Austin Bodetti studies the intersection of Islam, culture and politics in Africa and Asia. While developing countries produce few greenhouse gases, they have the most to lose to the greenhouse effect, and militants are highlighting this disparity. Fire as a tool of warfare is well documented. We can’t afford cabs, either, which have gotten much pricier these last few weeks. CLIMATE change warriors were mocked by viewers on This Morning after claiming they suffer from “eco-anxiety”. For its part, the news media must emphasize terrorist groups’ contributions to environmental degradation instead of equating them with the environmental movement. The causes of—and remedies for—these two kinds of disasters are seen as separate and distinct. It could increase poverty (affecting food security and livelihoods) and inequalities (with scarce resources captured by elites, or grievances invoked by climate injustices), which could act as instigating causes for terrorist activity ( … It includes social concerns, as illustrated by the Skirball Fire, … His disciples in Africa and Asia, however, have transformed environmental issues from mere talking points into startling opportunities for increasing brand awareness and recruitment. Biden will be the fourth U.S. president that Merkel — who has led Germany since 2005 — has dealt with as chancellor. The US Intelligence Community already studies climate change as a threat to national security. Current policies to protect critical infrastructure and key resources focus on hardening and monitoring. Drought also creates tinderbox conditions, increasing the potential for intentionally set fires near populated areas and critical infrastructure. Across the world, bin Laden’s fellow travelers extol the virtues of environmental protection online and in public while accelerating environmental degradation on the ground. As far as the black markets of Southeast Asia, affiliates of Al Qaeda traffic in rhino horns and tiger pelts, mimicking Al Shabaab’s foray into the illegal ivory trade. Planned Chaos Part 6 - Arson & Eco Terrorism - Prepare For Change Terrorism and environment: Osama bin Laden, the environmentalist? Sources: Council on Foreign Relations, Homeland Security Today, National University System Institute for Policy Research, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, PRI, Sustainability, The New York Times, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Wildfire Today. A report by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness identified 26 specific threats of water contamination in the United States between 1968 and 2008. Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki described the former Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, as an "eco-terrorist" for failing to abide by the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. Paris Attack: Why Climate Change and Terrorism Are Connected | … Climate Change Fiction Is Rethinking The Ecoterrorist We don't need to be on board with the extreme actions of characters in First Reformed … The Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah, used wildfire as a part of its military strategy,  as well as an economic and psychological attack, during its 2006 conflict with Israel. Duterte tells UN: Fight climate change with the same urgency as … Global warming also ranked highest among environmental issues, at 57%. Examples include reefs and barrier islands that protect coastal ecosystems from storm surges, wetland ecosystems that absorb floodwaters, and cyclical wildfires that clear excess forest debris and reduce the risk of dangerously lar… Water scarcity: As climate change depletes supplies of drinkable water in Africa and the Middle East, terrorists blame the West, posing as environmental leaders with holier-than-thou messaging (Map: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations), Outside the Middle East, militants have attempted to implement the beginnings of environmental policies. Such conditions generate more intense conflagrations, prevent more water from reaching underground aquifers, and reduce the health of the forests. Eco-terrorism, civil disobedience, and sabotage. Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically. In contrast to other methods employed by extremists, environmental tactics, such as contaminating water supplies or starting fires, can be quickly planned, require little technical expertise to execute, and are harder to detect. WASHINGTON: Disruptions like political violence and sectarian strife in fragile states empower terrorist groups, and the same is true of climate change. Nature Iraq, the Somali Green Party and other environmental organizations in fragile states are already spearheading the fight against climate change in war zones, and their leaders – actual environmentalists – have special standing to criticize ISIS and Al Qaeda’s exploitation of the natural environment. Most analysts suggest that, since water itself would dilute any toxin or pathogen, the quantity of material needed to sufficiently contaminate the supply makes such an attack technically difficult. The militants’ rapid conquest of Iraq’s drought-stricken regions demonstrated the effectiveness of their tactics. AQAP fixed water mains and wells in towns struggling with droughts as political violence undercut the ability of the Yemeni government to provide similar basic services to the few regions under its control. The underlying causes of climate change make us vulnerable, but the problem goes beyond environmental issues. This report is hardly the first to note the connection between Militants from Indonesia to Mali stand to gain from climate change if this trend persists. One military officer wrote in his 2005 thesis: “An opportunistic terrorist can unleash multiple fires creating a conflagration potentially equal to a multi-megaton nuclear weapon.” Wildfires can have a profoundly negative effect on a region’s economy: the damage from California’s 2018 conflagrations is estimated at $400 billion. Courtesy of Diariocritico de Venezuela/AFP. Once fragile states have comprehensive environmental policies as well as the military capacity to safeguard the natural environment, terrorist groups will find fewer chances to take advantage of global warming. For their part, scientists have warned that climate change will significantly worsen living conditions in the Middle East and in North Africa” and “prolonged heat waves and desert dust storms can render some regions uninhabitable.” The greater the havoc wreaked by global warming in the region, the more opportunities terrorist groups find to coopt the environmental movement. In a 2017 “special message,” the Taliban urged Afghans to “plant one or several fruit or non-fruit trees for the beautification of Earth and the benefit of almighty God’s creations,” adding in interviews that the insurgents even supported the Afghan government’s attempts at reforestation. As global fresh water supplies become increasingly scarce, extremist groups are stepping up attacks and manipulating supply as a strategic tactic of coercion. Analysts suggest that Al Shabaab opted to ban plastic bags because plastic pollution was choking the livestock that it taxed, not because the Somali militants cared about the potential for an ecological crisis. This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. Unlike bin Laden, who might have felt sincere distress about climate change, the terrorist groups that looked to him for guidance demonstrate little real concern for the welfare of the natural environment, likely seeing environmental issues as just another opening to strengthen their cause. The Adelphi report cites several examples where the impacts of climate change are already spurring or exacerbating terrorism. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The report, commissioned by the German Department for Foreign Affairs, looked at four case studies … In total, 41% respondents selected climate change, followed by pollution (36%) and terrorism (31%). Environmental degradation has become a matter of global security. Climate trauma: The invisible cost of climate change | News | Eco … While the United Nations has funded solar-powered pumps to combat water scarcity in Yemen, the international community must go further. Climate change and human modification may restrict ecosystems’ ability to temper the impacts of extreme conditions, and thus may increase vulnerability to damage. ‘Eco … Elsewhere, ISIS’s shortsighted efforts to tap wells seized from the petroleum industry led to oil spills throughout Iraq, and Al Shabaab has burned once-lush Somali forests in its search for charcoal and wood to sell. “While developing countries produce few greenhouse gases, they have the most to lose to the greenhouse effect, and militants are highlighting this disparity.” Osama bin Laden, organizer of the 9/11 attacks who was killed in 2011, relied on environmental issues in his propaganda. Finally, we must restore and rebalance ecosystems to mitigate the terrorism threat. El Paso Terrorism Suspect’s Alleged Manifesto Highlights Eco … Terrorists take advantage of disruptions in fragile states – and these include water and food shortages associated with climate change. The rise of non-state armed groups and terrorism poses new challenges for national, regional and international security. © Copyright 2007-2020. Civil society should muster its own response to terrorist groups’ attempts to hijack the environmental movement. Climate Change, Terrorism Top List of Challenges Facing US Military The crew of the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Hampton (SSN 767) … The exposure of U.S. communities to wildfire makes wildfire a potentially potent weapon for economic warfare and mass destruction. If the Iraqi government can ensure that farmers have access to irrigation and the Yemeni government can supply water to rural areas, ISIS and AQAP are less attractive replacements. And despite being mocked by conservative media and Democratic operatives alike, Sanders held fast to his assertion that climate change is the greatest threat to national security and is “directly related to the growth of terrorism .” Scott Somers is Professor of Practice in Emergency Management at Arizona State University. – YaleGlobal, Terrorist groups feign leadership on climate change, hijacking environmental narratives to challenge fragile governments in the Middle East and Africa, © 2019 YaleGlobal and the MacMillan Center. Lines and paragraphs break automatically. CLIMATE CHANGE AND TERRORISM | This is a call for a journal special issue to bring together original studies to examine the links between climate change and terrorism. Even Osama bin Laden, an inspiration for terrorist groups, turned global warming into propaganda. 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