Terrorism has grown into a pertinent global factor that has an effect on many countries and states in the world. There are several forms of terrorism, yet each of them focuses on one central issue. To begin with, the definition of terrorism is the act of employing force and violence to force others to make desired decisions and actions. In majority of the cases, there are political and ideological connections behind any act of terrorism. Yet, the main philosophy instigated by terrorism is to create and instill fear amongst the target group. People who practice terrorism use tactics that create fear to instill fear in individuals hence Those who practice terrorism try to influence decisions that will help them achieve their objectives by creating fear among people and they do this mostly because of political and religious motivation. Terrorism cases in the current world have been on the rise due to technological advancements and globalization. Such aspects have led to the redefinition of terrorism, and made slight changes to the conventional understanding. This paper assesses some literature on terrorism with the objective of highlighting different emerging issues about terrorism today. The paper will offer an analysis of diverse issues that affect the overall comprehension of terrorism, in addition to evaluating the policies undertaken by various countries in trying to combat terror in the world. Part of the major discussion in this paper will center around reorganization of terrorist groups, lone terrorism and counter terrorism efforts.
Dilemmas raised by weapons of mass destruction and cyber-technology in forecasting risk from terrorists
One of the most challenging responsibilities that governments are charged with is combating terrorism and this is mainly due to the diverse characteristics of terrorists that differ across nations. The divergent motivating factors for terrorists and their goals and objectives are generally difficult to comprehend. Louise Richardson’s book,What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat, sheds some light on how the approaches undertaken by the world in combating terrorism have failed. Louise argues that prior to implementing combat procedures, nations ought to strive to understand the nature of terrorists they are dealing with. This aspect is particularly essential and relevant in today’s world considering that terrorists now focus their attention on using and applying technology in their activities and especially attacks. Weapons of mass destruction are also preferred by many terrorists across the world today and the internet has become a special platform through which the terrorists can pursue their plans of creating terror. This causes a dilemma for many nations as they are not sure of which approaches would most suitably combat terror.
The specific target group to direct terror attacks at is yet another of the major dilemmas that the war on terrorism has to face. This is attributed to the fact that without the support of nations and community members, terrorist groups can never exist or thrive and this is well exemplified amongst some Muslim radicals cum terrorists. Since Muslim radicals have claimed responsibility for many terror attacks around the world, they have taken center-stage in policy making and occupy the minds of many people across the world. Despite this, it would be wrong to assume that every Muslim country and individual is involved in terrorism because this is not the case. There are however, certain Muslim countries that have been alleged to support terrorist groups and because of all these aspects, it is important for countries trying to combat terrorism to comprehend the diversity and nature of the crime and the types of terrorists they are dealing with before they can adopt any policies. In addition, policy makers ought to come to terms with the new definitions and broad scopes of terrorism as these affect the capacity to apply different policies in the war against terror. Among the key emerging issues that pose challenges to applying different policies and measures to combat terrorism include the use of weapons of mass technology as well as cyber-technology terrorism.
Without obtaining support from different community mechanisms and state institutions, terror groups would never be able to champion their crusades of employing weapons of mass destruction. These weapons have changed the dynamics as they are a fresh source of power and influence for terrorist groups and have thus created a difference between the conventional and modern comprehension of terrorism. In the past, terrorists mainly gained their power and influence from amassing wealth and resources which they would employ in terror activities. The introduction of internet use by terrorists has changed the dynamics and confused the war on terror as many policies that had initially been adopted in varied countries had not envisioned this aspect in terrorism. Internet use has further complicated the hunt and search for terrorist suspects and terror activities, unlike in the past. The fact that suicide bombing killings now employ sophisticated machinery is also a growing challenge in the fight against terrorism.
The United States, for instance, is a country that has had to face these dilemma challenges in their approaches of fighting terrorism in the world. The dispatch of troops to Afghanistan and Iraq is not a coherent approach of dealing with terrorism and this is evident in the fact that despite such efforts, terrorism in the world is yet to be contained. Unplanned and rashed responses to terrorism have created dilemmas in the war against terror. Many nations have been known to respond to terror without full comprehension of the events, nature or characteristics related to the terror attacks and their approaches have thus failed because terrorists tend to prepare retaliatory attacks well in advance. Furthermore, despite their small numbers and scarce resources, terrorists are still powerful and the introduction of cyber-terrorism as well as use of weapons of mass destruction in terror attacks has made them even more powerful and complicated the war against terror for many nations. It is such dilemmas that have made it challenging for many nations to effectively combat terrorism and as a result, terrorists are continuing with their activities.
Potential dangers that could arise from Al-Qaeda affiliates in the future
Upon the death of its leader, Osama-bin-Laden, the war against Al-Qaeda terrorist group took a new turn. In his book, After Bin Laden, the author Abdel Bari Atwan exposes numerous issues that explain the survival and prosperity of Al-Qaeda, even after Osama’s death. Atwan explains that the terror group has diverse characteristics and a network that the movement uses in perpetuating its activities. Of importance is the fact that Al-Qaeda as a movement has altered its approaches in perpetrating terrorist acts since the killing of Osama who was the top leader of the group. While initially the movement was covered by a small group ideology, it has since re-organized into groups that have global coverage, and thus poses more danger. As a result, there has been a decentralization of the terrorist group’s activities with the aim of obtaining a global coverage and also undermining the efforts of the war on terrorism. In the wake of technological advancements and globalization, such reorganization and alterations in the tactics employed by Al-Qaeda in tactics pose a greater threat to world peace and prosperity.
Atwan gives real examples of organizations developed by Al-Qaeda after Osama Bin Laden was killed. Such re-organization of terrorists has received support from the Muslim world, a fact that poses further threat to peace in the world. The “Arab Spring”, is one such organization that has been formed by the terrorist groups and it is a revolution that has affected and continues to affect many Arab nations. While many individuals have mistakenly viewed the revolutions as heightened efforts towards the enhancement of democracy and the rule of law, they are far from this. In fact, these revolutions are a representation of a future that will be heavily influenced by Islamists who will further use terrorism to advance their interests. In future, these movements will greatly influence the policies adopted by host countries especially when taking into account that citizens are bound to strike in cases of failure regarding good governance. The violence and activities meted out by these movements are compatible with the convention ideologies that the Al-Qaeda movement, upheld and this is evidence of the re-organization of the group.
In addition to the Arab Spring, Atwan also identifies the Islamic Maghreb in North Africa as yet another group organized by the terrorist movement. According to him, the Islamic Maghreb organization is challenging North African countries along tribal dynamics in the areas around this region and one of the countries most affected is Yemen. In these areas, the tribal dynamics are regarded as the allies to the movements that develop from the Al-Qaeda with theirenmity being created based on their diverse alliances as well as the great dissatisfaction with the central government. Besides threatening the central government, this organization also espouses an Islamic form that is quite familiar with the locals. Atwan is also of a similar opinion that with regard to the local tribal dynamics especially if the prospects for the expansion and growth of Al-Qaeda in the North African states and the Islamic Maghreb are to be considered. Atwan further lists theRussian Cacacasus and the Al-shabaab of Somalia as some other additional organizations that perpetuate terror and uphold or perpetuate the Al-Qaeda ideology.The re-organizations created by Al-Qaeda pose a greater risk to the entire world especially considering the fact that their decentralization will ultimately spread the terror activities across the globe. The diverse coverage and spread of terrorists in different parts of the world will facilitate the mass unleashing of terror in the world. As such, the efforts of combating terrorism ought to also focus on eliminating the growth and spread of such re-organizations as opposed to simply hunting down and killing the masterminds of terrorism solely.
Development of strategies to deal with lone-wolf terrorism
In his book, Lone Wolf Terrorism, Jeffrey Simon, examines the threat posed by an emerging trend of single individuals unleashing terror. Lone wolf terrorism is the most challenging form of terrorism to combat given the uphill task of detecting the lone terrorists. Lone terrorists have the advantage of going into hiding prior to and after committing terror acts. This undermines the strategies that many governments have set in place to fight lone terrorism in the world. A strategy that can be absolutely important when fighting lone terrorism is to analyze how the terrorist formulates their attacks. Nevertheless, most government strategies place an emphasis on finding out the identity of lone terrorists instead of unearthing how they plan and execute their attacks which would ultimately empower the government to prevent future occurrence of such cases.
One of the main tactics of combating lone terrorism entails investing and equipping intelligence services especially because easing availability and access to intelligence information is pertinent in fighting lone terrorists across the world. This is particularly important when considering that lone terrorists spend a considerable amount of time to plan their terror activities and thus achieve their objectives of perpetuating terror. it is necessary for intelligence agencies to cooperate and combine efforts with other relevant government agencies so that together they can formulate rational decisions with regard to fighting the activities of lone terrorists. As opposed to focusing on the lone terrorist individuals solely, one important strategy is to enlist the help of the community in finding and fighting such terrorists. Lone terrorists can only operate if they have the support of their communities and this makes it necessary to enlist the involvement and cooperation of the affected communities. Nonetheless, upholding individual freedoms is also a restriction and prevents application of the strategies that can deal with lone terrorists.
In addition, it is also necessary to comprehend both sociological and psychological traits of individuals when formulating the strategies for combating terrorism because these are responsible for the high number of men who get involved in the lone terrorism. Lone terrorists also have to make preparations to take on the higher risks and even become courageous in difficult times, and this is why they are more related to the masculine characteristics. Policy makers also ought to take into consideration the link between masculinity and lone terrorism especially when taking into account that men are more antisocial than women and are more likely to engage in lone terrorism. Despite this, women should not be entirely excluded as suspects of lone terrorism because they too can engage in the act. In addition, the strategies also ought to take into account the fact that lone terrorists are now making use of the internet to access information regarding targets to strike, weapons as well as other aspects that inform their objectives. This therefore calls for security agencies to monitor and control the internet so that they can identify and contain lone terrorism who use internet for their activities.
Creation of a new mechanism to prevent terrorism including perhaps a new definition of the term (terrorism)
Many states have made relentless efforts to not only eliminate the presence of terrorists within their societies, but also prevent further terrorist attacks in their territories. Nevertheless, the rise in the number of terrorists every day, has thwarted many of these efforts and prevented their success. Perhaps, this has created the opportune moment for us to comprehend the segmented and diversified characteristics of terrorism as this will ensure proper mechanisms are taken to fight against terror in the world. Technology and globalization have influenced terrorists and metamorphosized its nature. In addition, the introduction of using weapons of mass destruction has also increased the influence of terrorists and changed the nature of terrorism in today’s world. Comprehending the new diverse nature of terrorism in the modern day can be useful in creating new mechanisms for preventing and fighting terrorism. The mechanisms used in the war against terror in many countries has been ineffective due to the conflict between combating terrorism and observing human rights.
Among the new mechanisms that can prove efficient in preventing terrorism is taking a global perspective in the approaches of combating terror. It is essential for the different states and nations across the globe to join hands and cooperate in the fight against terror in the world.Terrorism is no longer a concern of the United States only but has extended to all countries across the world. It is thus apparent that by cooperating to fight against terrorism, different countries will increase momentum and enthusiasm. Non-cooperation, on the other hand, facilitates further acts of terrorism with little or no obstacles for the terrorists. Like any other criminal act, terrorism is a crime that ought to be punishable by law, and as such countries ought to incorporate terrorism within their criminal justice systems and this mechanism should supersede any other concern. This move is important as a counter-terrorism effort of different nations and will provide a different perspective for approaching the fight against terrorism. Furthermore, by inculcating terrorism as a crime within the legal system, countries will be able to fight terrorism while respecting the rights and freedoms of suspects or terrorists.
The introduction of a criminal justice system that infuses penalties for terror suspects will also be a good preventive measure as it will help to highlight diverse issues that are linked to terrorism. For example, a comprehensive criminal justice system will provide disciplinary measures and help to deal with those who support and fund terrorists. States are also supposed to uphold and support good governance because this is a key motivator in combating terrorism. In conclusion, as a global threat, terrorism poses challenges to unity, co-existence and peace in the world. In the recent past, varied technological advancements and globalization have fueled the growth of terrorism and even led to the introduction of weapons of mass destruction and cyber- technology terrorism. There is urgent need for counter terrorism efforts need to take into consideration the diversities and new nature of terrorism. One such change that should be considered is the re-organization and spread of terrorist groups across the globe that threatens peace in the future. The rise in lone terrorism is also another concern that affects the fight against terrorism in the modern day.
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