“Fighting terrorism is not unlike fighting a deadly cancer. It can’t be treated just where it’s visible – every diseased cell in the body must be destroyed.”-David Hackworth
I. What is Terrorism?
Terrorism is defined 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.” Terrorism is also defined as 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.”
Some facts about terrorism:
1. Terrorism is the act of destruction performed by a person or group of persons on behalf of an established government.
2. Terrorism is the act of destruction performed to restore the imaginary injustice.
3. Terrorism is the destruction of people on behalf of an established government agency against another country, is considered as war, not terrorism.
4. If destruction of people or property is undertaken by or on behalf of an established government on its own territory, it is considered a matter of policy, not terrorism.
5. If destruction of people or property is undertaken without justification, it is considered an ordinary common law crime, not terrorism.
6. If destruction of people or property is not aimed against an established government, but is aimed at a private individual or group, it is considered an ordinary common law crime, not terrorism, even if such act is aimed at redressing a wrong, because disputes between private individuals should be settled through an established legal system operated by an established government, not by taking law in one’s own hands.
II. What are the causes of terrorism?
The causes of terrorism differ from country to country. At present terrorism may be widespread in below regions:
1. Middle East terrorism
2. European terrorism
3. Latin American terrorism
Terrorism may be caused by below factors:
• Poverty and economic disparities
• Non democracy
• Disaffected intelligentsia
• Religious disparities
The other causes of terrorism are as below:
• In equal recognition before the law of some particular groups
• Inequality of personal security threats like interference, arrest, disparagement
• Inequality in freedom of movement and residence
• Inequality in protection of freedom of thought, conscience, religion
• Inequality in the enjoyment of free communication
• Inequality in the right of peaceful association
• Inequality in treatment of those born out of wedlock
• Inequality in the enjoyment of the right to marry and found a family
• Inequality in the enjoyment of free choice of employment
• Inequality in the regulation and treatment of ownership inequality in the protection of authorship
• Inequality of opportunity for education or the development of ability or talent
• Inequality of opportunity for sharing the benefits of culture inequality in services rendered
• Inequality in the enjoyment of the right to nationality inequality in the right to participate in government
• Inequality in access to public office forced labor, slavery, special taxes, the forced wearing of distinguishing marks, sumptuary laws, and public libel of groups
III. What are the various groups involved in terrorist activities?
The below groups play key role in the terrorism activities:
1. Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT): The complete meaning of the LeT is “Army of the Pure,”. It is a militant Islamist group working in Pakistan as well as in Jammu and Kashmir. LeT received funding from Pakistan’s intelligence services till 2001, when the United States designated it an FTO and Pakistan froze its assets. The group is blamed for some of the most high-profile terrorist attacks in India, including the July 11, 2006 bombing of the Mumbai commuter rail.
2. Jaish-e-Muhammad: It means “Army of Mohammed,” which is another Pakistan-based terrorist group operating from Jammu and Kashmir. It was established in 2000 by Harkat-ul-Ansar.
3. Harakat ul-Mujahadeen (HuM): The word conveys the meaning “Islamic Freedom Fighters’ Group” and it was founded in 1985 as an anti-Soviet group fighting in Afghanistan. HuM shifted its focus from pakisthan to Jammu and Kashmir when the Soviet forces withdrew in 1989. HuM seeks to battle “anti-Islamic forces” and its members have helped carry out operations as far away as Myanmar, Tajikistan, and Bosnia.
4. Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami (HUJI): It was founded in 1980 to fight against Soviets in Afghanistan with active participation in Jammu and Kashmir. HUJI, based in Pakistan and Kashmir mainly attacks Indian military targets with focus on western tourists in Jammu and Kashmir in 1995.
5. Jamiat ul-Mujahadeen: It is a small group of pro-Pakistan Kashmiri separatists operating in Pakistan. It is responsible for the 2004 grenade attacks against political targets in India.
6. The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA): ULFA was established in 1979 as an independent socialist state in Assam. Attacks on political leaders, security forces and infrastructure provoked a harsh response from the Indian government, causing it to lose some support among the residents of Assam.
IV. What are the various terrorist attacks that took place throughout the globe?
Below are the major terrorist attacks that took place throughout the globe:
1. 3 Dec 1921: Bombing of Bolgard palace in Bessarabia (modern Moldova)
2. 16 Apr 1925: Bombing of cathedral in Sophia, Bulgaria
3. 18 May 1973: MMid-air bombing of Aeroflot airliner, Siberia
4. 4 Dec 1977: Crash of hijacked Malaysian airliner near Malaysia
5. 20 Aug 1978: Aarson of theater in Abadan, Iran
6. 20 Nov-5 Dec 1979: Hostage taking at Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
7. 23 Sep 1983: Crash of Gulf Air flight following mid-air bombing over the UAE
8. 23 Oct 1983: Truck bombings of U.S. Marine and French barracks, Beirut, Lebanon
9. 14 May 1985: Armed attack on crowds in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
10. 23 Jun 1985: Mid-air bombing of Air India flight off Ireland, and attempted bombing of second flight in Canada
11. 18 Apr 1987: Roadway ambush near Alut Oya, Sri Lanka
12. 21 Apr 1987: Bombing of bus depot in Columbo, Sri Lanka
13. 29 Nov 1987: Mid-air bombing of Korean Air flight near Burma
14. 21 Dec 1988: Mid-air bombing of Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland
15. 19 Sep 1989: Mid-air bombing of French UTA flight near Bilma, Niger
16. 27 Nov 1989: Mid-air bombing of Avianca flight in Bogota, Columbia
17. 3 Aug 1990: Armed attack at two mosques in Kathankudy, Sri Lanka
18. 13 Aug 1990: Armed attack at mosque in Eravur, Sri Lanka
19. 2 Oct 1990: Crash of hijacked PRC airliner in Guangzhou, PRC
20. 12 Mar 1993: 15 bombings in Bombay, India
21. 22 Sep 1993: Crash of airliner struck by missile in Sukhumi, Georgia
22. 19 Apr 1995: Truck bombing of federal building, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
23. 14-19 June 1996: Hostage taking in Budennovsk, Russia, and two failed rescue attempts
24. 23 Nov 1996: Crash of hijacked Ethiopian Air flight off Comoros
25. 29 Aug 1997: Attacks at Sidi Moussa and Hais Rais, Algeria
26. 22 Sep 1997: Attack at Ben Talha, Algeria
27. 30 Dec 1997: Attack at Ami Moussa, Algeria
28. 4 Jan 1998: Attacks at Had Chekala, Remka, and Ain Tarik, Algeria
29. 11 Jan 1998: Attack on movie theater and mosque at Sidi Hamed, Algeria
30. 8 Aug 1998: Truck bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Saalam, Tanzania
31. 13 Sep 1999: Bombing of apartment building in Moscow, Russia
32. 31 Oct 1999: Intentional crash of Egypt Air flight off Massachusetts, USA, by pilot
33. 10 Aug 2001: Attack on train south of Luanda, Angola
34. 11 Sep 2001: Crashing of hijacked planes into World Trade Center, New York City, New York, Pentagon in Alexandria, Virginia, and site in Pennsylvania, USA
35. 12 Oct 2002: Car bombing outside nightclub in Kuta, Indonesia
36. 26 Oct 2002: Hostage taking and attempted rescue in theater in Moscow, Russia
37. 29 Aug 2003: Car bombing outside mosque in Najaf, Iraq
38. 1 Feb 2004: Two suicide bombings of political party offices in Irbil, Iraq
39. 21 Feb 2004: Armed attack and arson at refugee camp, Uganda
40. 27 Feb 2004: Bombing and fire on ferry near Manila, Philippines
41. 2 Mar 2004: Mmultiple suicide bombings at shrines in Kadhimiya and Karbala, Iraq
42. 11 Mar 2004: Bombings of four trains in Madrid, Spain
43. 24 Jun 2004: Multiple bombings and armed attacks in several cities in Iraq
44. 1-3 Sep 2004: Hostage taking at school in Beslan, Russia
45. 28 Feb 2005: Car bombing outside medical clinic in Hilla, Iraq
46. 14 Sep 2005: Multiple suicide bombings and shooting attacks in Baghdad, Iraq
47. 5 Jan 2006: Bombings in Karbala, Ramadi, and Baghdad, Iraq
48. 11 Jul 2006: Multiple bombings on commuter trains in Mumbai, India
49. 16 Oct 2006: Truck bombing of military convoy near Habarana, Sri Lanka
50. 23 Nov 2006: Multiple car bombings in Baghdad, Iraq
51. 22 Jan 2007: Multiple bombings in Baghdad area, Iraq
52. 3 Feb 2007: Truck bombing in market place in Baghdad, Iraq
53. 6 Mar 2007: Two bombings and other attacks on pilgrims, Hilla, Iraq
54. 27 Mar 2007: Two truck bombings in Tal Afar, Iraq
55. 18 Apr 2007: Bombings in Baghdad, Iraq
56. 3-10 Jul 2007: Hostage taking and subsequent storming of mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan
57. 7 Jul 2007: Bombings in Baghdad and Armili, Iraq
58. 14 Aug 2007: Multiple truck bombings in Al-Qataniyah and Al-Adnaniyah, Iraq
59. 25 Aug 2007: Almost simultaneous bomb explosions in Gokul chat and Lumbini park, Hyderabad, India
60. 18 Oct 2007: Bombing of motorcade in Karachi, Pakistan
61. 17 Feb 2008: Bombing at dogfighting festival in Kandahar, Afghanistan
62. 26-29 Nov 2008: Multiple gun and grenade attacks and hostage takings in Mumbai, India
63. 19 Aug 2009: Multiple bombings at government sites in Baghdad, Iraq
64. 25 Oct 2009: Two vehicle bombings at government buildings in Baghdad, Iraq
65. 28 Oct 2009: Bombing at marketplace in Pakistan
66. 8 Dec 2009: Five car bombings in Baghdad, Iraq
67. 10 May 2010: Multiple bombings in Hilla, Basra, al-Suwayra, and other cities, Iraq
68. 20 Jan 2012: Multiple bombings in Kano, Nigeria
69. 12 Apr 2012: Multiple bomb explosions in Iraq
V. What are the initiatives taken by the Indian Government towards antiterrorism?
In 2002, Indian government passed the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA). Due to abusing the powers of the officials, the POTA act was cancelled in 2004. Some Indian states like Maharashtra and Karnataka have their own laws like Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) and the Karnataka Control of Organized Crime Act which are used to suspect terrorists. In 2002, MCOCA act was also extended to Delhi. Recently some other states like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are also seeking similar anti-terror laws.
The below antiterrorism acts are useful to prevent the terrorism activities in India:
1. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,1967
2. Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention) Act,1987 (TADA)
3. The Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, 1999 (MCOCA)
4. Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002
VI. What are the Myths and Facts about Anti Terrorism Acts?
Below Myths caused unwarranted concern while implementing the anti-terrorism acts:
Myth 1: Common people believe freedom fighter and terrorist as same. There is no specific definition for terrorism as per law.
Fact 1: Freedom fighting and terrorism are different things.
Myth 2: The main objective of the anti terrorism laws is to protect the people from terrorist activities and provide a secured life.
Fact 2: The aim of the anti terrorism act is to eradicate terrorism in the country.
Myth 3: The provisions of anti terrorism acts violated the fundamental right of the common people.
Fact 3: Some cases misutilised the TADA and POTA acts.