Summary Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice

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Summary - Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice

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  • Learning outcomes of the course:
    • the notion of terrorism as an instrument to achieve certain goals;
    • the difficulties and importance of definitions of terrorism;
    • the state of the art of terrorism studies;
    • theoretical notions  and practical examples that help to better understand and critique approaches to counter terrorism;
    • theoretical notions and practical examples that will help to better understand the essence of terrorism, of your peers and yourself before the deadline.
  • Examples of terrorism in the Netherlands:
    -Rotterdam: one of the first attacks on an oil installation, allegedly by the popular front for the liberation of Palestine.
    -Den Haag: a hostage taking by the Japanese Red Army on the French Embassy;
    -Den Haag: at the coast was a house where the President of the Federation of German Industries, Hans Martin Schleyer was held hostage by the Red Army Fraction.
    -Delft: youngsters (foreign fighters, Jihadi foreign fighters) who went to Syria to fight against the regime of Assad
  • Facts and figures
    (US Department of State, 2012)
    • almost 7.000 terrorist attacks worldwide
    • more than 11.000 deaths
    • more than 21.000 injuries

    • Afghanistan 2.632
    • Iraq 2.436
    • Pakistan 1.848
    • Nigeria 1.386
    • Russia 659
    • EU 17
    • US 10
    • India 231
    • China 15
    • Brasil 0
  • How many people were killed according to the US Department of State in terrorist attacks worldwide in the year 2012?
    Between 10.000-20.000
  • The map of terrorism (made by the Institute for Economics and Peace), combines the number of incidents, fatalities, injuries and property damage and it is based on the data of the global terrorism database of Maryland University. You see hotspots in South Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Northern Africa. But you also see that many parts of Asia, Southern Africa, America and the EU are not that frequency troubled by terrorism.
  • Terrorism is high on the political agenda's
    • in many countries
    • in international fora (UN, NATO, regional (security) organisations)
    • Especially after 9/11

  • Some say it is a post-9/11 world:
    • influencing relationships between countries and communities
    • impact of 9/11 on international relations and our way of thinking about security

    Do I agree: yes

    Bakker: wouldn't call it like that.
    • it is 12 years; many other issues that define our age
    • the economy, the environment, technological innovations and many other political issues.

  • Summary, what have we learned:
    • Terrorism is a world wide phenomenon
    • enormous regional differences
    • terrorism has a great impact on peace & security
    • that's why some believe we are in a post-9/11 world.

  • 1.2 History of terrorism

  • History of terrorism
    • the use of terrorism is nothing new
    • The Assasins (11th century) in the Middle East (they killed governors, political and military leaders to create alliances or as an act of retribution [vergelding]).

    Most description of modern terrorism starts with the Anarchists associated with the:
    • Propaganda of the deed / propaganda par le fait.
    • Freedom of death (International Macedonian Revolutionary Organization) fighting the Ottoman Rule in late 19th and early 20th century.
  • Even more then a century ago
    • Many different groups, tactics, backgrounds and slogans (ranging from extreme left to nationalist separatists).
    • Different targets (heads of state, citizens);
    • Different geographical scope (local and international).
  • What is new about today's terrorism?
    The use of suicide vests (killing of innocent civilians; the transnational nature; assassination of heads of state is not new).
  • Waves of terrorism
    David Rapoport distinguished 4 waves in terrorism. Each with its own ingredients, different audiences; sympathizers and supporters or MO.
    1. Anarchists: 1880s
    2. Anti-Colonial wave: 1920s
    3. New Left wave: 1960s
    4. Religious wave: 1979-?
  • Anarchists: 1880s
    • Started in Russia, spread to other parts of Europe, the Americas and Asia;
    • Doctrine or strategy of terror by Russian writers as Bakunin and Kropotkin;
    • New technologies and communication tools: telegraph and newspapers.
    One of the most notorious [beruchte] organisations of that era the Russian organisation Narodnaya Volya [people's will].
    • Narodnaya Volya
    • killed a Russian tsar
    • They called themselves terrorists
    • 1890s Golden age of assassanation (victims: Elisabeth the empress of Austria; Umberto I, King of Italy and the US president McKinley).
  • Which decade is according to David Rapoport, regarded as the Golden Age of Assassanation?
  • 2 Wave: Anti Colonists: 1920s
    • Struggle for self-determination [bepaling] (amongst others against British and French colonial rule);
    • Guerilla tactics (hit and run);
    • "Terrorist" became "Freedom fighters".
    • Irish Republican Army (IRA);
    • Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) from Algiers;
    • Irgun (a militant Zionist Group, fighting the British with their attack on the King David Hotel in Jeruzalem.
  • 3 Wave: New Left: 1960s
    • Vietnam War;
    • Groups in the developed World as vanguards [voorhoede] for the masses of the Third World (like the Weather Underground in the USA);
    • Latin America/urban guerilla (party supported by the Soviet Union and its allies);
    • Context of the Cold War;
    • International terrorism (Palestine Liberation Organization, PLO of Yasser Arafat);
    • Hostage takings/hijackings (OS 1972 in Munich, by the Black September; Lufthansa flight 181, 1977);
    • Mainly not to kill, but to press government.
  • Which groups are associated with the third wave of terrorism?
    PLO / RAF
  • 4 Wave: Religious: 1979-?
    • Year of the Islamic Revolution in Iran;
    • Year that the Soviet Union invaded and occupied Afghanistan;
    • Year of the storming and occupation of the Grand Mosque in Mecca;
    • Modern political religious groups, since 1979 (Islamic, Sikhs, Jewish, Christian);
    • Sects (Tokyo subway Sarin gas attack by Aum Shinrikyo; form of WMD-attack, Weapon of mass destruction);
    • MO: (Assassanations, hostage takings, Suicide bombings; also by non religious groups as the Kurdish Workers Parties and the Tamil Tigers);
    • Hezbollah
    • Al Qaeda (for the first time with attacks on the embassy in Dar es Salam and Nairobi).
  • 5 Wave
    • Four waves
    • Time Span: few decades
    • What about the fifth wave?
    • Policy-makers like to know?
    • My idea: durability [duurzaamheid].
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