Сьогодні тероризм став глобальним феноменом, новим інструментом дестабілізації локальної, регіональної та міжнародної безпеки і стабільності. Планетарний масштаб тероризму, його здатність швидко адаптуватися до сучасного розвитку подій світового порядку денного, трансформуватися в наддержавні та світові структури і мережі, створює раніше невідомі небезпеки. Доведено, що розв’язання проблематики тероризму на внутрішньодержавному та міжнародному рівнях потребує чіткої координації, взаємодії правоохоронних структур, неурядових та урядових інституцій, міжнародних універсальних і регіональних організацій. Підкреслено, що з метою утворення дієвої системи вчасного попередження тероризму та ефективної реакції на наслідки його деструктивних дій державні áктори мають застосувати системно-комплексний національний, міжгалузевий і міжнародний підходи в боротьбі з ідеологією релігійного фанатизму, радикального ісламізму, пропагандою екстремізму, націоналізму, сепаратизму та забезпечення належного рівня соціальних стандартів життя.
Ключові слова: тероризм, терористичний акт, безпека та стабільність, попередження тероризму.
In 1960’s – early 2000, terrorism turned into an absolutely unpredictable phenomenon of foreign affairs. It established a global network, new ways and means for financing of its illegal and criminal actions. Moreover, terrorism of modern times transformed into a universal tool of bringing chaos and destruction into local, regional and global order, undermining interaction between states and citizens, governments and universal international and regional organizations.
The increase of terrorism and terrorism-related activities in war and conflict-torn areas boosts the necessity of timely prevention and reaction towards rooting out not simply the aftermaths of terrorism as such, but all possible causes of this crime.
Deep understanding of terrorism’s transformations into a new warfare instrument are integral to establish precise patterns, programs and strategies in tackling the destructive character of terrorism in modern times.
This article is aimed to provide research outline of challenges and threats posed by modern terrorism, understand best strategies in countering terrorism at local, regional and global levels, and to assess risks of available approaches in strengthening security and stability.
Leading foreign and Ukrainian terrorism experts [1-5] dedicate their research to the issues of establishing a better understanding of reasons, pre-conditions and causes of terrorism as a global threat. Experts are unanimous in their perceptions of the urgent necessity to elaborate key dimensions in preventing terrorism, which could be further applied by respective government and non-government agencies in increasing local, regional and global security and stability. Article provides a somewhat different angle towards commonly understood challenges and threats posed by terrorism of modern times.
In early 21st century, terrorist attacks in Washington, D.C. and New York, Boston, Madrid and London, Istanbul, Nice and Paris, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Beslan, downing of the passenger aircraft of “Malaysian Airlines” MH-17 in the sky over Grabovo in Ukrainian Donbas, tragedies in Berlin Christmas market, Tel Aviv seaside and Stockholm city center, became one of the most massive terror incidents against the civilians.
Terrorism of modern times, contrary to the terrorist acts of the second half of the 20th century, has its unique global character, aims to act both locally and globally, and simultaneously destruct the common order of any state governance, creates atmosphere of panic and fear.
Unexpected character of any terror attack, its neglect of any norms of the social, religious or public moral, desire to destroy “all at a time”, cruelty and massive blood are the sad, but typical features of modern terrorism.
The illegal, immoral and outlawed activities of terrorism executives, terrorist leaders and terrorists, terrorist organizations lay within the simple outreach: to undermine citizens’ trust in the values of democracy, freedom and liberty, respect for human rights and dignities. Terrorism destroys the faith and tends to build a “parallel reality” where denial of any government, fight against the “unfaithful”, death for a bigger Goal is a “ultra-goal” in the global war against “them”.
The wide usage of terrorists and terrorist organizations of the social media, on-line coverage of deaths, tortures and seizing of the hostages, 24/7 coverage of terror attacks, continue to strengthen the global outreach of terrorism into everyday life of governments and its citizens.
This contributes to the transformation of terrorism into a new warfare instrument with its broad network of inspirational leaders, recruiters, executives, sponsors and terrorism sympathizers.
Terror, terrorism, act of terror, terror incident, terror-related crime and terrorist activity – all terms seem to be similar in their aims, core and illegal nature. However, the objectives and methods significantly differ depending on every single case. For instance, “to conduct an explosion – to commit an act of terrorism, but to plan an act of terrorism – is a terrorist activity” .
Moreover, a terror act, committed in the territory of a foreign state, automatically becomes an act of international terrorism, even though the latter has its own types: political, state, religious (extremism and radical terrorism), economic, ecoterrorism, cyber, etc.
Terrorism of modern times actively and widely falls into new methods of its warfare; it applies conventional and non-conventional approaches in reaching out for its goals: killing civilians, increasing insecurity and destabilizing stability. Thus, terrorism in the 21st century becomes a new actor in the global arena; it has already transformed into a new global player, a phenomenon which affects developments at local, regional and international stages.
In the second half of the 20th century, terrorism was predominantly a marginal activity, performed by individuals, who strongly believed that their mission was accomplished only when political adversary, opponent or a foe disappeared from political horizon as a result of their physical destruction (assassination, suicide enforcement, poisoning, etc.). Terrorism of those times was largely of a local, rather than a global nature. It had its smaller goals and less visible affects.
Contrary to the modern international developments, terrorism of current times strives to achieve an effect of “live presence” from the largest number of its “audience”. Modern terrorism’s objectives are to bring panic and chaos, to force citizens to disregard common rules and traditional ways in conflict resolution.
For example, the assassination of Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sweden O.Palme in 1986, in a tiny quite street in winter Stockholm, had different goals and aims compared with the deadly truck attack in Stockholm city center on April 7th, 2017.
Unfortunately, but the abovementioned brings more questions than answers: what are the most effective ways of preventing the colossal spread of terrorism across the globe? How should the governments and global actors react towards terrorist incidents to avoid the transformation of the world order into the terrorism-led order? Who are the frontrunners in the fight against terrorism? Should one restrict the religion if it inspires religious fanatics to commit violent crimes?
Following this, let us recollect the recent attack in Stockholm city center, by “Åhléns” shopping mall on April 7th, 2017. The author believes that the reaction of the law-enforcement officers, their coordinated efforts in timely reaction and follow-up measures facilitated strengthening of public’s trust into the government, rescue and legal institutions that the situation was under control.
When it comes to aftermath of any terror attack, the question often stays the same: did the national security forces do their best to guarantee security and stability, prevent further attacks and calm down the public being shocked by the tragedy?
In particular, when discussing the mentioned questions in the context of Stockholm truck attack, one may most probably receive positive answers. Firstly, because there were neither public panic nor chaos. Secondly, rescue services, police, emergency and special bomb squads had a rapid reaction in shutting down public transportation, bringing helicopter teams in the sky for a better city patrol. All the efforts were done for a better public safety and security. It is noteworthy to mention that the days following the deadly attack, the police “were praised for their efforts during the terror attack on Friday and since then flowers have been handed over to police at the crime scene and Stefan Hector, head of the police’s National Operative Unit (NOA), has been praised on Twitter for his contribution to a press conference on Friday” .
Jonas Gummesson, journalist of the daily Sweden’s newspaper “Svenska Daglbadet” wrote in his op-ed the following day: “When Palme was assassinated paralysis wrecked from the very beginning and the normal routine was sidelined. It stayed in Swedish society for decades. Now the impression is different. Emergency operations and police work seems to have been handled professionally. It gives a certain comfort when the police and the military quickly took control of the situation when terror takes over our lives” .
Let us assume that the positive appraisal of law-enforcement actions were direct results of “the exercise carried on April 5-6th, 2017 by the police, the armed forces and the Swedish Security Service (SÄPO), handling a serious terror attack. Jonas Hysing , national head of police operations, is convinced that the exercise contributed to the police’s actions on April 7th, 2017”.
In his statement in connection with the incident in Stockholm, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sweden Stefan Löfven said: “The police have reinforced their presence throughout the country and in strategic locations, and report that one person was arrested. The National Task Force is in operation. The Swedish Armed Forces are on heightened alert. The Government held its urgent meeting. The police are investigating this as a likely terrorist attack. If it is a terrorist attack, and regardless of whether it was carried out by an organization or a lone perpetrator, the aim of terrorism is to undermine democracy. To sow discord between people, so that more people will begin to hate and distrust one another. But those kinds of acts will never succeed in Sweden. We know that our enemy is this kind of vile murderer – not one another. We will use all of Sweden’s strength to track you down. Our message will always be clear: You cannot suppress us. You cannot control our lives. You will never win…The Government and I will work tirelessly to ensure your security. Take care of each other. Together we will take care of Sweden” .
Practice shows that counter-terrorism operations are often effective with less public and media attention. Approach “the less – the better” was actively applied in Sweden due to the general approach of causing less stress for the families of victims and injured, for the less traumatized syndrome of the public and for the better concentrated work of those taking the lead in the investigation.
Representatives of the law-enforcement, security agencies of Sweden and investigators in the case held press-conferences, which remained the only source of information about the stage of the terrorist crime investigation, number of victims and injured. None of the media reporters violated a “silent rule”: “don’t write before exactly knowing what has actually happened”. This perfect partnership among the public (ready to report, assist and inform), the prosecutors (“we will follow the provisions of the national legislation and respective rules”) and the media (not printing names of the victims until it’s finally confirmed, not showing their faces, not disturbing families in mourning, not stirring the panic with wild guesses of who committed the crime).
One may argue whether these patterns were 100% effective, but the atmosphere in the Swedish society was filled with trust to the government and investigation authorities, deep gratitude for their perfect exercise of their tasks. Isn’t it the best answers to any arguments and negative comments?
However, it remains essential for the government to be able to learn from the mistakes undertaken in the course of any counter-terrorism activity. Only knowing the failures and short sights, the government efforts in drafting better legislation or improving existing national security strategies, become a success. In evaluating state programs on counter-terrorism issues, government and law-enforcement authorities often strengthen provisions of the national criminal legislation as the follow-up steps in enhancing security measures in the terror attack’s aftermath.
Updates on counter-terrorism activities and special operations are an integral part of any local, regional or global fight against terrorism. Meanwhile, this fight should be extremely careful, because the non-stop broadcasting of counter-terrorism activities may lead to an unexpected negative effect – turn the defeated terrorists into martyrs, whose crimes may be followed by their sympathizers.
Still, it is crucial to refrain from despair, because doing so, the international community risks stopping the elaboration of its effective measures and methods of preventing and counteracting terrorism.
Economic hardships, political insecurity, deepening of political turbulences, welfare failures, corruption and organized crime, devaluation of moral values are among the top risks to undermine not only national and international security and stability. These are also the risking factors when comes to restricting the establishment of new terrorist organizations and limiting activity of the existing ones.
The very absence of a commonly acknowledged term of the international terrorism depicts multilateral and complex nature of this phenomenon.
International terrorism continues to grow and transform; conflict-torn areas continue to turn into terrorism-affected zones. Political crisis, failure to apply all available diplomatic, political, social and economic resources in conflict resolutions, deepens the existing troubles and strengthens capacities of terroristic organizations (ISIL, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Taliban, Jabhat al-Nusra, Jamaat ul-Ahrar). New centers of influence stir new chaos in different areas, especially in the states with fragile political and economic structures. All these leads to confrontations and military conflicts, bears terrorism as a new conflict type of small and medium-range of its criminal activities. It also undermines values of democracy, freedom and liberty, respect for human rights and dignities. Current developments in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Oman, Tunisia, Morocco, Israeli-Palestian and Ukrainian-Russian borders are often direct violations of the norms and principles of the international law, UN Charter, 1975 Helsinki Final Act, respective resolutions of NATO, EU, Council of Europe, League of Arab States, and other regional organizations.
Global Terrorism Index 2016 data states that “of the last 16 years, the worst year for terrorism was 2014 with 93 countries experiencing an attack and 32,765 people killed. Since 2006, 98 per cent of all deaths from terrorism in the US have resulted from attacks carried out by lone actors, resulting in 156 deaths. ISIL foreign fighters who have gone to Syria generally have high levels of education but low incomes, with many fighters joining in part due to a feeling of exclusion in their home countries” .
International institutions and leaders of government and non-government organizations strongly support the necessity to strengthen the existing methods in countering terrorism, developing new ways of ceasing its financing sources (illegal arms flow, drug and human trafficking, children and adult slavery, etc.).
When facing any terror attack or terror-related crime, local, regional and global actors tend to establish clear and understandable rules for preventing future attacks and follow the aftermath of the current tragedy.
“The strongest prevails” approach in the local, regional and global fight against terrorism is a direct path to deepening the existing conflict. Rooting out causes of terrorism and destroying its networks solely with military, political or economic ways will not be a successful option either.
So, what are the suggested methods in countering terrorism of modern times? Firstly, to combine “soft power” tools (neutralizing terrorism pre-conditions) with legal, military and political ways. Secondly, to understand that the phenomenon of terrorism isn’t simply about terrorist act or attack, it’s a bigger network with new terrorism abilities to rapidly change terrorist locations, objectives, terrorism recruits and sponsors. Thirdly, to see the logic of terrorists and terrorist organizations is one of the ways to contribute to the drafting process of the relevant national and international strategies on counter-terrorism, terrorism prevention, terror attacks’ follow-up measures. Fourthly, to elaborate strategies aimed to prevent the attack rather than to simply strengthen follow-up actions. Finally, to adapt modern international system to the realities of the modern challenges to peace and stability brought by terrorism and terrorism-related activity.
1. David C.Rapoport “The Four Waves of Modern Terrorism”. Available at: http://international.ucla.edu/media/files/Rapoport-Four-Waves-of-Modern-Terrorism.pdf
2. Ekaterina Stepanova (2008) “Terrorism in Asymmetrical Conflict. Ideological and Structural Aspects”. SIPRI Research Report No. 23. – 186 p.
3. Martha Crenshaw, Gary La Free (2017) “Countering Terrorism: No Simple Solutions”. Brookings Institution Press. – 272 p.
4. Антипенко В.Ф. “Международная криминология. Опыт исследования терроризма”. – М.:Феникс, 2011. – 356 с.
5. Ємельянов В. П. Злочини терористичної спрямованості (тероризм): монографія /В. П. Ємельянов. – Х.: Рубікон, 1997. – 160 с.
6. Zakon Ukrainy “Pro Borotbu z Teroryzmom” [Law of Ukraine “On the Fight Against Terrorism”]. Available at: http://zakon2.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/638-15
7. Alexander Zeilon Lund, Jani Pirttisalo, Karin Thurfjell, Erica Treijs “Misstänkte 39-åringen skulle utvisas: “Väcker frågor” (10 Arpil 2017). – Pp.6-7.
8. Jonas Gummesson “Polisarbetet ger viss tröst när terrorn tar över”, “Svenska Dagbladet” (08 April 2017). Available at: https://www.svd.se/polisarbetet-ger-viss-trost-nar-terrorn-tar-over/av/jonas-gummesson
9. Statement by Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sweden Stefan Löfven in connection with the incident in Stockholm. Available at: http://www.government.se/statements/2017/04/statement-by-prime-minister-stefan-lofvenin-connection-with-the-incident-in-stockholm/
10. Global Terrorism Index 2016. Available at: http://economicsandpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Global-Terrorism-Index-2016.2.pdf
Терроризм сегодня стал глобальным феноменом, новым инструментом дестабилизации локальной, региональной и международной безопасности и стабильности. Планетарный масштаб терроризма, его способность быстро адаптироваться к событиям международной повестки дня, трансформироваться в надгосударственные и международные структуры и сети, порождает ранее неизвестные вызовы. Автор убедительно доказывает, что продуктивная борьба с этим явлением требует четкой координации, взаимодействия правоохранительных структур, неправительственных и правительственных институций, международных универсальных и региональных организаций. Противостоять этому явлению и его последствиям возможно применяя системно-комплексный национальный, межотраслевой и международный подходы в вопросах борьбы с идеологией фанатизма, радикального исламизма, пропагандой экстремизма, национализма, сепаратизма и обеспечения должного уровня социальных стандартов жизни.
Ключевые слова: терроризм, террористический акт, безопасность и стабильность, предупреждение терроризма.
It is concluded that terrorism of modern times became an international phenomenon, new instrument of destabilizing local, regional and global peace and stability. Large-scale nature of terrorism, its abilities to swiftly change towards the modern developments in global arena and quickly transform into supranational and international structures and networks, poses previously unknown security threats. It is proven that in order to tackle challenges of terrorism at national and international levels, one needs a clear coordination, partnership among law-enforcement structures, NGOs and government institutions, international universal and regional organizations. It is stressed that the establishment of an effective system of timely addressing the threats of terrorism, preventing of its destructive actions, is essential. Thus, state actors should apply systematic and complex national and international approaches to fight with the ideologies of religious fanaticism, radical Islamism, propaganda of extremism, nationalism, separatism and providing of efficient social welfare to country’s nationals and citizens.