Modern Terrorism

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Part One:
1. What major measures can the international community take to prevent terrorism?

The fight against terrorist organizations and terrorism is not just a fight that the United States must face alone. This is evident from the Madrid train bombings, the bombings in London, and the terrorist attacks that Israel seems to face everyday from Hizballah. Terrorism is, in effect, international. All nations have a responsibility to combat terrorism to protect them and to protect other nations as well.

One of the security measures that can be undertaken is that of securing aircraft and airports. Enders and Sandler cite in their book that between 1973 and 2002, there was an average of ten skyjackings per year (Enders, W. & . Sandler, T., 2012). This was a number that is surprising due to the fact that it seems like most weren't reported or very little coverage was given to the incidences. There are new technologies being developed all the time to aid in securing of air travel. There is new technology in the area of explosive detection devices. One such technology is called micro-tagging. During this process, tiny chips of micro-taggants are blended into explosive substances and color-coded to identify the manufacturer and batch of explosives (IME, 2005). This system would also be beneficial in the reconstruction of bomb scenes and used to gain knowledge and prepare for future terrorist acts. Another innovative technology is called dielectric analysis. Dielectric analysis is a powerful non-destructive tool for characterizing materials; it can provide accurate, repeatable results unavailable by other electrical means. This, in essence, gives the explosive agents a “fingerprint” and could provide immediate identification of explosive substances at airports (DHS, 2012).

Along with technological advanced in air security, people can often make the biggest impact. In this area, Federal Air Marshals play an important role. This is not something that all countries partake in but more and more countries are adding these individuals to their flights. The airline association estimates that 10 or 20 out of some 115 airlines that fly into the United States already use air marshals (Lichtblau, 2003). Israel, for instance, has used marshals on El Al flights for years, and as stated, some other countries have followed suit more recently, as Australia announced in 2003 that Qantas Airways would begin placing armed marshals on flights to Singapore. Mexico has stated that they would start to use their own air marshals on flights that are going to the United States. However, not all countries and airlines are signed on to the idea. Air France does not use air marshals and the British Air Line Pilots Association said it does not believe that arms belong on aircraft, and British Airways, the country's biggest airline, said it reserves the right not to fly if it is forced to add air marshals (Lichtblau, 2003). Although there is a general feeling among passengers that they would feel safer on a flight if there were an air marshal on board, not everyone believes the passengers would necessarily be safer. There are those that cite that an armed conflict on a plane would become more dangerous to the passengers as opposed to just letting the terrorist state their demands and work with them for the release of passengers.

Sound, actionable, intelligence is another area that countries can utilize for overall protection. Political intelligence is an important factor to combating terrorism. This can be used to identify where the groups are garnering the most support for their cause. When this has been determined, pressure from other nations can be placed on these states to not support the terrorists. The gathering and use of military intelligence is vital in any operation. The intelligence gathered by our forces can assist in finding out how many are in a particular group, what kinds of weapons they have, and where they...
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