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1.1 Introduction

Terrorism is not new, and even though it has been used since the beginning of
recorded history it can be relatively hard to define. Terrorism has been described
variously as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and a holy duty; a justified reaction
to oppression and an inexcusable abomination. Obviously, a lot depends on whose
point of view is being represented. Terrorism has often been an effective tactic for
the weaker side in a conflict. As an asymmetric form of conflict, it confers
coercive power with many of the advantages of military force at a fraction of the
cost. Due to the secretive nature and small size of terrorist organizations, they
often offer opponents no clear organization to defend against or to deter. That is
why preemption is being considered to be so important. In some cases, terrorism
has been a means to carry on a conflict without the adversary realizing the nature
of the threat, mistaking terrorism for criminal activity. Because of these
characteristics, terrorism has become increasingly common among those pursuing
extreme goals throughout the world. But despite its popularity, terrorism can be a
nebulous concept. Even within the U.S. Government, agencies responsible for
different functions in the ongoing fight against terrorism use different definitions. 1
The United States Department of Defense defines terrorism as “the calculated use
of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to
coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are
generally political, religious, or ideological.”2 Within this definition, there are
three key elements—violence, fear, and intimidation—and each element produces
1 http://www.un.org/terrorism/instruments.html, 25th September 2010, 11:15 a.m
2 Ibid.

terror in its victims. The FBI uses this: “Terrorism is 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.” The U.S. Department of State defines “terrorism” to be “premeditated
politically-motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-
national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.” 3
Outside the United States Government, there are greater variations in what
features of terrorism are emphasized in definitions. The United Nations produced
this definition in 1992; “An anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action,
employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for
idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby - in contrast to assassination -
the direct targets of violence are not the main targets.”4 The most commonly
accepted academic definition starts with the U.N. definition quoted above, and
adds two sentences totaling another 77 words on the end; containing such verbose
concepts as “message generators” and “violence based communication
processes.” Less specific and considerably less verbose, the British Government
definition of 1974 is…the use of violence for political ends, and includes any use
of violence for the purpose of putting the public, or any section of the public, in
fear. 5

1.2 Terrorism is a criminal act that influences an audience beyond the immediate

The strategy of terrorists is to commit acts of violence that draws the attention of
the local populace, the government, and the world to their cause. The terrorists
plan their attack to obtain the greatest publicity, choosing targets that symbolize
what they oppose. The effectiveness of the terrorist act lies not in the act itself,
but in the public’s or government’s reaction to the act. For example, in 1972 at the
4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definition_of_terrorism last visited on 23rd September 2010, 1:19
5 http://www.un.org/terrorism/instruments.shtml, 23rd September 2010, 3:15 p.m.
Munich Olympics, the Black September Organization killed 11 Israelis. The
Israelis were the immediate victims. But the true target was the estimated 1 billion
people watching the televised event.6
The Black September Organization used the high visibility of the Olympics to
publicize its views on the plight of the Palestinian refugees. Similarly, in October
1983, Middle Eastern terrorists bombed the Marine Battalion Landing Team
Headquarters at Beirut International Airport. Their immediate victims were the
241 U.S. military personnel who were killed and over 100 others who were
wounded. Their true target was the American people and the U.S. Congress. Their
one act of violence influenced the United States’ decision to withdraw the
Marines from Beirut and was therefore considered a terrorist success.7
There are three perspectives of terrorism: the terrorist, the victim, and the general
public. The phrase “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” is a
view terrorists themselves would accept. Terrorists do not see themselves as evil.
They believe they are legitimate combatants, fighting for what they believe in, by
whatever means possible. A victim of a terrorist act sees the terrorist as a criminal
with no regard for human life. The general public’s view is the most unstable. The
terrorists take great pains to foster a “Robin Hood” image in hope of swaying the
general public’s point of view toward their cause. This sympathetic view of
terrorism has become an integral part of their psychological warfare and needs to
be countered vigorously.

6 Ibid.
7 http://www.un.org/terrorism/instruments.html , 23rd September 2010, 11:25a.m


History of Terrorism

2.1 Introduction:

Terrorist acts or the threat of such action have been in existence for millennia.
Despite having a history longer than the modern nation-state, the use of terror by
governments and those that contest their power remains poorly understood. While
the meaning of the word terror itself is clear, when it is applied to acts and actors
in the real world it becomes confused. Part of this is due to the use of terror tactics
by actors at all levels in the social and political environment. It has been seen that
distinctions of size and political legitimacy of the actors using terror raise
questions as to what ‘is’ and ‘is not’ terrorism. The concept of moral equivalency
is frequently used as an argument to broaden and blur the definition of terrorism
as well.8 This concept argues that the outcome of an action is what matters, not
the intent. Collateral or unintended damage to civilians from an attack by
uniformed military forces on a legitimate military target is the same as a terrorist
bomb directed deliberately at the civilian target with the intent of creating that
damage.9 Simply put, a car bomb on a city street and a jet fighter dropping a
bomb on a tank are both acts of violence that produce death and terror. Therefore
8 http://www.terrorism-research.com/history/ last visited on 25th September 2009, 9:43 a.m.
9 Ibid.
(at the extreme end of this argument) any military action is simply terrorism by a
different name. This is the reasoning behind the famous phrase “One man’s
terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. It is also a legacy of legitimizing the
use of terror by successful revolutionary movements after the fact. The very
flexibility and adaptability of terror throughout the years has contributed to the
confusion. Those seeking to disrupt, reorder or destroy the status quo have
continuously sought new and creative ways to achieve their goals.10 Changes in
the tactics and techniques of terrorists have been significant, but even more
significant are the growth in the number of causes and social contexts where
terrorism is used. Over the past 20 years, terrorists have committed extremely
violent acts for alleged political or religious reasons. Political ideology ranges
from the far left to the far right. For example, the far left can consist of groups
such as Marxists and Leninists who propose a revolution of workers led by
revolutionary elite. On the far right, we find dictatorships that typically believe in
a merging of state and business leadership. Nationalism is the devotion to the
interests or culture of a group of people or a nation. Typically, nationalists share a
common ethnic background and wish to establish or regain a homeland. Religious
extremists often reject the authority of secular governments and view legal
systems that are not based on their religious beliefs as illegitimate. They often
view modernization efforts as corrupting influences on traditional culture.
Special interest groups include people on the radical fringe of many legitimate
causes; e.g., people who use terrorism to uphold antiabortion views, animal rights,
radical environmentalism. These groups believe that violence is morally
justifiable to achieve their goals.11

2.2 Terrorism in the 20th and 21st Century:

Terrorism although has existed since time immemorial in the form of acts of terror
and war, but the patterns and techniques used thereby have been evolving each

10 Ibid.
11 Id.

passing decade.

2.2.1 The Early 20th Century -The first half of the 20th century saw two events that
influenced the nature of conflict to the present day. The effects of two World
Wars inflamed passions and hopes of nationalists throughout the world, and
severely damaged the legitimacy of the international order and governments.12

2.2.2 Nationalism on the Rise- Nationalism intensified during the early 20th century
throughout the world. It became an especially powerful force in the subject
peoples of various colonial empires. Although dissent and resistance were
common in many colonial possessions, and sometimes resulted in open warfare,
nationalist identities became a focal point for these actions. Gradually, as nations
became closely tied to concepts of race and ethnicity, international political
developments began to support such concepts. Members of ethnic groups whose
states had been absorbed by others or had ceased to exist as separate nations saw
opportunities to realize nationalist ambitions. Several of these groups chose terror
as a method to conduct their struggle and make their situation known to world
powers they hoped would be sympathetic. In Europe, both the Irish and the
Macedonians had existing terrorist campaigns as part of their ongoing struggle for
independence, but had to initiate bloody uprisings to further their cause. The Irish
were partially successful, the Macedonians failed.13

2.2.3 Damaged Legitimacy -The ‘total war’ practices of all combatants of WWII
provided further justification for the ‘everybody does it’ view of the use of terror
and violations of the law of war. The desensitization of people and communities
to violence that started in World War I accelerated during World War II. The
intensity of the conflict between starkly opposed ideologies led to excesses on the

12 http://www.terrorismfiles.org/encyclopaedia/terrorism_20th_century.html last visited on 25th

September, 2010 at 3:07pm
13 Ibid.
part of all participants. New weapons and strategies that targeted the enemies’
civilian population to destroy their economic capacity for conflict exposed
virtually every civilian to the hazards of combatants. The major powers' support
of partisan and resistance organizations using terrorist tactics was viewed as an
acceptance of their legitimacy. It seemed that civilians had become legitimate
targets, despite any rules forbidding it.14

2.2.4 Cold War Developments- The bi-polar world of the Cold War changed perception
of conflicts the world over. Relatively minor confrontations took on significance
as arenas where the superpowers could compete without risking escalation to full
nuclear war. Warfare between the East and the West took place on the
peripheries, and was limited in scope to prevent escalation. During the immediate
postwar period, terrorism was more of a tactical choice by leaders of nationalist
insurgencies and revolutions. Successful campaigns for independence from
colonial rule occurred throughout the world, and many employed terrorism as a
supporting tactic. When terrorism was used, it was used within the framework of
larger movements, and coordinated with political, social, and military action.
Even when terrorism came to dominate the other aspects of a nationalist struggle,
such as the Palestinian campaign against Israel, it was (and is) combined with
other activities.15 Throughout the Cold War, the Soviet Union provided direct and
indirect assistance to revolutionary movements around the world. Many anti-
colonial movements found the revolutionary extremism of communism attractive.
Leaders of these ‘wars of national liberation’ saw the advantage of free weapons
and training. They also realized that the assistance and patronage of the Eastern
Bloc meant increased international legitimacy. Many of these organizations and
individuals utilized terrorism in support of their political and military objectives.
The policy of the Soviet Union to support revolutionary struggles everywhere,
and to export revolution to non-communist countries, provided extremists willing

14 Id.
15 http://www.terrorismfiles.org/organisations/palestine_islamic_jihad.html last visited on 27th
September, 2010 at 9: 23 p.m

to employ violence and terror as the means to realize their ambitions.16

2.2.5 The Internationalization of Terror -The age of modern terrorism might be said to
have begun in 1968 when the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
hijacked an El Al airliner en route from Tel Aviv to Rome. 17 While hijackings of
airliners had occurred before, this was the first time that the nationality of the
carrier (Israeli) and its symbolic value was a specific operational aim. Also a first
was the deliberate use of the passengers as hostages for demands made publicly
against the Israeli government. The combination of these unique events, added to
the international scope of the operation, gained significant media attention. The
founder of PFLP18, Dr. George Habash observed that the level of coverage was
tremendously greater than battles with Israeli soldiers in their previous area of
operations “atleast the world is talking about us now.”
Another aspect of this internationalization is the cooperation between extremist
organizations in conducting terrorist operations. Cooperative training between
Palestinian groups and European radicals started as early as 1970, and joint
operations between the PFLP and the Japanese Red Army (JRA) began in 1974.
Since then international terrorist cooperation in training, operations, and support
has continued to grow, and continues to this day. Motives range from the
ideological, such as the 1980s alliance of the Western European Marxist-oriented
groups, to financial, as when the IRA exported its expertise in bomb making as far
a field as Colombia.20

2.2.6 Current State of Terrorism - The major act of international terrorism occurred on
September 11, 2001 in a set of coordinated attacks on the United States of
America where Islamic terrorists hijacked civilian airliners and used them to

16 Ibid.
17 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_Front_for_the_Liberation_of_Palestine last visited on 26th
September, 2010 at 10:56 p.m.
19 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1604540.stm last visited on 26th September 2010, at
20 Ibid.
attack the World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon in
Washington, DC. Other major terrorist attacks have also occurred in New Delhi
(Indian Parliament attacked); Bali car bomb attack; London subway bombings;
Madrid train bombings and the most recent attacks in Mumbai (hotels, train
station and a Jewish outreach center). The operational and strategic epicenter of
Islamic terrorism is now mostly centered in Pakistan and Afghanistan.21

2.3 Terrorist Behavior:

There is clearly a wide choice of definitions for terrorism. Despite this, there are elements
in common among the majority of useful definitions. Common threads of the various
definitions identify terrorism as:
¬ Political

¬ Psychological

¬ Coercive

¬ Dynamic

¬ Deliberate

2.3.1 Political

A terrorist act is a political act or is committed with the intention to cause a political
effect. Clausewitz’ statement that ‘war is a continuation of policy by other means’ is
taken as a truism by terrorists. They merely eliminate the intermediate step of armies and
warfare, and apply violence directly to the political contest.22

2.3.2 Psychological

21 Id.
22 Edward V Linden, “Focus on Terrorism”, at http://books.google.com/books?id=wl-

The intended results of terrorist acts cause a psychological effect (‘terror’). They are
aimed at a target audience other than the actual victims of the act. The intended target
audience of the terrorist act may be the population as a whole, some specific portion of a
society (an ethnic minority, for example), or decision-making elites in the society's
political, social, or military populace.23

2.3.3 Coercive
Violence and destruction are used in the commission of the act to produce the desired
effect. Even if casualties or destruction are not the result of a terrorist operation, the
threat or potential of violence is what produces the intended effect. For example, a
successful hostage taking operation may result in all hostages being freed unharmed after
negotiations and bargaining. Regardless of the outcome, the terrorist bargaining chips
were nothing less than the raw threat of applying violence to maim or kill some or all of
the hostages. When the threat of violence is not credible, or the terrorists are unable to
implement violence effectively, terrorism fails.24

2.3.4 Dynamic
Terrorist groups demand change, revolution, or political movement. The radical
worldview that justifies terrorism mandates drastic action to destroy or alter the status
quo. Even if the goals of a movement are reactionary in nature, they require action to
‘turn back the clock’ or restore some cherished value system that is extinct. Nobody
commits violent attacks on strangers or innocents to keep things ‘just the way they are.’ 25

2.3.5 Deliberate
Terrorism is an activity planned and intended to achieve particular goals. It is a rationally
employed, specifically selected tactic, and is not a random act. Since the victims of
terrorist violence are often of little import, with one being as good for the terrorists'
purposes as another, victim or target selection can appear random or unprovoked. But the
target will contain symbolic value or be capable of eliciting emotional response according

23 Ibid.
24 Ibid.
25 Id.
to the terrorists' goals. Remember that the actual target of terrorism is not the victim of
the violence, but the psychological balance.26

2.4 Media Exploitation

Terrorism's effects are not necessarily aimed at the victims of terrorist violence. Victims
are usually objects to be exploited by the terrorists for their effect on a third party. In
order to produce this effect, information of the attack must reach the target audience. So
any terrorist organization plans for exploitation of available media to get the message to
the right audiences. Victims are simply the first medium that transmits the psychological
impact to the larger target audience. The next step in transmission will depend on what
media is available, but it will be planned, and it will frequently be the responsibility of a
specific organization within the terrorist group to do nothing else but exploit and control
the news cycle.27
Some organizations can rely on friendly or sympathetic news outlets,
but this is not necessary. News media can be manipulated by planning around the
demands of the ‘news cycle’, and the advantage that control of the initiative gives the
terrorist. Pressures to report quickly, to ‘scoop’ competitors, allow terrorists to present
claims or make statements that might be refuted or critically commented on if time were
available. Terrorists often provide names and details of individual victims to control the
news media through its desire to humanize or personalize a story. For the victims of a
terrorist attack, it is a certainty that the impact on the survivors (if there are any) is of
minimal importance to the terrorists. What is important is the intended psychological
impact that the news of their death or suffering will cause in a wider audience.28

2.5 Operations in Permissive Societies:

Terrorists conduct more operations in societies where individual rights and civil legal
protections prevail. While terrorists may base themselves in repressive regimes that are
sympathetic to them, they usually avoid repressive governments when conducting
operations wherever possible. An exception to this case is a repressive regime that does
27 http://www.springerlink.com/content/10n741l73p56k586/ last visited on 27th September, 2010 at
11:37 p.m.
28 Ibid.

not have the means to enforce security measures. Governments with effective security
forces and few guaranteed civil liberties have typically suffered much less from terrorism
than liberal states with excellent security forces. Al Qaeda has shown, however, that they
will conduct operations anywhere.

2.6 Illegality of Methods:

Terrorism is a criminal act. Whether the terrorist chooses to identify himself with military
terminology (as discussed under insurgencies below), or with civilian imagery
(‘brotherhood’, ‘committee’, etc.), he is a criminal in both spheres. The violations of civil
criminal laws are self-evident in activities such as murder, arson, and kidnapping 29
regardless of the legitimacy of the government enforcing the laws. Victimizing the
innocent is criminal injustice under a dictatorship or a democracy. If the terrorist claims
that he is justified in using such violence as a military combatant, he is a de facto war
criminal under international law and the military justice systems of most nations.30

2.7 Preparation and Support:

It's important to understand that actual terrorist operations are the result of extensive
preparation and support operations. Media reporting and academic study have mainly
focused on the terrorists' goals and actions, which is precisely what the terrorist intends.
This neglects the vital but less exciting topic of preparation and support operations.
Significant effort and coordination is required to finance group operations, procure or
manufacture weapons, conduct target surveillance and analysis, and deliver trained
terrorists to the operational area. While the time and effort expended by the terrorists may
be a drop in the bucket compared to the amounts spent to defend against them, terrorist
operations can still involve large amounts of money and groups of people. The need for
dedicated support activities and resources on simple operations are significant, and get
larger the greater the sophistication of the plan and the complexity of the target.31

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/journals/260/terrorist-behavior.htm last visited on 29th September,
2009 at 10-36am.
30 Ibid.
31 Id.

State Sponsored Terrorism

3.1 Introduction:

Is there a difference between terrorism and the use of specific tactics that exploit
fear and terror by authorities normally considered ‘legitimate’? Nations and states
often resort to violence to influence segments of their population, or rely on
coercive aspects of state institutions. Just like the idea of equating any act of
military force with terrorism described above, there are those who equate any use
of government power or authority versus any part of the population as terrorism.
This view also blurs the lines of what is and is not terrorism, as it elevates

outcomes over intentions. Suppression of a riot by law enforcement personnel
may in fact expose some of the population (the rioters) to violence and fear, but
with the intent to protect the larger civil order. On the other hand, abuse of the
prerogative of legitimized violence by the authorities is a crime.32 But there are
times when national governments will become involved in terrorism, or utilize
terror to accomplish the objectives of governments or individual rulers. Most
often, terrorism is equated with ‘non-state actors’, or groups that are not
responsible to a sovereign government. However, internal security forces can use
terror to aid in repressing dissent, and intelligence or military organizations
perform acts of terror designed to further a state's policy or diplomatic efforts

A government that is an adversary of the United States may apply terror tactics and
terrorism in an effort to add depth to their engagement of U.S. forces. Repression through
terror of the indigenous population would take place to prevent internal dissent and
insurrection that the U.S. might exploit. Military special operations assets and state
intelligence operatives could conduct terrorist operations against U.S. interests both in
theater and as far abroad as their capabilities allow.34 Finally, attacks against the U.S.
homeland could be executed by state sponsored terrorist organizations or by paid
domestic proxies.

3.2 Different ways that states can engage in the use of terror:

¬ Governmental or State Terrorism;

¬ State Involvement in Terrorism; and
¬ State Sponsorship of Terrorism

3.2.1 Governmental or ‘State’ Terrorism: Sometimes referred to as ‘terror from

above’, where a government terrorizes its own population to control or repress them.
http://www.terrorism-research.com/state/ last visited on 30th September,2010 at 11:28am.
33 Ibid.
34 http://www.amazon.com/State-Terrorism-United-States-Counterinsurgency/dp/0932863396 last
visited on 30th September, 2010 at 4:34 p.m
These actions usually constitute the acknowledged policy of the government, and make
use of official institutions such as the judiciary, police, military, and other government
agencies. Changes to legal codes permit or encourage torture, killing, or property
destruction in pursuit of government policy. After assuming power, official Nazi policy
was aimed at the deliberate destruction of ‘state enemies’ and the resulting intimidation
of the rest of the population. Stalin’s ‘purges’ of the 1930s are examples of using the
machinery of the state to terrorize a population. The methods he used included such
actions as rigged show trials of opponents, punishing family or friends of suspected
enemies of the regime, and extra-legal use of police or military force against the
population.35 Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons on his own Kurdish population
without any particular change or expansion of policies regarding the use of force on his
own citizens. They were simply used in an act of governmental terror believed to be
expedient in accomplishing his goals.36

3.2.2 State Involvement in Terrorism: These are activities where government personnel
carry out operations using terror tactics. These activities may be directed against other
nations' interests, its own population, or private groups or individuals viewed as
dangerous to the state. In many cases, these activities are terrorism under official
sanction, although such authorization is rarely acknowledged openly. Historical examples
include the Soviet and Iranian assassination campaigns against dissidents who had fled
abroad, and Libyan and North Korean intelligence operatives downing airliners on
international flights.37
Another type of these activities is ‘death squads’ or ‘war veterans’: unofficial actions
taken by officials or functionaries of a regime (such as members of police or intelligence
organizations) against their own population to repress or intimidate. While these officials
will not claim such activities, and disguise their participation, it is often made clear that
they are acting for the state. Keeping such activities ‘unofficial’ permits the authorities
deniability and avoids the necessity of changing legal and judicial processes to justify

35 www.schoolhistory.co.uk/gcselinks/indepth/.../keepingcontrol.ppt last visited on 31st September,

2010 at 9:34 a.m
36 http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2000/2441.htm last visited on 31st September, 2010 at 1:10 p.m.
37 www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx...30149 last visited on 31st September, 2010 at 3:26

oppression. This is different than ‘pro-state’ terror, which is conducted by groups or
persons with no official standing and without official encouragement. While pro-state
terror may result in positive outcomes for the authorities, their employment of criminal
methods and lack of official standing can result in disavowal and punishment of the
terrorists, depending on the morality of the regime in question.38

3.3.3 State Sponsorship of Terrorism: Also known as ‘state supported’ terrorism, when
governments provide supplies, training, and other forms of support to non-state terrorist
organizations. One of the most valuable types of this support is the provision of safe
haven or physical basing for the terrorists’ organization. Another crucial service a state
sponsor can provide is false documentation, not only for personal identification
(passports, internal identification documents), but also for financial transactions and
weapons purchases. Other means of support are access to training facilities and expertise
not readily available to groups without extensive resources. Finally, the extension of
diplomatic protections and services, such as immunity from extradition, diplomatic
passports, use of embassies and other protected grounds, and diplomatic pouches to
transport weapons or explosives have been significant to some groups.39
An example of state sponsorship is the Syrian government's support of Hamas and
Hizballah in Lebanon. Syrian resources and protection enable the huge training
establishments in the Bek'aa Valley. On a smaller, more discreet scale, the East German
Stasi provided support and safe-haven to members of the Red Army Faction (RAF or
Baader Meinhof Gang) and neo-fascist groups that operated in West Germany. Wanted
members of the RAF were found resident in East Germany after the fall of the Berlin
Wall in 1989.40

3.4 Countries with large terrorism presence:

Terrorists have long found refuge in countries and in many cases worked hand in hand

38 http://www.deathreference.com/Da-Em/Death-Squads.html last visited on 31st September, 2010

at 5:42 p.m
http://www.terrorism.about.com/od/statesponsors/a/StateSponsors.htm last visited on 31st
September, 2010 at 8: 05 p.m
40 http://web.mit.edu/polisci/students/jpayne/payne%20colloq%20-%20draft%2020090306.pdf last
visited on 31st September, 2010 at 8:05 p.m
with the local governments. Today several countries continue to attract terrorists for
training and conspiring their attacks. The host countries do not try to disassociate
themselves fully from their ties to terrorism and in some cases continue to provide tacit
support and use terror to accomplish broader objectives. Some of the countries with
significant terrorist operations include the following.

3.4.1 Afghanistan: Afghanistan became the hotbed of Islamic terror activities in the mid-
1990s. With the radical Taliban government establishing control, several radical Islamic
(mostly Sunni) terror organizations used Afghanistan as their training and operational
base. Al Qaeda was the broad umbrella organization that recruited terrorists from
Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia and around the world, training them in Afghanistan
and Pakistan. Some of the terrorist groups still operating in the region include Al Qaeda,
Al-Jihad, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, Islamic Group, Armed Islamic Group, Harkat-ul-
Mujahideen and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.413.4.2 Iran: Iran has long been an
active sponsor of Islamic terrorism, including accusations of it supporting subversive
activities in Iraq. Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Ministry of Intelligence and
Security were involved in the planning of and support for terrorist acts and continued to
exhort a variety of groups that use terrorism to pursue their goals. Several terrorist groups
including Lebanese Hizballah, HAMAS, the Palestine Islamic Jihad, and Ahmad Jibril's
PFLP-GC have been provided funding, safehaven, training, and weapons in Iran.423.4.3
Iraq: Since the US led invasion of Iraq, the country has fallen into a violent spiral. The
presence of US troops has attracted Islamic terrorists from the Middle-East and around
the world. Al-Qaeda is believed to have established a toe-hold in the country along with
various splinter groups. Some of the other terror organizations active in Iraq include
Ansar al-Islam, Al-Faruq Brigades, Al-Mahdi Army, Iraqi Resistance Islamic Front
(JAMI), Jamaat al-Tawhid wa'l-Jihad, Jaysh Muhammad and Kurdistan People’s
Congress (KHK).43

41 www.state.gov/documents/organization/10296.pdf last visited on 31st September, 2010 at

42 http://terrorism.about.com/od/iran/p/Iran2.htm last visited on 1st October, 2010 at 9:11a.m
43 www.globaled.org.nz/gec_media/.../StateSponsoredTerrorism.pdf last visited on 1st October,
2010 at 11:23 a.m

3.4.2 Iran: Iran has long been an active sponsor of Islamic terrorism, including
accusations of it supporting subversive activities in Iraq. Islamic Revolutionary Guard
Corps and Ministry of Intelligence and Security were involved in the planning of and
support for terrorist acts and continued to exhort a variety of groups that use terrorism to
pursue their goals. Several terrorist groups including Lebanese Hizballah, HAMAS, the
Palestine Islamic Jihad, and Ahmad Jibril's PFLP-GC have been provided funding,
safehaven, training, and weapons in Iran.1

3.4.3 Iraq: Since the US led invasion of Iraq, the country has fallen into a violent spiral.
The presence of US troops has attracted Islamic terrorists from the Middle-East and
around the world. Al-Qaeda is believed to have established a toe-hold in the country
along with various splinter groups. Some of the other terror organizations active in Iraq
include Ansar al-Islam, Al-Faruq Brigades, Al-Mahdi Army, Iraqi Resistance Islamic
Front (JAMI), Jamaat al-Tawhid wa'l-Jihad, Jaysh Muhammad and Kurdistan People’s
Congress (KHK).2
3.4.4 Pakistan: Pakistan has long been a staging ground and planning centre for Islamic
terrorists operating in South Asia. After the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom,
thousands of terrorists were either killed or driven out of Afghansistan, mostly finding
refuge in Pakistan. Pakistan and its secret service (ISI) have also been accused of training
and funding several terrorist groups operating in Indian Kashmir. To many the links are
clear, since the terrorist groups based in Pakistan operate in plain sight and have a distinct
Indian focus. More recently, groups aligned with Al Qaeda and based in Pakistan have
been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. Some of these terror
groups include Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Al Qaeda,
Tehreek-e-Jaferia, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Al Badr, Harkat ul-Ansar, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen,
Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi, Jamaat ul-Fuqra and Muslim United Army.44

3.4.5 Syria: Even as Syria continues to reduce its presence in Lebanon, it also continues
to fund and host Palestinian and possibly Iraqi terrorist organizations. HAMAS, the PIJ,
the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, and the Popular
Front for the Liberation of Palestine continue to operate from Syria.45

3.4.6 Sudan: The African country of Sudan has been a training hub and safe heaven for
members of several of the more violent international terrorist and radical Islamic groups
of the last decade. Among the terror groups known to have operated from Sudan are
Hezbollah (Party of God), Palestine Islamic Jihad, Abu Nidal Organization, HAMAS
(Islamic Resistance Movement) and several smaller Islamic insurgent groups operating
regionally in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, and Tunisia.46

3.5 Goals and Motivations of the Terrorists:

44 www.southasiaanalysis.org/%5Cpapers15%5Cpaper1495.html last visited on 1st October, 2010 at

terrorism.about.com/.../syria/Syria_State_sponsor_of_terrorism.htm last visited on 1st October,
2010 at 3:12 p.m
46 http://www.cfr.org/publication/9367/state_sponsors.html last visited on 1st October, 2010 at 4:24

Ideology and motivation will influence the objectives of terrorist operations, especially
regarding the casualty rate. Groups with secular ideologies and non-religious goals will
often attempt highly selective and discriminate acts of violence to achieve a specific
political aim. This often requires them to keep casualties at the minimum amount
necessary to attain the objective. This is both to avoid a backlash that might severely
damage the organization, and also maintain the appearance of a rational group that has
legitimate grievances. By limiting their attacks they reduce the risk of undermining
external political and economic support. Groups that comprise a ‘wing’ of an insurgency,
or are affiliated with aboveground, sometimes legitimate, political organizations often
operate under these constraints. The tensions caused by balancing these considerations
are often a prime factor in the development of splinter groups and internal factions within
these organizations.

In contrast, religiously oriented and millenarian groups typically attempt to inflict as

many casualties as possible. Because of the apocalyptic frame of reference they use, loss
of life is irrelevant, and more casualties are better. Losses among their co-religionists are
of little account, because such casualties will reap the benefits of the afterlife. Likewise,
non-believers, whether they are the intended target or collateral damage, deserve death,
and killing them may be considered a moral duty. The Kenyan bombing against the U.S.
Embassy in 1998 resulted in over 5000 Kenyans were wounded by the blast; 95% of total
casualties were non-American47. Fear of backlash rarely concerns these groups, as it is
often one of their goals to provoke overreaction by their enemies, and hopefully widen
the conflict. The type of target selected will often reflect motivations and ideologies. For
groups professing secular political or social motivations, their targets are highly symbolic
of authority; government offices, banks, national airlines, and multinational corporations
with direct relation to the established order. Likewise, they conduct attacks on
representative individuals whom they associate with economic exploitation, social
injustice, or political repression. While religious groups also use much of this symbolism,
there is a trend to connect it to greater physical devastation. There also is a tendency to
add religiously affiliated individuals, such as missionaries, and religious activities, such

47 http://www.law.jrank.org/pages/11981/Terrorism.html last visited on 1st October, 2010 at 7:13

as worship services, to the targeting equation.

Another common form of symbolism utilized in terrorist targeting is striking on particular

anniversaries or commemorative dates. Nationalist groups may strike to commemorate
battles won or lost during a conventional struggle, whereas religious groups may strike to
mark particularly appropriate observances. Many groups will attempt to commemorate
anniversaries of successful operations, or the executions or deaths of notable individuals
related to their particular conflict.

3.6 The Intent of Terrorist Groups-

A terrorist group commits acts of violence to -

¬ Produce widespread fear;

¬ Obtain worldwide, national, or local recognition for their cause by attracting the
attention of the media;
¬ Harass, weaken, or embarrass government security forces so that the
government overreacts and appears repressive;
¬ Steal or extort money and equipment, especially weapons and ammunition vital
to the operation of their group;
¬ Destroy facilities or disrupt lines of communication in order to create doubt that
the government can provide for and protect its citizens;
¬ Discourage foreign investments, tourism, or assistance programs that can affect
the target country’s economy and support of the government in power;
¬ Influence government decisions, legislation, or other critical decisions;
¬ Free prisoners;
¬ Satisfy vengeance;
¬ Turn the tide in a guerrilla war by forcing government security forces to

concentrate their efforts in urban areas. This allows the terrorist group to
establish itself among the local populace in rural areas;

State sponsored terrorism is defined as a terrorist activity, which is executed by terrorists

against a particular state with the secret support of another state. During the second half
of 20th century, puppet terrorist organizations whose intention have been to act for the
sponsor state on domestic or regional fronts, have been established by a variety of patron
countries to promote their benefits in the international area by using these terrorist
organizations. In some cases, some states have sponsored existing terrorist organizations
based on mutual interests. As stated, patron states hold up puppet terrorist organizations
either by supplying weapons, training, accommodation, financial help, political support,
logistic and/or other support to preserve and expand in struggle. The purpose behind such
state sponsored terrorism is to manipulate world events secretly without making its role
evident to the world community. Sponsor states plan to attain strategic results where the
use of conventional armed forces is not likely to be successful or effectual. Terrorism is
emerging as a threat to the world peace and the same has to be tackled with efficiency if
we want to see our future generations living within the ambit of law independent of any
kind of fear or terror.

Differences between Terrorism and Insurgency

4.1 Introduction:

If no single definition of terrorism produces a precise, unambiguous description, we can

approach the question by eliminating similar activities that are not terrorism, but that
appear to overlap. For the U.S. military, two such related concepts probably lead to more
confusion than others. Guerilla warfare and insurgencies48 are often assumed to be

48 http://www.amazon.com/Counter-Insurgent-State-Guerrilla-Building-Twentieth/dp/0333645286
last visited on 3rd October, 2010 at 9:43 a.m
synonymous with terrorism. One reason for this is that insurgencies and terrorism often
have similar goals. However, if we examine insurgency and guerilla warfare, specific
differences emerge.

A key difference is that an insurgency is a movement - a political effort with a specific

aim. This sets it apart from both guerilla warfare and terrorism, as they are both methods
available to pursue the goals of the political movement.49

Another difference is the intent of the component activities and operations of

insurgencies versus terrorism. There is nothing inherent in either insurgency or guerilla
warfare that requires the use of terror. While some of the more successful insurgencies
and guerilla campaigns employed terrorism and terror tactics, and some developed into
conflicts where terror tactics and terrorism became predominant; there have been others
that effectively renounced the use of terrorism. The deliberate choice to use terrorism
considers its effectiveness in inspiring further resistance, destroying government
efficiency, and mobilizing support. Although there are places where terrorism, guerilla
warfare, and criminal behavior all overlap, groups that are exclusively terrorist, or
subordinate ‘wings’ of insurgencies formed to specifically employ terror tactics,
demonstrate clear differences in their objectives and operations. Disagreement on the
costs of using terror tactics, or whether terror operations are to be given primacy within
the insurgency campaign, have frequently led to the ‘urban guerilla’ or terrorist wings of
an insurgency splintering off to pursue the revolutionary goal by their own methods.50

4.2 Comparison:
The ultimate goal of an insurgency is to challenge the existing government for control of
all or a portion of its territory, or force political concessions in sharing political power.
Insurgencies require the active or tacit support of some portion of the population
involved. External support, recognition or approval from other countries or political
entities can be useful to insurgents, but is not required. A terror group does not require
and rarely has the active support or even the sympathy of a large fraction of the
49 Ibid.
50 Ibid.

population. While insurgents will frequently describe themselves as ‘insurgents’ or
‘guerillas’51, terrorists will not refer to themselves as ‘terrorists’ but describe themselves
using military or political terminology (‘freedom fighters’, ‘soldiers’, ‘activists’).
Terrorism relies on public impact, and is therefore conscious of the advantage of avoiding
the negative connotations of the term ‘terrorists’ in identifying themselves.52
Terrorism does not attempt to challenge government forces directly, but acts to change
perceptions as to the effectiveness or legitimacy of the government itself. This is done by
ensuring the widest possible knowledge of the acts of terrorist violence among the target
audience. Rarely will terrorists attempt to ‘control’ terrain, as it ties them to identifiable
locations and reduces their mobility and security. Terrorists as a rule avoid direct
confrontations with government forces. A guerilla force may have something to gain
from a clash with a government combat force, such as proving that they can effectively
challenge the military effectiveness of the government. A terrorist group has nothing to
gain from such a clash. This is not to say that they do not target military or security
forces, but that they will not engage in anything resembling a ‘fair fight’, or even a ‘fight’
at all. Terrorists use methods that neutralize the strengths of conventional forces.
Bombings and mortar attacks on civilian targets where military or security personnel
spend off-duty time, ambushes of undefended convoys, and assassinations of poorly
protected individuals are common tactics.
Insurgency need not require the targeting of
non-combatants, although many insurgencies expand the accepted legal definition of
combatants to include police and security personnel in addition to the military. Terrorists
do not discriminate between combatants and non-combatants, or if they do, they broaden
the category of "combatants" so much as to render it meaningless. Defining all members
of a nation or ethnic group, plus any citizen of any nation that supports that nation as
‘combatants’ is simply a justification for frightfulness. Deliberate de-humanization and
criminalization of the enemy in the terrorists’ mind justifies extreme measures against
anyone identified as hostile. Terrorists often expand their groups of acceptable targets,
and conduct operations against new targets without any warning or notice of hostilities.53
52 www.terrorism-research.com/insurgency/ last visited on 3rd October 2010, at 10:41a.m
53 http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/pub613.pdf last visited on 3rd October
2010, at 3:38 p.m
Ultimately, the difference between insurgency and terrorism comes down to the intent of
the actor. Insurgency movements and guerilla forces can adhere to international norms
regarding the law of war in achieving their goals, but terrorists are by definition
conducting crimes under both civil and military legal codes. Terrorists routinely claim
that were they to adhere to any ‘law of war’54 or accept any constraints on the scope of
their violence, it would place them at a disadvantage vis-à-vis the establishment. Since
the nature of the terrorist mindset is absolutist, their goals are of paramount importance,
and any limitations on a terrorist's means to prosecute the struggle are unacceptable.


International Instruments:

5.1 Introduction:

Terrorism has been on the international agenda since 1934, when the League of Nations
took the first major step towards outlawing the scourge by discussing a draft convention
for the prevention and punishment of terrorism. Although the Convention was eventually
adopted in 1937, it never came into force.55

Since 1963, the international community has elaborated 13 universal legal instruments
and three amendments to prevent terrorist acts. Those instruments were developed under
the auspices of the United Nations and its specialized agencies and the International

54 Ibid.
55 terrorism.about.com/od/.../ss/DefineTerrorism_2.htm last visited on 3rd October 2010 at 4:41p.m

Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)56 and are open to participation by all Member States. In
2005, the international community also introduced substantive changes to three of these
universal instruments to specifically account for the threat of terrorism; on 8 July of that
year States adopted the Amendments to the Convention on the Physical Protection of
Nuclear Material, and on 14 October they agreed to both the Protocol of 2005 to the
Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime
Navigation and the Protocol of 2005 to the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts
against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf.

Currently Member States are negotiating an additional international treaty, a draft

comprehensive convention on international terrorism. This convention would
complement the existing framework of international anti-terrorism instruments and would
build on key guiding principles already present in recent anti-terrorist conventions: the
importance of criminalization of terrorist offences, making them punishable by law and
calling for prosecution or extradition of the perpetrators; the need to eliminate legislation
which establishes exceptions to such criminalization on political, philosophical,
ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or similar grounds; a strong call for Member States to
take action to prevent terrorist acts; and emphasis on the need for Member States to
cooperate, exchange information and provide each other with the greatest measure of
assistance in connection with the prevention, investigation and prosecution of terrorist
acts. In UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy which was adopted by the General
Assembly on 8 September 2006, Member States underscored the importance of existing
international counter-terrorism instruments by pledging to consider becoming parties to
them without delay and implementing their provisions.57

5.2 International Conventions:

Here is a summary of the 13 major legal instruments and additional amendments dealing
with terrorism:

1. 1963 Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed On Board

56 www.iaea.org/ last visited on 3rd October 2010 at 5:10 p.m
57 www.un.org/terrorism/ last visited on 4th October 2010 at 7:56 a.m
(Aircraft Convention)
It applies to acts affecting in-flight safety and authorizes the aircraft commander to
impose reasonable measures, including restraint, on any person he or she has reason
to believe has committed or is about to commit such an act, where necessary to
protect the safety of the aircraft; and requires contracting States to take custody of
offenders and to return control of the aircraft to the lawful commander.58

2. 1970 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft

(Unlawful Seizure Convention)
Makes it an offence for any person on board an aircraft in flight to "unlawfully, by
force or threat thereof, or any other form of intimidation, [to] seize or exercise control
of that aircraft" or to attempt to do so; Requires parties to the convention to make
hijackings punishable by "severe penalties", requires parties that have custody of
offenders to either extradite the offender or submit the case for prosecution; and
requires parties to assist each other in connection with criminal proceedings brought
under the Convention.59

3. 1971 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of
(Civil Aviation Convention)
Makes it an offence for any person unlawfully and intentionally to perform an act of
violence against a person on board an aircraft in flight, if that act is likely to endanger
the safety of the aircraft; to place an explosive device on an aircraft; to attempt such
acts; or to be an accomplice of a person who performs or attempts to perform such
Requires parties to the Convention to make offences punishable by "severe penalties";
and requires parties that have custody of offenders to either extradite the offender or
submit the case for prosecution.60

58 http://www.un.org/terrorism/instruments.shtml last visited on 4th October 2010 at 11:21 a.m

59 Ibid.
60 Id.

4. 1973 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against
Internationally Protected Persons
(Diplomatic agents Convention)
Defines an "internationally protected person" as a Head of State, Minister for Foreign
Affairs, representative or official of a State or international organization who is
entitled to special protection in a foreign State, and his/her family; and requires
parties to criminalize and make punishable "by appropriate penalties which take into
account their grave nature" the intentional murder, kidnapping or other attack upon
the person or liberty of an internationally protected person, a violent attack upon the
official premises, the private accommodations, or the means of transport of such
person; a threat or attempt to commit such an attack; and an act "constituting
participation as an accomplice".61

5. 1979 International Convention against the Taking of Hostages

(Hostages Convention)
Provides that "any person who seizes or detains and threatens to kill, to injure, or to
continue to detain another person in order to compel a third party, namely, a State,
an international intergovernmental organization, a natural or juridical person, or a
group of persons, to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit
condition for the release of the hostage commits the offence of taking of hostage
within the meaning of this Convention".62

6. 1980 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material

(Nuclear Materials Convention)
Criminalizes the unlawful possession, use, transfer or theft of nuclear material and
61 Ibid.
62 Id.
threats to use nuclear material to cause death, serious injury or substantial property
damage.Amendments to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear
Material makes it legally binding for States Parties to protect nuclear facilities and
material in peaceful domestic use, storage as well as transport; and provides for
expanded cooperation between and among States regarding rapid measures to locate
and recover stolen or smuggled nuclear material, mitigate any radiological
consequences or sabotage, and prevent and combat related offences.63

7. 1988 Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports

Serving International Civil Aviation, supplementary to the Convention for
the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation
(Extends and supplements the Montreal Convention on Air Safety)
(Airport Protocol)
Extends the provisions of the Montreal Convention (see No. 3 above) to
encompass terrorist acts at airports serving international civil aviation.64

8. 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of
Maritime Navigation
(Maritime Convention)
Establishes a legal regime applicable to acts against international maritime
navigation that is similar to the regimes established for international aviation; and
makes it an offence for a person unlawfully and intentionally to seize or exercise
control over a ship by force, threat, or intimidation; to perform an act of violence
against a person on board a ship if that act is likely to endanger the safe
navigation of the ship; to place a destructive device or substance aboard a ship;
and other acts against the safety of ships.65

9. 2005 Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against
the Safety of Maritime Navigation

63 Id.
64 Ibid.
65 Id.

Criminalizes the use of a ship as a device to further an act of terrorism;
Criminalizes the transport on board a ship various materials knowing that they are
intended to be used to cause, or in a threat to cause, death or serious injury or
damage to further an act of terrorism; Criminalizes the transporting on board a
ship of persons who have committed an act of terrorism; and introduces
procedures for governing the boarding of a ship believed to have committed an
offence under the Convention.66

10. 1988 Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of
Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf
(Fixed Platform Protocol)
Establishes a legal regime applicable to acts against fixed platforms on the
continental shelf that is similar to the regimes established against international

11. 2005 Protocol to the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the
Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf
Adapts the changes to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts
against the Safety of Maritime Navigation to the context of fixed platforms
located on the continental shelf. 68

12. 1991 Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of
(Plastic Explosives Convention)
Designed to control and limit the use of unmarked and undetectable plastic
explosives (negotiated in the aftermath of the 1988 Pan Am flight 103 bombing);
Parties are obligated in their respective territories to ensure effective control over
"unmarked" plastic explosives; Each party must, inter alia, take necessary and

66 Id.
67 Ibid.
68 Id.
effective measures to prohibit and prevent the manufacture and movement of
unmarked plastic explosives into or out of its territory; exercise strict and effective
control over possession and transfer of unmarked explosives made or imported prior
to the entry into force of the Convention; ensure that all stocks of unmarked
explosives not held by the military or police are destroyed, consumed, marked, or
rendered permanently ineffective within three years; take necessary measures to
ensure that unmarked plastic explosives destroyed within fifteen years; and, ensure
the destruction, as soon as possible, of any unmarked explosives manufactured after
the date of entry into force of the Convention for that State.69

13. 1997 International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings

(Terrorist Bombing Convention)
Creates a regime of universal jurisdiction over the unlawful and intentional use of
explosives and other lethal devices in, into, or against various defined public places
with intent to kill or cause serious bodily injury, or with intent to cause extensive
destruction of the public place.70

14. 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of

(Terrorist Financing Convention)
Requires parties to take steps to prevent and counteract the financing of terrorists,
whether direct or indirect, through groups claiming to have charitable, social or
cultural goals or which also engage in illicit activities such as drug trafficking or
gun running; Commits States to hold those who finance terrorism criminally,
civilly or administratively liable for such acts; and provides for the identification,
freezing and seizure of funds allocated for terrorist activities, as well as for the
sharing of the forfeited funds with other States on a case-by-case basis. Bank
69 Ibid.
70 Id.

secrecy is no longer adequate justification for refusing to cooperate.71

15. 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear

(Nuclear Terrorism Convention)
Covers a broad range of acts and possible targets, including nuclear power plants and
nuclear reactors; Covers threats and attempts to commit such crimes or to participate
in them, as an accomplice; Stipulates that offenders shall be either extradited or
prosecuted; Encourages States to cooperate in preventing terrorist attacks by sharing
information and assisting each other in connection with criminal investigations and
extradition proceedings; and deals with both crisis situations (assisting States to
solve the situation) and post-crisis situations (rendering nuclear material safe through
the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).72


Coordinating counter-terrorism actions within and beyond the UN


6.1 Introduction:

The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted by Member States on 8 September

2006, serves as a common platform, bringing the efforts of the UN system entities that
work on counter-terrorism related issues into a common, coherent and more focused
71 Id.
72 Ibid.
framework. The Strategy gives support to the practical work of the UN Counter-
Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF)73, established by the Secretary-General in
July 2005 to ensure overall coordination and coherence in the counter-terrorism efforts of
the UN. Member States expressed support and appreciation for the work of the Task
Force when they met to examine progress in the implementation of the Strategy in
September 2008.

6.2 Protecting Human Rights while countering terrorism:

The issue of terrorism and human rights has long been a concern of the United Nations
human rights program, but it has become more urgent following the attack of 11
September 2001 with the surge in acts of terrorism worldwide. While condemning
terrorism unequivocally and recognizing the duty of States to protect those living within
their jurisdictions from terrorism, the United Nations has placed a priority on the question
of protecting human rights in the context of counter-terrorism measures. The Secretary-
General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and others in the UN system have
emphasized that human rights norms must be rigorously respected.74

6.3 The Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy:

Member States have negotiated and adopted the approach of a strong focus on defending
human rights and upholding the rule of law. The Plan of Action that countries
unanimously agreed on contains an entire section on “measures to ensure respect for
human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis of the fight against
terrorism,” while also reiterating the need to uphold human rights in conjunction with the
various new initiatives it proposes.75

6.4 The campaign to restrict the right to respond to terrorist attacks in self-defense

73 www.un.org/terrorism/cttaskforce.shtml last visited on 4th October 2010 at 8:04 a.m

http://terrorism.about.com/od/humanrights/a/Human_Rights.htm 4th October 2010 at 10:24 a.m
75 Gregory E. Maggs, “Regent Journal of the International Law” GWU Legal Studies Research
Paper, Vol.4 (2006) at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?

under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter and what the United States can do about it:

Article 51 of the United Nations Charter preserves the right of nations to use military
force in self-defense. This broad language would appear to allow nations to use military
force in self-defense in response to ‘armed attacks’ by terrorists. But a significant
problem has developed over the past twenty years. In a series of resolutions and judicial
decisions, organs of the United Nations have attempted to read into Article 51 four very
significant and dangerous limitations on the use of military force in self-defense. These
limitations find no support in the language of Article 51, they do not accord with general
principles of self-defense, and they are inimical to efforts to end terrorism. The United
States needs to oppose limitations on the right of self-defense preserved by Article 51,
not only for its own safety but also to further the most fundamental goals of the United
Nations. Unfortunately, the United States has only a few tools at its disposal for
preserving its legal right to act in self-defense. The United States can use its veto power
to prevent the Security Council from condemning countries that properly use force in

6.5 Role of UN in war against terrorism:

It has to be noted here that terrorist actions have actually increased seven-fold since the
destruction of the World Trade Center in New York. One perceived challenge is that Al
Qaida has transformed from a unitary entity into a movement or something more akin to
an ideology. As it spreads and mutates, Al Qaida has become a scattered, hidden and
persistent target that is, as a result, more difficult to combat. Fears persist that terrorists
have the intention and the capability to stage devastating attacks. At the end of March
2006, Interpol warned that the threat of a biochemical strike by Al Qaida remains real.
There is no lack of concern that the ongoing instability in Iraq will ultimately play into
the hands of Al Qaida and its declared ‘jihad of horror’. It is an opportune moment, then,
to ask what more could be done or done differently. Those favoring a stronger

Ibrahim A Gambari, “Commonwealth Ministers Reference Book”, (2006).
multilateral approach have looked to the UN to play a more prominent role.

But can the UN really play this leading role? Can its member states work together on this
matter? Where are the real opportunities to make a difference, now and in the future?
Before UN potential can be tapped to its fullest, we must first answer these basic

The potential for a crucial UN role in the struggle against terrorism was evident in the
immediate aftermath of 9/11. The Security Council moved quickly and decisively in
adopting Resolution 1373, which obligates all 191 states to take specific action to counter
terrorism, including freezing the financial assets of terrorists and their supporters,
denying them travel or safe haven, preventing terrorist recruitment and weapons supply,
and cooperating with other countries in information sharing and criminal prosecution.

6.6 UN advantage of setting of international norms:

One clear UN comparative advantage is in the setting of international norms. In past

decades, the UN has promoted and adopted thirteen international conventions that
criminalized specific acts of terrorism including hijacking, hostage taking, terrorist
financing and nuclear terrorism. These have become the cornerstone of a 'global norm'
against terrorism. The increased rate of ratification of the conventions has been
impressive. For example, in the first two years of the convention on terrorist financing,
only five states ratified the agreement; now there are 150 on board. Yet there is still great
urgency for member states to sign, ratify and implement all the thirteen conventions. The
UN's commitment to human rights is among its most powerful weapons against terrorism.

Although definitions of terrorism are rife with conceptual difficulties, human rights
norms help to establish a clear moral threshold that should not be crossed. Terrorist acts
that violate the fundamental right of human beings – the right to life – are unjustifiable
and inexcusable. At the same time, counter-terrorism efforts must be carried out in
keeping with international human rights obligations. Sacrificing our core values in the
process of combating terrorism will be self-defeating and self-destructive. A third area of
potential support is UN assistance in helping member states build capacity to fight
terrorism. Aid to legal drafting as well as the ratification and implementation of the
international instruments against terrorism, anti-money laundering and combating
terrorist financing, prevention of and response to weapons of mass destruction (WMD)
terrorism, and enhancement of maritime and civil aviation security are a few of the
relevant capacity-building options. Many African countries, for example, need significant
assistance in areas such as legislation, judicial training, and border controls. A fourth area
is in the political role played by the UN in conflict zones around the world. UN efforts to
broker and consolidate peace settlements have a clear and direct value in bringing
normality and productivity back to large areas that could otherwise become incubators for
terrorism. When we speak of the need for greater multilateral action, the UN is only part
of the answer. Terrorism has its global manifestations as well as regional dimensions.
Over the past years, particularly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, many regional
organizations have launched counterterrorism initiatives that have helped to respond to
the threat. The Africa Union’s commitment to address Africa's security challenges posed
by international terrorism is one example. Thirty-six out of 53 countries in the Africa
Union have ratified the Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism. A
Plan of Action on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism was adopted in 2002. The
African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism was established in Algeria in
2004. Other initiatives that aimed at strengthening the mechanisms to combat terrorism in
the African continent were promoted, such as the Bamako Declaration on African
Common Position on the Illicit Proliferation, Circulation and Trafficking of Small Arms
and Light Weapons. Those instruments can make a difference in addressing the threat of
terrorism if they are followed by concrete actions to implement them. The counter-
terrorism efforts by other regional organizations are equally impressive. The Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC) created a Counter-Terrorism Task Force (CTTF) in 2003
which mandated all APEC members to submit their respective action plans. At the end of
2005, the European Union adopted the EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy and Strategy for
Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism. Most recently, it was reported
that more than 250 terrorist acts were prevented on the territories of six countries of the
Shanghai Organization of Cooperation by that organization’s Regional Counter-
Terrorism Structure (RCTS).

6.7 Commonwealth’s collective stand against terrorism:

The Commonwealth has taken a firm collective stand against terrorism. Achievements
include the development of ‘Model Legislative Provisions on Measures to Combat
Terrorism’ (to assist countries with implementation of UN Security Council Resolution
1373), and ‘Implementation Kits for the International Counter-Terrorism Conventions,’
covering 12 multilateral treaties drawn up between 1963 and 1999 by the UN and other
international organizations in response to terrorism.


War and State-Sponsorship of Terrorism- as Substitutes

7.1 Introduction:

Conventional war and state-sponsorship of terrorism are cross-elastic. More specifically,

terrorism acts as a substitute for war.77When war will not accomplish states' ends, or is
not available as an option, terrorism opens another road to Rome. 78Terrorist states
sponsor groups to extort political concessions historically won in war.79

7.2 Definitions of Terrorism and State-Sponsorship:

Relying on the U.S. Department of State's definition of terrorism of Global Terrorism:

"The term 'terrorism' means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated
against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents." 80

As to "state-sponsorship" of terrorism, we can adopt the Sofaer Doctrine's broad view:

sponsorship means assisting terrorist groups, by tolerating or encouraging them, for the
purpose of furthering the sponsor's ends.81 According to the U.S. National Strategy for
Combating Terrorism, such assistance takes two forms: territory and resources.82
"Providing territory" means that terrorists enjoy geographical non-intervention as a
consequence of a host nation's sovereignty.83 Such protection may arise from a state's
77 Carl von Clausewitz, “On War” 87 (Michael Howard & Peter Paret eds. & trans., Princeton Univ.
Press 1976) (1832).
78 Stephen Sloan, “Beating International Terrorism: A Strategy for Preemption and Punishment” 9
(rev. ed. 2000), available at http:// purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS20458
79 John Alan Cohan, “Formulation of a State's Response to Terrorism and State-Sponsored
Terrorism”, 14 Pace Int'l L. Rev. 77, 80 (2002)
80 http:// www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/pgtrpt/2002/pdf/
81 Abraham D. Sofaer, “Terrorism, the Law, and National Defense”, 126 Mil. L. Rev. 89, 102
82 http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/counter_
83 Ibid.
complicity or active support. "Providing resources" means that a government advances its
political goals by donating money, technology, information, or other assistance to
terrorists. 84 This view of sponsorship matches President George W. Bush's articulation of
"sponsorship," under which a state merely harboring terrorist can be considered a
sponsor.85 All formidable terrorist groups have sponsors for both territory and resources.
For instance, Lebanese Hizballah (Party of God), one of the most lethal anti-U.S. terrorist
groups, received approximately $100 million per year from Iran during the nineties, 86
while both Syria and Lebanon permitted Hizballah to operate within Syrian and Lebanese
territory.87 Similarly, al Qaeda enjoyed territorial sponsorship by Sudan and later the
Afghani Taliban,88 though much of its funding has been traced back to Saudi Arabia. 89
Similarly, all globally redoubtable terror groups have one or many sponsors in these

7.3 War and Terrorism are Substitutes:

Many international law scholars and other experts agree that state-sponsored terrorism
substitutes for war, though few use the word "substitute." Many prefer terms like "proxy
war," "alternative," and other synonyms. Renowned terrorism expert Walter Laqueur
deems state-sponsored terrorism "warfare by proxy,"91 calling it a "cheaper and less risky
alternative" to conventional battle; it is undertaken because not even an empire, "however
powerful, could afford to live in a state of perpetual war."92 Laqueur utilizes a calculation
based on war costs to argue why states resort to terror.93 When war becomes prohibitively
expensive, terrorism picks up where combat ends.94
84 Id.
85 Kenneth Katzman, “Congressional Research Service, Terrorism: Near Eastern Groups and State
Sponsors”, 2002, at 6 (2002).
86 http://www.ict.org.il/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=400
http:// www.state.gov/www/global/terrorism/1999report/patterns.pdf
88 http:// foi.missouri.edu/evolvingissues/fallhouseofsaud.html
89 Supra note 85.
90 Charles J. Goetz, “Cases and Materials on Law and Economics” 282-84 (1984).
91 Walter Laqueur, “The New Terrorism” 156 (1999)
Ibid., p. 156
93 Ray S. Cline & Yonah Alexander, “Terrorism as State-Sponsored Covert Warfare” 9-10 (1986).
94 Harvey W. Kushner, “State-Sponsored Terrorism, in Encyclopedia of Terrorism” 342, 342
(2003); Matthew Lippman, “The New Terrorism and International Law”, 10 Tulsa J. Comp. &

Accordingly, experts often refer to terrorism as the weapon of the weak.95 States that
finance and encourage terrorism today tend to care little for their international reputations
and lack the means to wage successful full-scale war against enemies.96They also tend to
be authoritarian "rogue" states. 97

For example: Today, many of the most active state-sponsors of terrorism fund and
encourage terrorist groups because they have already attempted to accomplish political
goals through war and failed. For example, the Arab-Israeli and Indo-Pakistani wars gave
rise to subsequent terrorist campaigns by the defeated party in each contest.

In the Arab-Israeli wars, the Arabs have consistently been on the losing side. Israel
declared its independence in 1948. The five nearest Arab states invaded to prevent the
Jewish state from coming into existence.98 Israel defeated the Arab states in what Israel
dubs the "War of Independence" and what Arabs designate "The Disaster."99 The Arabs
built up their militaries and tried to destroy Israel in 1967.100 Israel launched a preemptive
strike against Egypt and its allies in the Six-Day War, resulting in a complete and total

As a result, "frustrated by the failure of the Arab armies in 1967. . . Palestinian extremists

Int'l L. 297, 299 (2003); Barry Rubin, “The Political Uses of Terrorism in the Middle East, in The
Politics of Terrorism: Terror as a State and Revolutionary Strategy” 27, 30-31 (Barry Rubin ed., 1988);
Terry, supra note 58, at 159-60, 162-63 (quoting the Vice President's Task Force on Combating Terrorism
and Secretary of State George Shultz); cf. M. Cherif Bassiouni, “Legal Control of International
Terrorism: A Policy-Oriented Assessment”, 43 Harv. Int'l. L.J. 83, 86 (2002).
95 Martha Crenshaw, “The Causes of Terrorism”, 13 Comp. Pol. 379, 387 (1981)
96 Supra note 91, p.134.
97 Louis René Beres, “International Law and Nuclear Terrorism”, 24 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 1
(1994); Christopher Clarke Posteraro, “Intervention in Iraq: Towards a Doctrine of Anticipatory Counter-
Terrorism, Counter-Proliferation Intervention”, 15 Fla. J. Int'l L. 151, 153 (2002)
98 Ben Bradlee et al., Interview 1, Hafiz al-Asad: Terrorism and the Anti-Syria Campaign, 15 J.
Palestine Stud. 3, 5 (1986)
99 Hamas Charter (August 1988), reprinted in Anti-American Terrorism and the Middle East: A
Documentary Reader 54, 58 (Barry Rubin & Judith Colp Rubin eds., 2002)
100 Ibid.,p.50-53
101 Ali Khan, “The Kashmir Dispute: A Plan for Regional Cooperation”, 31 Colum. J. Transant'l L.
495, 497 n.11 (1994).
launched a global campaign of terrorism against Israel and its supporters." 102

The Palestinian campaign marked the birth of modern, international terrorism.103

The surge in Palestinian terrorism after the Six-Day War implies a substitution of
terrorism in place of failed war. Both terrorist groups and their sponsors consider anti-
Israeli terrorism as the most effective form of alternative warfare.104

This general pattern holds true for Pakistan's sponsorship of terrorist groups in its conflict
with India over Jammu and Kashmir. In the 1947 partition of India that created Pakistan,
India seized mostly Muslim Kashmir. To wrest control of Kashmir from India, Pakistan
went to war with India in 1947 and 1965, but lost.105During the 1980s, Pakistan
successfully repulsed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan by sponsoring Islamic guerrillas
against the Red Army.106Following the Soviet withdrawal, in the late 1980s, Pakistan
turned its Islamic proxies against India in a renewed Holy War to win Kashmir. 107Though
Pakistan has admitted to territorially sponsoring anti-Indian terrorist groups as part of its
strategy, India has accused Pakistan of actually going much further, including the
training, funding and arming of those insurgents.109

Regardless of the extent of Pakistan's support for terrorism in Kashmir, its campaign, like
the Arabs' against Israel, has clearly been an outgrowth of its military defeats by India.
As Laquer notes,

102 Peter Chalk, “Al Qaeda and Its Links to Terrorist Groups in Asia, in The New Terrorism:
Anatomy, Trends and Counter-Strategies”, 107, 110.
103 Supra note 101.
104 Peter Chalk, “Al Qaeda and Its Links to Terrorist Groups in Asia, in The New Terrorism:
Anatomy, Trends and Counter-Strategies”, 107, 110 (Andrew Tan & Kumar Ramakrishna eds., 2002).
105 Ibid.
106 Greg Myre, “Pakistan, India Trade Shellfire in Kashmir”, Wash. Post, Sept. 21, 2000, at A29, see
also Sunil Kataria, “34 Killed Near Kashmir”; India Renews Talks Offer, Wash. Post, Aug. 4, 1998, at A11
107 Attack on Town in India Kills 25, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 14, 2002, at A2, John Lancaster
& Rama Lakshmi, Rumsfeld Says Al Qaeda May Be in Kashmir, Wash. Post, June 13, 2002, at A28, K. K.
Sharma, Indian Premier Charges Pakistan with "State Terrorism," Fin. Times (London), Jan. 2, 1992, at I3
108 Supra note 78
109 Ved Marwah, “India, in Combating Terrorism: Strategies of Ten Countries”, 301, 310-14 (2002)

“The Pakistani strategy has been one of surrogate warfare. The country has been
militarily weaker than India and therefore more vulnerable to full-scale attack. Following
Pakistan's military defeat in 1965, warfare by proxy, guerrilla actions, and terrorism
seemed not only the more rewarding strategy but the only possible one. The
destabilization campaign against India was carried out by ISI, the Pakistani intelligence
service, which trained native Kashmiri and Indian Muslims in camps in Pakistan with the
support of the Muslim world.” Thus, the terrorist campaign in Kashmir continues the
wars that Pakistan has militarily lost.110 Pakistan has substituted terrorism for
conventional war because repeated Indian triumphs has heightened Pakistan's war price
enough to make terrorism increasingly attractive as an alternative. Laqueur calls Pakistani
sponsorship of terror "warfare by substitutes." 111

As the Arab-Israeli and Indo-Pakistani conflicts demonstrate, war and terrorism are
effectively substitutes, the latter representing a last recourse for the weaker party. In both
conflicts, repeated military losses made the prospect of another armed conflict with the
winner costlier. As the costs of war increased, the losing party increasingly resorted to
terrorism instead of war in order to accomplish the same or similar goals. In both cases,
the loser substituted terrorism for war.

It is worth noting that although state-sponsorship of terrorism and war appear to be

substitutes, they may not be perfect substitutes. State-sponsorship of terrorism may have
its own uses quite aside from its ability to take the place of war in some circumstances.
Likewise, there may be some results achievable through war that sponsoring terrorism
could never replicate. However, this merely means that war and terrorism are not
perfectly substitutable. Overall, the Arab-Israeli and Indo-Pakistani conflicts furnish
convincing examples of a substitution effect between sponsorship of terrorism and use of

110 Ibid.
111 Supra note 61.
Future Trends in Terrorism and need of Reform in International
Terrorism Law

8.1 Introduction:
As a conflict method that has survived and evolved through several millennia to flourish
in the modern information age, terrorism continues to adapt to meet the challenges of
emerging forms of conflict, and exploit developments in technology and society.
Terrorism has demonstrated increasing abilities to adapt to counter-terrorism measures
and political failure.112 Terrorists are developing new capabilities of attack and improving
the efficiency of existing methods. Additionally, terrorist groups have shown significant
progress in escaping from a subordinate role in nation-state conflicts, and becoming
prominent as international influences in their own right. They are becoming more
integrated with other sub-state entities, such as criminal organizations and legitimately
chartered corporations, and are gradually assuming a measure of control and identity with
national governments.113

8.2 Adaptive Capabilities of Terror Groups:

Terrorists have shown the ability to adapt to the techniques and methods of counter-terror
agencies and intelligence organizations over the long term. The decentralization of the
network form of organization is an example of this. Adopted to reduce the disruption
caused by the loss of key links in a chain of command, a network organization also
complicates the tasks of security forces, and reduces predictability of operations.114
Terrorists have also been quick to use new technologies, and adapt existing ones to their
uses. The debate over privacy of computer data was largely spurred by the specter of
terrorists planning and communicating with encrypted data beyond law enforcement's

112 https://www.cia.gov/...terrorism/terrorism-related-excerpts-from-global-trends-2015-a-dialogue-
about-the-future-with-nongovernment-exp last visited on 4th October 2010 at 11:00a.m.
113 www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG393.pdf last visited on 4th October 2010 at
114 www.terrorism-research.com/future/ last visited on 9th October 2010 at 12:23 p.m

ability to intercept or decode this data. To exchange information, terrorists have exploited
disposable cellular phones, over the counter long-distance calling cards, Internet cafes,
and other means of anonymous communications. Embedding information in digital
pictures and graphics is another innovation employed to enable the clandestine global
communication that modern terrorists require.115
Terrorists have also demonstrated
significant resiliency after disruption by counter-terrorist action. Some groups have
redefined themselves after being defeated or being forced into dormancy. The Shining
Path of Peru (Sendero Luminosa)116 lost its leadership cadre and founding leader to
counter-terrorism efforts by the Peruvian government in 1993. The immediate result was
severe degradation in the operational capabilities of the group. However, the Shining Path
has returned to rural operations and organization in order to reconstitute itself. Although
not the threat that it was, the group remains in being, and could exploit further unrest or
governmental weakness in Peru to continue its renewal. In Italy, the Red Brigades
(Brigate Rossi)117 gradually lapsed into inactivity due to governmental action and a
changing political situation. However, a decade after the supposed demise of the Red
Brigades, a new group called the Anti-Capitalist Nuclei emerged exhibiting a continuity
of symbols, styles of communiqués, and potentially some personnel from the original Red
Brigade organization. This ability to perpetuate ideology and symbology during a
significant period of dormancy, and re-emerge under favorable conditions demonstrates
the durability of terrorism as a threat to modern societies.

8.3 Increasing Capabilities of Terrorists:

Terrorists are improving their sophistication and abilities in virtually all aspects of their
operations and support. The aggressive use of modern technology for information
management, communication and intelligence has increased the efficiency of these
activities. Weapons technology has become more increasingly available, and the

115 Ibid.
116 www.gci275.com/peru/sendero.shtml last visited on 9th October 2010 at 2:04 p.m
117 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Brigades last visited on 9th October 2010 at 3:41p.m
purchasing power of terrorist organizations is on the rise. The ready availability of both
technology and trained personnel to operate it for any client with sufficient cash allows
the well-funded terrorist to equal or exceed the sophistication of governmental counter-
Likewise, due to the increase in information outlets, and competition with
increasing numbers of other messages, terrorism now requires a greatly increased amount
of violence or novelty to attract the attention it requires. The tendency of major media to
compete for ratings and the subsequent revenue realized from increases in their audience
size and share produces pressures on terrorists to increase the impact and violence of their
actions to take advantage of this sensationalism. Today, most experts believe that certain
parts of the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan are turning out to be the main power
centers for terrorism. Decades of lawlessness and corruption have seen Islamic terrorist
groups fill the power vaccum in this region and continue to turn out an alarming number
of religiously motivated terrorists.

8.4 Need Of Reform in International Terrorism Law:

According to Sociologist School of Jurisprudence, Law is a ongoing process and it
evolved with society and continuously grow with society only, in the same manner with
the changing dimensions of terrorism starting from social, political, economic with the
change in the modus operandi of terrorists we need to keep a keen eye on their activities
so as to make laws to fight with global terrorism.
So need is to reform the available
international legal norms and repetition will definitely lead to a road which goes nowhere
but circling around the same legal norms.



Though we, the global society, still are unable to define ‘terrorism’ in an exclusive
manner and in between the development of definition of ‘terrorism’ also led to
comprehensive and sectoral conventions which are universal as well as regional in nature.
So it shows the seriousness of States and International Organizations regarding terrorist
activities but day by day terrorism changing its form and we are unable to give one
particular meaning to it. The need of the hour is to first develop a definition of
International law and secondly, International law makers should continuously observe the
terrorism activities and then find the amicable solution to those terrorist activities like in
case of insurgency and for those terrorist activities which are committed just for creating
public nuisance: every State should adopt all those security measures within its territory
so as to fail the terrorist attempts in a State. One more point to be considered for
progressive measures to be taken against terrorism is we cannot repeat too often the most
important and effective legal rules, expressing a joint will of the international community
of states. In this case, repetition may also be extended to the process of the strengthening
of international law. In this way only we can minimize the global problem of terrorism
and restrain on the anarchy nature developed with the dissatisfaction among those people
who legitimately want a separate State and we would be able to separate the actual needy
persons from those who are using their mask.