Volume Of Terrorist Activities Worldwide Criminology Essay

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It is widely known that the world is attempting to eliminate terrorism; however, it is impossible to do so. Terrorism is not new, and despite that fact, it has been relatively hard to define it. It has been described as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and a holy duty; a justified reaction to oppression and hatred. While it has occurred throughout history, today it influences events on the international stage. Less than twelve hours after the September 11, 2001 attacks, George W. Bush declared a start of a global war on terror. Ever since, there have been debates about how to win it. His critics are either against the very idea of a "war on terror" or argue the need to fight it differently. They claim that Bush's approach to the war created more terrorists than it eliminated. What's almost missing from the debate is whether or not the war can be won. It is highly unlikely that the world will ever be able to overcome terrorism. One of the most effective techniques to combat terrorism is for all the countries and international agencies to work together and implement strict penalties so every terrorist organization and every country that supports terrorism is dealt with equally. However, this type of collaboration requires greater cooperation, which is highly unlikely. Also, the numbers of terrorist activities are increasing as large discriminate attacks- car bomb, bombing public places such as airport terminals, etc- become a normal feature on Earth. Moreover, all terrorist organizations cooperate with each other. In an effort to defeat such organizations, one must stop the flow of money to terrorist organizations.

The volume of terrorist activities worldwide has not diminished but it has become more expected. According to Washington Post, the number of serious terrorist attacks more than tripled from 2004 to 2005. It stated that "overall, the number of what the U.S. government considers "significant" attacks grew to about 655 last year [2004], up from the record of around 175 in 2003." Under the standards used by the government, "significant" terrorist attacks are defined as those that "cause civilian causalities or fatalities or substantial damage to property. Attacks on uniformed military personnel such as the large number of U.S. troops sustained in Iraq are not included." Furthermore, terrorist incidents in Iraq also dramatically increased the same year form 22 attacks to 198, or nine times the previous year's total. Part of the reason why terrorism increased at such a high rate is because of U.S.'s unwanted presence in Iraq. These numbers leave little doubt that there has been a tremendous increase in terrorism attacks, and unfortunately it seems unlikely that these numbers will decrease any time in the near future. In many places in the world, the public is beginning to accept terrorism as a part of their lives. Because of the growing concern over terrorist threats, people are afraid to get caught in dangerous situations and so take extra measures to protect themselves from attacks. Many of these security measures taken against terrorism have become a part of our lifestyle. For example, passengers no longer complain about feeding though X-ray machines or passing though metal detectors while at airports. In Israel, people risk their lives everyday activities such as getting on a bus, sitting in a cafe, or walking down a street. As a result to a constant threat of attack, visiting a supermarket requires random inspections and passing through metal detector. In many places, the increased terrorist activity has led people to accept it and adjust their lifestyle.

Part of a terrorist's ability to survive is in the infrastructure that has grown to support them. It is clear that states with similar interests either sponsor or support terrorist groups. This support can take a number of forms: political support, financial assistance, safe havens, training, or even weapons and equipments. Sympathetic governments sometimes support terrorists by providing a safe place to hide or operate training camps. Therese governments can also supply significant sums of money and weapons, such as rockets, that are hard for terrorists to acquire. The Taliban government in Afghanistan provided a haven for Osama Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda terrorist organization from the mid-1990s until the USA military drove the Taliban from power at the end of 2001. In some cases, both the government of Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda have similar interests, and by helping the Taliban, they are protecting their interests and investments. Overtime, it has been becoming harder for terrorist to raise money from charities. As a result, they evolved and have moved into the money laundering space. US reports highlight that organized terrorists are now working with drug traffickers and criminals to make and launder the proceeds for crimes such as fraud, prostitution, intellectual property theft, kidnap, and smuggling. With terrorists attaining weapons and money from Black markets or other such ways, they will always be able to support themselves. Aside from this, governments sometimes tend to carry out operations using terror tactics. These activates may be directed against other nations' interests, its own population, or groups and individuals viewed as dangerous to the sate. Muammar Gaddafi, Libyan leader in the 1970s, began to donate part of Libya's energy surplus towards international armed groups such as PLO, IRA, KANAK of New Caledonia, etc- all of which he regarded as revolutionary arms groups. These groups were showered with Libyan oil revenues. As the oil surplus increased, he began to set up a kind of bonus system risky operations. For instance, members of Black September who participated in the terror at 1972 Munich Olympics were given bonuses ranging form $1 million to $5 million. Governments such as these sponsor terrorism in an attempt to maintain their power and limit opposition. Terrorists have strong support systems, and those against them find it extremely difficult to identify and destroy the web of relationships, contacts, and alliances with other groups, suppliers of material and services that sustain the terrorists underground.

Terrorism is a threat to all nations and all people. Nations use different tactics and methods to deal with terrorist issues. Before launching an attack, a terrorist's first consideration is the amount of mass media publicity they can expect. Therefore, limits must be placed on the release of pictures and information by the media. Much of the media coverage is focused at showing the horrors of a situation. Very rarely do they consider the cause of the situation, and so dramatic effects often become a goal of terrorists. When that happens, the media unintentionally serves the purpose of the terrorist by giving them the attention they seek. In a democratic society, government censorship of the press will clash with what gets coverage and what should not. The UN, in an attempt to fight against terrorism, generated the "five D" plan: first, to "dissuade disaffected groups from choosing terrorism as a tactic to achieve their goals"; second, to deny terrorists the means to carry out their attacks; third, to deter states form supporting terrorists; fourth, to develop state capacity to prevent terrorism; and fifth, to "defend human rights in the struggle against terrorism". Other strategies to address terrorism would be to enhance cooperation to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, to educate the next generation, adopt laws for the restriction and control of weapons and explosives to prevent their use by terrorist organizations, and to review, amend, and abide to all current anti-terror legislations.

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