|Old Trunk by Antal Ligeti|
A multidimensional warfare is a war where "Terrorists and their supporters have identified the weaknesses of democracy and learned to misuse democratic terms, slogans and apparatuses to gain power and legitimacy".
This sort of conflict is perfect for a Hybrid Terrorist Organisation.
But what is, after all, this entity that has been popping up in our articles? A Hybrid Terrorist Organisation is an entity that was created to legitimise terrorism (while calling into question the legitimacy of the conventional state's commitment to fight terror) and is divided in two branches (stemming from the same trunk): a military/paramilitary branch (engaging in terrorism) and a political branch (participating in legitimate and democratic processes). This type of organisation acquires the unconditional support of the people through gratuitous social services: religious and educational services, ideological indoctrination and welfare services (i.e. Da'wa [= the calling]).
Once the organisation has the weapons to fight; the political parties to engage in international political arenas and the support of its intended voters; it will need a more legitimate support to help reaching its goals: either a patron state, or a sponsor state and/or states that unwittingly abet the process through which they reach their strategic objectives.
A patron state is one whose territory is where the terrorist organisation is active; one that either willingly ignores the terror activity going on within its borders or let's it participate officially in the legitimate political arena (e.g. Lebanon as Hezbollah's Patron).
A sponsor state is one involved in the process as a source of funding and support; since a terrorist organisation needs a lot of money to fund all its activities (e.g. Iran and Qatar funding Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades; Palestinian Liberal Front [PLF]; Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP], etc etc).
A state that unwittingly abets terror is a Western state that does not realise (?) it is involved in the process (e.g. Europe and the European Union).
A multidimensional war is fought in three battlefields: military; media; international courts and the court of public opinion (being the latter intimately related to the media battleground). Hamas and Fatah (two branches stemming from the same trunk: the PLO) are eximious in this kind of warfare: Hamas engages in terrorism (in Yesha, but also abroad - in Western countries) and buys the support of Palestinians (at home and abroad - in refugee camps) through free welfare services; Fatah subtly engages in terrorism (through its armed wing, in Yosh and abroad ) but assumes the principal role of a peaceful political entity that has access to the international political arena and institutions.
Fatah's main function is to literally fool the world into supporting the Palestinian cause (i.e. "There is no homeland for us except Palestine, and there is no land for us but Palestine. We shall not accept an alternative homeland, nor an alternative land" Mahmoud Abbas before the UNGA in September 2012; "Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land" Khaled Meshal to Gazans on the 8th of December 2012) - in order to achieve this objective, the media and social networks are widely used. Their web is superbly well woven and I have had the pleasure of observing the staff of the Palestinian Political Bureau in action, on social networks (they are most efficient near the uninformed).
PLO, in practice, is a Hybrid Terrorist Organisation.
But, have they fooled the world or has world fooled them? That remains to be seen.
[N.B: this post was inspired by Dr Boaz Ganor's article "The Hybrid Terrorist Organisation & Incitement - The changing forms of incitement to terror and violence: the need for a new international response]