Sri Lanka News

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Thanks to Ranil, the world’s first terrorist air force is born

By Walter Jayawardhana


This undated picture released by Tamil Tiger rebels 26 March 2007 shows two unidentified Tiger rebels flash the "V" sign from their light aircraft somewhere in the rebel-held north of Wanni region

By its air attack on Sri Lanka’s main Air Force Base the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) became the only terrorist group in the world which possesses an Air Force and uses that in its combat operations currently.

The LTTE is the most innovative terrorist group in the world and its technologically advanced suicide jacket is being widely used by almost every terrorist group in the Middle East who practices suicide bombing in attacking its enemies both against civilian and military targets. Middle Eastern practice of suicide boats, like when the USS Cole was attacked was also borrowed from the LTTE. It is most probable that light aircraft could become the most innovative and potential weapon in the hands of the terrorist group.

According to Thamilselvan, the political czar of the Tamil Tigers, two light aircraft were used in this attack although the Sri Lanka military says there was only one aircraft involved. If these aircraft came from the LTTE dominated Wanni, how did they reach Colombo undetected by the radar is another question bothering the investigators. Did the aircraft actually start in Wanni from any airports known to exist there? Or are they extremely small glider like aircraft that started from Colombo and returned to a hide out in Colombo at the dead of the night after accomplishing its murderous task? Killing three airmen and wounding 17 more of them is the major task the Air Tigers were able to achieve except the huge publicity the attack generated. That might encourage some of the Diaspora Tamils in the West, including the ones in Beverley Hills, to donate some more money to the cause of terrorism.

Though the Tamil Tigers are the only terrorist group that uses an Air Force currently it is not the first one that tried to use aircraft. Hezbollah, in the Middle East, with whom the Tamil Tigers are supposed to be maintaining a close relationship has used Iranian supplied Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ( UAV’s) over the Israeli border. It was known that the UAV’s were able to carry 50 kilograms of explosives. The LTTE was caught trying to smuggle in UAV’s in the past including during the month of Septmber in 2003. It is not yet known how many UAV’s they are keeping to be used as terrorist bombs.

When the province of Biafra attempted to secede from Nigeria waging a separatist war , the Biafran separatists attempted to use small airplanes to attack Nigeria. During that ill-fated struggle, a Swedish aviator called Carl Gustaf von Rosen tried to help Biafra with his tiny MFI-9 Swedish trainers. Though they were no match for the Nigerian Migs the tiny aircraft were used to destroy several Nigerian jets while they were still on the ground. Taking a cue from the ill fated Biafran separatist war that’s exactly what the Tamil Tigers were attempting to do. Those tiny aircraft were often hidden in trucks and transported to different places for their attacks. The aircraft also flew too low to be detected by radar and targeted by anti-aircraft guns. It was also found then that small arm fire bullets tended to go straight through their bodies without doing much harm.

At the time of Biafran war the 9/11 idea of flying an aircraft against a building was not thought about and there were no suicide pilots. Being terrorists the LTTE could very well use small airplanes as potential bombs for mass destruction and attack buildings.

B. Raman, who was formerly working for India’s spy agency the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) wrote thus about the birth of the LTTE Air Force: β€œThe reluctance and the failure of the international community to act against the LTTE have serious implications for the so-called war against terrorism. The Sri Lankan Government cannot escape a major share of responsibility for this state of affairs. Its failure to take up the matter with the monitoring mechanism set up by the Security Council after the passage of Resolution 1373 and complain not only against the LTTE, but also against the countries which have been turning a blind eye to the LTTE’s gun-running and the supine attitude of the Norwegian-led monitoring mission towards the LTTE have contributed to the emergence of the world’s first terrorist Air Force.” The government Raman was referring to was the government of former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who turned a blind eye to tons and tons of ship loads not only of weapons but also of light aircraft.

During the period referred to, the LTTE built air strips and gave birth to the world’s first terrorist air force, thanks to United National Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. That was the period when ultra light aircraft were becoming very inexpensive and UAV’s were becoming more easily and commercially available. Until the present government came to power no body even thought of attacking and destroying the illegally built air strips in the Wanni that were becoming a threat to the South Asian security. No body is sure how many aircraft the LTTE is having. But according to eyewitness reports there are at least two fixed wing light aircraft and two small helicopters they own.

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March 27, 2007 - Posted by | International News

1 Comment »

  1. Wow, man Im glad I found this blog.
    This is a really good write up, I commend your research.
    How did it get past our radar? My money is on that there were inside men who ignored/ authorised the planes to enter colombo, but I am happy about our armys’ effeciency, everyone says our army is worthless, but what they dont realise is that we are fighting a war against what could be the worlds deadliest terrorist group.

    Keep writing man, really niceley done article πŸ˜€

    Comment by onca | March 27, 2007 | Reply

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