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Terrorism will remain a serious threat and global issue

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Sachindra Vikram Singh
Sachindra Vikram Singh
Sachindra Vikram Singh is the Chief Executive Officer of EchoAd Media, Inc and the Chief Editor of The Blue Oceans Group . His articles, and opinions have been featured in Internet Times, YourStory Media, and many other big media houses.

Terrorism has become the systematic weapon of a war that knows no borders or seldom has a face. It is the tactic of demanding the impossible and demanding it at gunpoint. Terrorism has been declared a global threat and a serious issue across the globe by many intellectuals, leaders, human rights activists, liberals, and many other scholars. In recent human history, terrorism has been widely recognized as the world’s biggest threat. It turns neighbors into enemies and has made our societies and the whole world unsafe for living. If we talk only in India’s context, there are over 42 terrorist organizations listed in the first schedule of the UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES (PREVENTION) ACT, 1967. 

Terrorism aims to overthrow a legitimate government using violence to create a climate of fear and uncertainty. It is driven by political objectives despite exploitation of regional, national and religious sentiments to achieve its goal. 

Terrorism by no means is a modern phenomenon. Its early example includes ‘Sicari’ usually seen as an extreme splinter wing of Jewish zealots who in the first century killed and kidnapped Romans, Thugs in India, etc.

Terrorism is derived from the French reign of terror under Robespierre in the French revolution when around 40000 alleged enemies of the revolution were sent to their deaths in 1793-94.

Terrorism has taken various orientations with change in time. Earlier, terrorism was anarchist in nature where violence was carried out by the clandestine anarchist group (in the late nineteenth century) in western societies. 

Examples of Catastrophe!!

Some examples of anarchist terrorism include an attack on Tsar Alexander (1881), assault on Cafe Terminus in Paris, violence by Baader- Meinhof group in West Germany, the Italian Red Brigade, and the Japanese Red Army, etc in 1960-70s.

After 1945, period terrorism got nationalist orientation. Its examples include anti-colonial struggles in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, groups like Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), etc.

But it was the 9/11 attack on the twin towers in New York and Washington when terrorism got limelight and many were convinced that a new and more dangerous form of terrorism called “Global Terrorism” has taken birth.

Now terrorism is broadly categorized into two types: State Terrorism and State-Sponsored Terrorism. State Terrorism is one where the state uses its power against its people eg., Saddam Hussain, Stalin in Russia. State-Sponsored Terrorism is one where one state uses non-state actors against another state eg. Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamat-ud-Dawa ISI of Pakistan, etc.

Terrorism is a deeply controversial term. Different scholars have perceived terrorism differently. Let’s see what are their takes regarding terrorism

Views of Realists

Realists tend to put a strong emphasis on state and non-state dichotomy. They view terrorism as a violent challenge by non-state actors to the established order to get political power.

Realists draw their tradition from Machiavellian thinking which is reflected in their beliefs when they tend to be relatively unconcerned about whether counter-terrorism actions violate civil liberties.

Views of Liberals

Liberals also believe, terrorism is an act done mainly by non-state actors but they have different views regarding motivation to do terrorism. They also include the role of ideology, religion rather than just to gain political power. They also emphasize that counter-terrorism strategies should not violate human rights and civil liberties.

Critical Views

Critical views believe that the killing of unarmed civilians is done by both state and non-state actors. The term state terrorism is whole-scale terrorism. According to them because the state has far more economic and military resources, state terrorism is much more coercive than non-state terrorism.

Another perspective shaped by constructivists and poststructuralists tends to believe that terrorism is a social and political construct. According to the terrorism is used to define certain groups and their political and social causes as unjust by associating their image with violence.

Terrorists often target governments and organizations but innocent civilians pay the price for it. Terrorism differs from conventional warfare in that, as a “weapon of weak”, it is most often embraced by those who have no realistic possibility of prevailing against their opponent in a conventional armed war (Crenshaw).

Terrorist uses extreme violence, assassination, kidnappings, extortion to defy state and rule of law to pose an asymmetrical threat to the nations. 

Terrorist mainly uses urban centers as their target due to the high and dense population. They get an easy chance to camouflage. Apart from this, they get hypermedia attention by targeting busy urban centers. 

Terrorism and Technology

Terrorism is an expensive business but technology has made it easier. Money laundering is the center of all terrorist activity because it is the common denominator for all acts whether the aim is to make a profit or use them for other purposes like the donation to religious foundations, human trafficking, and drug-related crimes.

The exponential growth of cybercrime has become another tool for a terrorist to spread terrorism. Through the use of technology, terrorists are publicizing their terrorist ideologies, raising funds for carrying out further terrorist activities, recruiting new members, obtaining operational information targeting coordinating, planning, and discussing terrorist actions.

Further designing explosive, chemical biological components, launching threat campaigns, and communicating among members using encryption.

How to Counter Terrorism for Safer Future?

Strengthening State Security

States like India, Sri Lanka, U.K need to revisit, revise and strengthen their security arrangements. In the globalized world, states need control over global financial flows and doubtful immigration apart from rigorous surveillance mechanisms.

Military Repression

Force-based or repressive counter-terrorism has grown in recent years which needs more intensity. Increased aerial strike on terrorist targets.

Political Deals

Finally, political deals can be found for terrorist problems because most terrorist activities have political objectives. In fact, in the past various terrorist organization had abandoned the path of violence and joined the mainstream. Although this idea has attracted various criticism as sometimes it is seen as appeasement or moral retreat in face of violence but still, governments should encourage the terrorist organization to leave the path of violence and come to negotiating table.

Closing Keynote

We don’t create terrorism by fighting the terrorists. We invite terrorism by ignoring them. Like slavery and piracy, terrorism has no place in the modern world. Terrorism not only endangers the physical security of citizens but also erodes the economic security of any country. Because poor countries who wish to spend a substantial portion of their GDP on social and economic issues, unfortunately, allocate a significant portion of their budget to keep their borders safe.

Terrorism is a global problem that needs global participation for its elimination. Although it is not an easy task for countries all over the world to adopt a global view, countries need to come together and work harder to achieve the goal of world peace. Considering a fact, the desire to stay safe and protected is one of the most basic instincts of man and the terror-free world will be one step in this direction. 

Thoughts of Global Leaders on Terrorism

“The war we fight today is more than a military conflict; it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation — the right of all people to speak, worship, and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism — the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest. As veterans, you have seen this kind of enemy before. They’re successors to Fascists, to Nazis, to Communists, and other totalitarians of the 20th century. And history shows what the outcome will be: This war will be difficult; this war will be long, and this war will end in the defeat of the terrorists and totalitarians, and a victory for the cause of freedom and liberty”. ~GEORGE W. BUSH

“Terrorism is the biggest problem facing the world today. We must ensure that the countries that support and assist the terrorists are held accountable, and this problem is dealt with in an organized manner. ~NARENDRA MODI 

“When I say that terrorism is a war against civilization, I may be met by the objection that terrorists are often idealists pursuing worthy ultimate aims — national or regional independence, and so forth. I do not accept this argument. I cannot agree that a terrorist can ever be an idealist, or that the objects sought can ever justify terrorism. The impact of terrorism, not merely on individual nations, but on humanity as a whole, is intrinsically evil, necessarily evil and wholly evil”. ~BENJAMIN NETANYAHU

“We live in a time of terror, and contrary to what we see on television and allow ourselves to believe, the real goal of terror is not to kill people but to kill thought; to so demoralizing a society that it implodes from within”. ~JOHN LAHR

“Terrorism, like viruses, is everywhere. There is global perfusion of terrorism, which accompanies any system of domination as though it were its shadow, ready to activate itself anywhere, like a double agent”. ~JEAN BAUDRILLARD

“It’s much, much harder to terrorize a population into submission than official and unofficial purveyors of mass violence always think it is. Normality isn’t a fixed state but a spectrum with a remarkably wide range. Terrorists are contemptible for many reasons, but one of them is the stupidity of not knowing this. They try to magnify themselves with epic acts of cruelty. At the upshot, they are diminished and defeated by the strange ability of human beings to step around the pools of blood, keep going and forget”. ~FINTAN O’TOOLE

“Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at gunpoint”. ~CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS

“Terrorism has become the systematic weapon of a war that knows no borders or seldom has a face”. ~JACQUES CHIRAC

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Sachindra Vikram Singh
Sachindra Vikram Singh
Sachindra Vikram Singh is the Chief Executive Officer of EchoAd Media, Inc and the Chief Editor of The Blue Oceans Group . His articles, and opinions have been featured in Internet Times, YourStory Media, and many other big media houses.
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