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International Terrorism

International Terrorism

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International Terrorism

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  1. International Terrorism Andreas Wimmer

  2. Fundamental Questions • Is Terrorism warfare? • Is terror a legitimate tool?/ What is international terrorism? • Is terrorism more predominant in the post cold war area? • Is 9/11 significant? • Mass casualties, a serious threat? • What counter measures we can take against the threat?

  3. Is Terrorism a legitimate tool?

  4. Is Terrorism warfare? • Colin Gray thesis “All Terrorist are Soldiers.” • Another Bloody Century, Future Warfare • Legitimating terrorism for the sake of war! • Terror is a form of warfare in both conventional and insurgency wars. • Terrorism against states or individuals not in a state of insecurity or declaring martial law remains a crime!

  5. Is Terrorism warfare? Depends on the perspective

  6. Is terror a legitimate tool? • Philosophical explanation (definition on what is right? Or Who is right?) • East Timor, War of Independence (1775–1783), French Revolution, Israel (1948) • Pragmatic explanation • Jurisprudence (resistance movements) • International Law (Geneva Convention, U.N Charter) • Adversary view (means are justified) • Revolutionary warfare (Banastre Tarleton) • War of Independence (Algerian Civil War 1990) • Struggle, freedom fights or idiosyncratic millenarian movements • Mahdi movement (Muhammad Ahmad ibn as Sayyid Abd Allah 1845 - 1885 )

  7. Jurisprudence on terrorism • Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, New York, 14 December 1973 • International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, New York, 17 December 1979 • International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, New York, 15 December 1997 • International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, New York, 9 December 1999 • Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, Tokyo, 14 September 1963 (*) • Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, The Hague, 16 December 1970 (*) • Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, Montreal, 23 September 1971 (*) • Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, Vienna, 3 March 1980 (**) • Protocol on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation, supplementary to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, Montreal, 24 February 1988 (*) • Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, Rome, 10 March 1988 • Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms located on the Continental Shelf, Rome, 10 March 1988 • Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection, Montreal, 1 March 1991 (*) • 1949 Geneva Convention

  8. Is terror a legitimate tool? • ICRC, Geneva Convention, UN Charter - a clear NO! • Criminal Code – a clear NO! • Political perspective – well fuzzy, as and if opportune (for state) for adversary – always YES! • Colonists (US War of Independence) - YES! • Beaten on the battlefield, Francis Marion fixed British forces away from the main continental contingents. Actions by the British justified Colonists retaliatory actions

  9. Is terror a legitimate tool? • International humanitarian law prohibits without exception all acts of terror during international or non-international armed conflicts. • This body of law also requires States to prevent and punish breaches. Acts of terrorism may constitute war crimes, subject to international jurisdiction, and the International Criminal Court may be competent to hear such cases. • At the same time, the fight against terrorism and the prosecution of persons suspected of terrorism are subject to international humanitarian law if they take place during armed conflict. That body of law does not constitute an obstacle to the fight against terrorism. Indeed, suspected terrorists can be prosecuted for acts of terrorism.But even the members of armed forces or “illegal fighters” suspected of acts of terrorism are protected by the Geneva Conventions and are entitled to judicial guarantees if put on trial. •$File/irrc_847_Gasser.pdf •

  10. International terrorism

  11. Is 9/11 significant? - Perspectives • Political • Emotional resonance • “Starting now, life in America is about emergencies rather than ease” • Economical, Constitutional • Patriot Act, curbing of civil liberties • Economical switch to the Euro threatens US economy; Iraq’s invasion has economical justifications • Ideological/ Religious • Muslim perspective. Surah 9:11 does not appear relevant, but Surah 9:111 is highly relevant because it firmly promises heavenly gardens to those who slay and are slain in Allah's way. • Some historians noted that September 11, 1683 the Battle of Vienna, was the turning point in a 250-year struggle between the forces of the Christian West and the Islamic Ottoman Empire. James Ashcroft, Virgin Books, Making A Killing, page 215

  12. Is 9/11 significant? - Perspectives • Strategic • Hegemonic change of the United States • Regional changes initiated • Social • Impact on the “American soul” • Attack against the “homeland”; first since 1941

  13. U.S perspective • Title 22, US Code, Section 2656f(d)(used by the Department of State and the CIA) • Terrorism is premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience. • International terrorism is terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country. • A Terrorist group is any group practicing, or which has significant subgroups which practice, international terrorism. • Federal Bureau of Investigation • International terrorism involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or any state. These acts appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping. International terrorist acts occur outside the United States or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to coerce or intimidate, or the locale in which the perpetrators operate or seek asylum.

  14. U.S perspective • U.S. State Department’s official list of states supporting terrorism • Political mandated by U.S Congress • “to take the moral high ground against terrorism with little political cost.” • “With no objective criteria for deciding when countries should be placed on or removed from the list, inclusion is a purely political decision.” • Syria • State Department testified in 1995 that it had no evidence of Syrian involvement in terrorism since 1984! • Serbia • Not on the State Department list despite its support of Bosnian Serbs committing mass atrocities and terrorist acts in Bosnia.

  15. What is international terrorism? • Religious terrorism • Tends to be more violent then secular terrorism • “Amateur” terrorism • Lethal, self inspired, indirect sponsored • Hamas vs. PLO • Trade Center bombing 1983 (400$, 6 killed, more than 1,000 injured, 180ft. Six storey deep crater, 550$ million damage • “Professional” terrorism • Core cadre provide the foundation for amateurs • Outome • Accelerate in lethality since 1990

  16. What is international terrorism? • Agro-terrorism • A subset of bioterrorism, agro-terrorism would involve the use of a biological agent against the agricultural industry and/or food supply. • Cyber-terrorism • A terrorist attack aimed at crippling the country's networking infrastructure through the use of viruses etc, which also results in violence against persons or property. • Narco-terrorism • This term does not refer to a method of attack, but rather to a description of the link between narcotics trafficking and terrorism – it involves being a direct or indirect participant in drug trafficking and using the profits to advance or finance terrorist activities. • WMD terrorism • A terrorist attack utilizing a weapon of mass destruction (WMD), i.e. the use of a chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological weapon” • •

  17. Conclusions • No conclusive definition but commonly accepted legal, moral definitions of what terrorism is generally perceived • Interpretation subject to change and often defined by the type of response: • US perspective (direct & historically kinetic) • European perspective (indirect) • Asian perspectives (mixed) • Adversaries perspective (direct & historically kinetic, only when defeated pattern changes)

  18. U.S policy example • Make no concessions to terrorists and strike no deals; • Bring terrorists to justice for their crimes; • Isolate and apply pressure on states that sponsor terrorism to force them to change their behavior; and, • Bolster the counterterrorism capabilities of countries that work with the United States and require assistance.

  19. Historical Statistical Data

  20. Historical view 1997 data

  21. Most deadliest groups 1997 data

  22. 1997 The Year of Violence

  23. Terrorist Incidents by Region 01/01/1968 - 12/24/2006 

  24. Terrorist Incidents by Target 01/01/1968 - 12/24/2006

  25. 1980 – 1990/ 1990 - 2006 MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Database RAND

  26. Evolution of Terrorism

  27. Opposing Viewpoints(2000 – 2004) • Is Terrorism a Serious Threat • Terrorism is a Serious Threat (Hoffman, Paul Bremer!) • The Threat of Terrorism is Overstated (1997-2000) [Larry C. Johnson/ William Church] • WMD Do Not Pose a Terrorist Threat • Terrorism Against Information Systems Is a Threat • The Threat of Terrorism is Being Reduced (John Ashcroft! - 2004) • Biological Terrorism Is a Serious Threat (2004) • The Threat of Biological Terrorism has been exaggerated (2004) • America Is a Serious Terrorist Threat (2004) • Southeast Asia Terrorism Is a Serious Problem (2004) • Narco-terrorism Is a Serious Threat (2004)

  28. Opposing Viewpoints(2000 – 2004) • What Motivates Terrorism? • Religious Fanaticism Motivates Terrorists • Postwar Developments Motivate Terrorists • Democracy Encourages Terrorism • Economic Distress Motivates Terrorists (2000 & 2004) • Israeli Actions Motivate Middle East Terrorists • A combination of factors motivate Terrorists • What Are the Causes of Terrorism? • Islam Encourages Terrorism (2004) • Islam Does Not Encourage Terrorism (2004) • Economic Problems Cause Terrorism (2004) • Israel's Occupation of Palestine Causes Terrorism (Hamas – 2004) • Palestinian Hatred of Israel Causes Terrorism

  29. Opposing Viewpoints(2000 – 2004) • Can Terrorism be Justified? • Resistance to Tyranny Justifies Violence against U.S government • Resistance to British Rule Justifies Bombings in Northern Ireland • Bombings in Northern Ireland Cannot be Justified • American Policies in the Middle East Justify Islamic Terrorism (Osama Bin Laden interview) • Israeli Occupation of Palestine Justifies Islamic Terrorism • The Islamic Faith Does Not Condone Terrorism

  30. Opposing Viewpoints(2000 – 2004) • How Should the United States respond? • Tougher Aviation Security Measures Will Help Reduce Terrorism • Tougher Aviation Security Measures Will Not Reduce Terrorism • The U.S Should Retaliate Against Terrorist Groups • Retaliation Efforts Against Terrorists Are Fruitless • Expanding the FBI’s Power is a necessary Response to Terrorism (Louis J. Freeh) • CT Legislation is a Dangerous Expansion of Governmental Powers • How Should America’s Domestic War on Terrorism Be Conducted? (2004) • Antiterrorism Legislation Will Make America Safer • Antiterrorism Legislation Threatens Civil Liberties • Racial Profiling Will Make America Safer • Racial Profiling Will Make America Less Safe • Immigration Must Be Restricted to Protect America Against Terrorists • Immigrants Enhance National Security

  31. Opposing Viewpoints(2004) – surprise entry • How Should the International Community Respond to Terrorism? • The UN Should Lead the Fight Against Terrorism vs. Should Not Lead the Fight • War Is an Appropriate Response to Terrorism • War Is the Wrong Response to Terrorism • Brokering a Peace Between Israel & Palestinians Can Reduce Terrorism vs. Will Not Reduce Terrorism

  32. Old vs. New Terror • Old terror (“system/state terror”?) • Mid-eastern PLO (supported by Stasi ergo the Soviets!); nationalistic • Defined, set of political, social or economic objectives, taking credit with communiqués or explaining their actions • Marxist-Leninist movements • South America • FARC, MRTA, SL, Sandinistas • Europe • RAF, Red Brigades • Nationalistic • IRA, ETA

  33. New forms of Terrorism • New so new (Hoffman) • Religious imperatives encapsulates the confluence of the adversary, motivation and rationale • Less cohesive organizational entities • Amorphous, religious or millenarian aims • Obscure, zealous nationalist religious groups • Self started, home grown • Converted from nationalistic aims to “divine-inspired”, mystical, vehemently anti-government

  34. 1980 – 1990/ 1990 - 2006 MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Database RAND

  35. New forms of Terrorism Ethical/nationalistic Stronger ideological reasons Broad based social movement, no longer close knit former war veterans. Old Al Qaeda not entirely superseded Centralized targeting, ideological direction & operational support Emergence of autonomous, self-recruited self starter cells Coalesce spontaneous plan & attack without reference or active involvement of the global jihad

  36. Is terrorism more predominant in the post cold war area? • Predominant extremist fundamental causes are deep rooted sovereign political state issues. Terrorism in the post‑Cold War world is tied to the sovereign state system more than ever before. • Since 1991 terrorism has always been motivated by parochial ethnic, national, and religious loyalties than by universalism ideologies. Terrorism is a international problems extending beyond sovereignty and rooted in the sovereign state system rather than less. • Focused on creating their own revolutionary Islamic regimes rather then submerging them in utopian “Ummah” of the Bin Laden world. However the Ummah concept does have its attractors. • This is in sharp contrast to the Cold War years • Assumption that terrorism was primarily a product of an international conspiracy created by the Soviet Union to spread communism and Soviet foreign policy. That assumption was never totally accurate. Cusimano, Maryann K.  2000. Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for a Global Agenda. Pp. 96-107

  37. Commonalities

  38. Commonalities • Goals, strategies, operations, organization, ideology, Target, objective, motive, perpetrator, and legitimacy or legality of the act. • Escalation of force & Trigger for violence • Intifada (Jewish truck driver overrun 5 Palestinians); exploit situation for political aims • (Aggressive) response by governments

  39. Commonalities • Visuals, need for expression • “Terrorist groups we’re dealing with, I think, are bound to visuals.” • Government platitudes • “All insurgents are terrorists” • Poor law enforcement • Corruption (Azahari, 50,000 IDR) • Lack of transparent governance • Social grievances (Thailand)

  40. Mass casualties, a serious threat? • "Trends in terrorism over the past 15 years indicate that loosely linked transnational networks motivated primarily by religious ideologies seeking mass casualties are replacing more 'traditional' terrorists who are motivated primarily by politics," says Jason Pate, a senior research associate at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. "These ominous trends suggest the potential for mass-casualty attacks, and because biological agents could be used in this fashion, the potential for mass-casualty bioterrorism may be at hand."

  41. Mass casualties, a serious threat? • Definition of mass casualties reached new meaning at the 9/11 attacks • Al Qaeda model, once a year but big! • High media impact • High casualties • Aggressive response by state to alienate masses

  42. Mass casualties, a serious threat? • Strains the state security apparatus • Strains response systems • To maintain stability and effectiveness of medical, political and Internal Security systems • Objectives to weaken and collapse the state, society and the will to fight • High levels of casualties result in emotional response

  43. Countermeasures

  44. Components of Counter Terror policy • Public policy & diplomacy • Responsibility of political leadership • Political aspects of terrorism • Law enforcement & public security • Deals with the criminal aspects; apprehension & judiciary process • Intelligence • Terrorism are largely covert actions • Identify intend and prevent, apprehend or divert/foil the attack • The use of force, including covert action • proactive in contrast to the mainly reactive tactics of law enforcement and public security. • Conciliation • Re-integration of former adversaries to return to society; Process of “public healing”

  45. What counter measures we can take against the threat? • Addressing the ideological battle • Recognizing the strong bond within the social cell & unit structure • “Zero” tolerance policy (French position) • Countering the media advantage • Denying battle space, refuge/sanctuaries • Identifying the less evidence more “gut feeling” is needed. Intuitive response