The traumas resulting from terrorism and political violence have profound implications for the stability and normal operation of modern societies, and a negative impact on the effectiveness and legitimacy of their governments. This publication presents articles from the NATO Advanced Training Course (ATC) ‘Defence Against Terrorism: Different Dimensions and Trends of the Emerging Threat – Terrorism’ held in Kabul, Afghanistan in May 2010. This course was attended by serving Afghan officers of various ranks and also by a number of Afghan civilians, and was designed to have a practical focus for the participants, all of whom were involved in counterterrorism operations.The book begins with an overview of terrorism, which sets the stage for the articles of the other contributors. Subjects covered in the remainder of the book include the importance of social stability to the fight against terrorism; adjustments to change; the role of intelligence and the importance of international cooperation between intelligence agencies; suicide bombing; terrorism and organized crime; as well as future trends in terrorism. This title will be of great interest to all those concerned with countering the threat from terrorism and political violence.
The Advanced Training Course “Defense against Terrorism: Different Dimensions and Trends of the Emerging Threat – Terrorism” was conducted in Kabul, Afghanistan during 23-27 May 2010. In addition to 32 Afghan officers, ranging in rank from brigadier general to captain, there were also 8 Afghan civilians in the course.
This course was designed to have a practical focus for the attendees, many of whom are deeply involved in current counterterrorism operations. As such, not only were lectures presented by knowledgeable people in the field of counterterrorism, but the students also worked in groups to discuss their views regarding the international fight against terrorists. The nine lecturers and 40 students were able to create synergy that enhanced discussion and thereby learning.
The first article by Colonel Özden Çelik of COE-DAT, provides in his Terrorism Overview a history of terrorism that sets the stage for the articles by the other contributors. His article shows the deep roots in history of terrorism and the changes in this phenomenon through time.
The second article, by Dr. Robyn MACE of Michigan State University, entitled Civil Disorder, Crisis Communication, and Effective Disorder Management, discusses the importance of social stability to the fight against terrorism and relates how social disorder can create conditions ripe for a terrorism movement to take hold. She concludes that the traumas resulting from political violence have profound implications for the stability and normal operations of modern societies, and the perception of effectiveness and legitimacy of the government.
Professor Richard WARD of the University of New Haven analyzes critical issues associated with counterterrorism issues in his article Critical Issues in Homeland Security, ranging from pre-emptive planning to handling the aftermath. He concludes that the heart of security is an informed public, a willingness to adjust to adjust to change, and a strategy that emphasizes an understanding of other cultures, languages, religions, and political and legal philosophies.
The vital role of intelligence in counterterrorism is the subject of the fourth article, The Role of Intelligence in Countering Terrorism, by Colonel Oğuz KULPCU. He focuses on the specialized intelligence requirements for counterterrorism, particularly how they are different from the previous requirement of the Cold War. Finding that the greatest problem in conducting global counterterrorism intelligence operations today is that one single intelligence agency cannot possibly have access to all the necessary information, he concludes that it is logical that transnational targets need more transnational cooperation and that international cooperation of intelligence agencies is the only way to fight transnational terrorist targets.
Susan SIM and Jason JEVANATHAN of the Singaporean Home Team Academy analyzed the 2008 terrorist attack against the Kabul Serena Hotel in the fifth article, The 2008 Terrorist Attack on the Kabul Serena Hotel: Lessons from a Captured Suicide Bomber. Not only do they analyze suicide bombing in general, their unprecedented access to the failed bomber in this attack provides great insight into the mind of suicide bombers and finds them an enigma indeed.
In the sixth article, Vesna MARKOVIC of Sam Houston State University and Richard WARD' of the University of New Haven examine the link between criminals in their Terrorism and Organized Crime. They discuss ways to strengthen laws in this and other areas in order to prevent terrorist organizations from financing their operations through the use of organized crime tactics; the role of international cooperation cannot be stressed enough when it comes to fighting this nexus between terrorist and organized crime groups. They conclude that the only way in which this can be solved is through the joint efforts of the global community.
Zeynep SÜTALAN of COE-DAT and Uğur GÜNGÖR of the Turkish General Staff collaborated on the seventh article, Future Trends in Terrorism, to discuss the future by looking at the changing profile of terrorism through ideology, organization and structure as well as the means and methods used in terrorism. They argue that there is both change and continuity in terrorism since it is a historical phenomenon and that ideology will continue to be an important component of terrorism that will continue with IEDs, suicide bombings, cyberterrorism and WMD.
The eighth and final article, Legal Regulation of the Use of Lethal Force in Counterterrorist Operations: The Law Enforcement and Armed Conflict Paradigms, by Dominika ŠVARC, discusses the two mindsets present in counterterrorism, discussing the similarities and differences. She underlines the importance of counterterrorist forces understanding the environment they are in and responding accordingly.
I would like to close by thanking all of our distinguished lecturers as well as all those who made this ATC the resounding success that it was.
This article discuss the historical evolution and the causes of the terrorism as a form of political violence, by looking at the changing ideology, organization and structure, as well as motives and roots. First, the article examines the historical evolution of the terrorism, together with its goals and motivation. Second, it brings up the difficulties for defining terrorism with emphasizing historical and current challenges. In this part, the main pillars of the common definitions are also presented. Third, the last part of the article is dedicated to explain the main causes of the terrorism, with special attention to contextual, convictional, motivational and facilitating causes.
Civil disorder presents many challenges to maintaining social stability and legitimacy of governance, particularly when amplified by traditional and social media coverage. Preparation, communication, and strategy are essential to effectively managing social disorder and mitigating the severity of potential disruptions from social violence.
Homeland security depends on a number of basic foundations, including public awareness, political support, effective intelligence, an effective legal system, and well trained and equipped personnel who serve on the front lines defense. Homeland security will depend largely upon a willingness to work more closely with other countries in areas of mutual concern. At the heart of security is an informed public, a willingness to adjust to adjust to change, and a strategy that emphasizes an understanding of other cultures, languages, religions, and political and legal philosophies. In a digital age reliance on technology must be accompanied by an adherence to the principles of a religious and democratic model that is based on the rule of law.
Intelligence is vital for warfare. The change from an emphasis on fighting the Cold War to counterterrorism has not diminished the role of intelligence but requires a change in approach. One important aspect of this change in approach is the acceptance that no one agency can have all the information needed so cooperation in intelligence will become more vital.
The suicide attack on the Kabul Serena Hotel in January 2008 was a radical departure from previous terrorist attacks on soft targets. Using interviews with survivors and a captured suicide bomber, the authors have reconstructed the attack to show why the tactic has been used again and again by Taliban insurgents to penetrate well-guarded targets in Kabul and might well have served as a template for the November 2008 attacks on the Taj and Oberoi Hotels in Mumbai by the Laskar-e-Toiba. This essay also offers insights into the recruitment of suicide bombers in the border region and how the ready availability of volunteers has allowed the Taliban to step up the number of suicide attacks without a corresponding increase in lethality.
There has been a significant shift in the way the terrorist organizations obtain funding, with increasing links to organized crime being seen. In addition to normal crimes, less dangerous and more profitable crimes such as trafficking (drugs and human), counterfeiting (consumer goods), and smuggling (cigarettes) have become more commonplace. Therefore, the fight against terrorism will mean greater emphasis on stopping these economic crimes, with perhaps changes in laws necessary, particularly with regards to sentencing.
This article discusses the future trends in terrorism by looking at the changing profile of terrorism through ideology, organization and structure as well as the means and methods used in terrorism. First, the article examines how the ideologies used by terrorist organizations, together with their goals and motivations, have changed. Second, it elaborates how the organizational structure of terrorist organizations has changed with reference to the network and hierarchical structures of terrorist organizations. Third, the article is dedicated to look at the means and methods of terrorist organizations with special attention to the weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and suicide bombing. Other features of terrorism like cyberterrorism, the growing interconnectedness and interdependency between organized crime and terrorism, and the nexus between piracy and terrorism is also addressed. The article argues that there is both change and continuity in terrorism since it is a historical phenomenon and intends to contribute to the discussions on the future of terrorism.
There are two legal paradigms for the conduct of counterterrorist forces – a law enforcement paradigm and an armed conflict paradigm. Although they share many values, the execution of operations under the two regimes may be different. This article explores those similarities and differences, concluding that the paradigm shift is difficult for even the most experienced officer.
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