‘Global Counterterrorism Approach’ & challenges of terrorism

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    In News

    • UNSC’s special briefing was recently held on the ‘Global Counterterrorism Approach’, which was convened by India.

    More about the news

    • Indian External Affairs Minister’s listing of four hurdles to better counterterrorism cooperation listed at UNSC needs attention. The hurdles, as stated by him, are as follows:
      • State support for financing terror
      • Multilateral mechanisms that are opaque and agenda driven
      • Double standards and politicisation of countering terrorism according to where terror groups belong, and 
      • The “next frontier” (the use of emerging technologies such as drones and virtual currency by terrorists). 

    Issues leading to terrorism as pointed out by India

    • Exiting Afghanistan & talks with the Taliban:
      • In their haste to exit Afghanistan in 2021 the UNSC’s permanent members, the U.S. and the U.K. struck the biggest blow to the sanctions regime by holding talks with the Taliban 
      • It has led to easing their path to power in Kabul and letting their handlers in Pakistan off the hook. 
    • Blocking the designations of terrorists:
      • A P-5 country (China) continues to block the designations of Pakistan-based terrorists, including five named this year, from the LeT and the JeM. 
    • Comprehensive Convention on International Terror:
      • Instead of uniting to accept India’s proposal, of 1996, of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terror to institute global practices on countering terror, the P-5 countries are polarised, and irrevocably so, over Russia’s war in Ukraine.

    Terrorism

    • About:
    • An offence to intimidate a population or to compel a government or an international organisation to do or abstain from doing any act, which causes:
    • Death or serious bodily injury to any person.
    • Serious damage to public or private property, including a place of public use, a State or government facility, a public transportation system, an infrastructure facility or the environment.
    • Damage to property, places, facilities, or systems resulting in or likely to result in a major economic loss.
    • It encompasses a range of complex threats like organized terrorism in conflict zones, foreign terrorist fighters, radicalised ‘lone wolves’, etc.
    • Impacts:
      • On peace:
        • It poses a major threat to international peace and security and undermines the core values of humanity, peace and growth.
      • Destabilisation & loss of lives: 
        • In addition to the devastating human cost of terrorism, in terms of lives lost or permanently altered, terrorist acts destabilise governments and undermine economic and social development.
      • Larger impacts:
        • Terrorist acts often defy national borders.
        • Terrorist attacks using CBRNE materials (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives) have catastrophic consequences on communities and infrastructure.

    Challenges

    • Recent global meets on terrorism:
      • In recent days, the world has been witnessing a flurry of meetings and conferences on the issue of countering terrorism worldwide.
        • Meetings of the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, the No Money for Terror Conference, and an Interpol Conference in which terrorism figured prominently.
    • No recognition for ideology driven extremism:
      • There is again no indication that the meetings took stock of the fact that ideology intertwined with religious extremism had become an even more potent threat than previously. 
    • Declining terrorist incidents but growing radicalisation:
      • Many of the past problems still remain. The declining level of serious terrorist incidents do not, however, translate into a decline in terrorism.
      • The incidents like the attacks of Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) and Mangaluru (Karnataka) may appear relatively insignificant, but are symptomatic of growing radicalisation 
        • It is also suggestive of the fact that a sizeable base is being built in the southern region.
    • Keeping track of smaller links:
      • Constant and careful vigil by counter-terrorism experts is needed to keep track of not only these activities but also the kind of links that are being established (under the radar) by global terrorist outfits whose presence is not as widely advertised as that of al-Qaeda and the IS.

    Suggestions & way ahead

    • No good or bad terrorism:
      • What is most needed by world leaders is not to treat some terrorists as good and others as bad, based on each nation’s predilections.
    • Reactivating the proposal for the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT):
      • The next step is to reactivate the proposal for the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) that has been on hold and finalise the list of items needed to check terrorism globally.
        • India first proposed this in the 1990s.
      • Once the CCIT is accepted by the UN, the war on terror would gain a new salience.
    • Need of coordinated efforts:
      • There is also a clear need for counter-terrorism agencies across the world to function in a more coordinated manner, exchanging both intelligence and tactics. 
    • Newer patterns of terror:
      • World needs to take stock of the newer patterns of terror such as ‘enabled terrorism’ and ‘remote control terrorism’.
        • Remote control terrorism: Violence conceived and guided by controllers thousands of miles away, positing the dangers of Internet-enabled terrorism. 
      • Counter-terrorism experts will again need to enlarge their expertise to accommodate multi-domain operations, and undertake terror ‘gaming’, all of which have become essential in today’s day and age.

    Source: TH