Research Paper: Terrorism
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The issue of terrorism exists for a long time now, and its gravity continuously rises during the past ten years. Terrorism activities, which occur currently in the world, were foretold in Biblical scriptures. In the Book of Daniel, it is said, “When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them...” (Daniel 11:24, King James Version). The recent events in Paris, one of the cities that are thought to be the most secure, are the confirmation of Daniel’s prophecy.
Apparently, terrorist activities do not take place only in areas referred to as hotspots; they are common across the world in various forms. To reach their goals, terrorists use kidnapping, hijacking, murdering, and bombings. The primary reasons for such actions are a desire to change the political standing of the government of a nation or the feelings of hatred towards a particular religion, race or nationality. With the regard to above-mentioned, this paper seeks to examine the trends and the evolution of terrorism and counterterrorism strategies by evaluating part researchers to establish the need for a comprehensive study of modern ways to fight terrorism.
The research by Wright indicates that in the 1800s terrorist acts were easier to perform because of the technologies simplicity. Identification documents were accessible, and the public records were decentralized and rarely checked (Wright, 2015). Thus, people who did not have passports could cross the border with someone’s documents. International traveling did not require visas or passports, and, even when it did, papers were hand-written and simply entered into a ledger. Then, the only limitation of terrorism concerned communication.
Today, researchers of the terrorism show that techniques of terror activities improved considerably. As a result, attacks inflict more casualties, and their frequency higher than before. The media become helpful for terrorism since they constantly report terrorist acts and exaggerate their severity. Such a tendency provides terrorists with the audience and makes their acts noticeable.
Counterterrorism strategies also advance. Sandler (2015) indicates tht the twenty-first century brought technological improvement increasing the resistance of identification documents to alterations and counterfeiting. Member states of the United Nations are working on the Counterterrorism Amendments that require vigilance and tightening of security in their countries. The legislation would prevent supporting terrorists or making borders open for them. Besides, the countries are expected to be prepared with emergency responses to attacks.
Current studies and methods do not fully address the actions that governments should take to fight against the terrorism developments. Nowadays, terrorists are developing their weapons to include gas and chemical substance. Governments are not equipped and informed enough to prevent the attacks with such weapon. There is a necessity to study appropriate response methods to counter modern terrorism.
Modern counterterrorism omits several issues. Firstly, even knowing about the advancement of terrorism, governing bodies stay inactive. The authorities indeed make an effort to be vigilant since terrorists are yet to realize some of their publicized goals. Nevertheless, to counter the new developments and strategies of terrorists, actions, not solely vigilance, are required. Secondly, too much attention is given to the terrorist activities. The media exaggerate and create the stories that seem relevant to the terror. Attention and media coverage only encourages terrorist. Thirdly, there are still money transfers to terrorists even though the governments monitor large transactions. Due to lack of control, terrorists transfer cash through charity organizations and informal banking systems, conduct wire transfers, or send money in small amounts that would not lead to warrant monitoring.
In the past, state sponsorship allowed control over terrorist groups and made monitoring easy. Now, because of the United Nations’ anti-terrorism amendments that prevent states from supporting terrorism, the monitoring is hard (The White House, 2011). Consequently, the terrorist organizations evolve from primitive gangs to sophisticated groups, have high ambitions and establish bureaucracies and hierarchies. Such tendencies require innovative ways to monitor and create barriers to terrorist attacks.
In the research “Economics of Terrorism and Counterterrorism,” Schneider, Bruck, and Meierrieks (2011) explain that terrorism advances regarding technology exploitation, experience, instruction methods to trainees, targets, and justifications for their actions, which usually include theories and doctrines. The scholars assert that the terrorists obtain new financial sources and, thus, become less dependent on sponsoring states. The criminals modernize training, initiate global campaigns, extensively use communication technologies, and perform their operations not through tactics but by strategy.
Their research also reveals that terrorists now have access to high-powered military explosives technology, which provides explosively formed penetrators, platter charges, and increases the impact (Schneider, Bruck & Meierrieks, 2011). Moreover, there are microelectronics, which could activate a bomb weeks and days after the placement, and sensors that detect light, motion, altitude changes, and metal objects. Terrorists also use cell phones and radio signals.
Solomon (2015) notes that countries design various strategies to counter terrorism. The UK, the USA, Israel, and Russia practice preemptive neutralization, which involves capturing, disabling or killing terrorists before an attack happens. Neutralization may also involve interrogating a terrorist suspect to acquire information about planned plots, other terrorists’ identities, and potential targets. In case this one fails to reveal information, they use sleep deprivation and drugs. However, Sandler shows that some European nations oppose this method saying that “they term them as degrading and inhuman” (p.11).
Moreover, Sandler’s research confirms that in the past, the United States Government used military action, which was not successful in preventing and stopping terrorism. For example, it was applied to raid Osama bin Laden in his hideout, but killing the Al Qaeda leader did not dismantle the terrorist group (Sandler, 2015). Military action only disrupts the terrorist activities for a while, but the threat does not disappear completely. The method has only led to short-term victories and needs to be accompanied by other strategies.
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