Non-State-Actors and the Subterranean Dimension


  • Eran Zohar independent researcher of armed groups


This study explores the use of the subterranean dimension (tunnels, bunkers, shelters) by non-state-actors across time and place. The study reveals that from antiquity rebel groups have exploited below-ground structures, artificial and manmade, to preserve their force and to attack superior enemies. The decision of rebellious NSAs to exploit the subterranean dimension has been the result of their physical and social environment, their operational approach and ability to execute it, accessible technology, relationships with the civilian population, impact of culture and myths, and counter measures by the states. Control over territory allows present NSAs to construct elaborate subterranean facilities, but new uncovering technologies introduced by Israel are endangering the NSAs’ last secure channel. 

Author Biography

Eran Zohar, independent researcher of armed groups

Eran Zohar is an independent researcher in the field of armed groups, security, and intelligence, and has published numerous articles on these subjects. He received his doctorate in Political Science from the University of Otago in New Zealand, and served for many years as a senior strategic analyst in the Analysis Division of Israeli Military Intelligence. His upcoming book examines the arming of non-state-actors throughout history. Recently, he conducted field research on Jewish resistance fighters’ use of subterranean dimension against the Germans in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust.