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Modern Terrorism Essay

1. What major measures can the international community take to prevent terrorism?

The fight against terrorist organizations and terrorism is not just a fight that the United States must face alone. This is evident from the Madrid train bombings, the bombings in London, and the terrorist attacks that Israel seems to face everyday from Hizballah. Terrorism is, in effect, international. All nations have a responsibility to combat terrorism to protect them and to protect other nations as well.

One of the security measures that can be undertaken is that of securing aircraft and airports. Enders and Sandler cite in their book that between 1973 and 2002, there was an average of ten skyjackings per year (Enders, W. & . Sandler, T., 2012). This was a number that is surprising due to the fact that it seems like most weren’t reported or very little coverage was given to the incidences. There are new technologies being developed all the time to aid in securing of air travel. There is new technology in the area of explosive detection devices. One such technology is called micro-tagging. During this process, tiny chips of micro-taggants are blended into explosive substances and color-coded to identify the manufacturer and batch of explosives (IME, 2005).

This system would also be beneficial in the reconstruction of bomb scenes and used to gain knowledge and prepare for future terrorist acts. Another innovative technology is called dielectric analysis. Dielectric analysis is a powerful non-destructive tool for characterizing materials; it can provide accurate, repeatable results unavailable by other electrical means. This, in essence, gives the explosive agents a “fingerprint” and could provide immediate identification of explosive substances at airports (DHS, 2012).

Along with technological advanced in air security, people can often make the biggest impact. In this area, Federal Air Marshals play an important role. This is not something that all countries partake in but more and more countries are adding these individuals to their flights. The airline association estimates that 10 or 20 out of some 115 airlines that fly into the United States already use air marshals (Lichtblau, 2003). Israel, for instance, has used marshals on El Al flights for years, and as stated, some other countries have followed suit more recently, as Australia announced in 2003 that Qantas Airways would begin placing armed marshals on flights to Singapore. Mexico has stated that they would start to use their own air marshals on flights that are going to the United States.

However, not all countries and airlines are signed on to the idea. Air France does not use air marshals and the British Air Line Pilots Association said it does not believe that arms belong on aircraft, and British Airways, the country’s biggest airline, said it reserves the right not to fly if it is forced to add air marshals (Lichtblau, 2003). Although there is a general feeling among passengers that they would feel safer on a flight if there were an air marshal on board, not everyone believes the passengers would necessarily be safer. There are those that cite that an armed conflict on a plane would become more dangerous to the passengers as opposed to just letting the terrorist state their demands and work with them for the release of passengers.

Sound, actionable, intelligence is another area that countries can utilize for overall protection. Political intelligence is an important factor to combating terrorism. This can be used to identify where the groups are garnering the most support for their cause. When this has been determined, pressure from other nations can be placed on these states to not support the terrorists. The gathering and use of military intelligence is vital in any operation. The intelligence gathered by our forces can assist in finding out how many are in a particular group, what kinds of weapons they have, and where they are located. 2. Do you think the U.S. should follow Israel’s example of fighting terrorism? Explain fully.

Israel has been fighting terrorism for many years, even before they became a nation in 1948. They are surrounded by Muslim nations, which historically do not get along with Israelis. This is particularly true of Palestinians. Since Israel is surrounded by so many that wish to do them harm, they have had to take more drastic steps in order to protect themselves.

They had become one of the first countries to articulate a deliberate and official policy of retaliation against terrorism. Most nations understand that a nation must fight back in order to protect itself and its interests. Israel on the other hand seems to retaliate in a much more aggressive manner. Such a case was their retaliation against an Arab village in Qibiya, Jordan in 1953. On October 13, 1953, Jordanian terrorists infiltrated the Israeli border and threw a grenade into a house, killing a mother and two children in Tiryat Yehuda. In an effort to prevent further attacks and protect its borders, Israel launched a reprisal raid on Qibiya, a Jordanian town across the border from Tiryat Yehuda. Unit 101, led by then Colonel Ariel Sharon, destroyed 50 homes, killing 69 Jordanian civilians who were hidden inside and had gone unnoticed (Oreck, A. 2007). Sharon had stated that he was not aware that civilians were involved but that did not help in the embarrassment that Israel suffered due to the incident.

The Israelis have pioneered the area of preemptive strikes against terrorism. This policy is a bit more difficult to convince the international community for its justification. It is one thing to fight back against an attack on your country it is another to strike first to prevent such an attack. But in many cases is necessary to do so.

Should we follow Israel’s example? If that question had been posed ten or fifteen years ago, I may have said no. Today, my answer would be yes, with a caveat. Though it may be difficult, I think we would need other countries to publicly back us to carry out certain missions. In the case of a preemptive strike, our allies must be informed of such action so they are not taken by surprise of the situation. As far as targeted killings, we had better have support in this undertaking or else we are going to look like the aggressors or worse, assassins.

A prime example is our current situation in the Middle East. Although the United States has a policy against taking out heads of state, which President Ford imposed by executive order in 1976, there is nothing to say that we cannot take out leaders of terrorist groups as in the case of Osama bin Laden. In the climate we live in today, we had better have all of our options open and on the table if we want to defend ourselves and help prevent future attacks. 3. Identify and explain at least three international conventions organized to suppress terrorism.

I.The International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1999, and signed on behalf of the United States of America on January 10, 2000. The Convention is aimed at cutting off the funding that terrorist groups need to operate. This Convention provides an obligation that States Parties criminalize such conduct and establishes an international legal framework for cooperation among States Parties directed toward prevention of such financing and ensuring the prosecution and punishment of offenders, wherever found.

II.The International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombing was adopted in 1997. At this convention, The United Nations (1997) states: Created a regime of universal jurisdiction over the unlawful and intentional use of explosives and other lethal devices in, into, or against various defined public places with intent to kill or cause serious bodily injury, or with intent to cause extensive destruction of the public place. (article 2)

It is similar to other conventions in that it requires parties to extradite or submit for prosecution person’s accused of committing or aiding in the commission of such offenses.

III.The Convention on the Making of Plastic Explosives for the purpose of Detection was ratified by the United Nations in 1991. The members of the U.N. were concerned that plastic explosives had been used for such terrorist acts in the past and could be again in the future and wanted to do something about it. This Convention was aimed at deterring such unlawful acts of the use of plastic explosives because they felt there was a need for an international mandate for States to adopt appropriate measures to ensure that plastic explosives are marked. 4. Briefly evaluate the provision of the U.S. Patriot Act.

The U.S. Patriot Act has ten different provisions that outline the United States government’s war on terrorism. These provisions impact the war on terrorism in different ways. Some of the provisions deal with rights and responsibilities; others provide areas in which terrorism can be fought.

The first title is for the enhancement of domestic security and provides for funding and information gathering. It also prohibits the discrimination against Muslim Americans. Title II is probably the most controversial of all the provisions. It is here where the perceived infringement on civil liberties takes place. This provision reshapes the way the federal government can collect information. The FBI can seize materials from private citizens when it believes national security is at stake and then get permission from courts to do so afterwards. Title III involves the area of money laundering and the financing of terrorist organizations. Title IV increases border patrols and mandates the detention of suspected terrorists. Title V deals with removing obstacles in the investigation of terrorism and addresses the capture and prosecution of terrorists.

Title VI provides aid to the families of Public Safety Officers who were injured or killed in terrorist attacks, and amends the Victims of Crime Act of 1984. Title VII supports the sharing of information by federal law enforcement agencies. Title VIII strengthens criminal laws against terrorism, defines domestic terrorism, and expands biological weapons statutes. Title IX provides guidance on intelligence information sharing from foreign agencies. The information derived from electronic surveillance or physical searches is disseminated for efficient and effective foreign intelligence purposes. The last title is kind of a catchall and is listed as miscellaneous. It contains 16 sections that do not fall under other titles in the act. 5. Briefly discuss the impact of emergency powers on defeating terrorism.

Many nations have forms of so called, “Emergency Powers”. Some countries call it “State of Exception”, “Special Powers”, or “Terrorist Affected”. No matter what a country may call their emergency powers, extreme circumstances may exist in which the security of the country in needed and these powers allow for authorities to stop, search, question and detain individuals suspected of terrorist involvement. There have been emergency powers used even before the United States was formed.

Between 1775 and 1781, the Continental Congress passed a series of acts and resolves which count as the first expressions of emergency authority. These instruments dealt almost exclusively with the prosecution of the Revolutionary War (Relyea, 2006). The President of the United States has available certain powers that may be exercised in the event that the nation is threatened by crisis, exigency, or emergency circumstances (other than natural disasters, war, or near-war situations). Part Two:

What changes has the F.B.I. made since 9/11? How have these changes improved the F.B.I.’s ability to respond to terrorism?

Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S. Muller, III said the following in a 2008 Washington Times article: Before 9/11, we were an agency that focused primarily on investigating crimes after the fact, he told The Washington Times in an e-mail interview this week. Today we are actively preventing and disrupting destructive and illegal acts before they occur. (para. 3) A few examples of how the F.B.I. is accomplishing this are how they recruit and train their special agents. Mr. Muller instituted a five-year move up or get out plan for its leadership, calling it critical to the success of the future success of the F.B.I.

The budget for 2012 was $8.1 billion including $119.2 million in program increases to enhance counterterrorism, computer intrusions, and other programs (The FBI, 2012). They have also made great efforts to increase information sharing with other intelligence agencies which makes efforts to prevent terrorists activities a greater success as in the thwarting of the attempted bombing of downtown Manhattan financial district just a few short months ago.

Since the institution of Director Muller’s initiatives and the FBI’s new focus on counterterrorism rather than just being a reactive agency, the FBI is better trained and equipped to not only respond but to go on the offensive when needed. With the help of the Patriot Act and the expanded powers it allows law enforcement to react more decisively and with greater effectiveness.

Part Three:

What were the policies of Germany and Japan before 9/11? What measures have been taken by these two countries in order to combat terrorism?

Prior to 9/11, the German government had a typical laissez faire approach to international terrorists and their organizations. After 9/11 this changed. In a CRS report, Miko, F.T. (2004), stated the following: The German response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States was immediate and unprecedented in scope for that country. Setting aside its post-World War II prohibition against deploying forces outside of Europe and overcoming pacifist leanings of some in the governing coalition, Germany quickly offered military and other assistance to the United States.

In his initial reaction to the attacks of 9/11, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder declared Germany’s “unlimited solidarity” with the United States. On September 12, 2001, the German government, along with other U.S. allies, invoked NATO’s Article V, paving the way for military assistance to the United States. The Chancellor gained approval from the German Parliament to deploy troops to Afghanistan with a call for a vote of confidence in his own government.

Since then, German efforts in the fight against terrorism have expanded across a wide spectrum. Germany has instituted significant policy, legislative, and organizational reforms. Bilateral cooperation with the United States has been extensive, despite differences stemming from the distinct approaches and constraints in each country and frictions resulting from sharp disagreement over Iraq policy. (p. 1) Since the end of WWII and Japan’s defeat, their policy has been one of maintaining a Ground Self Defense Force (GSDF) aimed at protecting the homeland only. While Japan remains a loyal supporter of the United States, the public is very reluctant to view military intervention outside the country as favorable. However, they did send a small force to Iraq in a relatively peaceful operating environment in the town of Samawah. While there they neither caused nor received any casualties, which was popular with the Japanese public.

Although Japanese opinion on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq suggests a willingness to recognize the utility of military power for territorial defense, but not for offensive uses of force, unless these are directly related to national defense, they remain a strong supporter of U.S. policies against terrorists. Part Four:

Summarize the salient points of the National Strategy For Combating Terrorism.

The salient points of the National Strategy For Combating Terrorism can be summed up as follows:

➢Defeat Terrorists and Their Organizations

➢Deny Sponsorship, Support, and Sanctuary to Terrorists

➢Diminish the Underlying Conditions that Terrorists Seek to Exploit

➢Defend U.S. Citizens and Interests at Home and Abroad

The list above serves as the Goals and Objectives of the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism as of 2007. These same goals still hold true today. Part Five:

Summarize the salient points of the National Strategy To Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction

National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction. This was first issued by then President, George W. Bush in December 2002. A description of strategy is as follows: The Weapons of Mass Destruction strategy presents a national strategy to combat weapons of mass destruction (WMD) through three major efforts: (1) nonproliferation, (2) counter-proliferation, and (3) consequence management in WMD incidents (The White House, 2003). The plan addresses the production and proliferation of WMD among nations, as well as the potential threat of terrorists using WMD agents.

I leave you with a final quote from President George W. Bush. “The gravest danger our Nation faces lies at the crossroads of radicalism and technology. Our enemies have openly declared that they are seeking weapons of mass destruction, and evidence indicates that they are doing so with determination. The United States will not allow these efforts to succeed. …History will judge harshly those who saw this coming danger but failed to act. In the new world we have entered, the only path to peace and security is the path of action.” President Bush

The National Security Strategy of the United States of America September 17, 2002

References:

(2005). Taggant History and Background. IME. Retrieved January 8, 2013 from http://www.ime.org/dynamic.php?page_id=66

(2012). Electromagnetic Studies of Explosives Laboratories. 1-2. Department of Homeland Security: http://www.orau.gov/DHS-TSLvisSciProg/labs/TSL_EMX LAB.pdf.

(2012). Quick Facts. The FBI. Retrieved January 15, 2013 from http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/quick-facts

Conery, B., Mueller praises FBI’s changes since 9/11. The Washington Times. [Editor’s Picks]. Retrieved January 15, 2013 from http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/jul/25/mu eller-praises-fbis-changes-since-911/?page=all

Enders, W. & . Sandler, T. (2012). The Political Economy of Terrorism. (2nd ed., pp. 86-90). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Lichtblau, E. (2003). U.S. says it will force countries to arm flights. San Francisco Chronicle, A/1. Retrieved January 8, 2013, from http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/12/30/MNGJD40F651.DTL&type=printable.

Miko, F.T. (2004). Germany’s Role in Fighting Terrorism: Implications for U.S. Policy. (RL32710). 1. United States Congress. Retrieved January 15, 2013 from http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RL32710.pdf

Oreck, A. (2007). Qibya. Jewish Virtual Library, The Library. Retrieved January 8, 2013, from http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Qibiya.html.

Relyea, H. C. (2006). National Emergency Powers. In CRS Report for Congress. Congress. Retrieved January 9, 2013, from http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/98-505.pdf.

The White House. (2003). National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction. Arms Control Today. Retrieved January 15, 2013 from http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2003_01-02/document _janfeb03

United Nations. (1997). Conventions Against Terrorism. Retrieved January 9, 2013, from United Nations: http://www.un.org/law/cod/terroris.htm


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