Last Updated 17 Jun 2020

Counter Terrorism

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The dawn of the 21st century have enormously occupied fear and uncertainty as it may seem to pass by time of the dark ages where barbarian swordsmen annihilate the villagers and sorcerers put into spell the weaklings.

The aftermath of the terrorists attack to the US on September 11th year 2001, known as the 9/11 tragedy, have resulted strong beliefs that a powerful nation like the US is vulnerable to such cowardice and barbaric acts, much more vulnerable are the rests of the US allied countries particularly those belonging from the third world that are potential targets of terrorists. Countries around the world and most especially the member states of the United Nations have called for the massive execution of strategies to counter terrorism.

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As cited from the US National Counterterrorism Center (US-NCC) document on April 30th 2007, with its Report on Terrorist Incidents of 2006, accounted that: approximately 14,000 terrorist attacks occurred in various countries during 2006, resulting in over 20,000 deaths, as compared in 2005, attacks in 2006 rose by 3,000 (a 25% increase) while death rose by 5,800 (a 40% increase), as was the case last year, by far the largest number of terrorist incidents and deaths occurred in the near East and South Asia.

The document further cited that: “the two regions (East and South Asia) were the locations for 90% of the nearly 300 high-casualty attacks in 2006 that killed ten or more people, only a total of five high-casualty attacks in Europe-Eurasia, East Asia-Pacific and the Western Hemisphere”. A Brief Historical Background The overthrowing of the Soviet army by the military force of Afghan Muslim guerrilla warriors or commonly called as “mujahideen” in the early 1980’s has gave birth to al-Qaeda and began its operation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

An excerpt from the research paper of Rohan Gunaratna, an Associate Professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Director of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, narrated that al Qaeda enhanced its capabilities for a global networking throughout the 1990’s from its base in Asia and Sudan. Accordingly, “al-Qaeda effectively armed, trained, financed and theologically indoctrinated three-dozen Islamic groups in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Caucasus”.

Further cited from Rohan Gunaratna research paper, “specifically, over the course of the 1990’s, al-Qaeda and Taliban camps in Afghanistan trained between 70,000 and 120,000 Muslim youth to fight in the Philippines (Mindanao), Indonesia (Maluku and Poso), Myanmar, China (Xinjiang), Kashmir, Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Dagestan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and elsewhere”.

It can be realized that the global network of the al-Qaeda is far reaching the targets as its Muslim brethren can be easily persuaded by its diverse capabilities, as the World Islamic Front imminently wage its holy war or Jihad. Response of Nations The Report of the US-NCC have found to be undiscerning and does not cause alarm to its allied countries but discloses the fatal blow of terror in order for nations to respond with cautious certainty. The certainty of response is to ascertain acts that shall be preemptive, preventive, and combative to the dreadful characters of the terrorists.

As a result of the extreme importance and immediate need, the United Nations Security Council have passed and approved Resolution 1373 of 2001 creating the Counter-Terrorism Committee “that shall continue to monitor Member States’ implementation of resolution 1373 of 2001, guided by its principles of cooperation, transparency, equal treatment and consistency in approach…” (Letter of Ricardo Alberto Arias, Chairman, Security Council Committee, United Nations, 20 November 2007). As also cited in the letter, under par.

13 (facilitating assistance to states), that “the committee will conduct thematic discussions on strengthening efforts to limit terrorists’ mobility with the participations of experts from all of the relevant technical international organizations…” Confronted with the challenges to overcome chaos, the Member States to the United Nations, particularly the third world countries, are resolute to collaborative efforts as embodied in their respective economic, political, socio-cultural framework of governance.

Like in the United Kingdom (UK), who has long been plagued by domestic terrorism as a result of its domestic strife with Northern Ireland, the passing to parliament of the UK Strategy in Countering Terrorism of 2006, accordingly “has had a long-term strategy for countering terrorism, known within UK government as CONTEST, aims to reduce the risk from international terrorism so that the people can go about their daily lives freely and with confidence.

The strategy is divided into four principal strands: (1) prevent; tackling the radicalization of individuals, (2) pursue; reducing the terrorist threat to UK and to UK interests overseas by disrupting terrorists and their operations, (3) protect; reducing the vulnerability of the UK and the interests overseas” (HM Government, Countering International Terrorism: The United Kingdom’s Strategy, July 2006).

In the US where immediately responding at the 9/11 tragedy, the Director for the National Intelligence (DNI) outlined the 100 Day Plan program accordingly with its goal “to demonstrate short term progress and build momentum for integration and transformation across the community”.

Cited from its 100 Day Plan program, “it has been aligned to six integration and transformation focus areas which covers: (1) create a culture of collaboration, (2) foster collection and analytic transformation, (3) build acquisition excellence and technology leadership, (4) modernize business practices, (5) accelerate information sharing, and (6) clarify and align DNI’s authorities” (United States Intelligence Community, 100 Day Plan for Integration and Collaboration, Washington DC 20511).

Most recently on January 8th 2008, DNI published its program framework entitled as “Procuring the Future: 21st Century IC Acquisition”. Accordingly, the purpose is “to avert conflict and preserve peace…” with multiple areas of concern on: “(1) military, (2) proliferation, (3) foreign policy, (4) economics, (5) terrorism/narcotics/international organized crimes, (6) technology, and (7) regional conflict”. The program thrust support the enactment of US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 2007 as amended with modernization provisions for Fiscal Year 2008.

In sum, it comprises and outlines the US Counterintelligence Strategy of 2007 which adheres to empowering its homeland security. Meanwhile in South East Asia, the ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), namely: (1) Brunei Darussalam, (2) Cambodia, (3) Indonesia, (4) People’s Democratic Republic of Lao, (5) Malaysia, (6) Myanmar, (7) Philippines, (8) Republic of Singapore, (9) Thailand, and (10) Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, continuously affirm its economic, political and cultural ties.

The international diplomatic ties among the ASEAN Nations are a linking arm or reinforcement as it is one of the vital targets of terrorist attacks in the South East Asia. The ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism held in Cebu, Philippines on January 13th 2007, have renewed and reaffirmed the commitment to countering international terrorism through adopting strategic framework in law enforcement, economic and political programs and upholding the rule of law with relevance to protecting and preserving the human rights.

Thus, laying down the global agenda brought about by the emerging response of the UN and various enactments of strategic policies in the fight against terrorism, the remaining countries that propel terrorism are at large exploring its own identity—the entanglement from its traditional culture and race, the decadence of religious belief and blinded by remorse from first world dominion. Counter Terrorism: In Perspective The work of every Nation to war on terrorism is widened at the global perspective.

The global populace understood that terrorism is characterized by barbaric acts. Social scientists considerably view that in the case of the holy war or jihad, the Islamic secessionist group emulates Osama bin Laden as a Messiah (in which a messianic complex is attributed) to the fundamentalist rulers in Afghanistan that propagates Islamic terrorism against US and its allies. However, Muslim scholars literally view the jihad as being utilized or used into conflict of interest and a clamor for Islam.

According to the published article of Laura Mansfield on her interview to Shaykh Ayman al-Zawahari, “today in Palestine, conspiracies to abort the Jihad and surround the Mujahideen are being hatched by the same forces which created Israel and with the cooperation of their agents among our people. I repeat to you, my brothers, that we must be conscious of the legal and factual realities of this conflict, lest the treacherous leadership deceives us and we get lost in the market of political bargaining” (Laura Mansfield, Realities of the Conflict - Between Islam and Unbelief, Full Transcript of Zawahiri Tape December 20, 2006).

The minds of the Afghan supporters to Islamic secessionist have long been entangled to its religious beliefs on the destiny of the jihad. More so have been ideologically instilled with anguish against the Westerners, particularly the US and UK, as it condoned the Jews who accordingly took the Muslim lands. The ancestral war reached its adverse conflict until the 21st century wherein the cobweb of hostile Afghan forces goes out of control. It cannot be said today to part ways with the alliance of US and the UK so that reducing risk of terrorist attacks.

Development of preemptive measures or effective strategies to preventing terrorist attacks is outlined in the US and the UK economic, political, cultural platform of governance. These super power nations, including other countries of the European community, further collaborate with favorable international policies amongst countries that resist and abhor the Islamic terrorism. At this instance, the strategic stance of war on terrorism may have isolated, identified and singled out the terrorist block. Cushion A Blow

As the global alliances of Nations continue its fight against terrorism, respective countries of the world cushion a blow but with much strategic defense by empowering governance through economic development, political reforms and democratization. Somehow the militaristic approach to combating terrorism inflicts human error resulting casualties are but a little wound on the flesh of Nation that fight the real enemies of peace and democracy. Some reported human errors, as likewise in pursuit of enforcement, become affliction to human rights.

These flaws posit to be immediately addressed at a global scene. Assessing on the impact of the counter terrorism measures, the UK Office of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs proposed a survey of selected countries of Australia, in Asia, Western Europe and Northern America. The survey called for a consultative process on the legal means and further legislation of the counter terrorism measures that each country is implementing.

It cited its consideration that: “different countries, with differing political and legal traditions and systems, recognizing the particular threat posed by terrorism, have enacted a variety of measures to counter that threat. Approaches have varied and evolved over time in the face of a changing threat and changing terrorist tactics” (Counter Terrorism Legislation and Practice: A Survey of Selected Countries, October 2005). In similar development, a briefing paper from the Human Rights Watch organization in New York was submitted to the 59th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) on March 23rd 2005.

The briefing paper emphasizes that accordingly: “in fighting terrorism, however, governments must also ensure they meet their other obligations to their people by ensuring that counter-terrorist measures respect and do not violate international human rights, humanitarian, and refugee law” (In the Name of Counter-Terrorism: Human Rights Abuses Worldwide, Human Rights Watch). Likewise, a Handbook on Counter-Terrorism Measures has been produced by various organizations like the Independent Sector (IS), Inter Action (American Council for Voluntary International Action), Council on Foundations and Day, Berry and Howard Foundation.

Apprehensions on the potential effect to human rights by committing human errors that may inflict abuse have drawn major importance in assessing the so-called winnings of war on terrorism. The incessant lobbying of human rights advocates to the peripheries of government corridors can be perceived as a positive-reactive-constructive attitude of the civilian populace in general. But somehow cushioning the blow to terrorist groups and its cohorts may be unfavorable to the strategic momentum, as the terrorist employs protracted tactics and has diverse capabilities.

In this respect, the government effort to isolating risk and vulnerability of terrorist threats continuously and effectively launched civic actions, socio-economic-cultural activities in partnership with various sectors of society. A more consultative framework composing with the civil society rekindles collaborative efforts. References Report on Terrorist Incidents-2006, US National Counterterrorism Center, 30 April 2007; Terrorism in Southeast Asia: Threat and Response, Rohan Gunaratna, Hudson Institute, Center for Eurasian Policy Occassional Research Paper, Series II (Islamism in Southeast Asia), No.

1; Letter of Ricardo Alberto Arias, Chairman, Security Council Committee, United Nations, 20 November 2007; HM Government, Countering International Terrorism: The United Kingdom’s Strategy, July 2006; United States Intelligence Community, 100 Day Plan for Integration and Collaboration, Washington DC 20511; Procuring the Future 21st Century IC Acquisition, Terri Everett, DNI Senior Procurement Executive, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, January 8, 2008; ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism, document, Cebu, Philippines, January 13th 2007;

Realities of the Conflict - Between Islam and Unbelief, Laura Mansfield, Full Transcript of Zawahiri Tape, December 20, 2006; Counter Terrorism Legislation and Practice: A Survey of Selected Countries, October 2005, www. fco. gov. uk; In the Name of Counter-Terrorism: Human Rights Abuses Worldwide, Human Rights Watch, www. hrw. org/un/chr59; Handbook on Counter-Terrorism Measures: What U. S. and Nonprofits and Grantmakers Need To Know, 15 March 2004, www. dbhfoundation. org.

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