"We have to look at the root causes," Trudeau said. "Now, we don't know now if it was terrorism or a single crazy or a domestic issue or a foreign issue. But there is no question that this happened because there is someone who feels completely excluded. Completely at war with innocents. At war with a society. And our approach has to be, where do those tensions come from?"
Earlier in the same month of August, a well-provisioned ship carrying some 490 Tamil refugees docked at Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Suspicion continues to exist that at least some of the refugees may be former members of, or otherwise linked to, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), a group proscribed as a terrorist entity in Canada and many other countries. The ship’s arrival presents the Canadian government with a conflicting series of problems as it tries to balance valid national security concerns about transnational terrorism against human rights considerations and the imperatives of Canada’s relatively open refugee system.
The 6th Annual African Union Retreat of Special Envoys and Mediators on the Promotion of Peace, Security and Stability convened in Windhoek, Namibia to discuss the AU approach in defining terrorism and terrorist groups and the mechanism it needs to settle conflicts in regions where terrorist labeled groups operate.
The two days deliberations required special envoys, mediators and representatives from different organisations reflected on the gaps between the international community’s approach towards terrorism and terrorist groups and the African experience in countering terrorism. The conference led to a new discussion on what the African definition to terrorism should be and the ingredients that should make up the definition mirroring the African counter terrorism experience.
Opening the conference, Amb. Samil Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security at the AU Commission; said, "Africa has extensive experience of dealing with armed conflicts in which the non-state party has been designated as a 'terrorist'. With this long experience to draw on, we are therefore equipped to undertake a constructive critique of international policies for combating terrorism and violent extremism and also to develop a more comprehensive multilateral counter-terrorism agenda. An African doctrine for addressing terrorism and violent extremism must be informed by these experiences."
Towards an African definition to terrorism
Historically, colonial powers in Africa used the term 'terrorist' indiscriminately to vilify acts of resilience to their domination. Many Africa civil wars also involved combatants committing acts of terrorism, ranging from gruesome mutilation to destroying civilian targets. In the contemporary international terrorism experience as well, Africa has felt the wrath of terrorism in the 1990s. The assassination attempt against President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa in 1995; the LUXOR massacre of 1997; and the US embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998 are few examples that can be mentioned. These incidents forced African countries to prioritise counter-terrorism before the September 11 2001 attacks in the US. In Africa however, Al Qaeda had been defeated by a combination of political and security measures prior to the attacks, so that by 2001 it no longer represented a threat.
Over the last decade, the lack of socio-economic development, poverty, state fragility, lack of good governance, frustration, relative deprivation, effects of extremist ideological/religious beliefs, terrorism reflected through militant extremism involving links to international jihadism, and the use of repertoire of terrorist methods has emerged across the continent. Harakat al-shabab, al-Mujahadin, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and groups affiliated to the Islamic State (IS) are some of the terrorist groups that proliferated within the contemporary context.
Participants noted the definitions contained in the and the Supplementary Protocol (2004), as well as the AU Plan of Action (2002), are relevant as they focus on the 'act of terrorism', placing terrorism squarely in the domain of tactics rather than a strategy or political objective.
African response to terrorism
Current attempts to develop a comprehensive continental response to terrorism and violent extremism have included the signing and ratification of the relevant African and International instruments; the designation of national focal points of technical expertise for the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT); the financial contributions and provision of technical expertise for the ASCRT; the assessing of the state of implementation of the 2002 Action plan for the prevention and combating of terrorism; and the organisation of an annual consultative forum with international partners on the issue of terrorism and violent extremism.
The most important agenda for counter terrorism in Africa now focuses on 'violent extremism' in which extremist Islamism and manifestations of intolerant and politicised faith are in the centre. Violent religious extremism is typically the product of other social, economic, and political grievances, including sentiments of exclusion and humiliation and demands for representation, dignity, and an end to violations and corruption in governmental circles. If Africa is to contain terrorism, states need to develop their internal capabilities in probing responses to grievances and instilling good governance.
The way forward
The two-day retreat urged that the prevention of violent extremism and terrorism must be prioritised and placed at the top of the African security agenda. In order to do this, emphasis must be placed on good governance, particularly the promotion of accountable, transparent and inclusive governance systems; law and order; addressing the challenges of poverty and inequality; and promoting tolerance and secularism.
Moreover, the retreat highlighted the need for a holistic approach on counter-terrorism that involves both military and security dimensions as well as approaches designed to address the multi-dimensional root causes and drivers of terrorism and violent extremism. This calls actors involved in counter-terrorism to devote appropriate attention and resources to sustainably address the drivers of radicalisation and extremism through the promotion of Security Sector Reform (SSR), the rule of law, and the protection of human rights.
The African strategy on counter-terrorism also needs to identify political solutions. These include negotiation and mediation by undergoing a comprehensive reflection on the adaptation of existing strategy and operational dimensions of processes tailored to the specificities of terrorism and violent extremism and each specific context.In addition at the policy and normative levels, it was noted that AU instruments and decisions pertaining to terrorism be scrupulously and systematically implemented and monitored. At an operational level, it is called for the efforts initiated to be stepped up, in line with the relevant provisions and decsions of Heads of States resolutions.
Note that Islamic violence is a bell-curve phenomenon: social-science surveys tell us that all the people in problematic source countries within 1 standard deviation of the relevant mean more or less actively Islamic violence, as do all of those people more than 1SD off the mean on the side of the curve that runs from "support" to "engage in." Naturally only some (2+SD) violence in conflict with the police forces of victim countries. More "clustering" in "preexisting social networks" means more terror-supporters convert to terror-perpetrators. Worse, the conversion rate grows in a supralinear fashion with immigration since police deterrence falls at the same time "clustering" rises.
In this essay I will argue Walzers view on Terrorism is correct in that terrorism is wrong because it is akin to murder, it is random in who it targets, and no one has immunity....
and its coalition partners came to the realization that this act of terrorism was potentially a precursor to an asymmetric warfare campaign that had global impact.
Genesis Of Terrorism: There appear two main events that brought terrorism and intolerance to Pakistan on religious grounds. Prior to 1980, religion was not a controversial issue is Pakistan. However the sectarian anti-Shiite militant groups like the Sipah-e-Sahaba, were preaching hatred against the Shiite Muslims. This sectarian violence came to Pakistan only after the 1979 revolution in Iran, which transformed the nature and magnitude of sectarian violence in Pakistan. This was further aggravated when a sunni-dominated Iraq with the backing of USA and Saudi Arabia which waged a war upon Shiite dominated Iran. These sectarian organizations were instrumental in the transformation of Pakistan into a secondary battlefield which in turn is a major cause of rise in religious extremism and intolerance in Pakistani Society.
"There is no single, simple process: when and why some groups or individuals commit acts of terrorism while others do not is context-specific, as it involves the coming together of a constellation of events and factors at individual, group and social levels. And a constellation of factors in one case can be very different from that in another. Consider a rapid escalation towards violence in a small group of peers versus a slow development of a larger network. For such reasons, there is no simple or single set of factors, events or processes to determine vulnerability to recruitment or likelihood of engaging in violent extremism."
When Arafat addressed the General Assembly, he made the argument that the actions taken by his government were not acts of terrorism, but these were acts of revolution and their purpose was to regain control of Palestine’s occupied original territ...
In late August 2010, three individuals were arrested in Ottawa and London (Ontario) on terrorism charges. They were apparently inspired by the ideology of global jihad. The charges laid referred to the facilitation of terrorist activity. The police specifically noted that the individuals were in possession of “schematics, videos, drawings, instructions, books and electronic components designed specifically for the construction of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).” The IEDs, according to the police, may have been intended for use in both Canada and Afghanistan.
After the September 11 terrorist attacks, Pakistan’s decision to join the U.S led global war on terror provided it with an opportunity and chance to address militancy and religious extremism is the country. Terrorism as it has been defined since 9/11 has so far taken a death toll of thousands of people, mostly in Iraq followed by Afghanistan and Pakistan. This version of war against terrorism has increased not only terrorists but it has perished almost 4,000 innocent people in Pakistan only.