Ebook: The Fight Against Terrorism and Crisis Management in the Western Balkans
Terrorism is not the only threat that causes the emergence of crises. The so-called ‘crisification’ of our security environment also seems to be rising due to many other factors. Such an environment is generating many crises related to politico-military conflicts, natural disasters, infectious diseases, information disruptions, ethnic or religious violence and others. Many of these crises are completely or nearly completely unexpected and have a strong effect on the security of individual people, states and the international community. ‘Crisis’ has become the key word instead of ‘war’. The awareness of this is partially driven by the growing role of electronic media, bringing negative news and reports to nearly all homes, and partially by objective technical factors that allow the fast escalation of local crises to the international level. Globalization therefore has a strong subjective and objective impact on the understanding of security.
The world of today is unfortunately increasingly developing into a venue for crises and terrorism. Next to organised crime, international terrorism has become the highest priority security threat in Europe. Many terrorist organisations have an active presence in Europe. Some are active against certain European states, while others act against non-European states, using Europe as a logistical base. Terrorist attacks such as the simultaneous bomb attacks in Madrid in 2004, the taking of hostages in a Moscow theatre, the simultaneous bomb attacks in London in 2005, the attempts to do something similar in 2006 etc. are sobering examples of the terrorist threat in Europe. According to EUROPOL, altogether 498 terrorist incidents occurred in EU states in 2006. The vast majority of them merely resulted in limited material damage and were not intended to kill. The key weapon used was the Improvised Explosive Device. In the past few years we have been witness to major arrests of terrorist suspects every month by the security services of various European states. In 2006, a total of 706 individuals were arrested for being suspects involved in terrorism. Half of those arrests were related to Islamist terrorism. In this case, the process of radicalisation (which also includes a growing number of militant converts into Islam) has become an extremely problematic and sensitive topic for Europe. However, most attacks in 2006 were carried out by ethnonationalist and separatist terrorist organisations, whereas a trend analysis shows that left-wing and anarchist terrorism currently remains at a relatively low level. Al-Qaeda's declaration of war against all infidels, its increasing propaganda involving video statements in the English language and its quest to acquire weapons of mass destruction do not create a reassuring context.
Accordingly, anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism have become the key focus of national security policies and international organisations. Countries have been paying ever more attention to the proper criminalisation of terrorist activities in their legislation, implying that not only direct terrorist activities but also many indirect terrorist activities have been criminalised, while improving security preparedness, establishing new organisational units within the relevant ministries, establishing new interministerial and interagency counter-terrorist bodies responsible for related coordination, establishing new information systems, increasing the frequency of counter-terrorism exercises, reinforcing the foundations for effective international co-operation as regards the prevention and response to terrorism, expanding budgets for counter-terrorism etc. Such changes have been of a functional and system or institutional nature, incorporating new missions, strategies, doctrines, laws, structures etc. Naturally, not all countries share the same threat level. More threatened European countries include the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy and Germany. Certain other countries surely do not face such a high threat and yet they are co-operating intensively with the more threatened countries.
The Western Balkans is historically the least stable region of Europe. The security situation in this region is gradually improving and the potential for armed inter-ethnic or interstate conflict has been reduced. However, the indicators of security threats and risks are still the highest in this part of Europe. Let me point out some of today's complex problems.
• The future status of Kosovo is uncertain – it seems that any kind of solution could potentially lead to a further escalation of the crisis and even terrorism. Fears exist that, if Kosovo is given complete independence, a bad example will be made for those involved in many similar ethnic situations in Europe (e.g. a domino effect starting from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia through to Spain and Russia). An unchanged status to the “legal limbo” could, on the other hand, spark a wave of violent protests, political instability and chaos. Other negotiated solutions (the partition of Kosovo and controlled independence) also hold crisis potential.
• Bosnia and Herzegovina has to resolve some important political and structural problems vis-à-vis creating a unified country. The central state institutions are weak and the Republika Srpska and the Bosnian-Croat Federation have been assigned a high degree of self-governance. The ethnically-based division used in resolving many national problems still frequently occurs. A consensus on the central issues is very difficult to achieve without pressure from the international community.
• Macedonia is, despite the introduction of an innovative national inter-ethnic integration model, still struggling with inter-ethnic dialogue at the political level. The solution of the Kosovo problem will heavily affect Macedonia. Fears of the country breaking up have been not allayed.
• Corruption and organised crime levels are still unreasonably high in most countries of the region. The situation is even more complex due to the heavily corrupt political and bureaucratic structures with links to the criminal underground found in some countries.
• The organised smuggling of people, drugs and weapons is a key transnational problem. A network of criminal groups has evolved along the Balkan route that cannot be eradicated despite intensive national and regional co-operative efforts. Smuggling has become one of the most profitable businesses in the region.
• The economic situation in the region is critical, exemplified by high levels of unemployment, national debt, low GDP per capita etc. In addition, the region faces a negative migration trend. The majority of youth in Kosovo and Bosnia, for example, sees its future abroad and not at home.
• Political extremism is still present in most of these countries and religious radicalisation in the form of Wahhabism is growing stronger. Local extremism has gradually become enriched by links with global radical Islamist movements.
The combination of all the abovementioned factors has always created fertile ground for all forms of terrorism. Terrorism is of course not new to the Western Balkans region. Weapons have been smuggled out of the region to support terrorist groups, international terrorists have trespassed this region (with illegal documents and identities or as illegal immigrants), and Islamist fighters have arrived from Afghanistan and elsewhere to fight in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia. Some of them were before, during or after their Balkan adventure clearly involved in terrorism. In fact, the wars in the region were exploited by some extreme Islamic terrorist groups to test their battle skills and acquire knowledge of weapons. We are still facing bomb attacks in the region (e.g. the UNMIK office in Kosovo, the Macedonian governmental building etc.) that might also be interpreted as terrorist acts. The region has also been facing several political murders or attempted murders. The killing of Zoran Djindjic, the Serbian Prime Minister, in 2003 was a clear example of the connection between the criminal and terrorist threats in the region. To all of these, we can add that Al-Qaeda understands the Western Balkan as a logistical centre for spreading terrorism into Western Europe (Plan Balkan 2020). Perhaps this does not mean attacks so much as many support activities. In this respect, the region should be very cautious about terrorist support activities such as financing, training and supplying.
Terrorism is not the only threat that causes the emergence of crises. The so-called ‘crisification’ of our security environment also seems to be rising due to many other factors. Such an environment is generating many crises related to politico-military conflicts, natural disasters, infectious diseases, information disruptions, ethnic or religious violence and others. Many of these crises are completely or nearly completely unexpected and have a strong effect on the security of individual people, states and the international community. ‘Crisis’ has become the key word instead of ‘war’. The awareness of this is partially driven by the growing role of electronic media, bringing negative news and reports to nearly all homes, and partially by objective technical factors that allow the fast escalation of local crises to the international level. Globalisation therefore has a strong subjective and objective impact on our understanding of security.
Crisis management refers to managing and eliminating a surprising threat under significant time pressure and amidst great uncertainty. Crisis management can also be defined as the organisation, arrangements and measures relative to the above goals. The term embraces more or less organised activities for resolving and responding to any kind of crisis at: (a) a specific level; (b) within a specific dimension or field; and (c) in periods before, during or after a crisis. The key focus of crisis management is the response during the crisis; however, the pre-crisis preparation or planning phase and post-crisis phase are also important factors that contribute to the success of the response phase. The ultimate general goal of crisis management is to eliminate the crisis factors, restore the normal situation and regain control over events from the perspective of the affected or responsible actors.
Crisis management represents a specific challenge to all states and international organisations (e.g. NATO, EU, UN, OSCE etc.) that demands a specific response. The question is how to efficiently address an unexpected and extraordinary threat, whether we need preventive and response systems in place, if so then what kinds of systems, how much this would cost etc. In this regard, all European states are struggling with the complexities and problems of shaping responsive, robust and flexible national security systems. They are going through difficult security sector reforms involving the restructuring, downsizing and acquiring of new missions by the police, military, civil protection forces, intelligence services, border security services and others. Especially important in this process is how the states develop national crisis management mechanisms.
The existing experience of NATO and EU countries in the field of national crisis management is quite mixed; however, some common denominators can be identified. We can observe that countries have started to develop crisis-oriented national security systems instead of war-oriented national security systems. The shift in the threat spectrum has caused shifts in national security systems. This implies functional and system or institutional changes such as new missions, strategies, doctrines, laws, structures etc. More significant and radical reforms of existing crisis management mechanisms have started to take place in many cases after bigger crises, terrorist attacks and comprehensive studies carried out by governmental or non-governmental actors. The common finding of many developed European countries was that the existing security mechanisms and institutions did not reflect the changed requirements stemming from the security environment. Reforms in developed European countries have stressed the need for:
• a formal definition of crisis and crisis management in strategic documents or even laws;
• shaping the mechanisms needed for comprehensive threat assessments;
• rethinking the mechanisms for declaring national crises or emergencies;
• forming comprehensive multidisciplinary, multi-ministerial and multi-agency crisis planning mechanisms;
• carrying out multi-ministerial and multi-agency crisis management exercises;
• reshaping and improving the structure of national interagency crisis decisionmaking bodies (such as National Security Councils and other governmental or inter-ministerial bodies);
• developing efficient information support mechanisms for crisis management;
• elaborating mechanisms for crisis communication with publics; and
• devoting special attention to preventive strategies etc.
Simultaneously with changes at the national level, international organisations (e.g. NATO, the EU, the OSCE and the UN) have also begun to formulate new crisis management policies, procedures, mechanisms and systems, and to test the new types of crisis management operations in practice.
The combination of threats and risks in and from the region, along with the need for formulating efficient national and international crisis management and counter-terrorism policies, led to the organisation of the Advanced Research Workshop under the title Crisis Management and Counter-Terrorism in the Western Balkans which took place in Ljubljana in 2007. Around 50 experts from universities and governments participated in the workshop and the result of it is this book. The primary objective of the book is to assess the existing and past processes, policies, structures, mechanisms, reforms and challenges in the interconnected fields of crisis management and counter-terrorism in countries of the Western Balkans and South-east Europe. In creating this overview, experts from many institutions have contributed articles: University of Sarajevo – Faculty of Criminal Justice Sciences, University of Belgrade – Faculty of Security Studies, University of Prishtina – Faculty of Law, University of Skopje – Faculty of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana – Faculty of Social Sciences, Polytechnic College from Velika Gorica, University of Zagreb – Faculty of Political Science, University of Leiden from the Netherlands, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Police Academy from Macedonia, College University Victory from Kosovo etc.
This book is divided into three parts. The first part addresses the concepts, policies and dilemmas arising in the fight against terrorism in a more general way. The important yet difficult roles of the EU and NATO are addressed in depth, national and regional strategies against terrorism are discussed at the conceptual level, several reasons why the fight against terrorism is difficult to win are identified, a regional risk assessment in the Balkans is elaborated in relation to former or ongoing conflicts, the roles of public information, education and human resources in fight against terrorism are studied etc. The second part of this book addresses the individual approaches of countries in the fight against terrorism. The authors focus on national policies, mechanisms, dilemmas and perspectives. The specific case of Kosovo is also addressed, the radicalisation process in Bosnia is carefully analysed and elaborated and the Croatian historical experience with terrorism is studied. Part three of the book addresses countries' particular approaches to crisis management. Some countries in the region are introducing quite deep reforms of their national security systems leading in the direction of crisis management, while others are retaining a relatively unchanged concept of civil protection as a universal and umbrella concept. The case of Kosovo again shows that just managing and running this protectorate represents a unique crisis management endeavour. Readers will by reading this book gain insights into the lively and relatively unstudied mixture of national experiences, approaches, policies and dilemmas in counter-terrorism and crisis management in the Western Balkans. This book is recommended reading for all those who want to know the region better as regards the fields of counter-terrorism and crisis management.
For a long time NATO paid no attention to the phenomenon of terrorism. The attacks on 11 September 2001 spurred the Alliance on to speedily adopt a number of remedial measures. Due to its restricted membership, legal limitations, institutional features, mode of decision-making and almost exclusively military capabilities NATO is not well-suited to effectively counter the threat of transnational terrorism. The Alliance's contribution may, however, be enhanced through internal organisational improvements, enhanced consensus among allies and closer co-operation with other international organisations and regional bodies including UN, EU and OSCE. The effective struggle against terrorism requires a global anti-terrorism coalition, radically different designs for security structures and the use of predominantly non-military instruments. The ‘war on terrorism’ has not been won and its intermediary results look inconclusive at best. The Alliance cannot play a central role but can constructively contribute to this endeavour.
The European Union has become one of the most important international actors in the fight against terrorism. After 9–11, it has adopted a broad spectrum of measures that are being implemented in all three pillars and member countries. The article shows the gradual evolution of measures against international terrorism by the EU in relation to the developing threat. It represents an analysis of the understanding of terrorism at the EU level, evolution of the EU Action Plan since 2001, the role of terrorism in the European Security Strategy, the role of the EU Counter-Terrorism Co-ordinator and SITCEN, the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy etc. The article shows, that despite all these measures, the threat from terrorism remains one of the key European problems and challenges. It will take time and serious efforts to remove many existing problems and dilemmas.
Contemporary society is confronted by several phenomena which exert a continuous influence on its transformation: globalisation, information revolution, terrorism etc. There is no doubt that terrorism represents a key threat to the world today. Terrorists engage in violence as their main line of action. Contemporary states are developing special strategies for fighting terrorism in their efforts to lessen the impacts of terrorist activity. When formulating anti-terrorist strategies the overall human surroundings together with the processes in the world that affect the transformation not just of society but of the phenomenon of terrorism as well should be taken into account. Since transformation and adjustment are continuously occurring, the approaches to be applied in the fight against terrorism should not rely upon status quo policies. Hence, this paper focuses on an analysis of phenomena which point to the transformation of terrorism and the need to redefine the existing status quo approaches: information revolution, terrorism's communicational potential, and the symbiotic relationship between the mass media and terrorism. A new form of terrorism is coming into existence which could be operatively termed mega terrorism.
Security and intelligence are alternative approaches to counter-terrorism policies. Which one of them is more appropriate for Balkan counter-terrorism policies? I argue that the selection of a policy strategy should depend on the risk assessment of the overall Balkan conflict potential. This article aims to show that a major threat to the Balkan politics and state are currently local ethno-national conflicts. The latter – although considerably contained – still destabilise the Balkan region by sporadic campaigns of local terrorism and provide incentives for local terrorist groups to seek co-operation with global terrorism and trans-state crime syndicates. Drawing on regional risk assessment, I argue that security studies and intelligence should inform and complement each other in the planning of counter-terrorism strategies in the Balkans. However, security studies should take the lead and counter-terrorism strategies should be discussed in the context of conventional peace-keeping aimed at the rehabilitation of post-conflict societies and states.
In his contribution Bob de Graaff underlines the biggest difficulties intelligence and security agencies experience in their struggle against the current types of terrorism. He discerns 25 factors that make it hard for these agencies to score a victory in the so-called ‘war on terror’, such as bureaucratic behaviour and turf battles, impossible demands from the public domain, the effects of globalisation, the inheritance of working methods from the Cold War and insufficient knowledge of the workings and objectives of present-day terrorist groups which operate much more flexibly than the intelligence agencies. He reaches the pessimistic conclusion that this struggle, whose final objectives are stated in relatively unclear terms by leading politicians, will last for decades and that time does not necessarily favour those trying to counter terrorism, especially since such a long-lasting fight may sap the morale of the public at large.
With its devastating effects on and threats to civilians, modern terrorism has the basic characteristics of a crisis and a catastrophe. Success in the fight against terrorism greatly depends on the knowledge of people who organise and implement protection, rescue and security tasks, as well as their readiness to react to terrorist attacks and their knowledge of the methods and mechanisms used in those attacks. For these reasons, the competencies of those managing protection and rescue tasks need to be at a high level of development, which can be accomplished by continuing training and education. The paper points to the importance and ways of the continued informing of public and providing education in the area of crisis management as the foundations for an effective fight against terrorism.
The analysis of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina highlights the complexities of the fight against terrorism. This is a country that in the last 15 years has experienced aggression and genocide. Since the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed (1995) its citizens have struggled with post-war devastation, a slow reconciliation process, and economic difficulties. The situation is further complicated by the threat of terrorism. This article addresses the question of how real is the threat of terrorism in Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with possible ways to prevent it. In order to answer this question, the author starts with a wider international picture and within that framework analyses the stereotypes of so-called ‘Islamic terrorism’, the dehumanisation of Muslims in Western media, and the brutalisation of American and British soldiers. Pictures of torture in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons have supported the deterioration of liberal values and supported the argument used by terrorists that Muslims are victims of the West. On the micro level this image has also been reflected negatively on Bosnia and Herzegovina. Apart from a feeling of the general victimisation of Muslims around the world, the injustices done to Bosnian Muslims, particularly the genocide committed by Serbian forces and the denial of it, could lead to further radicalisation. Among all of these complicated circumstances the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has successfully prosecuted the first case of terrorism in the wider region. In analysing the investigation and the judgement in the Bektasevic and others case, the author emphasises the optimal direction of future work on the prevention of terrorism. Apart from secondary sources, this paper draws conclusions based on an analysis of 11 interviews, three of which were conducted with Wahhabi converts in Bosnia, two with former members of the Wahhabi community, while six other interviews were conducted with professionals from law enforcement agencies that work on tasks related to the fight against terrorism.
Every state's attitude to fighting terrorism, including that of Serbia, can be viewed on several levels. The first level relates to the actual terrorist threat a state is endangered by, the second level refers to a state's capacity to oppose terrorism while the third level is the public perception of a terrorist threat along with state organs' strategic determinations in relation to fighting terrorism.
Today the world is characterised by certain changes that bring with them unpredictable risks and dangers for the safety of countries. Besides political, economic and cultural globalisation, the trend of globalisation has also brought threats such as international terrorism and organised crime. The Republic of Macedonia is also not exempted from the world's global threats, especially the threat of terrorism. Terrorism poses a threat in the world framework and no society is safe regarding this type of criminal activity. In order to prevent terrorism and undertake activities in which more countries are included i.e. society in general, it is necessary to act in the framework of certain international organisations such as the NATO Alliance. In that direction every country in the context of its possibilities should contribute to the fight against today's evil – terrorism. In this text the measures undertaken by the Republic of Macedonia are described, as are the challenges it is facing and the measures and activities that should be taken in the future.
This study is an attempt to assess the political situation in post-war Kosovo, with an accent on the extent and dynamics of terrorist acts committed in the 2000–2006 period. The study also describes some of the characteristics of explosions that occurred in post-war Kosovo. The findings of a survey of UNMIK Police statistics on criminal acts committed for terrorism purposes during the 2000–2006 period show that 1,204 explosions occurred in Kosovo. For the needs of this paper 48 of these explosions were analysed.
The study of these explosions shows that most of them only caused material damage; that for a large percentage of cases no one has claimed responsibility for carrying them out; that usually perpetrators used exploding devices, grenades and bombs with a small quantity of explosives and that in the majority of cases the motives for planting the explosions was the general political situation, namely the unresolved political status of Kosovo and inter-ethnic disagreements between Albanians and Serbs regarding the political status of Kosovo. The findings suggest the risk of terrorist threats in Kosovo after the resolution of its final status may be expected. Therefore, the paper examines some factors which might help reduce the number of those acts and some other factors which might directly influence the occurrence of terrorism in Kosovo.
Terrorism is a multilayered phenomenon which, if to be viewed in its entirety, implies an interdisciplinary approach and parallel research in a number of areas. The reason it is difficult to deal with this social phenomenon is that there is a whole series of different subjective and objective factors that slow down the resolution of the complex problem of terrorism. Croatia is a state that was burdened by intense terrorist activities in the period from 1992 to 2001. The war in Croatia exerted a primary influence on it since it provided favourable conditions for the spread of terrorism. The basic sources of terrorism in Croatia in the past period were accumulated economic, ethnic, social, religious, political etc. contradictions, undesirable social conditions and unrealised ambitions of certain social groups. This article deals with terrorism in Croatia in the mentioned period in terms of: (a) international; (b) insurgent; and (c) domestic terrorism.
The paper reviews the experience gained through a series of studies and exercises focused on developing the concept of the Civil Security and Integrated Security Sector in Bulgaria. The main focus is on Command and Control in order to achieve horizontal and vertical integration in crisis management operations. The concept of the development and experimentation process, supported by computer-assisted exercises, is an instrument that has been proposed to achieve better regional co-operation and the building of modern and interoperable systems in SEE.
Crisis management as an instrument of governments for enforcing security in transitional democracies has become a genuine issue for analysis. The managing of crises has encountered threats that demand a faster and more co-ordinated response and management strategy that surpasses the capacities of exclusively military crisis management. In those circumstances, as a legitimate issue and precondition for the successful execution of security, crisis management has become part of the agenda of post-conflict Macedonia. The experience with the crisis of 2001, and even before that, implies the need for a crisis management system. Thus, finding an appropriate solution where the acquired shortcomings will be avoided and prevention will have its own place was resolved by the establishment of the Crisis Management Centre. Therefore, the offered concept for structuring the Crisis Management Centre expresses a high applied value. Modelling is based on the predetermined compatibility as the initial foundation of the necessary explicit functionality with both an intra and inter character.
In the introduction author points out that crises are omnipresent in the history of human societies. Due to this and their potentially devastating consequences they have to be in the focus of researches, and adequate capacities for crisis management have to be built in the public, state and profit sectors. In that context, the author gives a brief description of the importance of crisis management as a theory and as a practice in the contemporary world. After that, he assesses that the theory and practice of crisis management in Serbia are at the very beginning although this country has in the last few decades been in a stage of very serious and deep crises in the spheres of politics, the economy and security. The author refers to the most important reasons for this situation and the prospects of developing Serbian crisis management in the near future, describing the new draft Law of Protection and Rescue that is waiting to be adopted in the Serbian Parliament.
Facing a wide variety of crises, Serbia, like no other country in the region, can benefit by learning from them. Although the key actors are in a position to generalise their experience, there is no organised effort in the field of systematic education and training for acting in a state of emergency. Intuition, random reacting, common sense, and a reactive approach are the terms with which we can describe the modus operandi for dealing with assessing and resolving crises in Serbia. In this work, a survey of the status and systems of functioning in the field of crisis management in Serbia is given through an analysis of the activities of relevant institutions, and in relevant fields: the Police, the military, the economy, and the non-governmental sector. The efforts made in the field of educational, scientific and research work at the Faculty of Security Studies of the University of Belgrade are also the subject of a special analysis. The programme of a special course of studies, Crisis Management, is presented, as are some activities at the Faculty regarding the projects directed at examining different dimensions of the treat to security.
The low level of efficiency of local and international institutions to face and deal with social problems (unemployment), organised crime, non-settlement of the status of property, corruption, narcotics smuggling, prostitution, Kosovo as an oasis with an unresolved status, the influence of Serbian politics on the governance of the enclaves and others may be factors in the development of a crisis which could move beyond institutional control. These events could then have as a consequence devastating riots with elements of interethnic clashes. The KFOR's presence in Kosovo is substantial and strategically needed because this force is a guarantee of the region's peace, security, stability and democratisation. It is also the only force which can guarantee a solution to the inherited problems in the region.
The paper presents the process of shaping crisis management mechanisms in the Republic of Croatia. It includes a short historical overview of organising mechanisms with an emphasis on organisational aspects. It also provides an overview of the National Protection and Rescue Directorate's structure. The paper analyses contemporary risks and threats and provides an overview of international co-operation and the process of adapting to contemporary crisis management mechanisms. Also presented is the new crisis management mechanism.