Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Search results for: counter-terrorism

22 The Importance of Information in Psychological Operations for Counterterrorism

Authors: Abbas Fazelinia


Terrorism is not a new phenomenon to the world, yet it remains difficult to define and to counter. Countering terrorism requires several measures that must be taken at the same time. Counterterrorism strategies of most countries depend on military measures. However, those strategies should also focus on nonlethal measures, such as economic, political, and social measures. The psychological dimensions of terrorism must be understood, evaluated, and used in countering terrorism. This study suggests that psychological operations, as nonlethal military operations, can be used to influence individuals not to join terrorist organizations and to facilitate defections from terrorist organizations. However, in order to implement effective psychological operations, one has to have appropriate intelligence about terrorist organizations. Examining terrorist organizations help us to identify their vulnerabilities and obtain this intelligence. This article concludes that terrorists’ motivations, terrorist organizations’ radicalization, recruitment, and conversion processes, ideology, goals, strategies, and general structure form the intelligence requirement for psychological operations in counterterrorism. The methodology used in this article is a mixed method.

Keywords: psychological operations, terrorist, counterterrorism, terrorism

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21 Mothers, the Missing Link: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Women-Centric Counterterrorism Measures

Authors: Bukola Solomon


In counterterrorism, policymakers typically design a confined role for women as family members and nurturers. In recent years, they have embraced the idea of mothers as the missing link to preventing and countering violent extremism. This ‘programmed’ role of women is derived from the convictions that women’s central roles in the family and community afford them the ‘unique set of skills’ to detect early signs of radicalization and extremism. This paper attempts to focus on the ‘mother’ narrative that frames women’s agency as mothers of ‘terrorists’ and ‘potential’ terrorists. The general underlying assumption of the ‘mother’ narrative is that naturally, every ‘terrorist’ has or once had a mother, and their radicalization is a maternal ‘oversight.’ By deconstructing the notion of motherhood as a social construct instead of an inherent female desire and ability, this paper argues that the assumption of ‘mothers know best’ is invalid. Also, this paper suggests that the ‘mother’ narrative is a deliberate effort to restrict women’s participation in counterterrorism as ‘preventers.’ Finally, this paper notes a global trend in which mothers are contesting the dominant view of women empowerment that restricts their agency by seeking alternative versions in terrorist organizations. And as such, they create parallel terror cells. Thus, the overemphasis on the role women plays as mothers in counterterrorism limits the scope and potential of counterterrorism programs by marginalizing gender issues and reinforcing gender disparities to the extent that the programs become counterproductive.

Keywords: countering violent extremism, counterterrorism, gender, gender roles, terrorism, women

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20 Understanding the Caliphate and Jihad to Prevent Radicalization That Lead to Terrorism: The Role of Social Community in Southeast Asia

Authors: Jordan Daud, Satriya Wibawa, Wahyu Wardhana


In the summer of 2014, the leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria proclaimed the founding of religious-political system known as the caliphate which titled Islamic State (IS). As Caliph, Abu Bakr Baghdadi advocated Jihad from the Ummah (the Muslim community) to defend the Islamic state from unbelievers. This call for Jihad by IS had encouraged some radical organization in Southeast Asia pledge allegiance to IS and established bases for IS operation in Southeast Asia. This development had increased security concern for possible terrorism action in Southeast Asia, which currently not very active due to counterterrorism efforts from ASEAN member states and its cooperation with the world. This paper firstly tries to draw understanding from Ulema (Muslim cleric) about the conception of caliphate and Jihad based on Quran and Hadith. Secondly, this paper will elaborate counterterrorism efforts from ASEAN countries to prevent radicalization and terrorism act in addressing the call for jihad to establish IS in Southeast Asia. The third, this paper will recommend the role of the social community, especially Ulema, in Southeast Asia to prevent the misunderstanding of Jihad which usually used by terrorist to justify their action. Hopefully, this social community role will decrease the radicalization of Muslim community in Southeast Asia alongside with the counterterrorism efforts to create secure and stable ASEAN community based on shared norm and values.

Keywords: caliphate, jihad, ASEAN, counterterrorism, social community

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19 Framing the Dynamics and Functioning of Different Variants of Terrorist Organizations: A Business Model Perspective

Authors: Eisa Younes Alblooshi


Counterterrorism strategies, to be effective and efficient, require a sound understanding of the dynamics, the interlinked organizational elements of the terrorist outfits being combated, with a view to having cognizance of their strong points to be guarded against, as well as the vulnerable zones that can be targeted for optimal results in a timely fashion by counterterrorism agencies. A unique model regarding the organizational imperatives was evolved in this research through likening the terrorist organizations with the traditional commercial ones, with a view to understanding in detail the dynamics of interconnectivity and dependencies, and the related compulsions facing the leaderships of such outfits that provide counterterrorism agencies with opportunities for forging better strategies. It involved assessing the evolving organizational dynamics and imperatives of different types of terrorist organizations, to enable the researcher to construct a prototype model that defines the progression and linkages of the related organizational elements of such organizations. It required detailed analysis of how the various elements are connected, with sequencing identified, as any outfit positions itself with respect to its external environment and internal dynamics. A case study focusing on a transnational radical religious state-sponsored terrorist organization was conducted to validate the research findings and to further strengthen the specific counterterrorism strategies. Six different variants of the business model of terrorist organizations were identified, categorized based on their outreach, mission, and status of any state sponsorship. The variants represent vast majority of the range of terrorist organizations acting locally or globally. The model shows the progression and dynamics of these organizations through various dimensions including mission, leadership, outreach, state sponsorship status, resulting in the organizational structure, state of autonomy, preference divergence in its fold, recruitment core, propagation avenues, down to their capacity to adapt, resulting critically in their own life cycles. A major advantage of the model is the utility of mapping terrorist organizations according to their fits to the sundry identified variants, allowing for flexibility and differences within, enabling the researchers and counterterrorism agencies to observe a neat blueprint of the organization’s footprint, along with highlighting the areas to be evaluated for focused target zone selection and timing of counterterrorism interventions. Special consideration is given to the dimension of financing, keeping in context the latest developments regarding cryptocurrencies, hawala, and global anti-money laundering initiatives. Specific counterterrorism strategies and intervention points have been identified for each of the respective model variants, with a view to efficient and effective deployment of resources.

Keywords: terrorism, counterterrorism, model, strategy

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18 Role of Obama's Administration Counter-Terrorism Strategies towards Pakistan

Authors: Ahmed Bux Jamali


The purpose of this study is to examine and evaluate the overall counterterrorism cooperation during Obama Administration towards Pakistan. It aims and focuses on the performances and measures taken by United States of America during President Obama in office in order to eradicate terrorism from Pakistan. Being a grave national security threat, terrorism played a disastrous role in the domestic peace and stability of both countries. For the sake of curbing this menace in South Asia in general and Pakistan in particular, the role of Obama Administration is viable and results-oriented despite major ups and downs in Pakistan U.S Relations during that period of time. Obama administration formulated policies when he comes to office in 2009 by looking at the already efforts done by Bush Administration to counterterrorism from Pakistan. Obama’s foreign policy was revolving around defense and diplomacy when it comes to dealing with Pakistan. The concept of smart power was indeed a core principle of Obama’s administration to gain the strategic objectives in Pakistan. Obama’s strategies in terms of providing military aid packages and various assistance programs, working on institutional building and strengthening the economy helped Pakistan in strengthening the military capabilities to go for militant operation in the safe havens area in the tribal areas of Pakistan. It further helped building institutional mechanism in the governmental policies to counter terrorism and militancy. The training of combat forces, artillery, and equipment provided by US proved fatal for the militant terrorist organizations seeking hideouts in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Resultantly, many top leaders of al Qaeda and many affiliated militant groups were captured and given to US as well. Despite many ups and downs in the bilateral relations on various domestic and international issues, both countries didn’t compromise the elimination of terrorist phenomena from Pakistan which was indeed a great success of the Obama administration’s counterterrorism and counterinsurgency strategies in the long run.

Keywords: counterterrorism cooperation, national security strategy, Obama administration, Pakistan-US relations

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17 The Evolution of Strike and Intelligence Functions in Special Operations Forces

Authors: John Hardy


The expansion of special operations forces (SOF) in the twenty-first century is often discussed in terms of the size and disposition of SOF units. Research regarding the number SOF personnel, the equipment SOF units procure, and the variety of roles and mission that SOF fulfill in contemporary conflicts paints a fascinating picture of changing expectations for the use of force. A strong indicator of the changing nature of SOF in contemporary conflicts is the fusion of strike and intelligence functions in the SOF in many countries. What were once more distinct roles on the kind of battlefield generally associated with the concept of conventional warfare have become intermingled in the era of persistent conflict which SOF face. This study presents a historical analysis of the co-evolution of the intelligence and direct action functions carried out by SOF in counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and training and mentoring missions between 2004 and 2016. The study focuses primarily on innovation in the US military and the diffusion of key concepts to US allies first, and then more broadly afterward. The findings show that there were three key phases of evolution throughout the period of study, each coinciding with a process of innovation and doctrinal adaptation. The first phase was characterized by the fusion of intelligence at the tactical and operational levels. The second phase was characterized by the industrial counterterrorism campaigns used by US SOF against irregular enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan. The third phase was characterized by increasing forward collection of actionable intelligence by SOF force elements in the course of direct action raids. The evolution of strike and intelligence functions in SOF operations between 2004 and 2016 was significantly influenced by reciprocity. Intelligence fusion led to more effective targeting, which then increased intelligence collection. Strike and intelligence functions were then enhanced by greater emphasis on intelligence exploitation during operations, which further increased the effectiveness of both strike and intelligence operations.

Keywords: counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, intelligence, irregular warfare, military operations, special operations forces

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16 US-ASEAN Counter Terrorism Cooperation: Maintaining International Security and Avoiding Muslim Stereotypes

Authors: Jordan Daud, Satriya Wibawa, Wahyu Wardhana


The US Global War on Terror has had effect on Southeast Asia as Second Front of Global War on Terror. Since 2001, ASEAN had adopted legal framework to counter the terrorist threat through numerous approach which accommodate various counterterrorism policy of the ten member states. ASEAN have also enhanced multilateral cooperation with US and its allies in Asia Pacific region in addressing terrorist threat, terrorist funding, cyber terrorism and other forms of terrorism. This cooperation is essential to maintain international security and stability and also assure economic development. This work focuses on the US-ASEAN counterterrorism cooperation due to they identified terrorism as a mutual enemy that posed to human security, infrastructure security, and national security. Having in mind that international terrorism usually connected with Muslim community, this paper will also elaborate the concept of Jihad and Islam revivalism in politics to avoid negative image of Islam and Muslim. This paper argues that as region with large Muslim community, Southeast Asia still need to tighten counter terrorism cooperation and also lessening Muslim stereotypes with terrorism through educating public understanding and inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue to create a better world.

Keywords: ASEAN, U.S., counter terrorism, Muslim stereotypes

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15 The Rise of Darknet: A Call for Understanding Online Communication of Terrorist Groups in Indonesia

Authors: Aulia Dwi Nastiti


A number of studies and reports on terrorism have continuously addressed the role of internet and online activism to support terrorist and extremist groups. In particular, they stress on social media’s usage that generally serves for the terrorist’s propaganda as well as justification of their causes. While those analyses are important to understand how social media is a vital tool for global network terrorism, they are inadequate to explain the online communication patterns that enable terrorism acts. Beyond apparent online narratives, there is a deep cyber sphere where the very vein of terrorism movement lies. That is a hidden space in the internet called ‘darknet’. Recent investigations, particularly in Middle Eastern context, have shed some lights that this invisible space in the internet is fundamental to maintain the terrorist activities. Despite that, limited number of research examines darknet within the issue of terrorist movements in Indonesian context—where the country is considered quite a hotbed for extremist groups. Therefore, this paper attempts to provide an insight of darknet operation in Indonesian cases. By exploring how the darknet is used by the Indonesian-based extremist groups, this paper maps out communication patterns of terrorist groups on the internet which appear as an intermingled network. It shows the usage of internet is differentiated in different level of anonymity for distinctive purposes. This paper further argues that the emerging terrorist communication network calls for a more comprehensive counterterrorism strategy on the Internet.

Keywords: communication pattern, counterterrorism, darknet, extremist groups, terrorism

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14 A Comparative Human Rights Analysis of Deprivation of Citizenship as a Counterterrorism Instrument: An Evaluation of Belgium

Authors: Louise Reyntjens


In response to Islamic-inspired terrorism and the growing trend of foreign fighters, European governments are increasingly relying on the deprivation of citizenship as a security tool. This development fits within a broader securitization of immigration, where the terrorist threat is perceived as emanating from abroad. As a result, immigration law became more and more ‘securitized’. The European migration crisis has reinforced this trend. This research evaluates the deprivation of citizenship from a human rights perspective. For this, the author selected four European countries for a comparative study: Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and Sweden. All these countries face similar social and security issues, vitalizing (the debate on) deprivation of citizenship as a counterterrorism tool. Yet, they adopt a very different approach on this: The United Kingdom positions itself on the repressive side of the spectrum. Sweden on the other hand, also ‘securitized’ its immigration policy after the recent terrorist hit in Stockholm but remains on the tolerant side of the spectrum. Belgium and France are situated in between. This contribution evaluates the deprivation of citizenship in Belgium. Belgian law has provided the possibility to strip someone of their Belgian citizenship since 1919. However, the provision long remained a dead letter. The 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris sparked a series of legislative changes, elevating the deprivation measure to a key security tool in Belgian law. Yet, the measure raises profound human rights issues. Firstly, it infringes the right to private and family life. As provided by Article 8 (2) European Court of Human Right (ECHR), this right can be limited if necessary for national security and public safety. Serious questions can however be raised about the necessity for the national security of depriving an individual of its citizenship. Behavior giving rise to this measure will generally be governed by criminal law. From a security perspective, criminal detention will thus already provide in removing the individual from society. Moreover, simply stripping an individual of its citizenship and deporting them constitutes a failure of criminal law’s responsibility to prosecute criminal behavior. Deprivation of citizenship is also discriminatory, because it differentiates, without a legitimate reason, between those liable to deprivation and those who are not. It thereby installs a secondary class of citizens, violating the European Court of Human Right’s principle that no distinction can be tolerated between children on the basis of the status of their parents. If followed by expulsion, deprivation also seriously jeopardizes the right to life and prohibition of torture. This contribution explores the human rights consequences of citizenship deprivation as a security tool in Belgium. It also offers a critical view on its efficacy for protecting national security.

Keywords: Belgium, counterterrorism strategies, deprivation of citizenship, human rights, immigration law

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13 A Comparative Human Rights Analysis of the Securitization of Migration in the Fight against Terrorism in Europe: An Evaluation of Belgium

Authors: Louise Reyntjens


The last quarter of the twentieth century was characterized by the emergence of a new kind of terrorism: religiously-inspired terrorism. Islam finds itself at the heart of this new wave, considering the number of international attacks committed by Islamic-inspired perpetrators. With religiously inspired terrorism as an operating framework, governments increasingly rely on immigration law to counter such terrorism. Immigration law seems particularly useful because its core task consists of keeping ‘unwanted’ people out. Islamic terrorists more often than not have an immigrant background and will be subject to immigration law. As a result, immigration law becomes more and more ‘securitized’. The European migration crisis has reinforced this trend. The research explores the human rights consequences of immigration law’s securitization in Europe. For this, the author selected four European countries for a comparative study: Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and Sweden. All these countries face similar social and security issues but respond very differently to them. The United Kingdom positions itself on the repressive side of the spectrum. Sweden on the other hand also introduced restrictions to its immigration policy but remains on the tolerant side of the spectrum. Belgium and France are situated in between. This contribution evaluates the situation in Belgium. Through a series of legislative changes, the Belgian parliament (i) greatly expanded the possibilities of expelling foreign nationals for (vaguely defined) reasons of ‘national security’; (ii) abolished almost all procedural protection associated with this decision (iii) broadened, as an extra security measure, the possibility of depriving individuals condemned of terrorism of their Belgian nationality. Measures such as these are obviously problematic from a human rights perspective; they jeopardize the principle of legality, the presumption of innocence, the right to protection of private and family life and the prohibition on torture. Moreover, this contribution also raises questions about the efficacy of immigration law’s suitability as a counterterrorism instrument. Is it a legitimate step, considering the type of terrorism we face today? Or, is it merely a strategic move, considering the broader maneuvering space immigration law offers and the lack of political resistance governments receive when infringing the rights of foreigners? Even more so, figures demonstrate that today’s terrorist threat does not necessarily stem from outside our borders. Does immigration law then still absorb - if it has ever done so (completely) - the threat? The study’s goal is to critically assess, from a human rights perspective, the counterterrorism strategies European governments have adopted. As most governments adopt a variation of the same core concepts, the study’s findings will hold true even beyond the four countries addressed.

Keywords: Belgium, counterterrorism strategies, human rights, immigration law

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12 Polish Police in the Fight against Terrorism and Cyberterrorism

Authors: Izabela Nowicka, Jacek Dworzecki


The paper will be presented to selected legal and organizational solutions for the prevention and combating of terrorism by the police in Poland. Development will include information on the organization and functioning of the police anti-terrorist sub-units, whose officers are on the front line of the fight against terrorism. They will be presented to the conditions and cases of use of firearms by police officers in the course of special operations aimed against organizations and terrorist groups, and the perpetrators of criminal acts of terrorism as well as the legal foundation for the Polish police to take immediate counterterrorism operations. Article will be prepared in the context of an international research project entitled. Understand the Dimensions of Organised Crime and Terrorist Networks for Developing Effective and Efficient Security Solutions for First-line-practitioners and Professionals [Project: H2020-FCT-2015, No: 700688].

Keywords: the fight against terrorism, police, Poland, takedown

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11 A Comparative Human Rights Analysis of Expulsion as a Counterterrorism Instrument: An Evaluation of Belgium

Authors: Louise Reyntjens


Where criminal law used to be the traditional response to cope with the terrorist threat, European governments are increasingly relying on administrative paths. The reliance on immigration law fits into this trend. Terrorism is seen as a civilization menace emanating from abroad. In this context, the expulsion of dangerous aliens, immigration law’s core task, is put forward as a key security tool. Governments all over Europe are focusing on removing dangerous individuals from their territory rather than bringing them to justice. This research reflects on the consequences for the expelled individuals’ fundamental rights. For this, the author selected four European countries for a comparative study: Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and Sweden. All these countries face similar social and security issues, igniting the recourse to immigration law as a counterterrorism tool. Yet, they adopt a very different approach on this: the United Kingdom positions itself on the repressive side of the spectrum. Sweden on the other hand, also 'securitized' its immigration policy after the recent terrorist hit in Stockholm, but remains on the tolerant side of the spectrum. Belgium and France are situated in between. This paper addresses the situation in Belgium. In 2017, the Belgian parliament introduced several legislative changes by which it considerably expanded and facilitated the possibility to expel unwanted aliens. First, the expulsion measure was subjected to new and questionably definitions: a serious attack on the nation’s safety used to be required to expel certain categories of aliens. Presently, mere suspicions suffice to fulfil the new definition of a 'serious threat to national security'. A definition which fails to respond to the principle of legality; the law, nor the prepatory works clarify what is meant by 'a threat to national security'. This creates the risk of submitting this concept’s interpretation almost entirely to the discretion of the immigration authorities. Secondly, in name of intervening more quickly and efficiently, the automatic suspensive appeal for expulsions was abolished. The European Court of Human Rights nonetheless requires such an automatic suspensive appeal under Article 13 and 3 of the Convention. Whether this procedural reform will stand to endure, is thus questionable. This contribution also raises questions regarding expulsion’s efficacy as a key security tool. In a globalized and mobilized world, particularly in a European Union with no internal boundaries, questions can be raised about the usefulness of this measure. Even more so, by simply expelling a dangerous individual, States avoid their responsibility and shift the risk to another State. Criminal law might in these instances be more capable of providing a conclusive and long term response. This contribution explores the human rights consequences of expulsion as a security tool in Belgium. It also offers a critical view on its efficacy for protecting national security.

Keywords: Belgium, counter-terrorism and human rights, expulsion, immigration law

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10 Nigeria’s Terrorists RehabIlitation And Reintegration Policy: A Victimological Perspective

Authors: Ujene Ikem Godspower


Acts of terror perpetrated either by state or non-state actors are considered a social ill and impugn on the collective well-being of the society. As such, there is the need for social reparations, which is meant to ensure the healing of the social wounds resulting from the atrocities committed by errant individuals under different guises. In order to ensure social closure and effectively repair the damages done by anomic behaviors, society must ensure that justice is served and those whose rights and privileges have been denied and battered are given the necessary succour they deserve. With regards to the ongoing terrorism in the Northeast, the moves to rehabilitate and reintegrate Boko Haram members have commenced with the establishment of Operation Safe Corridor,1 and a proposed bill for the establishment of “National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and Integration of Repentant Insurgents in Nigeria”2. All of which Nigerians have expressed mixed feelings about. Some argue that the endeavor is lacking in ethical decency and justice and totally insults human reasoning. Terrorism and counterterrorism in Nigeria have been enmeshed in gross human rights violations both by the military and the terrorists, and this raises the concern of Nigeria’s ability to fairly and justiciably implement the deradicalization and reintegration efforts. On the other hand, there is the challenge of the community dwellers that are victims of terrorism and counterterrorism and their ability to forgive and welcome back their immediate-past tormentors even with the slightest sense of injustice in the process of terrorists reintegration and rehabilitation. With such efforts implemented in other climes, the Nigeria’s case poses a unique challenge and commands keen interests by stakeholders and the international community due to the aforementioned reasons. It is therefore pertinent to assess the communities’ level of involvement in the cycle of reintegration- hence, the objective of this paper. Methodologically as a part of my larger PhD thesis, this study intends to explore the three different local governments (Michika in Adamawa, Chibok in Borno, and Yunusari in Yobe), all based on the intensity of terrorists attacks. Twenty five in-depth interview will be conducted in the study locations above featuring religious leaders, Community (traditional) leaders, Internally displaced persons, CSOs management officials, and ex-Boko Haram insurgents who have been reintegrated. The data that will be generated from field work will be analyzed using the Nvivo-12 software package, which will help to code and create themes based on the study objectives. Furthermore, the data will be content-analyzed, employing verbatim quotations where necessary. Ethically, the study will take into consideration the basic ethical principles for research of this nature. It will strictly adhere to the principle of voluntary participation, anonymity, and confidentiality.

Keywords: boko haram, reintegration, rehabilitation, terrorism, victimology

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9 Understanding Psychological Distress and Protection Issues among Children Associated with Armed Groups

Authors: Grace Onubedo


The primary objective of this research study is to contribute to and deepen the understanding of the realities and conditions for which children recruited by violent extremist organisations in Nigeria live, as well as ascertain the state of their mental health following their reunification with either family or protection workers. The research is intended to contribute to a more focused child protection programming agenda for children associated with armed forces and groups in Nigeria and the wider conflict setting. The extent to which violence has affected the psychological well-being and mental health of children abducted and exposed to activities of Violent Extremist groups remains a largely empirical question. This research attempts to answer the following research questions with the aim of providing further evidences for informed programming: I. What are the demographic characteristics of children associated with armed groups? II. What is the state of their mental health? III. What is the relationship between their background and their mental health?

Keywords: counterterrorism, psychosocial support, psychological distress, children, armed groups

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8 The Nexus between Counter Terrorism and Human Rights with a Perspective on Cyber Terrorism

Authors: Allan Munyao Mukuki


The nexus between terrorism and human rights has become a big challenge in the fight against terrorism globally. This is hinged on the fact that terrorism and human rights are interrelated to the extent that, when the former starts, the latter is violated. This direct linkage was recognised in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action as adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna on 25 June 1993 which agreed that acts of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations are aimed at the destruction of human rights. Hence, terrorism constitutes an assault on our most basic human rights. To this end, the first part of this paper will focus on the nexus between terrorism and human rights and endeavors to draw a co-relation between these two concepts. The second part thereafter will analyse the emerging concept of cyber-terrorism and how it takes place. Further, an analysis of cyber counter-terrorism balanced as against human rights will also be undertaken. This will be done through the analysis of the concept of ‘securitisation’ of human rights as well as the need to create a balance between counterterrorism efforts as against the protection of human rights at all costs. The paper will then concludes with recommendations on how to balance counter-terrorism and human rights in the modern age.

Keywords: balance, counter-terrorism, cyber-terrorism, human rights, security, violation

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7 Counter-Terrorism Policies in the Wider Black Sea Region: Evaluating the Robustness of Constantza Port under Potential Terror Attacks

Authors: A. V. Popa, C. Barna, V. Mihalache


Being the largest port at the Black Sea and functioning as a civil and military nodal point between Europe and Asia, Constantza Port has become a potential target on the terrorist international agenda. The authors use qualitative research based on both face-to-face and online semi-structured interviews with relevant stakeholders (top decision-makers in the Romanian Naval Authority, Romanian Maritime Training Centre, National Company "Maritime Ports Administration" and military staff) in order to detect potential vulnerabilities which might be exploited by terrorists in the case of Constantza Port. Likewise, this will enable bringing together the experts’ opinions on potential mitigation measures. Subsequently, this paper formulates various counter-terrorism policies to enhance the robustness of Constantza Port under potential terror attacks and connects them with the attributions in the field of critical infrastructure protection conferred by the law to the lead national authority for preventing and countering terrorism, namely the Romanian Intelligence Service. Extending the national counterterrorism efforts to an international level, the authors propose the establishment – among the experts of the NATO member states of the Wider Black Sea Region – of a platform for the exchange of know-how and best practices in the field of critical infrastructure protection.

Keywords: Constantza Port, counter-terrorism policies, critical infrastructure protection, security, Wider Black Sea Region

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6 Cyber-Social Networks in Preventing Terrorism: Topological Scope

Authors: Alessandra Rossodivita, Alexei Tikhomirov, Andrey Trufanov, Nikolay Kinash, Olga Berestneva, Svetlana Nikitina, Fabio Casati, Alessandro Visconti, Tommaso Saporito


It is well known that world and national societies are exposed to diverse threats: anthropogenic, technological, and natural. Anthropogenic ones are of greater risks and, thus, attract special interest to researchers within wide spectrum of disciplines in efforts to lower the pertinent risks. Some researchers showed by means of multilayered, complex network models how media promotes the prevention of disease spread. To go further, not only are mass-media sources included in scope the paper suggests but also personificated social bots (socbots) linked according to reflexive theory. The novel scope considers information spread over conscious and unconscious agents while counteracting both natural and man-made threats, i.e., infections and terrorist hazards. Contrary to numerous publications on misinformation disseminated by ‘bad’ bots within social networks, this study focuses on ‘good’ bots, which should be mobilized to counter the former ones. These social bots deployed mixture with real social actors that are engaged in concerted actions at spreading, receiving and analyzing information. All the contemporary complex network platforms (multiplexes, interdependent networks, combined stem networks et al.) are comprised to describe and test socbots activities within competing information sharing tools, namely mass-media hubs, social networks, messengers, and e-mail at all phases of disasters. The scope and concomitant techniques present evidence that embedding such socbots into information sharing process crucially change the network topology of actor interactions. The change might improve or impair robustness of social network environment: it depends on who and how controls the socbots. It is demonstrated that the topological approach elucidates techno-social processes within the field and outline the roadmap to a safer world.

Keywords: complex network platform, counterterrorism, information sharing topology, social bots

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5 Political Coercion from Within: Theoretical Convergence in the Strategies of Terrorist Groups, Insurgencies, and Social Movements

Authors: John Hardy


The early twenty-first century national security environment has been characterized by political coercion. Despite an abundance of political commentary on the various forms of non-state coercion leveraged against the state, there is a lack of literature which distinguishes between the mechanisms and the mediums of coercion. Frequently non-state movements seeking to coerce the state are labelled by their tactics, not their strategies. Terrorists, insurgencies and social movements are largely defined by the ways in which they seek to influence the state, rather than by their political aims. This study examines the strategies of coercion used by non-state actors against states. This approach includes terrorist groups, insurgencies, and social movements who seek to coerce state politics. Not all non-state actors seek political coercion, so not all examples of different group types are considered. This approach also excludes political coercion by states, focusing on the non-state actor as the primary unit of analysis. The study applies a general theory of political coercion, which is defined as attempts to change the policies or action of a polity against its will, to the strategies employed by terrorist groups, insurgencies, and social movements. This distinguishes non-state actors’ strategic objectives from their actions and motives, which are variables that are often used to differentiate between types of non-state actors and the labels commonly used to describe them. It also allows for a comparative analysis of theoretical perspectives from the disciplines of terrorism, insurgency and counterinsurgency, and social movements. The study finds that there is a significant degree of overlap in the way that different disciplines conceptualize the mechanism of political coercion by non-state actors. Studies of terrorism and counterterrorism focus more on the notions of cost tolerance and collective punishment, while studies of insurgency focus on a contest of legitimacy between actors, and social movement theory tend to link political objectives, social capital, and a mechanism of influence to leverage against the state. Each discipline has a particular vernacular for the mechanism of coercion, which is often linked to the means of coercion, but they converge on three core theoretical components of compelling a polity to change its policies or actions: exceeding resistance to change, using political or violent punishments, and withholding legitimacy or consent from a government.

Keywords: counter terrorism, homeland security, insurgency, political coercion, social movement theory, terrorism

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4 ISIS Women Recruitment in Spain and De-Radicalization Programs in Prisons

Authors: Inmaculada Yuste Martinez


Since July 5, 2014, Abubaker al Bagdadi, leader of the Islamic State since 2010 climbed the pulpit of the Great Mosque of Al Nuri of Mosul and proclaimed the Caliphate, the number of fighters who have travelled to Syria to join the Caliphate has increased as never before. Although it is true that the phenomenon of foreign fighters is not a new phenomenon, as it occurred after the Spanish Civil War, Republicans from Ireland and the conflict of the Balkans among others, it is highly relevant the fact that in this case, it has reached figures unknown in Europe until now. The approval of the resolution 2178 (2014) of the Security Council, foreign terrorist fighters placed the subject a priority position on the International agenda. The available data allow us to affirm that women have increasingly assumed operative functions in jihadist terrorism and in the activities linked to it in the development of attacks in the European Union, including minors and young adults. In the case of Spain, one in four of the detainees in 2016 were women, a significant increase compared to 2015. This contrasts with the fact that until 2014 no woman had been prosecuted in Spain for terrorist activities of a jihadist nature. It is fundamental when we talk about the prevention of radicalization and counterterrorism that we do not underestimate the potential threat to the security of countries like Spain that women from the West can assume to the global jihadist movement. This work aims to deepen the radicalization processes of these women and their profiles influencing the female inmate population. It also wants to focus on the importance of creating de-radicalization programs for these inmates since women are a crucial element in radicalization processes. A special focus it is made on young radicalized female inmate population as this target group is the most recoverable and on which it would result more fruitful to intervene. De-radicalization programs must also be designed to fit their profiles and circumstances; a sensitive environment will be prisons and juvenile centers, areas that until now had been unrelated to this problem and which are already hosting the first convicted in judicial offices in Spanish territory. A qualitative research and an empirical and analytical method has been implemented in this work, focused on the cases that took place in Spain of young women and the imaginary that the Islamic State uses for the processes of radicalization for this target group and how it does not fit with their real role in the Jihad, as opposed to other movements in which women do have a real and active role in the armed conflict as YPJ do it as a part of the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party of Syria.

Keywords: caliphate, de-radicalization, foreign fighter, gender perspective, ISIS, jihadism, recruitment

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3 Revenge: Dramaturgy and the Tragedy of Jihad

Authors: Myriam Benraad


On 5 July 2016, just days before the bloody terrorist attack on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, the Al-Hayat media centre, one of the official propaganda branches of the Islamic State, broadcast a French nasheed which paid tribute to the Paris and Brussels attacks of November 2015 and March 2016. Entitled 'My Revenge', the terrorist anthem was of rare vehemence. It mentioned, sequentially, 'huddled bodies', in a reference to the civilian casualties of Western air strikes in the Iraqi-Syrian zone, 'explosive belts', 'sharp knives', 'large-calibre weapons' as well as 'localised targets'. France was accused of bearing the responsibility for the wave of attacks on its territory since the Charlie Hebdo massacre of January 2015 due to its 'ruthless war' against the Muslim world. Evoking an 'old aggression' and the 'crimes and spoliations' of which France has made itself guilty, the jihadist hymn depicted the rebirth of the caliphate as 'laudable revenge'. The notion of revenge has always been central to contemporary jihadism, understood both as a revolutionary ideology and a global militant movement. In recent years, the attacks carried out in Europe and elsewhere in the world have, for most, been claimed in its name. Whoever says jihad, says drama, yet few studies, if any, have looked at its dramatic and emotional elements, most notably its tragic vengefulness. This seems all the more astonishing that jihad is filled with drama; it could even be seen as a drama in its own right. The jihadists perform a script and take on roles inspired by their respective group’s culture (norms, values, beliefs, and symbols). The militants stage and perform such a script for a designated audience, either partisan, sympathising or hostile towards them and their cause. This research paper will examine the dramaturgy of jihadism and in particular, the genre that best characterises its violence: revenge tragedy. Theoretically, the research will rely on the tools of social movement theory and the sociology of emotions. Methodologically, it will draw from dramaturgical analysis and a combination of qualitative and quantitative tools to attain valuable observations of a number of developments, trends, and patterns. The choice has been made to focus mainly – however not exclusively – on the attacks which have taken place since 2001 in the European Union and more specific member states that have been significantly hit by jihadist terrorism. The research looks at a number of representative longitudinal samples identifying continuities and discontinuities, similarities, but also substantial differences. The preliminary findings tend to establish the relevance and validity of this approach in helping make better sense of sensitisation, mobilisation, and survival dynamics within jihadist groups, and motivations among individuals who have embraced violence. Besides, they illustrate their pertinence for counterterrorism policymakers and practitioners. Through drama, jihadist groups ensure the unceasing regeneration of their militant cause as well as their legitimation among their partisans. Without drama, and without the spectacular ideological staging of reality, they would not be able to maintain their attraction potential and power of persuasion.

Keywords: Jihadism, dramaturgy, revenge, tragedy

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2 Modelling Spatial Dynamics of Terrorism

Authors: André Python


To this day, terrorism persists as a worldwide threat, exemplified by the recent deadly attacks in January 2015 in Paris and the ongoing massacres perpetrated by ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In response to this threat, states deploy various counterterrorism measures, the cost of which could be reduced through effective preventive measures. In order to increase the efficiency of preventive measures, policy-makers may benefit from accurate predictive models that are able to capture the complex spatial dynamics of terrorism occurring at a local scale. Despite empirical research carried out at country-level that has confirmed theories explaining the diffusion processes of terrorism across space and time, scholars have failed to assess diffusion’s theories on a local scale. Moreover, since scholars have not made the most of recent statistical modelling approaches, they have been unable to build up predictive models accurate in both space and time. In an effort to address these shortcomings, this research suggests a novel approach to systematically assess the theories of terrorism’s diffusion on a local scale and provide a predictive model of the local spatial dynamics of terrorism worldwide. With a focus on the lethal terrorist events that occurred after 9/11, this paper addresses the following question: why and how does lethal terrorism diffuse in space and time? Based on geolocalised data on worldwide terrorist attacks and covariates gathered from 2002 to 2013, a binomial spatio-temporal point process is used to model the probability of terrorist attacks on a sphere (the world), the surface of which is discretised in the form of Delaunay triangles and refined in areas of specific interest. Within a Bayesian framework, the model is fitted through an integrated nested Laplace approximation - a recent fitting approach that computes fast and accurate estimates of posterior marginals. Hence, for each location in the world, the model provides a probability of encountering a lethal terrorist attack and measures of volatility, which inform on the model’s predictability. Diffusion processes are visualised through interactive maps that highlight space-time variations in the probability and volatility of encountering a lethal attack from 2002 to 2013. Based on the previous twelve years of observation, the location and lethality of terrorist events in 2014 are statistically accurately predicted. Throughout the global scope of this research, local diffusion processes such as escalation and relocation are systematically examined: the former process describes an expansion from high concentration areas of lethal terrorist events (hotspots) to neighbouring areas, while the latter is characterised by changes in the location of hotspots. By controlling for the effect of geographical, economical and demographic variables, the results of the model suggest that the diffusion processes of lethal terrorism are jointly driven by contagious and non-contagious factors that operate on a local scale – as predicted by theories of diffusion. Moreover, by providing a quantitative measure of predictability, the model prevents policy-makers from making decisions based on highly uncertain predictions. Ultimately, this research may provide important complementary tools to enhance the efficiency of policies that aim to prevent and combat terrorism.

Keywords: diffusion process, terrorism, spatial dynamics, spatio-temporal modeling

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1 Low-Cost Aviation Solutions to Strengthen Counter-Poaching Efforts in Kenya

Authors: Kuldeep Rawat, Michael O'Shea, Maureen McGough


The paper will discuss a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded project to provide cost-effective aviation technologies and research to support counter-poaching operations related to endangered, protected, and/or regulated wildlife. The goal of this project is to provide cost-effective aviation technology and research support to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in their counter-poaching efforts. In pursuit of this goal, Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is assisting the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in enhancing the Kenya Wildlife Service’s aviation technology and related capacity to meet its counter-poaching mission. Poaching, at its core, is systemic as poachers go to the most extreme lengths to kill high target species such as elephant and rhino. These high target wildlife species live in underdeveloped or impoverished nations, where poachers find fewer barriers to their operations. In Kenya, with fifty-nine (59) parks and reserves, spread over an area of 225,830 square miles (584,897 square kilometers) adequate surveillance on the ground is next to impossible. Cost-effective aviation surveillance technologies, based on a comprehensive needs assessment and operational evaluation, are needed to curb poaching and effectively prevent wildlife trafficking. As one of the premier law enforcement Air Wings in East Africa, KWS plays a crucial role in Kenya, not only in counter-poaching and wildlife conservation efforts, but in aerial surveillance, counterterrorism and national security efforts as well. While the Air Wing has done, a remarkable job conducting aerial patrols with limited resources, additional aircraft and upgraded technology should significantly advance the Air Wing’s ability to achieve its wildlife protection mission. The project includes: (i) Needs Assessment of the KWS Air Wing, to include the identification of resources, current and prospective capacity, operational challenges and priority goals for expansion, (ii) Acquisition of Low-Cost Aviation Technology to meet priority needs, and (iii) Operational Evaluation of technology performance, with a focus on implementation and effectiveness. The Needs Assessment reflects the priorities identified through two site visits to the KWS Air Wing in Nairobi, Kenya, as well as field visits to multiple national parks receiving aerial support and interviewing/surveying KWS Air wing pilots and leadership. Needs Assessment identified some immediate technology needs that includes, GPS with upgrades, including weather application, Night flying capabilities, to include runway lights and night vision technology, Cameras and surveillance equipment, Flight tracking system and/or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, Lightweight ballistic-resistant body armor, and medical equipment, to include a customized stretcher and standard medical evacuation equipment. Results of this assessment, along with significant input from the KWS Air Wing, will guide the second phase of this project: technology acquisition. Acquired technology will then be evaluated in the field, with a focus on implementation and effectiveness. Results will ultimately be translated for any rural or tribal law enforcement agencies with comparable aerial surveillance missions and operational environments, and jurisdictional challenges, seeking to implement low-cost aviation technology. Results from Needs Assessment phase, including survey results and our ongoing technology acquisition and baseline operational evaluation will be discussed in the paper.

Keywords: aerial surveillance mission, aviation technology, counter-poaching, wildlife protection

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