In practice, counter-terrorism is laden with multiple complexities – operational, political and moral – involving as it does, state and non-state actors, cross border operations and affecting governments and non-combatants alike. In this fight, therefore, the important issues that need serious policy as well as academic focus includes understanding, inter alia, the threat (and hence the adversary), the roots of violence, the need for appropriate counter-terrorism legal instruments and a balance between state authority and individual rights and liberties. The four articles in this issue highlight the importance of these aspects in improving contemporary counter-terrorism strategy and practice.
Jeff Sole highlights the loopholes in the immigration and refugee determination system of Canada, which continue to be exploited by extremists and terrorists. In support of his argument, Sole includes several case studies, including that of Ahmed Ressam, the Islamist extremist who came to be known as the ‘millennium bomber’ and Fateh Kamel, head of the Algerian-based Armed Islamic Group (AIG), who had entered Canada as asylum seekers.
In a case study,T. K. Singh argues that the alleged ‘terror boat’ incident of 1 January 2015 not only revealed the continued seaborne threat to India, but also the need for national consensus and inter-agency cooperation in pursuing counter-terrorism policies.
James D. Templin looks at one of the roots of violence at present – the fundamentalist madaris or madrassas (Islamic religious schools) in Pakistan, especially of the Deobandi religious subsect, in their potential for continued radicalisation of students. He recommends that the secularisation of these schools is not the answer, but rather the implementation of policies that offer high quality and holistic religious education with the support of the community.
Syed Sami Raza discusses Pakistan’s recent lifting of the six-year long moratorium on the death sentence subsequent to the December 2014 terrorist attack on the Peshawar school with respect to the local political scene in Pakistan and the country’s criminal justice system. He also highlights the importance of active political and public debate in determining the extent of a state’s necropower (a state’s sovereign power in deciding who lives and who dies) in the fight against terrorism.
Americas / Commentaries / Conflict and Stability / South Asia / Terrorism Studies
Last updated on 09/12/2015