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The Recruitment Process of Terrorist Organizations: A Case Study of Devrimci Halkin Kurtulus Partisi Cephesi (DHKP/C) Revolutionary People's Liberation Party Front

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This study analyzes the recruitment process of the DHKP-C. In particular, the study analyzes individual characteristics, family background, and political characteristics of the families, and explores these factors and tries to find out how they
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   A Case Study on the Recruitment Process of Terrorist Organizations Terrorism has been a major problem in the international arena for years. Either it has often been very difficult to determine and understand the reasons for terrorism or those underlying reasons have had to be ignored to deal with the immediate threats of terrorism. One of the possible main reasons that keep terrorist networks alive is being unable to interrupt the recruitment for terrorist organizations. From a simple logic, in order to interrupt recruitment, there is a need to understand the recruitment process so that the authorities can intervene appropriately. The authors believe that if the recruitment of new terrorists could be stopped or at least diminished, the future of the terrorist organizations would be at stake. In this regard, this research attempts to analyze the recruitment process of terrorists by studying three different types of terrorist organizations, a leftist, a separatist and a religiously inspired. All of the terrorist organizations are well known and recognized as terrorist organizations by international bodies including the UN, the EU and the US State Department. The first terrorist organization is the DHKP/C, a leftist terrorist organization in Turkey which is at the same time one of the only two active leftist terrorist organizations in Europe. The second is the PKK, an ethnic terrorist organization based on the east part of Turkey and Northern Iraq and also active in Europe. And the last terrorist organization is the  Al-Qaeda, which is active all over the world. 1  Ahmet S Yayla, Ph.D.  In this study, each terrorist organization and its recruitment patterns are studied individually. A final report will combine the findings and look at the generalizations to see the common factors among different types of terrorist organizations. This article will focus on the DHKP/C and will draw a recruitment pattern based on the data drawn from this organization. The research questions for this study are: 1. “What are the underlying reasons for individuals to become a member of a terrorist organization?” 2. “What is the process or pattern for an individual to join a terrorist organization? Introduction History teaches us that terrorism has always had reasons behind it. Terrorists claim that they usually facilitate terrorism and violence as a last resort because they are not happy with some important aspects of their life and they cannot change it through other means. In addition, the social structure of a society is a key element for the terrorist organizations. Generally, terrorists try to manipulate social problems for their goals and for their propaganda. They never talk about violence at the very beginning; instead they protest poverty, inequity, and lack of freedom or other similar problems. Those problems are frequently emphasized in their propaganda so they can try to justify their violent terrorism. Terrorism has been one of the most significant problems in the world. Especially, in the last three decades, terrorism has grown in significance; and 2  became a global problem particularly after the September 11. As terrorism became a global problem, the debates about how to deal with the problem of terrorism gained momentum. Many different countries adopted many different approaches, though mostly their solutions to the problem of terrorism involved the use of law enforcement or military force to counter the terrorist organizations immediately. In one sense, it was what the terrorist organizations wanted because they needed a conflict between themselves and the governments so that there would be alienation in the society, at least among some parts of the society. Obviously, the terrorist organizations wanted to use this alienation for their sakes to survive in the society and to become more successful through precautions, sometimes very oppressive, of the governments. On the other hand, because of the shocking and devastating effects of terrorist incidents, especially on the civilians including the children and woman, forced the governments to take immediate actions against terrorists most of the time without a proper long term planning with the use of law enforcement alone.  Additionally, the media and newly emerging technologies became a very nice tool for the terrorists to spread the effects of their terror in the world without any difficulties which also increased the public pressure on the governments to deal with the problem of terrorism as soon as possible in accordant with the psychologically appalling and disturbing images of terrorism. This kind of emotional atmosphere made us think that we need to counter terrorists immediately and try to lock them up or kill them wherever we find them. 3  However, we did not realize the resentment we were creating in some part of the societies through our actions. Sometimes, the use of force against terrorists caused many casualties, thus escalating the rancor among public as well as the terrorists. This might have resulted in helping terrorist organizations to motivate potential members to join to their organizations. Moreover, the loses on the terrorists’ site sometimes stimulated some people become terrorists or sometimes become justifications for attacking civilian targets. A terrorist, for example, who has lost one of his /her family members, may be eager to attack on any random target, which includes innocent civilians. A very good example of this resentment would be how Osama bin Laden is seen as a hero in some parts of the world, or how Dursun Karatas, the leader of DHKP/C, is welcomed in some parts of Europe where he freely lives a luxurious life. The authors of this study are not out there to blame anybody. On the contrary, this research tries to present the recruitment process of terrorist organizations and the social effects on this recruitment process so that how the terrorist organizations find new members can be understood in an effort to stop this on going recruitment. The authors believe that if the recruitment can be stopped or at least diminished, terrorist organizations will loose their power, especially in the long run. DHKP/C ( Devrimci Halkin Kurtulus Partisi/Cephesi  – Revulotionary People’s Liberation Party/Front) 4  DHKP/C is a terrorist organization srcinally formed in 1978 as Devrimci Sol or Dev- Sol, which is a splinter faction of the Turkish People's Liberation Party/Front (THKP/C). After factional infighting, it was renamed in 1994 as the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front DHKP/C. The group exposing a strong Marxist ideology is extremely anti-US, anti-NATO, and is an anti-western organization in purpose (Patterns of Global Terrorism, 1998). According to DHKP/C, it fights to create a classless society and to establish the revolutionary power of the people, defined as the power of all the people's forces that are against oligarchy and imperialism. The authors chose the DHKP/C primarily for two reasons. The first is the fact that the DHKP/C is one of the only two active leftist terrorist organizations in Europe. In fact, the DHKP/C remained its activity in Turkey until very recently and carried out many terrorist activities in different parts of Turkey including big cities like Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, particularly between 1990 and 1999. The DHKP/C is also very active in Europe and most of its leadership is located in Europe. The second important factor that led to the selection of the DHKP/C as a case study is based on the author’s experiences. The authors worked in Turkish National Police Anti-Terrorism Department and had the opportunity to carry out many different operations and investigations concerning the DHKP/C, interrogated many DHKP/C members and had access to the documents that were caught in the terrorist cells. These operational activities including investigations of terrorist events, interviewing many different terrorists, made it 5
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