Terrorism as an issue is not new but today has acquired newer dimensions in various forms. It is expected of the student to cover it from three disciplines
- International Relations
- Internal Security
Activism of NIA in recent times
Placing it in the syllabus
Indian Society – Social Problems (not explicitly mentioned)
Terrorism – Concept, History and Evolution
Causes and Measures
UAPA and NIA
What is terrorism?
Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government or its citizens to further certain political or social objectives.
Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among masses of people; or fear to achieve a religious or political aim. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime or in war against non-combatants.
History of terrorism and how it became a global problem
- The history of terrorism is a history of well-known and historically significant individuals, entities, and incidents associated, whether rightly or wrongly, with terrorism. Scholars agree that terrorism is a disputed term, and very few of those labeled terrorists describe themselves as such.
- Depending on how broadly the term is defined, the roots and practice of terrorism can be traced at least to the 1st-century AD Sicarii Zealots, though some dispute whether the group, which assassinated collaborators with Roman rule in the province of Judea, was in fact terrorist.
- The first use in English of the term ‘terrorism’ occurred during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, when the Jacobins, who ruled the revolutionary state, employed violence, including mass executions by guillotine, to compel obedience to the state and intimidate regime enemies.
- The association of the term only with state violence and intimidation lasted until the mid-19th century, when it began to be associated with non-governmental groups. Anarchism, often in league with rising nationalism and anti-monarchism, was the most prominent ideology linked with terrorism.
- Near the end of the 19th century, anarchist groups or individuals committed assassinations of a Russian Tsar and a U.S. President.
- In the 20th century, terrorism continued to be associated with a vast array of anarchist, socialist, fascist and nationalist groups, many of them engaged in ‘third world’ anti-colonial struggles. Some scholars also labeled as terrorist the systematic internal violence and intimidation practiced by states such as the Stalinist Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.
- The 21st century saw the dawn of the war on terrorism, as the 9/11 attacks and the Boston Marathon bombing dramatically changed society. Economic issues also moved to the forefront during the Great Recession as awareness of social inequality grew. The first decade of the 21st century was dominated by terror and terrorists. No one man was responsible although the pre-eminent face was that of Osama bin Laden. The global jihad of terror struck from New York to New Delhi. The centre of the storm was South Asia, and the epicenter of the storm Pakistan. India was often ground zero.
Main causes of terrorism may vary from place to place but its effect is the same that is antinational, anti humanity and anti ethics. folllowing are some of the causes of terrorism.
- Religious fundamentalism has been found to be the most important and dangerous reason for terrorism. Some terrorist groups are being trained and prepared for religious causes. Such as all alameda, Jaish-E-Mohammed, Harkal-ul-Mujahidin, SIMI and Taliban.
- Social: Social different, racial unrest or ethnical divisions have some times lead to violent activities, that can be categorized as terrorism. A group may turn to arms for their social justice and causes terror in an area-such as.
- Political: Lack of equality, freedom, demands of autonomy etc are the most important among main political causes. Suppressing a community, political exploitation and rule without representation etc. may give rise to armed struggle, resulting into terrorist activities.
- Economic: Economic disadvantage, exploitation or suppression can be a reason for un satisfaction and this leads to terrorist activities.
- Technological advances has helped terrorist group to arm themselves with advanced weapons.
- Social media: Fast access to social media has made it a pltform to to influence the young mind and attract them to get into terrorist activities.
- Unemployment pushes the young minds to earn overnight and fall pray to terrorist activities.
- Strategic: Saying that a group has a strategic cause for using terrorism is another way of saying that terrorism isn’t a random or crazy choice, but is chosen as a tactic in service of a larger goal. Hamas, for example, uses terrorist tactics, but not out of a random desire to fire rockets at Israeli Jewish civilians. Instead, they seek to leverage violence (and cease fires) in order to gain specific concessions related to their goals vis-a-vis Israel and Fatah. Terrorism is typically described as a strategy of the weak seeking to gain advantage against stronger armies or political powers.
National Level – Laws and institutions
National Investigation Agency(NIA)
- National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a central agency established to combat terror and act as Central Counter terrorism Law Enforcement Agency. It was established after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks with the enactment of National Investigation Agency Act, 2008.
- At present, NIA is functioning as the Central Counter-Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency in India.
Vision of NIA
The National Investigation Agency aims to be a thoroughly professional investigative agency matching the best international standards. The NIA aims to set the standards of excellence in counter terrorism and other national security related investigations at the national level by developing into a highly trained, partnership oriented workforce. NIA aims at creating deterrence for existing and potential terrorist groups/individuals. It aims to develop as a storehouse of all terrorist related information.
The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act is an Indian law aimed at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.
Its main objective was to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India.
The National Integration Council appointed a Committee on National Integration and Regionalisation to look into, the aspect of putting reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India. Pursuant to the acceptance of recommendations of the Committee, the Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Act, 1963 was enacted to impose, by law, reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, on the:
- Freedom of Speech and Expression;
- Right to Assemble peaceably and without arms; and
- Right to Form Associations or Unions.
India’s Resolution in the UN against International Terrorism
In 1996 India had moved a Resolution in the UN by the name of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (UN CCIT). After 19 year, it still remains inconclusive. Recently during the visit of the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to China, India finally got the support of both China and Russia for this very significant resolution. At the 13th Russia, India, China (RIC) summit the three foreign ministers called for early conclusion of negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
Global bodies working on terrorism
- The Security Council has taken the leading role, introducing the Counter-Terrorism Committee – established in 2001, based on Resolution 1373 (2001) – which oversees the implementation of counter-terrorism policy.
- In 2005, the UN Secretary General proceeded to the introduction of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task force for the combating of Terrorism, an organ which oversees the involvement of all the services of the UN. In September 2005, Resolution 1624 was adopted by the Security Council, condemning every form of terrorist action, regardless of origin, and calling on states to take the necessary measures to prohibit any incitement to the commission terrorist attacks.
- In September 2006, the General Assembly passed the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy. This strategy is the central political instrument of the UN and is the basis for shaping anti-terrorism policy on individual issues. The Strategy text has been revised four times (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014).
- Under the auspices of the UN, the international community, continuing a process initiated prior to Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001), has adopted 16 international legal instruments on terrorism. These instruments set out the obligations undertaken by states within the framework of terrorism, cover a broad range of actions characterized as terrorism, and contain the general guidelines and overall policy outlook against terrorism.
- To confront the new challenges that have arisen recently on the terrorist front – including the Islamic State (ISIL), the phenomenon of foreign fighters, and the financing of terrorism – in 2014 the Security Council adopted Resolutions 2170 and 2178, followed, in 2015, by Resolutions 2199 and 2214, which call on states to work together to deal with these threats.
What is the 1267 committee?
- The Committee was established by resolution 1267 of 15 October 1999 by the United Nations Security Council , which imposed an air embargo and an assets freeze on the Taliban, then the de facto Afghan government, for refusing to extradite Osama bin Laden in connection with the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
- The Committee’s operations were expanded and modified in resolutions adopted in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
- The sanctions now cover Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden and/or the Taliban, their associates or facilitators anywhere in the world. They include an assets freeze, an arms embargo and a travel ban. The targeted individuals and entities are placed on the consolidated list on the Committee’s website.
- All states are required to report to the Committee on actions they have taken to implement the measures. The Committee is supported by the Monitoring Team and a “focal point” official in the Security Council Subsidiary Organs branch of the Secretariat.
Impact if UNSC bans a terrorist/ List as a global terrorist
Listing as a global terrorist will result in global travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo.