Ebook: Defense against Terrorism
Global terrorism is a double-edged threat to democracies. Physically, because of the number of people killed and wounded, structurally, because it threatens social peace and over-reaction tends to undermine our basic values.
The authors of the chapters in this book are multinational and interdisciplinary. Their papers were presented for discussion at the Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) held in Skopje (FYROM) 11-14th April 2018 on “Defence Against Terrorism, Enhancing Resilience of Democratic Institutions and Rule of Law”, organized within the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme. Results can be summarised as follows.
Counter-terrorist strategy must aim to achieve less, not more, terrorism. The countries with best results are the ones that cultivate human intelligence, confidence between security services and the local population, together with a tradition of effective respect of the Rule of Law. Militarization of internal security, and intelligence systems mainly based on databases (“big data”) and artificial intelligence, though popular, are showing serious limits.
More effective democracy, not less, is the key to the resilience of our societies against the “new threats”, particularly for confronting the criminal violence of terror. In discussion, some core necessities were identified: to recognize that it is the method used, not the aims, that define criminal organisations as terrorist; that there is a structural link with organized crime for financing and operative support, and that corruption facilitates and protects any illegal activity; social capital must be developed as a fundamental basic tool for enhancing resilience.
This book aims to help analyse the networks and contexts that feed terrorism. It provides anyone confronted with security issues an understanding of the negative as well as the positive aspects of specific counter-measures
Message from Directors ARW Skopje 2018 to the Reader
How should you use this book on “Defence Against Terrorism Keeping Democracy Safe”, which the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme gave us the opportunity to prepare during the Advanced Research Workshop in Skopje last spring? The invitation to participants at the beginning of this conference included the comment: “listening is even more important than talking”. From what the Directors have understood, it has been a success for all. But it will only really be one if what has been concluded will also be applied, in this specific discipline and in all related ones. It was impressive that from both sides of the Atlantic and from East to West in Europe, the central conclusion was that, from whenever point of view or discipline: more effective democracy, and not less, is the key for the resilience of our societies against the “new threats”, at least for containing the criminal violence of terror.
If you are expert on terrorism, you will find in this book perceptions, information, opinions and points of view from experts from geographic area that you do not deal with every day but that globalisation brings to your door, from disciplines you perhaps rarely come across, but that you will need to integrate into your thinking to meet the complexity of our current societies. All of these presentations point at concepts and phenomena that should be taken into consideration when you intend to enhance security in your own society, in your own field of work, but also make clear the risks you take would you disregard them.
Even if you only marginally encounter security questions related to terrorism in your discipline of work, in the military, in foreign affairs, in some public security department but also in the overall public sector, in utilities and private companies, these articles will give you insights into understanding what is at stake when confronting threats against democracy, and help you reflect on what should and should not be done to keep your sector safe.
Read about what you do not know, because soon or later, directly or indirectly, you will need it. And as you certainly don't have time, we tried to make it easier, with short and more extended abstracts and summaries.
The scope of this book is not to test technical measures in order to prevent or to confront terrorism. The scope of this book is to help understand what is at stake when faced with criminal organisations that all, soon or later, apply extreme violence against our societies. But also to understand what happens when you take specific measures, or when you are invited to apply then. The question dealt with is how to make those measures work better, but also how to prevent them from doing more harm than good. Of course, the background of this all is: “democracy is the worst form of government on earth except for all the others …” (Winston Churchill, November 11th 1947).
We want to particularly thank His Excellency Dr Gjorge Ivanov, President of the FY Republic of Macedonia
Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name (this note applies to any mention of the name FY Republic of Macedonia in this document). Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name (this note applies to any mention of the name FY Republic of Macedonia in this document).
Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name (this note applies to any mention of the name FY Republic of Macedonia in this document).
We want to thank very especially all those individuals from various NATO Member Countries that helped us to make this NATO supported event happen in Skopje. Some of those who followed us with constancy know how their support was decisive and precious.
With pleasure, we also thank all participants and authors that devoted their time and sent us their best knowledge and contributions to meet this challenge represented by defending our citizens against terror while preserving and moving forward our democracies.
We thank those who gave some help with the English language, and ask indulgence from native speakers if they still find some inconvenience in reading texts that non-natives took the time and efforts to write in their language.
And last but not least, thanks to Clarissa, who followed this whole process up to the editing of this book with devotion and seriousness.
In democracy, the label of “member of a criminal organization” for anyone using, against the community, terror in an organized framework, would better define the problem. This would also take away the romanticism that some want to attach to extreme violence acts for so called ideological purposes. Art. 83 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (2007) deals with organized crime and terrorism. It associates the last to other forms of crime with transnational aspects, listing “serious crimes,” terrorism included that, due to ontological characteristics, manifest themselves under the framework of “criminal organizations”.
Together with globalization, terrorist organizations moved progressively through history not only towards sharing methods of action and financing of organized crime, using the same operating trans-national networks, but also towards the same objective: increasing their power, under whenever ideology, all over the world. The surge of extremist forms of nationalism within ever more NATO Member Countries underlines the nature of the threat.
In many geo-political contexts, the highly feared merger has materialized in permanent terms. Organized crime does not hesitate to use terrorist actions to pursue its own objectives. Meanwhile, terrorist organizations work and operate not only with organized crime but according to models and in sectors borrowed or rented from it.
Phenomenology demonstrates that terrorism indicates basically a method, the pursuing of objectives through terror, by which different purposes can be pursued, political, ideological, separatist and religious, but also economic. The relationship between such criminal organizations and States are characterized by an alternation of phases of conflict and dialogue, sometimes coexistent.
The fight against this global threat against democracies should be based on coordinated and responsible enforcement actions, within the criminal law in peace time, taking into account the level of the threat, according to the rule of law and international conventions. Global threats need to be dealt with by a government of laws, not by a Government of men.
This has been and remains in Italy the method to deal with subversive organizations, both “mafia” and “terrorist” phenomena, The Italian regulations, article 39, last paragraph, law of 3 August 2007, n. 124 on Information System for the Security of the Republic and the new Regulation of Secrecy should apply in any substantial democracy: “Under no circumstances news, documents or things related to both actions of terrorism and subversion against the constitutional order or offences referred to in articles 285, 416-bis, 416-ter and 422 of the Penal Code, can be covered by the official State secret”. Secrets of mafia can in no way be considered as States' secrets…
Trafficking in human beings and illegal immigration routes originate from and follow the same locations as those where terrorist groups are active. Existing routes are used by both. There is a proven relation between organized crime groups involved in trafficking (drugs, weapons, documents and human beings) and terrorism, as shown in different police investigations throughout Europe. This article demonstrates, on the base of trafficking in human beings investigations, all steps when this can occur. The actual relation exists as soon as it can benefit one of the parties involved.
In some Belgian cases of smuggling and trafficking of human beings, police found indications of connections with terrorism. Following examples illustrate transportation of terrorists within smuggling of human being criminal networks and financial support of organized crime to terrorist activities. Investigations should always be started when there are indicators of terrorism in a case of smuggling or trafficking of human being by criminal organization. Often such connections escape the attention of magistrates, mainly when investigations are managed by specialised prosecutors or covered by different districts.
The paper analyses, by using the content analysis method and historical-comparative method, the causes of the emergence and development of ‘Islamistic’ extremism. It compares the presence and the tendency in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, FY Republic of Macedonia
The terror is no new phenomenon in the human experience. More knowledge is needed about the ways of radicalization used by terroristic groups, with religion playing an important role. The article deals with doctrine, goals, and tactics for recruitment. The process of radicalization distinguishes four phases: the identification of targets, the indoctrination through the transfer of ideologies, the development of the identification with the guide, the person accepting this ideology by tolerating, encouraging and justifying its action, and its readiness to take over to action. The targeted person enters gradually into the ideology, which gets strengthened, promoted and upgraded up to frightening results. It overviews some activities to be undertaken to promote de-radicalization, as basis for the development of an Action Plan to implement such a strategy.
Terrorism both as strategy and tactic is a central feature of modern conflicts, increasingly asymmetric – state vs non-state actors – and urban in nature. Suicide-attack is an important aspect of modern conflicts. It plays and continues to play a key role in wars like those in Afghanistan and in Iraq, with a big impact on the global situation. It represents a key tactic of the Islamic State warfare. This article focuses on the Afghan war theatre, where NATO is committed to the stability of the country. Thanks to a new database, the analysis of the data follows a triple reading, on the strategic, operational and tactical level. It helps to understand the suicide-attack phenomenon on the modern battlefield, from the Middle East war theater, through the Mediterranean area, up to the European continent.
Organized crime groups need to make lots of effort to legalize money coming out of crimes, and to introduce it into the financial system. Terrorist groups, instead, do not have this problem, because they spend it on acquiring weapons, equipment, food, clothes, trainings, materials and means for preparing and carrying out attacks. In the banking sector and financial institutions, those risks need to be assessed in the national bank, private banks, credit unions, brokers, investment bankers, monetary exchange (checks, telegraphic money transfer, etc.), credit checks, pawnbrokers, lending companies, telegraph companies, real estate companies, and more. Part of this work concerns currencies, coins, bank checks, bank notes, traveler's checks, cash payments, etc. … Inability to prevent and fight against terrorism financing stems from the connections of criminals, whether terrorists or not, with authorities on a national, religious, ideological or compromising basis. They corrupt public officials and apply various forms of pressure, retaliation, punishment, such as murder, intimidation, threats, kidnappings, … The vulnerability of any national system is aggravated by the extension of informal economy, its weakness in international cooperation on criminal cases and seizure of property, the lack of transparency of the State and of public and legal subjects. Vulnerability of the financial sector is enhanced by possibilities offered by accountants. FY Republic of Macedonia should reinforce its State structures and provisions in limiting informal economy, through the strengthening of its international cooperation in criminal cases, its system of penalties, the enforcement of orders for seizure of property, the capacities of judges and prosecutors, and the transparency of legal entities. Globally, assessment indicates a medium-low level of capacity of the FY Republic of Macedonia
Public opinion in Albania fears that, for some years, the justice system is going to be blocked from the dismissal coming out from the vetting process: However it is not good news for the principle of the rule of law not to have institutions that judge the executive power and the parliament from the civil, administrative, criminal and constitutional limb, it is neither good news for the principle of the rule of law to have non independent and corrupted judges who's duties are to judge the way the executive or legislative power of the States do their constitutional missions. Someone will suggest that the vetting process must not work in a way that blocks the justice system. Some other suggest that, if the justice system is not independent and is corrupted, then it is better not to have one at all. This is the Albanian's people dilemma in the XXI century, a Shakespeare's dilemma: “to have or not to have a justice system”.
Belgium case suggests that external international pressures, in combination with emotional events at home, are the decisive factors for new steps in the institutionalisation process of Islam in Western societies. This demonstrates that real challenges are not picked up on time by governments, bringing only partial solution and, as soon as external pressure decreases, returning to business as usual. Blind spots remain, permitting the creation of Black Homes in uncontrolled, or under controlled, Urban Sanctuaries where deviant practices can develop. Geographical spaces may so exist in the midst of very well-developed nation-states, even in central neighbourhoods of large Western cities, permitting terrorists from neighbouring countries in search of ‘safe havens’ to organize in a hidden way their activities till in detail. Religions represent a numerically important category of people whom ‘recognition’ may become an important factor in the construction of social cohesion. Through its negligence, often under the excuse of freedom of expression, government permitted the development of a parallel policy besides the policy promoted by the officially recognized ‘Executive of Muslims in Belgium’. Policies promoted by some foreign embassies didn't make the official Executive better accepted among Muslims. It means that the government was not consequent with its own official policy and accepted de facto the development of some uncontrolled Black Holes in the country, financed by bodies belonging to families from foreign countries (Gulf States, Saudi Arabia). As other Western European governments, it neglected to see the real urgency of an official national Islamic body that corresponds to all the prerequisites to function in a Western State, capable to deal with the challenges of a Western multicultural society.
The article analyses the process of authoritarian populism building, which is the unexpected result in most Western Balkan countries. The obsession with stability has led to lose sight of the rule of law and liberal democratic standards as basic criteria for enlargement, too often relegating them to mere rhetoric. This trend stems partly from double standards applied in the region by some European Union bureaucracies and decision makers in the process of integration of Western Balkan's countries to the EU and NATO. Future outcomes are uncertain.
Terrorism has been explained as a doctrine and method of struggle for certain purposes by means of systematic use of illegal force. The notions of terror and terrorism, although essentially based on the spread of fear through violence, is often differentiated as such: terror is qualified as the inducement of fear and violence in an organized and institutional way by a State apparatus against its citizens, while terrorism is applied to the method practiced by individuals and groups in order to achieve own interests. Applied to both situations, terrorism can be defined as a criminal activity accompanied by the use of illegal force and other methods of violence by individuals, groups, networks or institutions with the intent to cause mass fear, insecurity and mistrust among citizens towards their own institutions, in order to force governments to promote their political, ideological, economic and/or religious interests. Nowadays, terrorism also appears as a method in conducting hybrid war, where sponsoring and interfering States officially deny any such sponsorship and even deeply condemn those operations. The problem of “inability” to define terrorism at the international level has become a serious obstacle to its being placed under social control. An inadequate perception of democratic institutions about a problem creates inadequate social control. Lack of proper social control reflects in inadequate normative/institutional law-enforcement corpus competent for detecting, preventing and fighting crimes. The fight against “terrorism” has been paradoxically implemented, hence its poor successes. This paradoxical situation, opposing the reasons of economy to the reasons of human security, cannot be resolved without a fundamental resolution of internal, deep contradictions in the very essence of contemporary society, by means of a qualitatively new socio-economic and political system, a truly free, humane and pluralistic society.
“Security/defense” are products of a mechanism called state apparatus, which must deliver some essential public goods. If those public goods are not delivered, or are delivered in small quantities and are of poor quality, it is difficult to have a robust “security/defense” chain. Therefore, the Balkans are and will stay (with the Baltic States) the weak links of NATO. It is generally accepted that in the early 90s “democracy” was introduced into the Balkan countries, starting with free elections. However, condition sine qua non for genuine democracy is not the existence of institutions but the functioning of institutions. Instead of law and order, chaotic “freedoms” were introduced. The main beneficiaries of the change are crooks, organized crime and “political elites.” The raison d'être of public institutions is to promote public goods, and above all trust, so that governments can introduce reforms and citizens are confident about their intentions and aims. It is known that too many judges are corrupted, but what is not yet recognized is that attorneys-at-law and public notaries are also corrupted and have set up, with the support of judges, ad hoc criminal groups. Let's add that terrorism is a blessing for the Western European tourist industry while for NATO, it is an additional burden because both organized crime, for keeping on their “business”, and terrorists, for getting documents and find safe havens, need failed States. When institutions deliver “public bads,”, when taking to the streets appears not to solve the problem, young people choose to emigrate. Economically this is called “fiscal mortality”. However, more deathful than generally recognized is the brain drain of quality and democratically educated workforce that leaves free space for corruption. Until now such “controlled instability” in the Balkan by Western power and money rely on their supremacy in the region. But with the rewarming of the Cold War, balances are changing, and hidden instabilities could easily be revitalized to produce similar conditions that produced World War I.
The FY Republic of Macedonia
Identity is a potent force in today's world, often shaped by social organizations. The paper explores critical factors, the ‘lenses’ of cultural, linguistic, socialization and civilizational identities leading to to tribalism. Identity politics are used by minority and civil rights organizations to form a coalition with or against members of the majority. It is often connected to the concepts of deprivation, repression and oppression of one or more minorities in a State. Political tribalism and amoral familism are based on this belief that if it is good for the family (tribe), then it is “good” and no further moral, ethical, or other questioning need to occur. One-third of the world's population lives in such “back-sliding democracy”, in which authoritarian traits are on the rise. Awareness and understanding of multiple identities are crucial when considering propensity for or against violence or illicit activities. Determining political, legal and institutional frameworks for trustfully addressing a multicultural society, and accommodating its multiple, diverse characteristics are critical for the development and prosperity of a State and its citizens.
The internal security of a country, based on human rights and rights of ethnic, religious, linguistic minorities, is a valuable contribution to international security, while religious extremism constitutes a potential threat to national and international security. Albanian national conscience has been formed on common language and traditions. Religion in Albania has not been a factor of State formation and national unity. Coexistence among the different religions, appreciated as religious harmony, was reinforced by the closing down of mosques and churches by the communist regime for 25 years. Radicalism is the process of adoption of extremist systems of beliefs, including their readiness to use, support and facilitate violence as a method to bring about social change. The misuse and misinterpretation of Islam for political aims has brought what is known as Islamic radicalism or extremism, getting up to terrorism. Islam is a peaceful belief, while Islamic minorities guided by extremist ideologies resorting to terrorist methods seek to establish an Islamic kingdom led by the Sharia law interpretation. It is a dynamic process that may be accelerated, slowed down and in some cases, reversed. But there is a tendency to keep silent on the situation. The lack of open public debate within the Muslim community itself in Albania, in the name of preserving the image of Islam religion as a universal, trans-cultural and trans-historic religion, induces to avoid the problem rather than to confront it.
The Balkans remain deeply divided by both history and social, economic (unemployment, poverty), cultural and religious contrasts. This geo-strategically vulnerable zone is subject to weaknesses that could be used to destabilize the continent. Western Balkans is one of the main locations for recruitment and export of organized crime members and foreign volunteers to the Middle Eastern wars. This represents a difficult challenge for NATO, now also facing the process of demobilization of young jihadist fighters, who fought on the side of ISIS and Al Nusra in Iraq and Syria. Isolation of Muslim communities strengthen radical trends. This context has accelerated the process of radicalization together with social evolutions in this region over the last two decades and failure to develop a welfare state. Deradicalization is not simply an inversion of radicalization, but a process of emancipation from radicalism encouraging reintegration of the individuals into society. National public policies and local authorities are fundamental for success of such a process.
Democracies are vulnerable. Factors that negatively affect their stability come from low democratic capacity, weakness of the civil sector, threat of terrorism, migrant crisis and environmental threats.
One of the factors that can effectively positively influence resilience is the social capital stocks. The most important factors that negatively affect social capital stocks are the way the rule of law is applied, cause of low institutional trust, unemployment and relative poverty as better described as a high degree of inequality.
In order to strengthen resilience, meaning easy return to pre-crisis situations and successful facing threats to communities, ending to reduce the vulnerability of democracies, it is necessary to invest in social capital.
Without health, societies can be crippled. A crippled society does not produce, contributes to migration and, being vulnerable, can easily succumb to terrorists. Neither the rule of law, nor a legal system is sufficient to protect and promote population health adequately. Public health counteracts social inequality and reinforces country security. Public health can improve disaster response, and health diplomacy can improve trust. A stronger application in the Balkans would be beneficial. Health diplomacy is a political change agent that improves global health while repairing failures in classical diplomacy. Public health can curb vulnerability. The emergence of cross-border flows of disease, bio-terrorism, shifting geo-political environments and more complex linkages between health, trade, intellectual property, and human rights, presents a complex matrix of technical and relational challenges. Gaps need to be reduced in co-ordination procedures between local, national, and regional response operations, early warning and response systems need to be strengthened and better recognized as an asset against terrorism.
NATO is not only a military and a political alliance, but above all, it is an alliance of common values. We all want to live in a democratic world, a world where there is rule of law, freedom of the media, respect of the human rights and functioning institutions, not only passing new laws, but also taking care of their effective implementation. Foreign fighters and violent extremism have become for all of us a top priority in relation with security. In September 2014, the Parliament of the FY Republic of Macedonia
Know your enemy. Understanding the history of criminal organizations is vital to counter “new threats”. Criminal organisations need to be followed step by step through time, in order to dismantle their structures. Lack of proper knowledge and consciousness of one harm the security of all. Therefore, some practices need to be modified. Sectorial specialisation in investigation is an excellent way to fail to grasp the sense of any criminal organisation. Competence of investigating magistrates limited to their territorial district is one of the main instruments for members of serious organised crime to escape prosecution. Widespread databases become dangerous instruments when organised crime remains out of control. Modifying such practices harming security does not damage democracy. Proper legislation and practices defend citizens without harming the democratic asset of NATO Member Countries.