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.
Col Adil DUYAN