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Articles

  1. Information and communications technologies (ICT)
  2. Analysis of Terrorist Attack Scenarios and Measures for Countering Terrorist Threats
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  5. Cyber Terrorism: understanding and preventing acts of terror within our cyber space

It is against this background that this study intends to examine the relationship between ICT and the promotion of international terrorism activities and to make recommendations on how these anomalies can be mitigated or nipped in the bud. The following research questions guided the formulation of the objectives of the study:.

What is the impact of the innovative tendencies of social media on the recruitment of young people for terrorism? What measures should be adopted to amelioration the dangers posed by ISIS, in the efforts towards maintaining international security and world peace? To examine the impact of the innovative tendencies of social media on the recruitment of young people for terrorism. To suggest measures that should be adopted by the international community to ensure that the dangers posed by ISIS through globalization are grossly minimized.

Security is a social construction; thus the term security has no meaning in itself; rather it is given a specific meaning by people within the emergence of an inter-subjective consensus. As a result, over the course of time the term comes to have a particular meaning, although it may change over time Sheehan, In spite of the efforts by scholars to conceptualize the notion of security in a coherent manner, no one generally acceptable definition of security has yet been produced.

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Information and communications technologies (ICT)

In addition to the term being highly contested, some scholars have argued that the term is underdeveloped, so much so that it is inadequate for use. One of the reasons for this situation is attributed to the fact that the term is simply too complex to garner attention and has thus been neglected in favour of other concepts Transnational Terrorism, Security and the Rule of Law, A further problem that Sheehan identifies is that the meaning of security has often been treated as being obvious and nonsensical. The realist tradition has exercised an enormous amount of influence in the field of security studies, which in a sense has provided a baseline for other traditions Elman, Realists harbour a narrow conception of security where security is defined in terms of states, militaries and the use of threat and force.

The constructivist tradition argues that security is a social construction, in other words it means different things in different contexts. Two opposing actors will view security differently. It can also be seen as a site of negotiation and contestation, where actors will compete to portray the identity and values of a specific group in such way that it provides a foundation for political action.

Even though security is an essentially contested and highly politicized concept, it is something that is desired by everyone Williams, ; Eckersley, Security is said to imply an absence of threat Robinson, Williams adds that security is also associated with the alleviation of threats to particular values, especially if those threats, if left unchecked, threaten the survival of a particular referent object. He adds that both of these components are required to constitute a threat. Anderson further states that the scope of security is broadened when looking at security at an international level.

The threats now have international, transnational and multinational implications. According to Anderson , it is also important to determine the agent and target the referent object of the particular threat. Thus, international security also relates to ensuring that when one state enhances its security, it does not threaten to reduce the security of a potential adversary; this ensures the maintenance of the overall stability of the international system Sheehan, Furthermore, the exact definition of what globalization constitutes is also contested as scholars have very different conceptions of the term.

Cha argues that one can best understand the phenomenon of globalization as a spatial one. Thus, globalization is not an event, but rather a steady and continuous expansion of processes of interaction and forms of organization, as well as forms of cooperation outside of the traditional boundaries defined by sovereignty Cha, Some scholars liken globalization to interdependence, others to liberalization, whilst others even liken it to universalization, Westernization and imperialism Nassar, Many scholars argue that globalization can be identified as the leader in the spread of Western culture and practices around the globe.

Furthermore, it is argued that the process of modernization Westernization that is associated with globalization can be seen as equivalent to the Americanization of the world. Steger agrees with Nassar in stating that globalization encompasses the Westernization and therefore the Americanization of the world. There are a number of different facets to globalization; Heine and Thakur state that the primary aspect of globalization is concerned with the expansion of economic activities across the boundaries of nation states.

Other aspects of the globalization process include the movement of information, ideas and people as well as cultural exchanges across international boundaries Heine and Thakur, Globalization is also said to refer to the diffusion of technology and culture Li and Schaub, Nassar adds that globalization integrates markets, values, environmental concerns and politics across the globe.


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Furthermore, Cha argues that globalization can be seen as a spatial reorganization of industry, production, and finance amongst others, which causes local decisions to have a global impact. Some scholars are of the opinion that globalization improves security; whilst many others contend that it has created instances of declining international security. Many proponents of globalization view it as a facilitator of economic openness, global culture and political transparency.

In addition, it channels common human standards and equality across the globe. This leads to an increasing sense of global proximity, which supposedly leads to cooperation, and increases security worldwide. Thus, globalization is seen as threat by those that lag behind and are disadvantaged , which must be fought against. States might seek to defend against the so-called threat that globalization poses, as groups or individuals organize to fight against the perceived dangers of globalization Kay, Finding a definition for terrorism is not always considered easy, as there are a number of different definitions for the term.

According to Schmid a legal definition for terrorism is still elusive even after being proposed by the League of Nations in No single definition of terrorism has received the international stamp of approval. Thus, it is not surprising that terrorism is a politically loaded and contested concept for which hundreds of often diverging definitions exist Schmid, b Schmid and Easson and Schmid provide over different academic, governmental and intergovernmental definitions of terrorism in The Routledge Handbook of Terrorism Research , the definitions range from as early as , where Robespierre defines terror to as recently as The extensive range of definitions provided allows one to see how definitions of terrorism have evolved and developed over time.

Furthermore, it allows one to see that an agreed upon definition of terrorism has been elusive for some time and is not merely a contemporary problem. One of the major problems the United Nations has experienced in developing an internationally agreed upon conceptualization of terrorism, are the reservations of Arab and Muslim countries Schmid, Hoffman attributes the difficulty in defining terrorism to the fact that the meaning of term has changed so frequently throughout history.

The meaning and usage of the term have changed over the course of history in order to accommodate the political discourse of each successive era. Furthermore, the term has become increasingly elusive with the passage of time Hoffman, For Cilliers , terrorism can be described as the illegitimate use or threat of violence against individuals or property to coerce governments or societies for the purposes of political objectives. Rogers adds that terrorism also makes use of this fear borne out of the threat of violence to gain public attention.

According to Cilliers terrorism is different from other forms of organized criminal behaviour in that its proponents do not act to gain financially or economically. Thus, terrorists act to gain politically or to make a point.


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In addition, terrorism can be regarded as a premeditated act or actions. It is planned before the terrorist actions are carried out. It does not just occur randomly. Even though the UN has thus far failed to develop a comprehensive agreed upon definition of terrorism, it has made some progress in combating terrorism. For example, the Security Council resolution includes several measures that will strengthen the role of the UN in its efforts to combat terrorism. It is thus important that the General Assembly complete negotiations on a comprehensive convention on terrorism, as soon as possible United Nations, Lastly, terrorism is described as: any action, in addition to actions already specified by the existing conventions on aspects of terrorism, the Geneva Conventions and Security Council resolution , that is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants, when the purpose of such an act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a Government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act.

In comparison to the UN, the African Union AU has developed a definition of terrorism that has been ratified by the majority of member states. Disrupt any public service, the delivery of any essential service to the public or to create a public emergency; or. This has become a nation-wide and even a global concern, especially with such events as the kidnapping of the Chibok girls. Bamidele mentions that on a daily basis websites, magazines and news channels run stories as well as pictures of the acts of violence perpetrated by the group.

Bamidele argues that the group emerged in , even though it only became prominent in The majority of literature on Boko Haram is also somewhat inconclusive with regard to the real purpose behind its creation and existence Bamidele, On the other hand, others argue that Boko Haram emerged as a part of the resurgence of Islamic militant movements globally Bamidele, Hussein Solomon aptly describes the reasons behind the emergence of Boko Haram.

He argues that the group emerged in response to local grievances in Nigeria, including: an increasing dissatisfaction with deteriorating living conditions, especially in the north, an unresponsive and corrupt political elite and a Nigerian state that has reinforced religious divisions and has been unable to transcend the many divisions of ethnicity, language and religion Oyeniyi, ; Aghedo and Osumah, ; Cook, As the name suggests, the group is opposed to everything they believe to have been infiltrated by Western beliefs and values. Boko Haram believes that the infiltration of Western beliefs and values, including Western style education, poses a threat to the traditional beliefs, values and customs of the Muslim communities of northern Nigeria Forest, Thus, the group has vowed to rid the Nigerian state of the corrupt ruling elite who have been perverted by the decadence of Western culture and institute what it believes to be religious purity Agbiboa, Connel adds that the principle objective of the group has been the toppling of the secular Nigerian government and the implementation of a government based on anti-Western Sharia law.

In addition, Onapajo and Uzodike argue that the group wants to establish an entire socio-political system based on the Islamic model. The group further expanded their aims following the execution of their leader, Mohammed Yusuf in Boko Haram now aimed to violently engage with the state security structure as a means of retaliation. The group also stated that they were aiming to convert former President Goodluck Jonathan from Christianity to Islam and evict non-Muslims from northern Nigeria Oyeniyi, The death of Yusuf arguably led to the further radicalization of the group Onuoha, Their aim is thus to purify Islam in the Nigerian state.

Other areas that scholarship has examined relate to the structure, funding and membership of Boko Haram Connell, ; Forest, ; Onuoha, , Pate, Connell and Onuoha mention that members had to pay a daily levy to their leaders and other funds came from donations. Forest agrees that much According to the majority of accounts, the group draws its membership from the ranks of disaffected youths, unemployed graduates and former street children Almajaris Onuoha, ; Waldek and Jayasekara, ; Pate, The first aspect that scholars tend to focus on relates to the origin of the terrorist group.

Analysis of Terrorist Attack Scenarios and Measures for Countering Terrorist Threats

Marchal delves into the phenomenon of radical Islam within Somalia in order to develop an understanding of the dynamics that led to the creation of Al Shabaab. This sets the stage for the origin of the group. According to Roque there is no consensus regarding their exact date of origin.

He further states that the period between the Ethiopian invasion on 24 December and early can be marked as the true emergence of the group Wise, Murphy agrees with Wise in stating that the Islamist group fed off the resentment that Somalis felt towards the presence of the Ethiopian military. In addition, Roque and Hansen support their argument. They argue that the presence of the Ethiopian military forces, in addition to that of the Transitional Federal Government TFG forces prepared the ground in which organized radical responses could flourish Roque, ; Hansen, The creation of Al Shabaab was thus a radical response to the presence of the Ethiopian military.

Mwangi also shares the sentiments of these scholars. Al Shabaab originally emerged as an Islamist-nationalist guerrilla movement dedicated to combatting the insurgence of Ethiopian troops as well as the TFG forces Wise, The exact aims of the group are somewhat murky and unclearly expressed. This would entail taking over Somalia and spreading their ideology throughout the Horn of Africa.

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In addition, they also wish to spread their ideological beliefs onwards to the areas of Central, South and Eastern Africa Ali, Wise and Ali add that the group aims to wage jihad holy war against the enemies of Islam; this includes the removal of Western influence something one can link to globalization , not only in Somalia or even the Horn of Africa, but also throughout the whole of Africa. Furthermore, they also wish to eliminate all other forms of Islam that are not in line with their Salafi-Wahhabist strand Wise, ; Ali, In order to achieve these goals and to win favour amongst the populace, the group has provided the citizenry with essential services and welfare.

They have cleared roadblocks, repaired roads, organized markets and re-established order and a justice system through employing Sharia courts Roque, By continuously expanding their local community infrastructure and support, Al Shabaab is able to sustain its goal of jihad.

Technology trends in counter-terrorism, and emerging requirements and startup opportunities

The author conducted a research on three magazines made by each terrorist organization in order to measure the level of propaganda intensity and found that ISIS ranked the highest out of the three. He also proposed a combined model of propaganda, in which imaginative language, deception, and gamification of language were usual, and informative language and complexity were unusual Skillicorn Farwell claims that the only way to defeat ISIS is through systematic discretization and the destruction of this warrior persona they have built up around themselves.

But even if they are bound for hard targets, terrorists are likely to move through public space. In order to heighten the security of such public spaces as well, and in order to prevent an impending attack from taking place, surveillance and observation devices could serve as an early-warning system enabling us to initiate counter-measures. After all, in my opinion, these modern avatars of time-honoured brick-and-mortar curtain walls still have a formidable role to play in the times of global terrorism: basically, they are our last line of defence against terrorists who have managed to evade all other high-tech measures described above without being detected and are now ready to strike.

First of all, I argue that the introduction of available technologies, especially off-the-shelf solutions, has been a rather slow and tedious one. Secondly, I argue that all the security measures discussed do not completely eradicate the threat posed by terrorists: they rather displace it to areas just outside the defence perimeters. And thirdly, I point out that some attacks simply cannot be prevented as long as we are not prepared to deploy plenty of sniffers, scanners and other detection devices all over the city.

My core argument here is that new technologies, especially security-related technologies, change our view of what it means to be a citizen. Since it is not only about technology per se but also the willingness to make use of it without too many critical questions asked, I also discuss some controversial views of politicians who seem to be willing to trade civil liberties for more security. In this chapter, I re-examine the transformation of our cities under the impression of recent terrorist attacks from a critical perspective.

In Chap. In the previous chapter, I focussed on the state. In this chapter, I assess these private actors in a critical perspective to see how they influence our daily lives. Title Counter-Terrorism Technologies.

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Publisher Springer International Publishing. These include the failed attacks in Kenya against El Al flights in , as well as successful strikes on military and commercial aircraft in Iraq. NATO experts are now conducting a rigorous testing and analysis programme to determine how missile seekers acquire and track their targeted aircraft.

With this knowledge, it will be possible to optimise defensive systems to confuse, defeat, and destroy incoming missiles.

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NATO's Programme of Work for Defence against Terrorism is developing systems to give militaries new, cutting-edge technologies to detect, disrupt and pursue terrorists. It is also possible to provide further protection to aircraft using a variety of non-technological means. A number of procedural counter-measures can be employed by both military and civil aviation communities, such as flight simulator time for pilots to train them how to deal with sudden engine loss. Through a combination of technical and non-technical methods, therefore, NATO intends to provide additional layers of protection for large, slow-moving aircraft against the shoulder-fired missile threat.

A testing programme is ongoing and more field trials are scheduled for Attacks on helicopters by rocket-propelled grenades RPGs and small arms fire have caused many casualties in recent conflicts. In response, NATO has begun developing packages to address self-protection and threat detection for helicopters, as well as means of countering these threats. NATO is now examining how technologies such as air bags and flak-resistant seats as well as RPG-resistant coatings and materials that were originally designed for armoured personnel carriers, can be built into existing and future rotary-wing aircraft.

A partnership with industry has already been launched to refine these ideas. Since the efficient functioning of ports and harbours is fundamental to the global economy, it is essential that they be made as secure as possible. Terrorists have demonstrated the capacity to plan and execute sophisticated attacks against warships such as the USS Cole off Yemen in , commercial vessels such as the French oil tanker Limburgh also off Yemen in , and against port facilities such as the oil pipelines near Basra, Iraq. Further planned attacks have been successfully disrupted by NATO nations.

Indeed, as a consequence of one foiled plot, NATO is now escorting merchant shipping through the Straits of Gibraltar as part of Operation Active Endeavour , the Alliance's mission to disrupt, deter and defend against terrorist activity in the Mediterranean. Under Italian leadership and with the benefit of decades of expertise from NATO's Underwater Research Centre in La Spezia, Italy, the Alliance is conducting a variety of sea trials using new, cutting-edge technologies. The NATO programme is, for example, looking into the feasibility of creating surface and subsurface sensor nets capable of detecting and disabling terrorists, and is creating a new mechanism for underwater mine clearance that will exponentially speed up what is currently a lengthy, manpower-intensive process.

NATO is also exploring innovative technologies to disable incoming speedboat engines, and is developing new procedures to improve the defensive capacity of warships against surface attack. A variety of trials have been held in in Italy and the Netherlands and more are planned for Detection, protection and defeat of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear CBRN weapons. The attack on the Tokyo subway by the Aum Shinrikyo sect in which sarin gas was used remains a deeply disturbing example of the ability of terrorist groups to develop and employ chemical, and possibly biological, nuclear and radiological weapons.

Al-Qaida documents recovered in Afghanistan and other information obtained by NATO governments point to a rudimentary but evolving terrorist capability to use weapons of mass destruction in future attacks. Indeed, evidence has been found of a testing programme using cyanide compounds as well as the development of crude procedures for producing mustard gas, sarin, and VX nerve agents.

Cyber Terrorism: understanding and preventing acts of terror within our cyber space

Already, several small-scale toxin attacks in Europe by groups linked to al Qaida have been thwarted, and there has been concern over the desire of terrorists to conduct a radiological dispersal attack in North America. Allies have drafted documents setting out common doctrine, procedures and equipment standards for protection against these weapons and for decontamination after an attack. Moreover, the Alliance has developed a water-based decontaminator that is now being tested in NATO nations. Research is also being carried out to develop technologies for the remote detection of the presence of these deadly substances.

And further work is planned on military capabilities to defeat such weapons when encountered in the field. Terrorists frequently seek sanctuary in remote locations where they believe it will be harder for NATO militaries and security services to operate.