The problem posed by terrorism has received serious attention not only in this country but also in the international community. It poses a real menace and challenge to the nation peace and security, harming the life, dignity and safety of the innocent people. This also weakens the economy and put dangers in all aspect of the activity of the state. The September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D. C. killed citizens from 83 countries and (according to the United Nations estimates) cost the global economy at least 350 billion dollars.
Terrorism is proving to be the dark side of globalization, and because of it, new challenges to the country have emerged. In order to deal with such a complex phenomenon, it is essential to shape a comprehensive and nuanced strategy. The nation should take serious position against terrorism no matter when, where and what forms it occurs, or whom it is targeted. All agencies of the government, local or national, including every individual should step up their cooperation in preventing and combating terrorism. How serious a threat is homegrown terrorism in the United States?
Experts say it is quite likely that the next terrorist attack will not be the work of well-trained al-Qaeda operatives sent from abroad, but rather that of an American citizen. As al-Qaeda leaders focus more of their energy on trying to inspire others to commit acts of terror, most security and counterterrorism officials believe their message will resonate with at least some small number of Americans. Such fears tend to focus on American Muslims, and experts say this is logical given recent events in Europe.
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Yet the American Islamic community also has proven one of the government’s best resources for preventing the emergence of homegrown Islamic terrorists. Richard A. Falkenrath, New York City’s deputy police commissioner for counterterrorism, recently told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that the possibility of a ‘homegrown’ terrorist attack against New York City or any other American city is real and is worsening; it is hard to anticipate the motives or actions of a homegrown terrorist.
Yet despite the high probability of a homegrown terrorist attack, experts say such an event is likely to have a relatively small impact when compared to attacks by conventional terrorist networks but it should be cautioned that self-radicalized individuals and groups can become far more dangerous when they reach out for support from more established terrorist networks.
To combat the terrorism, expert stresses the need to grasp two aspects of terrorism: Its root causes and its technological Complexity.
The root causes of terrorism, both domestic and international, are varied and complex. One set of factor is essentially ideological and includes religious and ethno nationalistic extremism. Second is the technological complexity, the new terrorist are distinguished by their general ability to use new information and communication technologies. They are also fully able to exploit technology to enhance their illegal transnational activities (Banlaoi, 2004).
Three factors that must be considered in dealing with terrorism:
First, it must involve the gradual and painstaking winning of the hearts and mind of disaffected peoples, great patience and endurance is required. Second, the political nature of the campaign against terror suggests that such a comprehensive strategy cannot be pursued without full cognizance of the potential negative consequences of any action contemplated. Thirdly, a comprehensive strategy must be implemented within a substantive multilateral framework, and ensure the fullest regional participation.
There should be four key of such a strategy, socio economic, coercive, political and technical. Socioeconomic measures, poverty and extreme socioeconomic marginalization are root causes of terrorism. These may be the result of either deficient domestic policies or powerful globalization processes. Hence developed countries should increase trade, investment and aid linkages with developing countries to enhance their capacities for good governance.
Coercive Measures, Strong legal enforcement measures such as freezing of assets and detentions of individuals suspected of complicity in terrorist plots, are the first line attack in the campaign against terror. Political Measures, terrorist by definition fight for a political cause, perceived as ‘just’ or otherwise. Terrorist groups also often feed upon political issues for support/ such as grievances and opposition to illegal and armed occupation, oppression, and abuse and denial of civil and political rights.
Technical Measures, It is vitally important that the capacity of the terrorist to plan, fund and implement their activities must be targeted (Banlaoi, 2004).
The country’s practical measures against terrorist are the following
- Identification of terrorist,
- Location and tracking identified terrorists,
- Apprehension of identified terrorist,
- Prosecution of the identified terrorist and
- Punishment of the guilty terrorist (Marchetti,1976)
There are four (4) basic program components associated with the anti-terrorist program.
The prevention which focuses on international initiative and diplomacy to discourage foreign states from supporting terrorism second is deterrence which emphasizes protection and security and efforts-essentially target hardening-to discourage terrorist acts, thirdly, the reaction, this consist of operations in response to specific major acts of terrorism and lastly is prediction, this includes intelligence and counterintelligence efforts in continues support of the three other program components B. The specific anti-terrorist measures developed and used in fighting terrorism.
Includes close international screening of all airlines and passengers for metallic objects, tighter security of diplomatic installations, a compilation of watch list terrorist, adoption of measures to sow dissention within terrorist group thru black and gray covert operations.
Ways to Fight Terrorism
There follows general measures in fighting terrorism, this is protection of terrorist targets. The terrorist commonly attack strong points such as airports, communications and national offices.
Another is the need to expand intelligence gathering in order to initiate particular course of action and forestall the plan of the enemy. The community must also be train for trouble; this will be possible by preparing them to any unusual occurrence like terrorist attacks. The country should improve international cooperation and negotiate flexibly. Others are don’t rule rescues, lean on terrorist allies, order selective reprisals, crack down on unsafe airports and tighten airport and seaport security.
Psychological operations (PSYOPS) approaches in countering terrorist threats.
1. Widespread educational program directed at audience in the affected areas will expose threat to stability and the quality of life by those threat groups
2. High visibility amnesty and “secret witness” programs could directly attack the organizational integrity and solidarity of those threat groups.
3. Target the rivalries and jealousy existing in those threat groups.
4. Develop a constructive relationship among the various disputants to enhance high-level diplomatic talks.
C. To develop terrorism counteraction plans and programs, it is necessary to conduct threat studies, to provide an understanding of the capabilities and intentions of terrorist groups, Vulnerability surveys, to reveal the weakness that terrorists can attack and Analysis of all the effects of terrorism.
D. PSYOPS doctrine prescribes the use of “Propaganda Analysis” to determine the effects of activities, programs or campaigns. The basic approaches in this procedure are analysis of Source, Contents, Audience, Media, and Effects (SCAME). Propaganda is the primary vehicle of psychological warfare.
It includes any activity that affects emotion, attitude and behavior of a target audience (Marchetti, 1976)
Home Grown Terrorism
Scott Redd, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said in a written statement to the Senate that the emergence of home-grown terrorist groups is posing "real challenges" for U. S. authorities despite law-enforcement successes at disrupting potential attacks. Most security and counterterrorism officials believed that the next terrorist attack will not be the work of well-trained al-Qaeda operatives sent from abroad, but rather that of an American citizen.
The White House’s National Strategy for Combating Terrorism says the main terrorist threat today comes from those who “exploit Islam and use terrorism for ideological ends. ” Experts say individuals who are likely to adopt a terrorist ideology share several qualities: youth, unemployment, feelings of alienation, a longing to feel self-importance, and a need to be part of a group. Religion can be compelling to such individuals, who are then prone to exploitation by deceitful religious leaders. R. P. Eddy, senior fellow for counterterrorism at the Manhattan Institute, says, “If you think of any ethnic community in this country…there are people of all stripes. ” However, he suggests counterterrorism efforts should pay close attention to Muslim communities in the United on lessons from the attacks in Madrid in 2003 and London in 2004, which originated in Muslim communities. The White House’s National Strategy for Combating Terrorism says that the main terrorist threat today comes from those who “exploit Islam and use terrorism for ideological ends.
” Experts say individuals who are likely to adopt a terrorist ideology share several qualities: youth, unemployment, feelings of alienation, a longing to feel self-importance, and a need to be part of a group. Religion can be compelling to such individuals, who are then prone to exploitation by deceitful religious leaders. The relationship between American Muslims and homegrown terrorism. Though many of the homegrown terrorists identified in the United State especially since the 9/11 attacks have been Muslims, it is important to note that religious motivations are not present in all instances.
It is suggested that counterterrorism efforts should pay close attention to Muslim communities in the United States, where al-Qaeda’s message of radical Islam is more likely to resonate. How have Muslim communities in the United States responded to the growing concern over homegrown terrorists? By and large, American Muslims express great concern over the prospect of homegrown terrorists in their midst. To this end, members of Islamic communities have worked to establish good relationships with U. S. officials, particularly on the local level.
Hussein Ibish, executive director of the Hala Salaam Maksoud Foundation for Arab-American Leadership, says in terms of counterterrorism efforts, “Most of the major successes the government claims within the United States have actually involved cooperation with the local Muslim communities. How have U. S. officials reacted to the prospect of homegrown terrorists? Experts judge government responses as mixed. Generally speaking, the local approach proves most effective. Eddy says local police are the best tool the government has for preventing homegrown terrorists.
Good community policing—establishing relationships and keeping abreast of trends in a neighborhood “based on common interests other than terrorism”—underpins any effort to detect a homegrown plot. Eddy views officers as “first preventers and not just as first responders,” but it remains incumbent on political leaders to support them as such Home-grown cells were a new domestic phenomenon for which the FBI and law enforcement agencies had no "baseline" for measuring the scale of the problem
Terrorism is a crime committed by a handful of extremist elements and should not be adequated with any specific ethnic group or religion.
Under no circumstances should double standards in applying this principle be allowed. To fight terrorism effectively requires efforts to address its ideological, socioeconomic and political root causes. This should involve strategies aimed at currently solving both current problems and identifying permanent solutions in the long run. An important prerequisite in this connection is to resolve the question of development and narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. The so-called war on terror is not just a war that can be won by sole reliance on military and coercive measures.
The country should review and strengthen the national mechanisms to combat terrorism. Efforts in suppressing sources of funds must be doubled. The country needs to continuously deepen seeking cooperation from allies’ country in enforcing anti-terrorist programs and practices. Develop regional capacity building programmed to enhance existing capabilities to detect, monitor and report terrorist acts and plans. Strengthen cooperation at the bilateral, regional, and international levels in combating terrorism in a comprehensive manner and affirm that at the international level.
Convene a high level of ad-hoc experts group as the lead to anti-terrorism that will continue to focus on the preventions and control of terrorism. To better deter and prevent potential acts of terrorism at home, the state should enact law that will restrict the movement of those who pose a terrorist threat to the community to include organizations which advocate terrorism. Holds accountable all public and private organizations abetting terrorism; Calls for greater vigilance and concrete measures against all possible terrorist supplies, materials and finances.
The country should designate Cabinet Oversight Committee on Internal Security as the lead to anti-terrorism. Americans had to accustom to new security measures that complicated their travel, work, and recreation. United States agencies rearranged their priorities, and local governments scrambled to make preparations for potential terrorist attacks, possibly involving biological, chemical, or even nuclear weapons.
- Banlaoi, 2004, War on Terrorism, Rex Bookstore Inc., Recto Avenue Desker, B. , and Kumar R.,( 2002) Forging an Indirect Strategy in Southeast Asia.
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- The Rise of Complex Terrorism, http//www. Foreignpolicy. com http://counterterrorism. org/mt/pings. cgi/3655.
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