to buy the men new suits and dress shoes, the report said, bought with the nearly €5,000 the Islamic State’s network had sent via Western Union and an informal money exchange network known as hawala.

On the night of November 17th, Aitboulahcen succeeded in securing an apartment in the Saint-Denis district of Paris, chosen because the landlord did not require receipts. Police raided the building early the next morning, with Abaaoud and his cousin inside. The thundering boom of an explosive vest was recorded by television news crews outside. Inside the police again found the ingredients used to make the TATP bombs including wires and a battery, wrapped in adhesive tape. In addition to other weapons, they found a Herstalpistol with an empty clip, smeared with Abaaoud’s DNA, suggesting he had fought to the end.

His body was found on the building’s third floor, and mixed in with his flesh were ball bearings and fragments of plastic. His feet were still inside the orange sneakers. Inside the ruins, the police found several dozen boxes of unused cellphones still inside their wrappers. The phones were found throughout the rubble, including in the rooms and stairwell, while others were ejected during the blast, and fell down on to the street below.

Wife of Bataclan Terrorist: Proud of Her Husband and So Happy #Paris #ThisIsIslam

Emails published in the French daily newspaper Le Parisien reveal that the wife of one of the Bataclan terrorists said she was “proud” and “happy” of his participation in the Paris terrorist attacks last month.
The French site The Local reports that Samy Amimour, 28, was one of the three terrorists who killed 90 people at the Bataclan theater. Investigators discovered that three days after the massacre, his wife Kahina, 18 and pregnant with his child, emailed an old friend in France saying:

“Did the attacks shock you? LOL.”

LOL. These people are monsters. She continued:

“I encouraged my husband to leave in order to terrorize the people of France who have so much blood on their hands… I’m so proud of my husband and to boast about his virtue, ah la la, I am so happy.”

So happy. She had also sent threatening messages to the friend prior to the attacks:

“France and the whole coalition will know what it’s like to have war at your home. You kill us, we kill you, the equation is simple.

“As long as you continue to offend Islam and Muslims, you will be potential targets, and not just cops and Jews but everyone.”

The two had married after meeting in Seine-Saint-Denis, a suburb near Paris where he grew up. After he moved to Syria, she dropped out of high school in 2014 to join him. Now based in Iraq, Kahina boasted of her standard of living in an ISIS stronghold:

“I have a furnished apartment with a fitted kitchen, two bathrooms and three bedrooms, and I don’t pay rent, electricity or water bills. What a great life!”

What a great life.

Samy Amimour was buried on Thursday in Seine-Saint-Denis suburb, where his parents still live. A source reported that “There were very, very few people there.”

6 useful tips for getting your own state

Some useful ideas for Kurds, Tibetans, Catalonians and others

by Michelle Moshelian

Seeking independence? Or perhaps a homeland for your people? Ever wondered how to get your own state, while putting in the minimal amount of effort and self-sacrifice? Read on for some useful tips, ideas and strategies…

Tip 1: Reject the offer of a state!

Yes, you read it right! Despite being totally illogical at first glance, one of the best ways to guarantee getting your very own state is to reject the offer of a state.  What’s more, if you commit yourself to repeated rejection of the offer, your chances of getting your own state are far, far greater. Try to keep your rejectionist behavior spread out over a number of decades so that the world turns a blind eye and no-one asks awkward questions as to why you are frequently distancing yourself from that which you apparently seek. If anyone does ask these awkward questions, then respond with an answer that is either vague, illogical or focusing on a totally different issue. If a questioner continues to pursue this line of questioning, then blame it all on the enemy. Works like magic to bring about the end of such a line of inquiry!

If you have the bad fortune of having an enemy who agreed to a decades-old offer of you getting a state that you wholeheartedly rejected, and thereby got their own state, then make sure to call them colonizers or thieves. If you can muster up support from your own brethren, then get them to launch wars, lose them and cry victim. This is a tried and tested practice of emerging the victor in a war that no-one wins.

Tip 2: Don’t make any compromises whatsoever!

It is far better for your people to suffer for decades than make any concessions. Keep them in a state (pun intended!) of poverty, despair and hopelessness. The best of both worlds!

However, beware that you don’t fall into a trap – if you are under the impression that you will achieve your aims without having to ever compromise in any way as long as you are persistent enough, make sure not to underestimate your enemy. (See more on ‘Choose your enemies wisely’)

Tip 3: Spit in the face of those who are trying to help you

Have you got your very own international peace process, supported by multiple bodies and organizations? Well, forget that! Who needs such a headache? Completely ignore the decades of efforts and billions of dollars invested in helping you, and pursue your own course to your goals. The civilized world won’t be bothered by your wasting money – you know full well that their pockets run deep enough to fund you without auditing what you are actually doing with those billions – recession or not. After all, why spend money on food when there are excellent weapons to be bought and there are still empty safety deposit boxes sitting in Switzerland that could be well-stocked with international funds? Don’t you want to ensure that the leaders of your people can live an extravagant lifestyle with homes in their natural habitat such as Paris, while most go a little hungry? (Talking of leaders, when it comes to choosing your leader and the person most identified with your cause, why not select one that wasn’t actually born in the country you desire? Nothing indicates the strength and legitimacy of a people’s claim to a land quite like their symbolic leader being born in a different country a couple of decades before the conflict over the contested land began.)

Also, make sure to take advantage of the lack of success of the above-mentioned peace process you eagerly abandoned (which was made all the more challenging due to a total lack of pressure upon you to do what is necessary to bring peace) by pointing out that it hasn’t borne fruits yet. Did the international community serious expect you to be committed to a peace process from which you would appear to be the largest beneficiary? Of course not!

The international community might even ignore the fact that they themselves were once committed to some sort of peace process and support you in your state-seeking endeavors outside of said process. Worst comes to worst, most of them will not dare speak out against your lack of commitment and will cave at the slightest pressure. It is better for them to go with the flow rather than take a moral stand!

While you’re at it, stick your two fingers up at old peace agreements you previously signed. Just because you signed something it doesn’t mean you actually have to do it!

Make sure to walk away from the bargaining table frequently, and always, but always, set preconditions upon issues that you previously agreed would be subjects of said peace talks. This is a double bonus – you have an excuse for not pursuing peace that can be legitimately explained away and you never have to negotiate the issue at hand.

Tip 4: Do nothing whatsoever to help yourselves

Why spend your money on food or investing in infrastructure etc. when there are expensive weapons out there to be bought? If you feel confident that the international community will sponsor you financially no matter how badly you behave, then go ahead and do your worse – and you will be the better for it. The more poverty you can display, the more the money will pour in! Never be shy about using your children to  promote your cause. From suicide bombs and stone throwing right down to imagery that you distribute to the media worldwide, a child is always a good tool. Classic concepts such as their well-being and education are secondary factors when it comes to looking out for your childrens’ best interests.

However, a warning that should be heeded: Do not expect money from your own brethren. They will support you with lip service, use you for political purposes, and treat you far worse than your perceived enemy ever dreamed of, let alone practiced. But money? Hell, no! Let the western world dig deep into their pockets instead.

Tip 5: Embrace terrorism

Suicide bombs, shootings, stabbings, hostage taking – you name it – the more the merrier! If you are looking for attention, don’t stop at the regular well-known forms of terror that the world sees every day and turns a blind eye to – be creative! Bonus points for driving bulldozers into cars – kill a mother driving with her baby and the world’s stage is all yours! Hack off the head of an infant after killing her parents and siblings, and they will, in their masses, support your right to do this. Who cares that their opinion of you is so low that they expect atrocious behavior from you as the norm?

On the subject of terrorism, don’t forget to get the leader who is widely regarded as the peacemaker of your people to dedicate schools and football teams to these terrorist heroes, praise them on national television, and also in school books to get the future generations fully unprepared for a peaceful co-existence with your neighbors. If you’re really up for the challenge, keep the message you deliver in your own language entirely different to that which you tell the world. Forget about simple tools such as Google translate, and self-described human rights groups – everyone will turn a blind eye when it is convenient for them!

If you have money left over from what the western countries have given you that hasn’t been deposited by your leaders in Swiss bank accounts, make sure to pay a hefty salary to terrorists families and those serving life in enemy prisons. They will need that money in order to conduct more terrorism when they are released from prison in a lopsided exchange that the international community can pat themselves on the back for, for negotiating.

Special bonus tip!! Check to see if the following applies to you, for a special bonus that will prove useful in all forms of Treachery, Terrorism and generally being Terrible!

Do you have the fortune to have your terrorism backed by an entire religion? Even better! You can hide behind a “it’s only a minority of our religion. The majority are peaceful” slogan. If you have the fortune of holding democratic elections, make sure that the majority vote for a terrorist group. The world won’t be willing to face up to this fact and will gloss over it at ease. After all, who said that the global war against terrorism has to include some of the most active terrorists in the world?

If you’re really lucky and the world despises your enemy enough for their own perverse reasons, they might have pity on you and see your terrorism differently to your coreligionists despite all the evidence proving otherwise.

Tip 6: Choose your enemies wisely

We saved the best for last!

Now, this is a tricky one, since not everyone has the luxury of choosing their enemies. Does your enemy fit into the following category? Do they repeatedly agree to you getting your state (albeit on those utterly restrictive conditions such as you being peaceful!)? Do they give you land that you never actually owned without you having to give anything in return? Have they ever made peace agreements with other neighbors who are waning towards reneging on their part of the agreements just a couple of decades later, without any scent of accountability from the brokers of aforementioned peace deals?

Can you manage to portray your enemy as Goliath and yourself as David, despite the obvious flaws in this assessment? Is your enemy backed up by a religion that lacks significant problems getting along with others and is a proven contributor to global progress despite unparalleled challenges, while your religious identity is ‘troubled’, to put it lightly? If so, then fate has dealt you a good hand!

If your enemy is determined to do its utmost in sparing your civilians when defending itself by taking your greatest evildoers out of the equation, then make sure to put the most vulnerable sectors of your society in harm’s way to increase your own casualties and thus global sympathy. It’s a small sacrifice to make, but it pays off nicely!

If your enemies are the Jews, then you are definitely in luck! You can capitalize on anti-Semitic sentiment, anti-Americanism, dictators and oppressors attempting to turn a blind eye on what they are doing by focusing on the Zionists, European efforts to stop their guilt over the Holocaust by trying to point a finger at the Jewish state, and a web of other misguided ideologies. Take advantage of history and pick on the world’s favorite victim. Point out that you are against Zionism and not Jews, and you’ve just earned yourself your very own ‘get out of jail free’ card when it comes to accusations of racism, despite the fact that everyone knows that anti-Zionism is typically a thinly-veiled cover for Antisemitism.

If your enemy falls into this category, then you are in luck! But a word of caution: Don’t underestimate them – there is a limit to how much they will be prepared to take. You’d do well to observe the repetitive nature of virtually all their religious holidays: “They tried to kill us. We won. Let’s eat.” History has proven that they will ultimately prevail (they’d be called the winners if there were any winners in this game). Ignore history at your peril on this one.

On the other hand, if your enemy is well-known for its lack of human rights, but is a massive consumer market and global force that is too challenging to tackle then reconsider the above advice. The world will have sympathy for you and welcome you in their arms, but will let you rot by the roadside before lifting a finger to help you in any way.

And if your enemies are members of the oil rich group of nations, then the recommended advice is to back down for a while. You could unwittingly sacrifice millions of your own people in endeavors to get your own state, but the oil-thirsty world will probably not take much notice. What’s a few thousand lives when it comes to knocking a cent off the price of petrol?

You could hope for some support from non-governmental human rights groups, but be advised; they frequently sacrifice the human rights principles to chase the sponsorship dollar. Or alternatively, they invest great deal of efforts in protecting the worst of the worst of humanity and ignoring the real victims. Sometimes to the extent that they would be better off being called human wrongs activists.

And our very last piece of advice that we want to state: “Don’t get yourself in a state, when seeking your own state. Get yourself in the correct state of mind!”

Have you got any useful tips or advice for getting your own state? Make sure to reply in the comments. And make sure to come back for our next installment in this series: “Moving from ‘How to fool most of the people all the time’ to ‘How to fool all the people all the time.’