Alejandra De Mingo
Dec. 10, 2012.
Terrorism: Affecting the Civilized
With this project, I aim to discover the EU’s status in counter terrorism preventions and citizens view of how terrorism has been dealt with in the past. By exploring the different patterns and types of terrorism in the EU, the project will provide with an idea of what policy makers have to deal with. According to article 1 of the EU Council’s Framework Decision on combating terrorism of 2002, “Terrorism offences are international acts, which given their nature or context, may seriously damage a country or an international organisation when committed with the aim of: * seriously intimidating a population; or
* unduly compelling a government or international organisation to perform or abstain from performing an act; or * Seriously destabilising or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country or international organisation” (TE-SAT, 8-9). Terrorists groups were already present in EU member states in the first two decades of the twentieth century, like the IRA (Irish Republican Army), which is still present under the name CIRA (Continuity Irish Republican Party), and the Spanish separatist organization ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna), was funded in the late fifties and early sixties. None the less, the strengthening of Counter terrorism policies did not occur until the 9/11 attacks in the Unites States happened. The attacks were done by the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, lead by Osama bin Laden, the same terrorist group which killed 190 people in the 11M terrorist attacks in Madrid in 2004 and 52 people in the 7/7 attacks in London in 2005. Terrorist organizations manage to survive despite counter-terrorist efforts because of the freedoms that new technologies provide. Mobile phones and the internet enable such organizations to contact possible financial and material providers, done by the IRA in the past when they received financial support from sympathizers in the united states (a lot of which former Irish immigrants) or ETA buying weapons from the European black market and mafias; to recruit new members all around the world, mostly youth; and to plan attacks. According to European legislation, in order to successfully combat terrorism, member states of the EU should study radicalization and why it occurs, how such people think and act, and the types of people they recruit, thus finding a way to block the entrance of new members into the organization. Members should invest in the formation of better financial investigators and faster methods of freezing and confiscating terrorist assets. Members should pay close attention to the safety of public transport and infrastructures since, if failed to do so, citizen’s lives would be put a great risk, as proven in the March 2004 bombings in Madrid and the July 2005 bombings in London, in which the bombs were placed in public rail transportation. Member states may provide other states with their citizen’s detailed IDs if needed so and telephone and internet companies should retain their user’s information in case it may be of us in tracking down of terrorist movement. Cooperation between members in the prevention of terrorists acquiring CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear weapons) which might lead to the reoccurrence of an event similar to that of Hiroshima. Member states should support terrorist victims by offering financial support that will enable the individuals to return their lives to normal as much as possible. And member states should invest in the development of new technologies which will help in the detection of explosives and provide the policy makes with accurate knowledge. These actions are said to be crucial in weakening terrorism. Nonetheless, according to an euro barometer by the EU Commission, when asked “have your rights and freedoms been restrained...
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