The Menace of Terrorism Around the World: Emerging Threats and Issues

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The menace of terrorism has been increasing over the years though there have been several efforts to counter it. The evils of terrorism have become widespread, and the world has become too familiar to them. There has been a lot of debate on the definition of terrorism, but The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations defines terrorism as 'the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”. Terrorism is a global problem which is been suffered by almost the whole world, it has hit us badly with its cruelty and brutality. It is considered to have originated during the French revolution in the 18th century. “The major goal of terrorists is to fulfill their political demands by creating fear among people and governments”. In order to tackle and eradicate this problem from the society, the United Nations has been taking several steps including the “adoption of resolution 2322 in 2016”.

Countries like India have long been a victim of terrorism. Pakistan, which is considered to be India’s arch rival has been supporting several terrorist organizations. India has faced one of the largest numbers of deadliest terrorist strikes which includes, 26/11 Mumbai attack in which “More than 166 people were killed and in addition to wounding more than 300 people”. Hence it is rightly said by US officials that “India is an incredibly important, incredibly valuable and close counter-terrorism partner of the US”. The Indo-US anti terrorism relations strengthened after the 26/11 attacks when a ‘Counter-terrorism Designations Dialogue’ was organized between both countries in which “The mechanism was discussed between US Secretary of State, and External Affairs Minister”.

Terrorism evolve in weaker societies, where people are either deprived of democratic rights or are made to follow certain design. It is mostly by force or by exploiting the emotional sentiments. Religion dominates the thought process of the society, hence under the given circumstances, it leads to the origin of radicalization. Terrorism grows and develops in the nations which are generally governed by dictators where democratic rights are snubbed. These dictators restrict interaction with the wider world so that they are able to enforce their school of thoughts. Nations of the middle east for example Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and many others are classic examples of this.

Furthermore, international political dynamics also play a crucial role as political interest of nation come forth the humanitarian cause. Here, slogans like “universal brotherhood”, “one world” are mere slogans. The relation between middle east and US and its allies is a classic example. Since, an unstable middle east would be more would be good to them than a so called stable one. However, the balancing line and margin of error is too small as it is evident now, once the region considered to be dummy of US and its allies, governed by the leaders of their choice is simmering now as it has boiled over where more than half of middle east is into civil war. Most of their states are headless and their prevails a severe shortage of trust with the presence of hardly any leader to be relied upon. These nations are becoming more radicalized, small time leader are exploiting the sentiments and the political system is being developed as per their new designs. Well developed nations like turkey also appear to have fallen into this vicious trap.

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Terrorists organizations tend to mislead the unemployed youth by offering them money and exploiting their religious sentiments. This becomes even more easy with US and its allies involving directly and indirectly in regions like Middle-East which have distinct religious and cultural identity.

Media has got a crucial role in terrorism. Terrorists seek recognition and popularity via media “The new and emerging media has made it easier for terrorists to publicize their messages to the world via websites at their own discretion and new technologies have simply allowed the dissemination of terrorist messages to reach a broader audience with a more concise message”. They create a fear among the people and government by sending threat videos and at the same time it also serves as fodder for the vulnerable. Media’s excess coverage of terrorist’s activities should be minimized in order to not to give any sort of highlight to them. Media gets benefited by telecasting such activities, “Terrorism is an attractive boon for media coverage, mainly because terrorist attacks make viewer ratings surge and profits increase”. This media attention draw youth with impressionable minds towards terrorist organisations.

Religion and terrorism are also very closely linked. Religion is the main rallying factor exploited by terrorist organisations. The main underlying reasons for youth to be drawn towards terrorism are generally socio-economic, and the people leading them relate their conditions (usually referring to their problems) to geopolitics dominated by the USA and its allies, and the miscalculations done by the USA and its allies while implementing their agenda without understanding the cultural and religious sentiment of people in different parts of world. Although there are some people in the society who use “religion as a predominant instigator of terrorism by portraying violence as a sacramental act or divine duty, executed in direct response to some theological demands”. “This can be seen in the concept of martyrdom and the sanctification of god’s name by self sacrificing one’s life. Many Muslim societies use religion to advocate martyrdom, by creating martyr worship cultures which take the form of suicide attackers”, but this has got a very contradicting fact that the concept of committing suicide is unacceptable “according to Islam and the person committing suicide is not allowed to enter heaven”. However, some of the mischievous characters of the society who take the shelter of religion in order to commit these brutal acts of terrorism, teach people that the heroic act of suicide attack is made to fall under the definition of legitimate terrorization by explaining that it is justified if it is done in order to defend the land, religion and its dignity at the will of god. Hence it is clearly visible from the above argument that there is no religion promoting terrorism whereas there are just a few people mainly terrorist organizations who try to play with the emotions and the sentiments of the general public.

On 12 September 2001, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1368, whose main and novel feature lay in its invocation of the right to individual or collective self-defence under the terms of Article 51 of the Charter and which solemnly called upon all Member States to work together 'to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors' of terrorists acts and to 'redouble their efforts to prevent and suppress them.

One of the major aspects is the financial support being extended to the terrorist organizations by certain terrorist supporting countries which involve countries who are forced to do so as their government is totally under control of these organizations and the second are the countries who try to seek revenge from other rival countries with help of support from terrorists. In past it has been seen that there have been cases when countries have sponsored terrorists in order to attack or trouble their rivals. Hence, it was discussed in resolution 2322 meeting that Member States to improve integration and utilization of financial intelligence with other types of information available, such as that provided by the private sector to national governments, to more effectively counter the terrorist financing threats posed by ISIL, Al-Qaida, and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, including through actions related to investigative techniques, evidence gathering and prosecution. 

The most important tactic to fight against terrorism must be based on intelligence. Intelligence implies to understand the important factors such as the operational structure, mode of operation, leadership and motivating factors of these terrorist organization, thereby coming up with a plan to anticipate and counter constantly changing operations. Vital is that the ideological dimension of these organizations should not be ignored because it explains the extremes to which terrorists are willing to adopt. A strategy must be evolved to target the source i.e. perpetrators and the social moments that underlie in the sources of terrorism.

US and its allies had themselves created Taliban’s to counter the Soviet’s in Afghanistan, this has given a new dimension to engagements in various strife torn areas in the world. So, as far as possibility of eradication of terrorism by the US and its allies is concerned it is not possible as long as they use their economic strength and military power to make them safe by engaging in vulnerable areas. Yes, there is possibility if they try to uplift and aid the regions which are suffering from utter poverty and lack of education thus making them easy targets for those recruiting of terrorist organizations. The way forward is by being sensitive towards religious and cultural sensibilities of the poor, down trodden and helpless populace of world, thus winning their trust and changing their perception about the western world.

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